Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monastic Witness

We can say that the monastery as a place of community and grace is an assembly in Christ, a gathering in the name of Christ.  St. Benedict calls the monastery the "House of God" (RB 31.19, 53.22; 64:5).  It is the place where his Word is enthroned and proclaimed, where monks seek the presence and glory of God, where Christ is represented in the abbot, the sick and the guests.  It is the place where believers are already in communion with Christ and expect to be brought forward into the communion of eternal life:  "Let them... prefer nothing wthateve to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life" (RB 72.1-12).  Communion in Christ is a grace, and the goal of the communion is continual life with God in Christ.  The monastery, as a group of believers, effectively symbolizes and brings about the milieu of grace and forgiveness, of hope and loving communion.

from "Community as the Shape of Christian Salvation"
in The Continuing Quest for God:  Monastic Spirituality in Tradition and Transition
by Jerome Theisen, OSB

No comments:

Post a Comment