Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

30 April 2007

Retirement planning

I have just finished responding to an email from a friend who recently left her monastery after being a nun for 20 years. In her email, she lamented the hardships she is facing in the real world, and urged me to never abandon my life as a brother.

Her concern that I might one day walk away from this life is not entirely without foundation. Once, years ago, I confided to her that I felt as though I had never really unpacked my suitcases—that I might leave the next day if the right opportunity came along. I knew, of course, that this was a very unsatisfactory way to live so I decided to deal with it through a method I have used successfully to make other difficult decisions in my life, i.e. I ignored it til it went away.

I have reached a stage of my life, however, when I no longer have a desire to chuck it all in. After all, why give up free food at my age? As a nod, however, to that unredeemed part of myself, I have decided that in my waning years I shall be a grumpy old brother whose only joy will be to rob the younger brothers of theirs. Yes, if I see one enjoying the company of a female friend, I will accuse him of cavorting with loose women and causing scandal to others. If one has a drink, I'll accuse him of being an alcoholic. God forbid that anyone should go to the movies!

And with all the practice I'm getting by keeping this blog, I feel I shall be very good at my future occupation.


Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Your future self sounds quite a lot like an elderly brother you described some time ago.

It's good that you are apprenticing yourself to experts in your chosen field.

30 April, 2007 07:54  
Blogger BroLo said...

I guess my lack of originality will be one of the things I'll be bitter about.

30 April, 2007 17:13  
Blogger Open Grove Claudia said...

Life unfolds one day at a time. I admire your commitment, yet it's still only a day at a time. Having met some of the grumpy brothers, it's hard for me to imagine you will join their ranks. But it's good to have goals.

01 May, 2007 16:30  
Blogger Pog said...

Hey - anyone can tell you don't enjoy female company, BroLo.

02 May, 2007 12:13  
Blogger BroLo said...

You are correct, Pog. I tolerate it for professional reasons.

03 May, 2007 14:56  
Anonymous pog said...

I suspected as much ....

04 May, 2007 10:06  
Anonymous Moobs said...

Personally, I am not getting any more irrascible as I get older - I was always a grumpy sod. However, I notice that the yojng uns around me are more tolerant of that sort of behaviour as they begin to make allowances. I sense an opportunity that will increasingly be available for me to exploit.

10 May, 2007 08:38  

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