Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

When anyone newly cometh to be a monk…

When anyone newly cometh to be a monk, let him not be granted an easy admittance; but, as the apostle saith: Try the spirits, if they be of God.1 If such a one, therefore, persevere in his knocking, and if it be seen after four or five days that he bears patiently his harsh treatment and the difficulty of admission and persists in his petition, then let admittance be granted to him, and let him stay in the guest house for a few days. After that let him dwell in the noviciate, where the novices work, eat and sleep. And let a senior be assigned to them who is skilled in winning souls, that he may watch over them with the utmost care. Let him examine whether the novice truly seeks God, and whether he is zealous for the Work of God, for obedience and for humiliations. Let him be told all the hardships and trials through which we travel to God.

If he promise stability and perseverance, then at the end of two months let this Rule be read through to him, and let him be addressed thus: ‘Behold the law under which you wish to serve; if you can observe it, enter; if you cannot, freely depart.’ If he still abide, then let him be led back into the aforesaid noviciate and again tested in all patience. After the lapse of six months let the Rule be read to him, so that he may know on what he is entering. And if he still abide, after four months let the Rule be read to him again. If, upon mature deliberation, he promise to observe all things and to obey all the commands that are given him, then let him be received into the community; but let him understand that according to the law of the Rule he is no longer free to leave the monastery, or to withdraw his neck from under the yoke of the Rule, which it was open to him, during that prolonged deliberation, either to refuse or to accept.

1 John, iv, 1