by Melodius Monk      

Let’s start by disclosing this fact; I am not a gardener, at least not yet. One of the most common questions I’m asked by quests when giving them a tour of our monastery is “what does a religious brother do all day?” To which I smile, and say. “Well, it depends on the day and what I’m asked to do!” And while some parts of my day fall into a fairly routine schedule (like meals, choir rehearsal and liturgies), much of a day’s work depends on the needs of that particular day. I end up doing a wide variety of things, and often new things to which I may know little about.

This week I was asked to take care of the vegetable garden for a brother who was going to be away, to which I replied, “you realize I know almost nothing about plants” and was told, “I know, you’ll be fine, just ask for help if you need it!”

I didn’t say much initially, but this type of job sets off all kinds of panic inside my proud-self that is scared of trying new things and “messing up.” For example, tomorrow I need to plant some new cabbage, and I’m nervous. (I don’t think I’ve planted a seed since a 2nd grade science project, and there’s a lot of variables in soil, the weather, amount of sun, possible diseases etc.!!)  I got some tips from a gardening friend, and the directions are pretty clear on the seed package, but I still think it will take a miracle for any plants to come from these tiny little seeds.

However, if I look past the nerves inside that make me want to quit the job before having any chance of messing it up, there’s also inside of me some excitement at this new mini-adventure and some child-like amazement that these tiny specs will grow into something edible. Maybe this is a fitting job for God to help me loosen up a bit, to have to trust others, and to look to Him for guidance.


This entry was posted in Brothers Friary, Choir, Church of the Transfiguration, Faith, Fear and Anxiety, God, Learning, Liturgy of the Hours, Obedience, Preparing by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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