Truly Born to Be Wild

For a long time, I thought my last name “Wilde” meant “wild” in the sense of “not civilized, uncultivated, not domesticated, chaotic”. Only recently did I find out that in the German language “wild” originally signifies a “stranger”. People coming from unknown places were considered to be “wild”. Strangers, whose behavior, customs, language, traditions, were not familiar and did not match with accustomed expectations. Monks are born to be wild. “You should become a stranger to the world’s ways [Saeculi actibus se facere alienum]”, says St. Benedict in his Rule. And he adds the reason: “The love of Christ must come before all else.” (Rule of St. Benedict 4:20-21). He is pretty outspoken; he disqualifies those who are “still loyal to the world by their actions; they clearly lie to God by their tonsure.” (Rule 1:7).

Well, I don’t have my hair tonsured, but I wear a habit. So, lying is possible. How can I be wild? How can I become a stranger to this world? I am part of this world!  I realize how much energy I spend to be up-to-date, to go with the trend, to stay assimilated, to keep up with what is expected from me. Jesus words instead sound like a warm invitation to trust the roots I have in heaven. “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” (John 18:36), he says, and draws the consequence for us, his disciples: “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.” (John 17:18). Jesus came as stranger and became our best friend.

It still frightens me a little bit. The first monks were wild; so were the prophets. The Saints were wild, like St. Jerome. Jesus was wild. I admire them and know that I am far away from this freedom and wildness. But I hear their call. I feel that everybody is truly born to be wild, not only monks.

Christ, help me to be wild. Take away from me the fear not to be like the others. Let me enjoy that I am different and strengthen in me the awareness that I come from God. Get me away from all that is clinging to me, from everything I am too much attached to. Give me the courage to enter the wilderness and stay there. And open my heart to my true call.

Chicago Art Inst 079 - Copy
Paolo Caliari (1585/90) – Saint Jerome in the wilderness

 

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12 thoughts on “Truly Born to Be Wild

  1. Looking for something challenging to read before closing my eyes tonight and what should appear but the musings of a wild stranger, very provocative musings. Thank you. David

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dionys says: March 19, 2016 at 9:13 am
    Thank you for this new Spirit, I just need coming back to Ndanda- Tanzania.
    I experienced this wild life with the monks of St. Macarius in the desert of Egypt, where I could stay for some days in February 2016. I will join you. Thanks, dionys.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your journey and inviting us to join you along the way. There is great truth, encouragement, and wisdom here.

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  4. I am reading your insightful thoughts as I savor and embrace the silence of a retreat nearby you at the St Benedict Center this weekend. God is so near to us and your words bring us closer to ourselves and to God. I look forward to this spiritual connection with you through WildeMonk.
    Abundant peace to you during Holy Week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My personal rule for my daily life, being on duty (working as EMS-Paramedic).
    Order of Saint Benedict
    Chapter 36:
    On the Sick

    “Before all things and above all things,
    care must be taken of the sick,
    so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person; ”
    Klaus Pillat, Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany

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  6. We were all wild once, we were all monks in paradise.
    Once we committed the original sin of dividing this world into good and evil, we started to follow our own rules, we lost our faith. This world, civilisation, society has made up rules, that have nothing to do with HIS will. We became resisters to the natural order, we became little devils. We go by what’s right to a man. We want to be good.
    Once we let go of all this rules and regulations in our heads, that make us slaves to society and rulers, we become monks again, free and wild!

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