THE NOVITIATE YEAR
"LORD Jesus Christ, our leader and our strength, Thou hast set aside this servant of Thine by the fire of holy humility from the rest of mankind. We humbly pray that this will also separate him from carnal intercourse and from the community of earthly deeds through the sanctity shed from heaven upon him and that Thou wilt bestow on him grace to remain Thine."1 Thus closes the long prayer with which the prior of the Augustinian convent received Martin among the brothers gathered in the cloister chapel. How soon after his entry into the cell this solemn act of reception took place we do not know. The statutes of the order required that a new initiate should be presented to the prior and then take up his abode in the guest house of the cloister, within its walls but outside of the real convent. Here he must remain during a probationary period which might extend for some weeks.2 This was necessary in order that the brothers might be convinced that his spirit was of God, a warning incorporated into the Rule of St. Bernard from the First Epistle of St. John (4.1). Here Martin's sincerity was to be tested -- thoroughly tested, if we may believe one of the legends that float down to us in the work of a not very trustworthy____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Revolt of Martin Luther. Contributors: Robert Herndon Fife - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1957. Page number: 79.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.