Saint Benedict incorporated in his Rule (written in sixth century) rituals that have marked every Benedictine profession to this day. He prescribed that the monastic: write by hand the promises of Stability, Fidelity to the monastic life and Obedience and publically profess these promises “forever“. Placing the document on the altar, the monastic prays, “Receive me O Lord, as you have promised that I may live. Disappoint me not in my hope.” Finally, she lies prostrate before the community seeking their prayer. I am grateful to join the company of Benedictine monastics in these ancient rituals by making my final monastic profession.
Most of my life, I have known that I am called apart by God. These rituals are very special because they offer a public witness to what is already true. Over these seven years of formation, I have come to know the profound truth of God’s love lived out in our Benedictine tradition and at Benet Hill Monastery. I have also come to know that the monastic life is God’s desire for me. Monastic profession isn’t an entrance into a static state of perfection though; the ceremony is a succession of rituals offering indelible reminders that I am committing myself entirely to the promise to choose life again and again as we live together our baptismal immersion into the paschal mystery. There are no words to express my gratitude to God for the gift of being a part of this community. I am truly blessed.
Ana Cloughly, OSB