14 Divine Ascent - Dr Reena Rosy Nelson Anthikat

posted May 8, 2019, 8:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:31 AM ]
It was something the Lord impressed upon my mind that prompted me to go up a mountain and take time off to be with Him in a monastic community. The supportive environment of the monastic and religious life of the Little Family of the Resurrection was meant to aid me not just in taking stock of my life. This community, a blessing in itself, was more than just a community, with an Italian monk at the helm of this religious group.

The monks, clad in saffron robes and saffron shawls, some in saffron dhotis and saffron kurtas and some brothers in white kurtas, white dhotis and white shawls were a stark reminder of renouncing the world and its ways. The Chinese brother, presumably a guest in the community, gave the monastic congregation truly an international flavour.

The sisters in the female monastery had a superior in an Italian - Mother Mary Magdalene. She is indeed a mother, a very generous soul who kept showing that for her, to live life is to please Jesus and live. She took it as a joy to satisfy every desire of a retreatant. She was always genial, and pleasantly welcoming and accepting to fellow mortals who were sharing and experiencing her monastic life.

I was privileged to be one among those mortals.

The first day, I was exempt from attending the 'qurbana' (breaking of the body of Christ transubstantiated from a piece of bread), as one had to trek down the hill to the premises of Abraham's house - a temporary arrangement for Mass. Early hours of prayers and chanting of psalms in English and prayers with hymns in Latin was the structure of the pre-qurbana prayers. The first day, I was awakened (on Thursday) by the serene chirping of birds. I stayed in the outhouse, where every brick of the painted walls radiated holiness. The outhouse also housed a chapel where Jesus was present, and three candidate sisters waiting for their final vows from the Diocese of Vijayapuram.