Is monasticism essential?
#11
It is not that Monasticism is the only way, or that it is the best way, in general -- but that it may be the way to which you are called.
"Punishment is justice for the unjust." Saint Augustine of Hippo
Reply
#12
I always wondered, why does monasticism have to last a whole lifetime? Hermits went to the desert when faced with an important life decision, a need to commune with God. It wasn’t supposed to last forever. Most of them ended up forming communities, or monasteries, with like-minded holy men.The OT prophets were eventually called out of seclusion, and John the Baptist out of the wilderness. It was during those periods of isolation that they actually prepared for their life's mission.

Another question: Is monasticism supposed to evolve? I think the mendicant friars of the 13th century had the right idea, to live on the margins of society rather than completely outside of it. You can balance a contemplative prayer life with an active life. It would do them (and us) good to enter society from time to time.
Reply
#13
(07-15-2014, 02:15 PM)SCG Wrote: I always wondered, why does monasticism have to last a whole lifetime? Hermits went to the desert when faced with an important life decision, a need to commune with God. It wasn’t supposed to last forever. Most of them ended up forming communities, or monasteries, with like-minded holy men.The OT prophets were eventually called out of seclusion, and John the Baptist out of the wilderness. It was during those periods of isolation that they actually prepared for their life's mission.

Another question: Is monasticism supposed to evolve? I think the mendicant friars of the 13th century had the right idea, to live on the margins of society rather than completely outside of it. You can balance a contemplative prayer life with an active life. It would do them (and us) good to enter society from time to time.

Thomas Merton actually wondered the same thing. Specifically, thinking more middle age after raising a family. Catholicism is unique as other religious traditions do.

I most familiar with St Benedicts rule but it was absolutely created with the intentions of being flexible. They are not flexible when it comes to poverty, chasity, and obedience. They also have to support themselves by work, say the Divine Office as well as a daily Mass Anything else is up to the community or individual in the case of hermits.
Reply
#14
The Eucharist is the reason for the monastic life. The following are a few quotes to support this. An excerpt from a post taken from Rorate Caeli follows them.

deprofundis

Don Chautard to Clemenceau:

"A religion which has the Eucharist at its base, must have monks devoted to adoration and penitence"

The Eucharist is "the generating dogma of Catholic piety"

"Christ is not a Being who disappeared someplace we do not know of, nor even the far away Being that we think of.  He is alive. He lives among us. He is present in the Eucharist."

"Everyday, at Mass, Christ renews His immense work of redemption for the world."

"If faith diminishes in the central dogma, in the Holy Eucharist, everything in Christianity and in the Church will collapse"

"To Love Crucified, we try to respond with a crucified love."

"We believe in the Divine Crucified and we love Him; and we want to live like Him and through Communion we participate in His life"

Blessed Dom Marmion:

"If we do everything solely for love of Christ it is impossible for Him to fail to unite Himself to us. Having left all for love, your whole life is a prayer."

"Each act done out of pure love is an act of pure love of God, and the more this act costs you, the greater and more meritorious is the love. Thus it was upon the cross that Our Lord showed most love. "

This is the excerpt I took from the post at Rorate Caeli in September of last year. I have tried, but I can't find the exact site to reference.

In his text, Les cisterciens Trappistes, l’ame cistercienne, where he explains the Cistercian vocation, the Benedictine Abbott, at a certain point, describes the talk he had with the French Prime Minister, Clemenceau, the famous “Tiger”.  It took place during the years of the suppression of religious orders and when Dom Chautard was charged with the delicate task of saving the monastic presence in France.  Consequently, he found himself in a meeting with the radical and anti-clerical “Tiger:”

We think it is of great use to translate and transcribe what the Abbot reports of  their conversation:

Don Chautard to Clemenceau: “I will set about answering your questions: What is a Trappist? Why did you become a Trappist? And in order not to overdo it, I will settle for this argument: a religion which has the Eucharist at its base, must have monks devoted to adoration and penitence.

"The Eucharist is the central dogma of our religion. It is called the generating dogma of Catholic piety. It is not the papacy, as you seem to think.

"The Papacy is nothing other than the word-bearer of Christ.  Thanks to the Papacy, the faithful keep the dogma and morality taught by Jesus Christ intact. It is this protection that keeps us on the right road, precisely marked out by our Divine Founder. But it is only Christ that remains, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

"Now, Christ is not a Being who disappeared someplace we do not know of, nor even the far away Being that we think of.  He is alive. He lives among us. He is present in the Eucharist. And this is why the Eucharist is the base, the centre, the heart of religion. From whence comes every life.  Not from anywhere else.

"You do not believe it. But we believe it. We believe firmly, resolutely, from the depth of our being, that in the tabernacle of each of our churches, God truly resides under the appearance of the Host.”

It is clear then, the central dogma of Christianity is the Holy Eucharist, everything starts from there, not elsewhere…and if faith diminishes in the central dogma, in the Holy Eucharist, everything in Christianity and in the Church will collapse.

“Mass is the Divine Sacrifice of Calvary, which is reproduced every day amidst us. Everyday, Christ offers His death to God, through the hands of the priest, exactly as in Heaven in the Mass of Glory, He presents, the glorious scars of His wounds to perpetuate the redeeming efficacy of the cross, to His Father. Everyday, at Mass, Christ renews His immense work of redemption for the world.

“And to this event, the greatest that can happen on earth, more important than the noise of armies, more beneficial than the most fecund of scientific discoveries, you think we could be present at [this] without the quivering of our very being. You cannot get used to the Mass. Or what would our faith amount to?

“[…] To Love Crucified, we try to respond with a crucified love. You are scandalized by our way of life; you think it goes against nature. Yes, it would be so if we did not have faith in the Eucharist. But we believe in the Divine Crucified and we love Him; and we want to live like Him and through Communion we participate in His life.”

[translated and adapted by Rorate Contributor Francesca Romana]
Reply
#15
The rest...

"To Love Crucified, we try to respond with a crucified love. You are scandalized by our way of life; you think it goes against nature. Yes, it would be so if we did not have faith in the Eucharist. But we believe in the Divine Crucified and we love Him; and we want to live like Him and through Communion we participate in His life.”
Reply
#16
(07-15-2014, 03:03 PM)deprofundis Wrote: The rest...

"To Love Crucified, we try to respond with a crucified love. You are scandalized by our way of life; you think it goes against nature. Yes, it would be so if we did not have faith in the Eucharist. But we believe in the Divine Crucified and we love Him; and we want to live like Him and through Communion we participate in His life.”

Beautiful
Reply
#17
(07-15-2014, 08:19 AM)Heorot Wrote: I dare say that any Catholic who doesn't go beyond the minimum requirements will go to Hell. We don't seek the basic minimum... that's the way of the Gentiles, not of Love.

ONLY God knows who will "go to Hell" and who will not.  Statements like the above always make me cringe.

Regarding the topic of the thread, you might want to take the time to read this.  It's longish, which is why I didn't copy and paste it into this post, and...it's from an Orthodox perspective, but even so, I think much if not all of it would apply to Catholicism too.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)