Occasion of the Solemn Profession of Dom Anthony
There are currently five life-professed members of the Community resident at the Abbey (and one living elsewhere).
In order that a monk may live out his monastic vows, he lives a planned and ordered life so that the whole of his being may be offered to God. The day begins, continues and ends with worship. Prayer is the great priority of the monk’s life, and particularly the corporate offering of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Conventual Mass. Since these essential works of the Community are there to lead us into a closer relationship with God, there are also times for personal prayer and meditation. This attachment to God in prayer is also an involvement with the world, for we offer our prayers with and on behalf of all, with the wide variety of needs and sorrows, thanksgiving and joy experienced by God’s people, so many of whom cannot, or will not, pray for themselves. The monk is not only bound to God through his prayer, but caught up in the great family of humanity of which he is a part.
Idleness, says Saint Benedict, is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the Brothers should have specified periods for manual labour as well as for prayerful reading. Part of each day is set aside for work with the hands. First, there are the necessary domestic duties and tasks of running a household. Then the work involved in helping to maintain the buildings and grounds. Then the personal gifts of the individual are encouraged in various crafts and skills; usually a special commitment of work is entrusted to an individual. Some of the Community work in making Incense which is sold to Churches throughout the country, regardless of denominational affiliation. There is a busy Retreat and Guest House, in which some of the Brethren work to provide clean and hospitable rooms, in the provision of meals, and also in providing for their spiritual needs.
A period of time for prayerful reading is provided, following the time of meditation each morning. In addition a period of study completes the routine of the house, so that the whole man, spirit, body and mind, is daily offered to God. During the early years of vocation, study is made under supervision, so that the learner can be directed into a fuller and deeper understanding of the Christian faith, and an informed knowledge of the monastic life. The period of study also fosters the habit of daily reading which will sustain the monk during the gradual maturing of his vocation. As the monk follows this pattern of life faithfully, by the grace of God he will be drawn into closer union with his Brethren and the Divinity, working together to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth.