How can I know where I need to be in my spiritual life in order to enter the monastery?
Dear Fr Anthony,
Father, I do believe that I am called to the religious life and am interested in a Benedictine Monastery, but I am not sure if I am spiritually developed enough to be able to live the semi-contemplative life. How can I know where I need to be in my spiritual life?
The best judge of this is going to be one of the Benedictine priests at the monastery you are interested in, but I will give you some pointers.
More than anything you are going to need to develop a spiritual life that is fairly stable, stable in the sense that you are free from habitual serious sin, and stable in the sense that it is not at the mercy of your changing feelings. In other words, that there is a certain amount of prayer in your life: that you practice the sacraments regularly (Mass and Communion, Reconciliation), pray to Mary, and avoid those things that will lead you to sin.
On the other end of the spectrum you should be free of scrupulosity, and strange devotions.
On top of this you have a sense of God's love, and a desire to do his will knowing that it won't always be easy. These would be the most important ingredients, the building-blocks you need to get started.