In what does character change in a monastery consist?

An old monk is recorded to have said, You have come here [to the monastery] not to acquire something, but to discard a lot of things.
What things, in due course, should I eventually discard ?**


When one enters a monastery, one leaves one’s former life behind with all its responsibilities and attachments. Eventually, one will make a vow of poverty and one will no longer own anything. With the vow of celibate chastity, one lets go of the possibility of marital intimacy and the procreation of children. With the vow of obedience, one puts every aspect one’s life under the authority of another. Monasticism requires a complete conversion of behavior and a willingness to live in the stability of life determined by one monastery. In the words of St. John the Baptist, “He (our Blessed Lord) must increase; I must decrease.” This is an ongoing process for all of us. To an all encompassing degree, it is for the monk or nun.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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