Fr. Marianus Marck.
I first met Fr. Marinus when I stayed at the Charterhouse in Vermont for a month in the Spring of 1976. I was there as an observer, hoping to enter. I've mentioned before that the Prior Raphael Diamond explained to me that a certain tendency in my temperament would be unsuitable for the solitary life. I was kindly told I couldn't enter. Afterwards, I continued my pilgrimage and went to Rome, like my patron, St. Benedict Joseph Labre. I wasn't exactly suited to the life of a mendicant either.
Those who read me know I had a relapse into an old way of life, and left Boston, thinking I would be safe from temptation back in Minneapolis. Then I met my friend Darold. Many know the story now, how I couldn't live in a sexual friendship and still receive the sacraments. My friend Darold said he would rather live celibately - separate beds, no sex, etc., than live alone.
I prayed to St. Joseph for a remedy, and things worked out. That is not to say things were easy, and I kept thinking I could still leave and enter a monastery and Darold would be free. The sadness my restlessness must have caused Darold had to have been painful, if not annoying, yet he never said very much. He allowed me space - what he put up with though - the only thing he would tell me is not to lay my guilt on him, as well as pointing out there was nothing wrong with our friendship. (He really helped me.)
I mention this because I believed the Carthusians would accept me after I had 'successfully' lived two years, chaste and celibate, albeit with Darold. (I was so clueless - after all, it was Darold's support and stability which allowed me to grow up, to live chastely and celibately, and return to the prayer and the sacraments. Together we were able to help others.) That said, I came upon the final rejection letter today while going through papers, which I'll post here, along with the Facebook piece I did in remembrance of Fr. Marianus. (I was surprised to learn, only a week or so ago, that he had died, and even more surprised to find out he was a German Prince.)
Back to Fr. Marianus.
From time to time, around the feast of St. Bruno, I lament that I was not able to enter the Carthusians. I would even try to blame 'them' for not admitting me. I would try to fault them. Over time, and more recently, I discerned that my criticism of monastics and monastic observance, as well as new groups attempting to establish a religious life, was the result of envy. I was envious of those who were able to live a religious life. A section from a letter of St. Bruno always caused me sorrow, little did I know - as I applied it to myself - that it fed the envy and resentment I tried to suppress. I was in denial and went to extremes to justify the critical spirit I harbored when assessing the religious life of monastics. I genuinely think Fr. Marianus' prayers have finally freed me from that vice - at least I hope so.
"Many wish to come into this port, and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted to them from above.
Therefore, my brothers, you should consider it certain and well established that whoever partakes of this desirable good, should he in any way lose it, will grieve to his death, if he has any concern for the salvation of his soul." -Letters of St. Bruno. Office of Readings.