Post All Saints’ Day is an apposite time to reflect on this latest important event in the life of CR, and of our newest brother Fabian (né Shaun-Michael) Trevithick. It is not insignificant that his clothing into the novitiate should have taken place during the first evensong for St Luke’s day (17th October). Luke, as a physician, was acutely aware of humanity’s need for wellness and restoration – for newness. He evangelised a Christ whose coming would make all things new – a Christ, who would re-envision and reshape God’s world. Surely, this is what the Kingdom of heaven is like. We hear it throughout the Gospels. To be clothed with Christ as allegorised in the grey scapular, is equally to be made new; to offer up oneself to holiness, to a dedicated separation for the things of God according to his loving purposes embodied in Jesus.
It is this ‘clothing’ that the brothers CR each freely decide to put on when we begin formal training in the life and work of the Community and in the religious life at large. So the brethren CR are pleased to welcome Fabian amongst us. How will the next two years of this formation pan out for him and for ‘we band of brothers’, as we get older, maybe crosser – possibly even wiser – as the time passes and God works out his plans for us individually and in life together? We do not and cannot know. But in choosing God by this way, so we may trust Him and the promised future hope He stores for us.
The Solemn Evensong which welcomed Br. Fabian as a novice was redolent with God’s joy, and shared in by Community, College and guests alike. This joy cannot be made or destroyed; it is a perfect mystery, and it is a mystery to which Fabian nCR has chosen by the help of God to commit himself with us for roughly the next two years. We all pray with him that he may find – and be found – blessing as he does so – asking that the commitment witnessed in Fabian’s decision may bring to birth the newness of Jesus’ risen life in us all. Welcome indeed, Fabian!