Thursday, September 13, 2012

More On the Monastic Life

My reflections will be brief for this week due to many duties. I do want to say more about the "monastic mystique" which I began to write about last week.

I said that I have this "monastic streak" in me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy my ministry and social life and living fully immersed in parish life. But for me, I think the attraction with monasticism has to do with a need to balance an active life with some quiet and prayer; to step out of the busyness of life and to be still before God.

In ancient times and for most of the history of monasticism, monasteries usually were built some distance from cities precisely to get away from the busyness of society and focus on what is essential to life in Christ.

Take for example the Monastery of Mont San Michel in France (Do go HERE to see some interesting photos and read about San Michel). This monastery was built on a tidal island, and is surrounded at high tide with water, making access to it difficult–at least in its past. Here is a picture of this monastery:

There is a mystique about such a place. I’ve been fascinated with Mont San Michel from the first time I saw a photo of this monastery many years ago. Imagine praying, looking out your window from San Michel, and seeing this scene:

Monasteries and monastic life, being outside the city and often in wild places of nature, did bring the monks into contact with God’s creation. Perhaps that’s the appeal monasticism has for many, as well.

I do intend to write some more about this...

Related Post: "Magical Holy Place"