Benedict XVI on the Indispensability of Monasteries

Benedict XVI on the Indispensability of Monasteries February 21, 2012
The Vatican Information Service reported that, at a 9th October 2011 visit to the Carthusian Monastery of Ss Stephen and Bruno, Pope Bendict XVI spoke of the indispensability of Monasteries in our contemporary context. Monasteries are indispensable, Benedict said, because
Their purpose…is to ‘improve’ the environment…because it is dominated by economic interests, concerned only with worldly things and lacking a spiritual dimension…In such a climate not only God but also our fellow man is pushed to the margin, and we do not commit ourselves to the common good. Monasteries, however, are models of societies which have God and fraternal relations at their core.
We do not all have to live in monasteries in order to play our part in the redemption of creation, but the monastery constantly calls us to play our part in that redemption by forming our lives against a monastic template, in which work and play are framed within the discipline of the liturgy of the hours, rather than having work or play become their own liturgies, which accounts for the cultural malaise in which we currently find ourselves.

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  • Excellent post. Reminds me that Father Joe Fessio S.J. of Ignatius Press when visiting the Carmelites at Ormiston in 1998 made a point of saying to them : “Thank you for being here!”Thus reversing the social norm where the host thanks the visitor for coming – Father got it right.We all need the prayer and spiritual works monastics and the Holy Father's Address and Matt Tan's comments place that need in its essential context. Our society is sadly out of its proper alignment with God's purposes.