How to be a monk, benictine or otherwise


Dear forum

I am wondering how best to go around to being a completative monk at a benedictine abbey in Scotland. Are there other orders of monks in scotland I should consider. I think I got a calling when my soul left my body to float to the cieling, what does this mean, does this mean it’s telling me I’m going to heaven when I die. If you could let me know I would very much appreciate it.

Kind Regards


I don’t know anything about your soul leaving your body, but if you feel you have a vocation to the religious life, then you should get in touch with your local diocese. They should have an office or department that helps people get started with the discernment process. You can also contact the specific monastery you are interested in and they will also help you.


Out of personal curiosity, could you better describe that experience? It might give a better idea of what contemplative order to suggest.

Also, generally these orders have websites that will identify how they work with those feeling a calling to their way of life.

On another note, have you seen “The Monastery”, put on by the BBC? It can be viewed on YouTube here.


Occult practises can do that. If you’ve been involved with that, it’s really bad for you and it is dangerous. If you haven’t had bad experiences from it yet, you will eventually. Best to go to Confession.


Umm… That’s not a calling. A calling to a certain life is shown be attraction to the life, ability to undertake the duties of that life, and acceptance into that life by a superior. If you do have an attraction, then you might want to start meeting with a spiritual director. But don’t trust in phenomena like that you describe here. Vocational discernment is a little quieter and more modest than you might think.


To offer another voice:

From “Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery” by Fr. Richard Butler, O.P. (Emphasis mine)

Much of the popular propaganda on the subject of religious vocation veers towards one or the other of two erroneous extremes. On the one hand there is the almost exclusive concern with the objective counsel, minimizing, at times even excluding, the necessary subjective disposition which must involve divine preordination and premotion. On the other hand, the attraction theory, which has been so thoroughly discredited, continues to exert an even more virulent influence on contemporary vocational discussion and expression. This dangerous emphasis on subjective, even perceptible inspiration perdures in vocational literature.

I would be lying to say that has been my experience, but I have heard some more interesting stories from others…:shrug:


I’ll pass on the “out of body experience question” except to say that a vocational calling is typically occurs over a longer period of time and in a much less dramatic way. Anyway, as far as monasteries go, each sets their own entry criteria and makes their own decisions as far as applicants are concerned. Also not all monasteries are the same even though they all essentially follow the rule of St Benedict (which is itself worth reading if you’re interested in monastic life). Some a situated in a very rural (and sometime remote) area and their working life is centered around a farm, or similar. Others though - such as Ealing abbey in West London - are situated in urban areas and are centred around a parish and / or a school. Others still are a combination. So you need to have a think about what kind of monastic experience you feel called to and, after that, what specific monastery you’d be interested in applying to. Remember that monks take a vow of stability - meaning that they remain with the same monastery effectively for life!

Finally, I would second the recommendation to watch The Monastery and also to read the books by Fr Christopher Jamieson (who was Abbot of Worth Abbey when the series was filmed there): Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life and Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps For A Fulfilling Life


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