That First Vision
Tucked in with his many reflections on what life is all about, Thomas Merton tells the story of his first visit to Gethsemane and his view from the Guest House window. Meron looked down and saw the monks silently moving about doing what monks do. He even saw a young man who was contemplating the life, and who was not yet in monk's robes. Looking back on that day, Merton felt that this vision from the Guest House window was the occasion of receiving an understanding of the deep meaning of the monastic call.
Later, having become a committed member himself, Merton found that he was often annoyed with the different goings on in the monastery, including discussions about ducks in the pond and morning glories growing in the corn.
In spite of this, Merton realized that this first vision from the Guest House window was indeed a true one. So it is with all beginnings and new callings. The vision we first receive is a gift of God and meant to be carried forward as our mainstay.
My own Novice Directress used to tell us that a vocation to any way of life is a constant calling. She exhorted her novices to get down on their knees each new morning and to say yes to what they envisioned and experienced with that first call.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.