Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What Does This Have to Do With Me?

'The monastery is the house of God... the monk is a witness to God... an athlete, a slave in the service of his divine Master, a soldier fighting for the heavenly King, a pilgrim journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem.' (Daniel Rees, Consider Your Call, Cistercian Publications, p. 100)

Taking another look at what it means to be a cloistered heart, I consider the monastery. I always imagine a building tucked away in the woods, perhaps on a hill, just glimpsed (by me) through a little stand of trees....

The life inside is one of prayer and living within the will of God. People who enter there - and who remain - are dead serious. They aren't playing games. They are not settling for halfway commitments and compromised yeses. They don't dabble in prayer now and then, when they need something or when they feel a touch of consolation, shooting up a Hail Mary between their favorite TV shows and a trip to the mall. They pray throughout the day and in the night. They eat, sleep, dress, work, play, sing, read, serve, breathe for Christ.

But wait. What, if anything, does this have to do with me?  My call is to live in the midst of the world.

If I'm serious about living for God, this has a lot to do with me. I believe monastic totality has a great deal to teach all of us as we serve Our Lord in our families, homes, parishes, neighborhoods, workplaces - day after day.  

'Every Christian must seek to follow Christ in obedience to the will of the Father, must pray, exercise faith and hope and love, make use of the sacraments, and live in the Spirit. Neither in the end nor in these primary means is the monk essentially different from any other Christian.... ' (Rees, p. 4)

'All who have put on Christ have heard the call to seek God. The monk is one for whom this call has become so urgent that there can be no question of postponing his response to it; he must accept forthwith.. in every Christian vocation lies the germ of a monastic vocation.'. (Louis Bouyer of the Oratory, The Meaning of the Monastic Life, PJ Kenedy and Sons, 1950, from preface)

'In every Christian vocation lies the germ of a monastic vocation.'  

It has a lot to do with me.

This is an edited repost from our achives. © 2015 N Shuman 

Photos via Pixabay


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