5. The First Quiet Sunday.

There are times in the desert we are challenged to face what we believe.

The monk had another visitor; this time, a friend from the past. There were tears, laughter, and conversation.

Though one question rang out among the rest that made the monk stop and pause. The visitor asked why the monk called himself a monk, challenged why there was a need to say “monk” over “priest” or “believer”.

The monk took pause, and answered that it was just the way individuals who entered the faith addressed those who took certain vows.

After the visitor left the monk, and the monk returned into silence, he considered the question more deeply. He asked himself why he answered the way he had, why he’d felt defensive.

In the middle of the night, the monk awoke and wrestled with this question. He couldn’t find an answer again, and fell to prayer, asking God for help to see the answer.

In the morning, the monk looked into a framed icon of the Blessed Mother, sunlight streaming through the window of the door to his hermitage. It reflected on the glass such that, behind the light of the sun, the monk could see his own reflection. The answer came to him immediately.

I call myself “monk” because that’s what I am.

I call myself “monk” because that is who I am.

I don’t need to explain why. It is.

I am a monk, and that is all.

5. The First Quiet Sunday.

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