“A monk is a man who has been called by the Holy Spirit to relinquish the cares, desires, and ambitions of other men, and who devotes his entire life to seeking God. He withdraws from the world. He gives himself entirely to prayer, meditation, study, labor, penance, under the eyes of God.” Thomas Merton, The Silent Life
- Relinquish the cares, desires, and ambitions of other men: So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God (1 Pet. 4: 1-2).
- Devote his entire life to seeking God: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13)
- He withdraws from the world: “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” (1 John 2:15)
- He gives himself entirely to prayer, meditation, study, labor, penance, under the eyes of God: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Most of us would probably look at the lifestyle of a monk and think that “extreme” Christianity is OK for them, but us regular Christians have a lesser calling. We are allowed to indulge in the things of the world that they willingly give up. Well, I’m a “regular” Christian looking to learn a thing or two from some monks. Starting Monday, March 26th I will be spending five days in personal retreat with the monks of Holy Cross Abbey.
I will not be blogging, facebooking or tweeting. But I will be doing lots of journaling so I can share my reflections with you when I get back.
And a major shout out goes to my husband and mother who are taking on my responsibilities to make this happen for me. Even more thanks to my Lord, Adonai for drawing me into this time alone with Him.