Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What are Monks?

In the words of Father Laurence Kriegshauser of Saint Louis Abbey:
Christian monasticism is a life-choice for people who are seeking the meaning of their lives on earth. They sense that beneath and behind the many activities of human beings in today's world there is a person who made these activities and who is calling men into communion with himself. They believe that such a communion is what they are made for and is the only thing that will satisfy them. They are willing to undergo any renunciation, any personal stripping if only they can have that life with God which has been promised by Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh. They undertake a life of renunciation of ordinary pursuits in the world in order to focus directly on the Lord and on the means of attaining union with Him. They adopt an inherited discipline in community which has the power over time to purify the self of egoism and disordered passion and to establish the monk in a lively, patient, and cheerful fraternal charity. The monk carries the cross of Christ in order to share in his resurrection. If he undertakes certain apostolic works for the good of the Church, these are ways of sharing with the society of today the knowledge of the Gospel which he has been at pains to absorb himself. He contributes to the world by overcoming his own sin, witnessing to the presence of the risen Christ in the world, ceaselessly offering to the Father the prayer of Christ for the reconciliation of man with God, offering hospitality to those who seek God, and working in tasks of manual labor, study, preaching, or teaching. Monasteries are needed in a world that tends to be weighed down with material concerns and swept up in noise and information that often does not touch the deeper thirst of man. In Thomas Merton's words, "Monks are like trees; by their silent presence they purify the atmosphere," keeping before men's eyes the ultimate purpose of human existence and the means of attaining it. Monasteries welcome young men who are seeking union with God in the tried and proven ways laid down by Saint Benedict in his Rule for monks.

No comments:

Post a Comment