Monasteries of the Heart

Monks in Our Midst: Beverly Lanzetta on the Illuminated Heart

From Beverly Lanzetta's 2018 book, The Monk Within: Embracing a Sacred Way of Life

"When I lived in the monastery, the sisters often spoke about someone having a 'monastic heart.' I love that term, 'monastic heart.' It is evocative of the essence of monasticism, which is a heart centered on love of creation. The monastic heart is an ember burning brightly that illuminates the seeker, focusing him or her on the sacred. 

We all have a monastic heart, an illuminated heart centered on love of the divine in all things. We are born with it, and are also constituted by it. This is not an achievement of our being. It is that by which we are made: a heart illuminated, longing for its source.”


  1. What word or phrase stands out to you from this reading? How is it speaking to your own heart in this moment?
  2. Lanzetta writes that a “monastic heart” is one that is “centered on the love of creation.” How does the Benedictine tradition help you cultivate the “monastic heart”? 

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