Can someone study to become a monk?
Become a monk in the Scottish Abbey
In the prologue of the Rule of Benedict we read: “The Lord is looking for a worker in the crowd ... for himself and says: Who is the person who loves life and wishes to see good days? If you hear this and answer: "I", then God says to you: If you want true and immortal life, protect your tongue from evil and your lips from false speech! Avoid evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it! As you do this, my eyes will look to you and my ears will listen to your prayers; and even before you call to me, I say to you: See, I am here. Dear brothers, what can be more happy for us than this word of the Lord who invites us? "
Whoever wants to become a monk has at some point in his life perceived this call from God; he has a “burning heart” that gives him inner fire in order to seek God in constancy, obedience and monastic life in community under rule and abbot. This is the essential prerequisite for entering a monastery. Furthermore, one must be entitled to study or have completed vocational training. The minimum age for admission to a monastery is 18 years. Today, however, many applicants are older or have already graduated. Essential for monastic life is a certain maturity of the candidate's personality, the ability and willingness to live celibate in community and, finally, the desire to help build the kingdom of God.
Steps into the monastery
Anyone interested in monastic life in the Schottenstift is cordially invited to take part in the Liturgy of the Hours or to live for a few days in the monastery as a guest with the brothers and thus get to know the community, the daily routine and our activities.
Anyone who has decided to enter our monastery has the opportunity to get to know the confreres better within the framework of the postulate. After this approximately 6-month probationary period and the corresponding judgment of the abbot and the community, the novitiate (one year) follows, which precedes the acceptance into the monastic community and familiarizes with the Benedictine life. During both the postulate and the novitiate, the monastery candidate is spiritually accompanied by a novice master and prepared for life as a monk. In the best case, the novitiate leads to temporary profession: the promise of celibacy, personal lack of property and obedience according to the Benedictine Rule, i.e. a commitment to the monastery community for three years. Unlike the novice, the temporary professed participates in the working life of the community - through his studies or in other areas. At the end of these three years, the young monk can - if he and the monastery community are ready - make “perpetual profession”, the obligation to spend his entire life in monastic service. Perpetual profession is thus the actual beginning of monastic life and the final bond with the Benedictine community.
This means that this monk is a full member of the community and, as a “chapter”, has a share in the deliberations and decisions of the chapter. The religious dress (habit) that he wears from the beginning of the novitiate is an outward sign of the alignment of his own life with the will of God (the "consecration of life") and of fellowship with other monks. Together with them may he come to eternal life.
Novice master Fr. Nikolaus Poch will be happy to talk to anyone who feels a call to monastic life.
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