Two years ago, on July 25, 2009, I made my profession as a Benedictine, and after two years I am doing some soul-searching to see how I have kept my vows. I miss the community I once had, this is true, but I am also grateful for the blessings God has brought me through the experience, through the reading of the Rule, through the keeping of my vows, including celibacy. There is still a long way to go, but I again repost the original vows so that all who read them here and who interact with me in any capacity might help hold me accountable to them.
Traditionally, the vows are handwritten and signed by the candidate, kept by the monastery and then placed in the hands of the monk when he dies. The vows are buried with him, planted like a seed, in the hopes that by his life and example, seeds of faith and justice were planted on the earth.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I, Michel Paul Holland, desiring the blessing of good days
in the hope of achieving a good life according to God’s design, willingly and
with confidence in the power of grace, take upon myself this day, the three
monastic vows of stabilitas, conversio morum and obedientia.
I promise to say a persistent “yes” to the promptings of Spirit, regardless of the challenges. I will honor the commitments I make, and I will stand ready to accomplish what is asked of me in the here and now. I will seek God both in the Silence and in
the daily activities of my life.
I promise to be attentive and to look daily for ways to continue my conversion of heart. I will remember the abundance that God places in my life at every moment, even in times of
trial. I will release and surrender unworthy things, that my efforts on behalf of God’s Reign might be credible and effective.
I promise to listen to all that is asked of me, with alertness and affection. I will strive
to hear the hidden questions that lie behind the words of those with whom I
interact, and to respond truly and from the heart, that in all things–my words
and choices, faith and doubt, joy and pain, life and death–God may be glorified.
With gratitude, I pledge filial allegiance to the Virgin Mary, my mother, who has sheltered me in the darkest of times. Under the protection of her mantle, I rest secure.
Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus,
Michel-Paul Holland (signature)
25 July 2009