Forgive a personal introduction, but it will make sense! I am glad I am merging my calling as an Eastern Catholic with a return to my love of the Benedictine spirit, having transferred to the Greek-Catholics from my abbey, I now return as an affiliate-Oblate of the Monks of Turvey, a community, that with the Nuns, has a rich tradition of openness to ecumenism. Their founder Abbot, Dom Constantine Bosschaerts had a vision of new forms of monastic witness with a deep connection to Eastern Christianity and the necessity of dialogue between the Christian traditions of East and West. The Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto to which they belong, has a number of monasteries involved in this outreach, so as I learn what retirement means, from leading a very active life of academic teaching, writing, research, coupled with a deep involvement in ecumenism and pastoral work as a priest, there is a real sense of losing a whole manner of life, and loss is hard. But there is the gain, my old monastic vocation resurrects itself in a new way.

There it is, the link I promised would come, for in our Gospel Jesus teaches us that we will have to lose our lives in order to find new enrichment in a different form of life, so the following words about the condition of discipleship are very real to me at the moment: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny themself, take up their cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for my sake and that of the gospel* will save it.” (Mk 8: 34,35)

Read the rest of Fr Robin Gibbons Blog Post here:

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