On Entering The Monastery

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

Wimmer Wednesday

“…I should be a light placed on a lamp stand, so that all in the house may see; but if the light itself is darkness, how can it shine? I should be the salt of the earth that prevents decay wherever applied. I should not weaken. I am so lukewarm, so poor, so needy. I need the salt myself before I can be salt to others. My weaknesses will be made strong from the strength of the other monks in the monastery. My weaknesses will be made bright from their spiritual lamp. My lukewarmness will be made warm by their zeal and fervor. The rule of the monastery will prevent me from misusing my freedom and will give me the means to do only good. Everything in the monastery is arranged around the daily praise and service of God. I am convinced that all I do, if it is according to the Rule, is profitable when done out of obedience, something I cannot say of many deeds I did while in the world.
“Therefore, I can gain in every case once I have the good fortune of living in a monastery. At the same time, I consider it an undeserved good fortune and distinction, for I know very well that I bring nothing with me, and that what I want to be, I must acquire first in the monastery. I have thought much about what I have written and am absolutely convinced of the truth of these statements. The reasons I have stated here could easily be elaborated upon if space would permit. They are not only grounded in my knowledge and conviction, but are also the concern of my heart, which tells me that this is something necessary and counsels it as such, as well as something which must be acted upon and carried out to the full.”

Altötting, July 16, 1832

Letters of An American Abbot