*trumpets stop playing* Hear ye, hear ye, people of PMS. I am departing for the east on my trusty steed. I shall return in early February. Like, real early February. I shall be leaving Thursday morning for a few weeks in the eastern U.S. to visit a few monasteries. For a while now (yes, I know, I've always been quite volatile but bear with me) I've been trying to discern a religious life. Getting closer. The next step is experiencing a few different communities.
Anyways, I shall return in a few weeks. Keep it cool.
Yup, Catholic. Two are Benedictine, two are Trappist. There are Carthusians in VT but I haven't the guts to contact them. From what I hear, only one American endures there. Egads. I've been drawn to this for a while, but I'm not sure how it will turn out in practice. Perhaps it will be well, perhaps on the other hand it will be unbearable. --- SIGNATURE
It depends on the order. I'll try to learn a bit more about that. I know how family works, but I'm not sure if the same can apply for friends. I'd imagine that when family visits, should they bring a close friend or two, it would be just fine, especially considering friends that have known one another for twenty years.
Bearing in mind that the Trappists are some deal more austere than Benedictines, you may want to read these two questions on their FAQ.
Also, though "friend" is never mentioned in those links, I don't think it automatically excludes friends, either. The questions are specifically about family and so the answer deals in terms of family.
This is from the current Prior of a Benedictine monastery in New York: "A friend of mine came to visit here..." (the first part of a small anecdote). So there's some evidence. --- SIGNATURE
Fruitful, bewildering, joy, sorrow, fear, apathy, peace. Anyways, I'm back. We'll give it a lot of time. It was necessary to go. I was mentally precluding a lot of potential routes of life and funneling all of my thoughts towards the monastery. Now that I have seen it, I'll try to be open to many options, and if the planted seed there grows, then maybe I will sense it out more again, or if it does not, maybe I will be drawn in another direction. --- SIGNATURE