- Becoming a Trappist
- Monastic Life
- Monastic Culture
- Our Monasteries
- Visitor's Questions
- Write to Us
"If I lived ten lives, nine and one half of them would be spent in a monastery! That is how much I love to be a monk!" Brother Jacob spoke these words soberly, and then at the conclusion, broke into a broad smile, his white teeth contrasting strikingly with his ebony complexion. Jacob is a native Nigerian, an Ebo; an African man derived from a people who carry themselves with a certain dignity and poise. He is in the United States to study theology in order to return to his monastery in Nigeria and teach classes to monks in formation.
Got back from Holy Spirit Abbey on Saturday afternoon, walked into the library and found an issue of Time magazine with Osama Bin Laden's face on the cover,"X'd out" with blood. "We got him." It's Easter in the monastery. The Easter candle rises triumphantly above fragrant lilies—on Sunday's, the whole ensemble wrapped in gossamer strands of smoke sent up by incense from a golden thurible. Bin Laden is dead. Has the cause of life triumphed? What is the triumph heralded by the Easter candle in our sanctuary? No doubt, killing this man will prevent future killings.
Fitful sleep and a really weird dream last night. Arrived at the Vigil prayer service in the grips of a free-floating anxiety . . . about what? Was it just the dream? What exactly am I worried about—is it nothing at all? It feels like everything. "Do not let your heart be troubled". He keeps saying this; first in the Thursday gospel and then again on Sunday. It doesn't sound like a suggestion. It sounds like a command. Splendid. Now I'm being disobedient and fretting about that.
Looks like Paradise out my window. Pure blue sky; silvery leaves flickering in the late afternoon sun, an occasional human voice wafted across the lawn from a small group having a picnic on the monastery lawn. I am at Holy Spirit Abbey outside of Atlanta Georgia and it's good to be here! I am responsible for over-seeing the Junior Seminar held here from May 2 to May 14—an intensive formation program for monks and nuns in Simple Vows. If a Novice represents monastic childhood, Juniors might be thought of as having grown into their adolescence as Cistercians.