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MONASTICISM



 

 

What is MONASTICISM?

The New Testament is addressed to laymen. Everyone is, first of all, a layman. Bishops were not born bishops. The Holy Father, our bishops and priests were laymen first.

Husbands and wives are laymen first, and husbands and wives second. The entire New Testament is primarily addressed to ALL as LAYMEN.

Monasticism is a way of life wherein laymen lived the fullness of the Gospel in an environment where both the men of the world and the men of the Church are hostile to the teachings of Christ. Monasticism is, sort of, an extraordinary medicine for an extraordinary illness in the Church.

The goal of monasticism is the same as the Gospel's goal; i.e. knowing one's true self BUT away from all the false compliments and flattery of the men of the world.

Monasticism is lived in a "mystical desert." It is in this desert that the passions of anger, impatience, hatred, pride and sadness are starved to death thus preparing us to edify others.

One who flies to the desert is akin to a man escaping from prison to be free, so that he may liberate others from the imprisonment of sin. He lives again the life of martyrdom that the Christian religion is meant to be. Laymen made up the bulk of those who went to the desert.

Monastic life is tough because the Gospel was meant only for a tough breed, but it is like starting a fire; at the start everything is smoky, smelly and eye- tearing. Then comes the cooked food and the fasting wherein the soul feasts on God.

In the first centuries of the Church, whenever a traveler or pilgrim would inquire, "Where are the Christians..." they were always referred to the direction of vast Christian communities living in the desert. After the bloody persecutions, Christians lived in the desert.

Palladius

 

 

( 05-016-02)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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