From the Vocation Director—
Hello and welcome. The Rule of St. Benedict calls for each guest to be welcomed as Christ and I hope that you have felt welcomed on your visit to our website.
As the vocation director for Saint Meinrad Archabbey, I am called to minister to men who are interested in discerning a monastic vocation. A religious vocation is a mysterious thing and often arises very gently as a fleeting thought, or a subtle tug of the heart. Very few people, if any, have the experience of St. Paul, who was struck blind by a celestial light and literally heard the voice of Jesus calling him.
One holy monk I know described a vocation as like “a song you can’t get out of your head.” At the oddest times, you just keep hearing that tune. If you are feeling that gentle tug or hearing that song, I invite you to contact me to explore the monastic vocation further. This exploration may be done through an in-person visit, a phone conversation, emails, or through all of these media.
As to discernment, I think there are several important steps to be taken:
Seek out a spiritual director. This is a wise and faithful Christian who can help you to explore how God is acting in your life. To find a spiritual director, you might consult a priest, deacon, religious, or lay minister in your parish community.
Pray for light to be clear about how God is calling you and also to simply strengthen your friendship with God. Remember that prayer is about listening to, as well as speaking to, God. A spiritual director can help you to strengthen your prayer life.
Explore through reading and visits to monastic communities. You will find many informative books about the monastic life in the Suggested Readings section of this Vocations website. The podcasts available on this webpage may also be helpful. YouTube hosts a number of good videos about monastic life. You are welcome to arrange a visit here at Saint Meinrad by contacting me.
Seek out opportunities to serve the people of God and the wider community. In our Benedictine life, works of service, both within the monastery and beyond, are important.
May God bless you as you seek the path that leads to the heavenly kingdom.
Brother Zachary Wilberding, OSB
Saint Meinrad Archabbey
100 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577