The vocational life of the Church is many-sided and there are as many paths as there are people. The one Body of Christ is made of many parts, of multiple limbs, and our vocation is part of that Body.
In terms of religious life alone, there are manifold ways of serving God. Whether we work in parishes or schools or missions, monks and nuns tend in their own chosen way within the rich garden of God’s love. Cistercians take the part of Mary. In other words, they choose a life of contemplation, an entire existence ordered towards Christ in solitude. Whilst Jesus was very well known for talking to crowds of people he was also fond of disappearing into still places, and it was here that he developed this great encounter with God the Father. The Cistercians live that life in as pure a way as possible, developing a community in which we can get rid of so many of the temptations in this world, in order to concentrate on what is important.
Whatever our chosen vocation, it is this encounter with God that is at the heart of our existence. The contemplative life is a crucial part of the Church. And, as important as it is to teach children and to go into communities to preach the word of God, so it is important to keep the lungs of the Church fresh with the clean air of contemplative witness. Indeed, many of the preachers and teachers of our Church come to our monasteries so that they themselves can be refreshed by the spirit of contemplative life. This is why Cistercians have a long and beautiful tradition of residential guest houses. And just like these ordained and solemnly professed workers of God, all may come and stay at our guest house. You may simply want to recharge your batteries, to walk alongside us in our liturgical celebrations, or to spend unfettered time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This is something we can offer to anybody who wishes to go up that mountain, just as Jesus did, to find solitude and encounter with God. If you would like to stay with us then we would welcome an email from you. For all enquiries please email our guest master: firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply contact us via our website.
Jesus said in today’s Gospel that only one thing is important. God alone. Let us find space in our busy lives to listen to the word of God, to place ourselves into his presence, and to not get sidetracked by the many things that we think are more important than this.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 10:38 – 42
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said,
‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.‘
But the Lord answered:
‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one.
It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ