Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Letter to the Trappists

Always a student. Each of us should seek counsel and training when ever we can. Follows is partial copy of the letter I wrote to the Trappists of Holy Trinity Abbey in Huntsville, Utah. A few days later I found out they closed down, moved out and sold the property. I was so disappointed. That next day I sent a similar copy to the national organization of Trappist Monasteries. In the future I'll let you know how things turn out.

Dear Father and brothers of Holy Trinity Abbey,

In 2012, tomorrow (Nov. 11) being the anniversary, I was awakened by God that my work is His work and I was called to His ministry. This happened when I was helping soon to be released prison inmates get back to and successfully integrate into their communities. The calling was so clear it was virtually audible and I contemplated over that for months. Finally, I spoke with my local pastor, began the process and became a Certified Lay Servant in my church. The next year I became a Candidate for the Ministry in The United Methodist Church and I am my third year of that process.

The reason I chose you is because one of the “sparks” that ignited this change and evolution of my spirit occurred at your abbey about 1996. About that time, I was introduced to your community by mutual friends Jim and Gary. In the winter of ‘96-‘97 Jim brought me to a personal retreat there and I worked with, toured, worshiped and broke bread with you. I felt so welcomed. It was also that weekend that I picked up a book in the lobby and read it cover to cover for the next few days. The book is, “Return of the Prodigal Son”, by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I discovered that not only I am the prodigal son, but I am also the older brother and the father in that story. I’ve since gone on to read more of Nouwen’s work as well as Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and currently a fan of Fr. Richard Rohr.

My request to you is that of searching for a mentor from your community to communicate with me on a regular basis by telephone, letters and perhaps video conferencing. Perhaps sometime we could meet in person. I am looking for someone to encourage and be encouraged by, to lift and be uplifted by; someone in the faith but with spiritual experience and finally perhaps someone who can hear confession and advise. I chose your organization because you are out of my spiritual, religious, personal and professional loop and I trust and respect you all.

Thank you for the positive Christ-like influence you have had upon me and the service you do for our Lord.

With deepest respect and blessings.