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

12 May 2010

Another candle on the cake

Today is my birthday. I arrived into this world fifty-three years ago. How time flies! Soon, I will reach maturity, I am told. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I flew from Tucson to Phoenix this morning. Currently, I am sitting in the Phoenix airport awaiting my onward flight to Burbank, California. Oh, the glamour! The airport is not the most conducive place in the world for taking stock of one's life, but it will have to do.

I was never one for setting goals for myself so there isn't any benchmark against which I can measure myself. By the most common measures of success—money, possessions, a position of authority or influence, a happy family—I am a dismal failure. I have never been married, have no children and no possessions. Within the religious order to which I belong I have reached a position that some might consider influential, but it is vicarious influence. I have no real authority of my own. According to the current laws of the Church, the fact that I am not a priest means that I cannot go any higher within the structure the Order. In other words, I have peaked. Scary.

I suppose that "success" for a religious brother must be measured in the number of lives he has touched, the number of people he has helped and in the holiness of his life. If anyone figures out how to measure those things, let me know. On the holiness score, all I can say is: Give me a little more time, Lord!


Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

A belated most happy birthday to you, Brolo. And we all need a little more time, God willing, no matter how old we are. In fact, the older we get, the more we believe we need. We must be a constant source of entertainment to our Maker, His own Ant Farm.

29 May, 2010 19:45  

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