A visitor asked the Father about life before he entered his particular monastery.

The Father replied, “It is just not something we openly discuss here to protect each brother’s or sister’s solitude. Certainly each person who comes here has a past life, and some more colourful than others! However, that is not something we dwell on, as the years of silence and solitude unfold and we are drawn deeper in to the great silence.

The wise man or woman learns to leave their past behind at the entrance. As they enter our doors, they begin again to experience, as we do every day, what God gives us in our cells of peace. Here you must at least strive to become a saint or you never will in any other place. Just a little time, effort and patience – as much is possible. Our days become more ordered and disciplined, not to restrict us but to give us a place of true freedom where we can become ourselves by becoming the person that God in his love created us to be.

Somewhere throughout the years, as we are absorbed ever deeper in to God, the past leaves us. We do not think about it. When we grow older, we reach out to God and cling to Him alone as our time slips away ever more rapidly into eternity.”

(Father Richard)

[Original English grammar and punctuation slightly corrected]