“The monk is a layperson… An order of monastics is essentially a lay order. Some monks may live in monasteries, but increasingly the majority will live in their own homes or form small communities--a monastic order in the world. [This would be] one in which communities and individuals live spiritual lives independent of religious organizations or institutions, independent of celibacy and overarching rules and dogmas--free to follow their own conscience and guidance in living a sacred life, yet united in the common cause of building a sacred world.”
Bede Griffiths, (1906– 1993), an English Benedictine monk, settled in India in 1955 and became a great mystical teacher, establishing a Christian community following the customs of a Hindu ashram.
Reflect: What does the phrase “monastic order in the world” mean to you? How do you see yourself as participating in this monastic archetype today?
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Monks in Our Midst: writings by monks from the 3rd to the 21st centuries.