Tuesday, October 25, 2011

monastic life is...

For over twenty years I’ve delved into the subject of monasticism.  I have looked at some of the key aspects of monastic life, considering if and how these may apply to a “cloistered heart.”  What I’ve found is a wealth of truth… a virtual treasure chest of inspiration!

I would like to share just a few of these gems with you now, (saving more for later).  I suspect you will agree that these “goals” are not for monks and nuns alone….

“Monastic life is a concrete living out of one’s baptismal commitment.” (Daniel Rees, Consider Your Call,  Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, 1980, 149-150)

“A contemplative will often be able to work peacefully in a kind of general absorption in God which is not expressed by any special idea and demands no particular acts.  It is a kind of ‘atmosphere’ of love that follows him wherever he goes.” (Monks of the Strict Observance, Cistercian Contemplatives, published by Monks of the Strict Observance, 1947, p. 50)
“Our religious life is not someTHING; it is SOMEONE.  It is Jesus.” (A Religious of Holy Cross Abbey, La Trappe in England, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, 1937, p. 36)
“The contemplative life does not mean the contemplation of self, but contemplation of God.” (La Trappe in England, p. 188)
“While working at a desk or in a field, while on a journey or in a hospital, a man can make a choir and sanctuary within the cell of his own soul.” (Dom Hubert Van Zeller, The Yoke of Divine Love, Templegate, Springfield IL, 1957, p. 135)