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

18 August 2012

Days of wine and robes

August 18, 1980 was the hottest day of the year in Kansas. I remember this because it was the day I became BroLo by professing vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Brother Party Pooper never fails to remind me how much he suffered through the long, hot ceremony. It seems that Mother Nature is celebrating my 32nd anniversary of profession by giving us the hottest day of the year in Rome.

I am not one of those people who have their whole lives planned in advance—I prefer surprises to disappointment. Still, I certainly never expected that I would spend 16 years of my religious life living in Rome and six years traveling around the world. In fact, before entering the novitiate one of my confreres and I took a road trip to see something of the world before being locked away forever into a monastery. Our Grand Tour consisted of driving from Kansas City to Chicago. I then took a train from Chicago to Washington, DC, while he drove back to Kansas City. Such an adventure!

Life for these past 32 years has not always been a bed of roses, but I have no reason to complain. I have many good, supportive brothers. There is no doubt that I have had opportunities to see places and do things that would not have been possible if I had chosen a different path in life. Overall, the positives have far outweighed the negatives.

In the old days, on the vigil of one's birthday or patronal feast, you ate your supper sitting on the floor. The idea was to prevent you from becoming proud. It seemed like a silly tradition and I am glad it was discontinued. Still, I am beginning to see the sense of it—sure, life seems goods right now, but don't get used to it!


Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think that life is about change. It's good to hear that you are mostly contented with your chosen path because the alternative is unthinkable, but rather common. Congratulations on your anniversary, Brolo!

22 August, 2012 06:19  

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