Motives & motivations

"Friend, what have you come for?" St Benedict goes for broke here and chooses the most strait, the most provocative quote possible as an aid to examination of heart — these are, of course, the words of Jesus to Judas Iscariot, who has met him in Gethsemane to effect his arrest.

These words are addressed not only to the priests who are seeking to join the monastery or who are already there, but also to every monk and nun. What longing, what impelling force, what hope has so moved and convicted us that all we have left behind is not enough; that we must throw over everything we had any choice over, in order to seek God here in this place?

And then, has any other agenda, any lesser hope stolen in to arrest a progress toward abandonment to God's providence? Friends, why have we come? What is our hope, that we continue to throw over, again and again, whatever would sidetrack the impelling direction of love? As we continue this season of Advent (a timely little icon of that long Advent that is our life) let us continue to search out the answer to this question: what did we come to see? What is it we expect and long for? Friends, why have we come?

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