You thought monks were just cutting themselves off--doing something radical and a little bit misanthropic. In the meantime they were doing something beautiful for God. Hidden away in the desert, they are cultivating the power of prayer and planting the seed of God in the world.
GREENVILLE, SC (Standing on my Head) - The words 'monk' comes from 'monos' or 'alone'. In other words, 'alone with God'. Nobody but me and God. Everything else and everyone else given up for God. Alone with God. God alone.
This example was first set by the desert fathers in the early fourth century. Christianity had become fashionable. The emperor and his mother embraced the faith. People were converting in order to be part of the inside circle. So St Anthony took off to the desert to live in a cave.
The desert fathers of Egypt therefore set an example of renunciation. They deliberately walked away from the power, the privilege, the prestige, the prosperity and the pride that could have been theirs. Instead they lived in caves, did quiet, repetitive work, kept silence and learned to pray.
Now the thing I have always loved about the monastic founders--whether it was St Anthony of Egypt or Pachomius or Benedict--is that they didn't set out to start a 'movement'. They just did what they had to do.
They were faithful to their vocation and calling. That others joined them, and that a movement developed was not only an unexpected growth, but often an unwelcome one at that.
Furthermore, they changed history, and that is also something they didn't set out to do. Anthony and Pachomius and Benedict went out to mind their own business, work hard, pray hard and study and be true to themselves and their God.
They ended up preserving classical learning, laid the foundation for a new christendom, and established a refuge for what was left for civilization, thus planting a seed for a new civilization.
You thought monks were just cutting themselves off--doing something radical and a little bit misanthropic. In the meantime they were doing something beautiful for God.
Hidden away in the desert, they are cultivating the power of prayer and planting the seed of God in the world.
Fr Dwight Longenecker is parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and Chaplain to St Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. Read his blog and connect to his website at www.dwightlongenecker.com
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. A former Evangelical, he studied at Oxford and was ordained as an Anglican priest in England. He was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in 1995 and ten years later, ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.He is a prolific writer, sought after speaker and dedicated blogger. Connect to his website and blog at dwightlongenecker.com
By Caitlin Bootsma
Many of us benefit from the example and outreach of men and women who are leaders in our Catholic faith. These faithful servants help propel our knowledge and love of the Lord, be it through their witness, their virtue, the ministries they run or-in the case of ... continue reading
By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News
As the Church brings the needs of the family to the forefront with the upcoming Synod this fall, one Dominican sister says it is no surprise that Pope Francis should also dedicate this year to the consecrated life. Rome, Italy, May 18, 2015 / 02:51 pm (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading
By Ambassadors of Christ
Much has been written about and many homilies have lamented the vocation crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States. Religious Orders which used to have large classes of novices each year now go for years without a new entrant. Dioceses which used ... continue reading
By Elise Harris (CNA/ETWN News)
In a wide-ranging, off-the-cuff speech to priests and religious in Naples, Pope Francis addressed various challenges of consecrated life, emphasizing above all the importance of poverty and resisting gossip. ROME, ITALY, March 21 (CNA/EWTN News) - "For me there is a ... continue reading
By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - Don't judge me. How many times have you heard this? It is a fascinating phenomenon that the more a person or a culture strays ... continue reading
By Fr Samuel Medley SOLT
I remember the day I started smiling and have not been able to stop since. I was a novice. It was the moment, in a 15 day silent retreat where I discovered in a way that was, at that time and every moment since, beyond my comprehension, how I am tenderly, ... continue reading
By Fr Samuel Medley SOLT
The Word will never be given you without giving you also a mission. It will make you aware of the suffering of the people right next to you that you didn't notice before. It will open your eyes and see the world differently, and make you act differently in ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
At the opening of the Year for Consecrated Life, Pope Francis issued a challenge to consecrated men and women, inviting them to lives of courage, communion, and joy. VATICAN CITY, November 30 (CNA/EWTN News) - Nearly 50 years after Vatican II's decree on the Adaption ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Father reminds us that we are in the first days of the Year for Consecrated Life announced by Pope Francis, comments on the great good that consecrated life brings for the life of the Church, and encourages us all to support consecrated life by our prayers and by ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
Monks are a seed of the great renewals of the Catholic Church. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. We need Monks for the authentic renewal of the Church in this hour. Lord, send your Holy ... continue reading