the smaller we have grown…

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And while the subject is numbers, allow me to share more good news, this time from the monastic side. Last week we clothed four new novices (for those unfamiliar with these terms – those who spend a year in the monastery seeking entrance) and celebrated the first vows of John Meoska (again, by way of explanation: first vows can be for one year or three, an initial commitment to the monastery which can be renewed up to 9 years). Both of these events are significant for the abbey. Vocations are down all over the world so this kind of interest in our way of life reminds us that what we offer our world and society still has relevance. I’m struck by just how counter cultural this way of life is. Yes, in some ways we resemble any other family and business….cars, books and the other trappings of consumer society but the material elements of life are always under the watchful care of our brothers who hold us in check and remind us that less truly is more. The abbey which numbers around 150 has struggled with the idea of growing smaller (down from around 400) but once we began to feel the opportunity of smallness rather than the oppression, things began to change. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the idea of so many people under one roof, we began to reach out to each other in support and love. Ironically, the smaller we have grown, the more we’ve learned to be good brothers to one another. I think the school can learn the same lesson and not grow to the point of losing mindfulness of what a treasure we have found.

Source: http://themonkstale-timo.blogspot.com

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Topics: Abbey Statistics, Tim Backous

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