On Saturday, May 9 the monastic community gathered with the friends, family and guests of our Brother Stephen Shanahan to celebrate his Solemn Profession. It was a day of great joy for us all.
The Gospel Brother Stephen chose for the Mass was from Mark 10. 46-52, the story of the blind Bartimaeus. The cry of Bartimaeus to Jesus, “Son of David, have pity on me” echoed Stephen’s desire that the mercy of the Lord surround and sustain him always.
One of the affecting prayers of the Cistercian Profession Liturgy reiterates this theme:
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Way. No one comes to the Father but through you. We implore you, then, to take away from your servant all earthly desires and to guide him along the paths of monastic life determined by the Holy Rule. In your goodness you call sinners to yourself saying, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Grant that this invitation of yours may have such power in him that, by the mystery of your death and resurrection, he may be freed from the burden of sin. May he find rest by tasting your goodness, and be strengthened by the Bread of Life…
May Brother Stephen ever be a monk after Christ’s own Heart and taste always how good the Lord is.