THE RELIGIOUS LIFE
Religious life may be divided
into active and contemplative. The active is lower, the contemplative is
higher. The active life begins and ends here on earth. The contemplative may
begin here on earth but continues and is perfected in heaven.
Religious life may also take
three forms. There is the life of withdrawal, reserved only for the greatest
spiritual athlete. This is sometimes called the eremetical life. Then there
is the life of stillness wherein the spiritual athlete lives with one or
two. And there is the life in community where there is living in community.
A religious community resounds
with chanting, studying, fasting, praying, rejoicing in the hope of future
good and working in distributing alms but, foremost, maintaining both love
and harmony among the brethren.