The Monastic Life A peek behind the cloister
Many people often wonder why anyone would ever want to spend their entire lives inside a monastery. Enclosed by four walls and a bit of garden. What’s the attraction? For sure, most people acknowledge it has something to do with God but why not serve God in the midst of people, why not spend one’s life with the poor or the lame or the blind? Why not go out into the whole world and tell, “The Good News!” What’s with creeping off behind cloister walls and entering seeming oblivion?
Basically the monastic life is a call to living a deep and intense relationship with God. It is living a life in which conversation and interaction with God becomes the primary focus of one’s day.
Although this can be done in any walk of life to some extent – in Monastic life the structure of the day, the work and the environment is centered specifically on turning our thoughts and minds constantly to God.
It is not only in the Chapel that you will find the environment conducive to prayer. As you walk down the long hallways you will pass a little niche of Saint Anthony or move pass a quiet alcove where someone has placed a small vase of flowers before the Blessed Mother or lit a candle at the feet of Saint Joseph. Each room has a crucifix, a statue or a picture of someone or something reminding you to draw into conversation with God.
In the dining room we begin and end our meals with prayer, in the garden we have the Stations of the Cross, outdoor shrines to Saint Anthony, Saint Joseph, Saint Francis and a center splashing fountain and pool where a statue of the Blessed Mother resides above a rock waterfall.
We have carefully cultivated our environment to gently remind us of this call at every turn.
It is not a life that everyone would choose, but for those who do - the life holds meaning, beauty and contentment.
Basically, the monastic life is a call to living a deep and intense relationship with God.