Our Monastic Life
The heart of our Monastic Life
Our Lord Jesus Christ is at the heart of our monastic life, and the Rule of St Benedict. Notably, we are aware of being humble heirs of a tradition extending back over 1500 years. This life of special consecration was established to keep the Gospel always before the People of God, as a reminder which manifests, certifies and proclaims to the whole Church the radical nature of the Gospel and the coming of the Kingdom. Jesus says, “Come follow me”. by saying yes to Jesus’ call to our dedication to prayer, asceticism and growth in the spiritual life, to apostolic action and mission, we are progressing towards the heavenly Jerusalem. We are as a community a foretaste of the of the eschatological Church, Solid in her possession and loving contemplation of God who is love.
Nevertheless, we look to the future and represent the past Traditions which upholds all that is contained within the Rule of Saint Benedict. This is because, as heirs, our duty is to enrich and hand on what we have received. Tradition is by definition living. But above all, it is because our task as monks is to set our eyes on God who comes to us and bear witness to the world that is to come. This is a monk’s life besides our deep communion with the life of the Church and their prayer for all. This has an important place in our life and Benedictine tradition has always considered this to be a part of the monastery’s role in the Church.
How much we need this witness today!
The Nature and Purpose of Our Life
We do not deny that we are men of today’s world. Jesus himself – whom we seek to follow as closely as possible – was fully a man of his time.
Today’s challenge: to find a contemporary expression along with the past of the monastic ideal described in St Benedict’s Rule. We often ask ourselves the following question: How do we proceed forward in a world with modern innovations that challenge us to be more present to the world around us ? First of all we are not modernists nor do we seek the things of the present world. Our Cloistered Life is to accomplish the Rule of Saint Benedict and to live the Call of the Gospel.
This is also something we have asked ourselves about new technology. We realize that technology is never bad in itself but simply that it can be put to good or bad use. The internet enables monks to travel the world while remaining physically present in their monastery. But are they really observing the “Enclosure” that St Benedict wants for his disciples?
In practice, various work departments in the monastery, such as The Monastery Gift Shop, our Bursar’s office and small print shop, also our Newsletters and Blessing Tree Association need to have internet access. Our Monastery Products need the tools of the internet to help us stay in touch but without ever leaving the Monastery. It can also be used by monks who need it for their writings and studies. When used discerningly and under “obedience of the Rule of Saint Benedict, the internet is a tool that actually safeguards enclosure: many tasks that previously took us out of the monastery can now be done from within our enclosure.