Certainly, Christians in the world cannot live precisely as monks. They can however live in accordance with the spirit and standards of monastic life. This will aid them greatly in preserving their own inner unity and balance while living in a troubled and anxious world.
— Archimandrite George Capsanis, The Eros of Repentance:
Four Talks on Athonite Monasticism
Here is one of the most concise statements of the rationale behind Lay Cistercian spirituality, coming from an Eastern Orthodox monk of Mount Athos, Greece. Those who embrace the life of a Lay Cistercian, or Benedictine Oblate, or some other form of monastic associate, are not so much “monk-wannabe’s” as simply those Christians who recognize that the spirit and standards of monastic spirituality provide laypersons with charisms and practices that can help them to grow in grace as Christians. The goal is to grow closer to God — and hopefully find a measure of “inner unity and balance” as well.