Monastic advice for a lay person. Help appreciated


#1

Hello
I am considering living a Monastic/ Contemplative life as a lay person. I have already started living like this to a degree, in contact with nature, prayer, simplicity, joy.

I would appreciate some advice as in: If there are Catholic Online groups that live like this? Or maybe others here interested in forming an online support/advice group to help eachother out in living this way?

I have lots of questions regarding.

I would love to meet others here interested in this way of life or that are already living like this.

I see it as a joyful wonderful way of living Christs Message. In communion with nature, a simple life, Franciscan spirit, prayer, joy, peace, I could go on :slight_smile:

Blessings

Maria


#2

I just dislike most things from the secular world.
I used to go out a lot to have meals, or go shopping, to the movies etc.Lots of friends, still do but I dont hang out with them much because I dont feel I have much in common with them as in what they enjoy I dont..I just find it all so empty now. I find joy in communion with nature, in prayer, contemplation, a Franciscan way of life and living is what I am striving for.

I dont have a family. Thats all that is really missing.

I would love to continue down this path and perfect it even more as I have found inner peace and joy living like this.


#3

[quote="Maria_Emme, post:1, topic:320564"]
Hello
I am considering living a Monastic/ Contemplative life as a lay person. I have already started living like this to a degree, in contact with nature, prayer, simplicity, joy.

I would appreciate some advice as in: If there are Catholic Online groups that live like this? Or maybe others here interested in forming an online support/advice group to help eachother out in living this way?

I have lots of questions regarding.

I would love to meet others here interested in this way of life or that are already living like this.

I see it as a joyful wonderful way of living Christs Message. In communion with nature, a simple life, Franciscan spirit, prayer, joy, peace, I could go on :)

Blessings

Maria

[/quote]

Have you considered life as a diocesan hermit? They are very much monastic and you can become a Benedictine Oblate or part of another Secular Order.

Why become a Canonical Diocesan Hermit?

Benedictine Oblates: An Introduction


#4

[quote="Maria_Emme, post:1, topic:320564"]
Hello
I am considering living a Monastic/ Contemplative life as a lay person. I have already started living like this to a degree, in contact with nature, prayer, simplicity, joy.

[/quote]

Have you considered becoming a Benedictine Oblate? That's a way of bringing monasticism and Benedictine values into the world. It also unites you with a community that is living out those same values.


#5

Thank you for the replies, was reading the links. But I really dont want anything to do with society. I dont want to be part or in society. Having a family yes I would like that but living in nature away from society.


#6

[quote="Maria_Emme, post:5, topic:320564"]
Thank you for the replies, was reading the links. But I really dont want anything to do with society. I dont want to be part or in society. Having a family yes I would like that but living in nature away from society.

[/quote]

I'm concerned by your statement. Jesus calls us to embrace humanity. You can be in the world but not of the world. This is the proper way of life for a Christian. Hiding out, however, is not. It is not a part of monastic life to separate yourself in such a way that you are not in Communion with other people. I say this, not to upset you, but I want to better understand and help you. This may give you better insight:

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c2a2.htm

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c2a3.htm

Focus especially on the section on Responsibility and Participation.


#7

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:6, topic:320564"]
I'm concerned by your statement. Jesus calls us to embrace humanity. You can be in the world but not of the world. This is the proper way of life for a Christian. Hiding out, however, is not. It is not a part of monastic life to separate yourself in such a way that you are not in Communion with other people. I say this, not to upset you, but I want to better understand and help you. This may give you better insight:

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c2a2.htm

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c2a3.htm

Focus especially on the section on Responsibility and Participation.

[/quote]

Thank you but I have made my choice, God Willing. I will pray for humanity but I do not wish to be part of this society.


#8

[quote="Maria_Emme, post:7, topic:320564"]
Thank you but I have made my choice, God Willing. I will pray for humanity but I do not wish to be part of this society.

[/quote]

Do you have a spiritual director who is guiding you in these decisions? It sounds to me like you really need to talk to someone because there is some underlying issue. You don't need to mention it here but I am genuinely concerned that you are making a grave error. If God asks us to be in the world but not of the world, we cannot seclude ourselves because we are unhappy about something. We have to take action to fight it. Believe me, it would seem a lot easier for us to lock away whatever is bothering us but that's when the problem spirals out of control. You could be the key to evangelization. I pray that you will reconsider. God bless and Happy Easter!


#9

More concerned by some of the replies than the OPs words.

Monastic life means separation from society. Society in that sense is not "the world" when it becomes so materialistic and or corrupt hat it becomes impossible to live as Christ within it,. That was why Benedict separated himself of course.

There is no virtue or holiness in living in a society that has forgotten Jesus - period. There is great virtue and holiness in setting strict boundaries to your life

Many are choosing what the Op seeks for many reasons., I take no part in "society" but I work for the very poor in my separation and simplicity

I see little to take part in in the world here frankly and keep only a weather eye on events etc; the world does not want to be embraced and there are anyways so many ways to do that , to love and to give.

This does need care of course but from walking alongside, supporting. .

OP; please PM me; I am not here very often but will check and if you want to chat, that is fine. I know where you are coming from and in so many ways you are right!


#10

[quote="Rosebud77, post:9, topic:320564"]
More concerned by some of the replies than the OPs words.

Monastic life means separation from society. Society in that sense is not "the world" when it becomes so materialistic and or corrupt hat it becomes impossible to live as Christ within it,. That was why Benedict separated himself of course.

There is no virtue or holiness in living in a society that has forgotten Jesus - period. There is great virtue and holiness in setting strict boundaries to your life

Many are choosing what the Op seeks for many reasons., I take no part in "society" but I work for the very poor in my separation and simplicity

I see little to take part in in the world here frankly and keep only a weather eye on events etc; the world does not want to be embraced and there are anyways so many ways to do that , to love and to give.

This does need care of course but from walking alongside, supporting. .

OP; please PM me; I am not here very often but will check and if you want to chat, that is fine. I know where you are coming from and in so many ways you are right!

[/quote]

I have been discerning consecrated life for 5 years so I have learned quite a bit about monastic life in general. I have no problem with the idea of separating yourself in monastic life but that doesn't seem to be what the OP is getting across. I may be completely misunderstanding but it seems as though she wants to hide away. Even in cloisters, nuns aren't running away from the world -- they are embracing it and praying for it in its fallen state. Humanity is not perfect but Jesus taught us to evangelize -- even with prayer that is possible. I am not advocating running away from the problems. I understand that there are people still called to monastic life and eremetic life. If the OP wishes to expand, perhaps that would help us understand her better. :o


#11

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:8, topic:320564"]
Do you have a spiritual director who is guiding you in these decisions? It sounds to me like you really need to talk to someone because there is some underlying issue. You don't need to mention it here but I am genuinely concerned that you are making a grave error. If God asks us to be in the world but not of the world, we cannot seclude ourselves because we are unhappy about something. We have to take action to fight it. Believe me, it would seem a lot easier for us to lock away whatever is bothering us but that's when the problem spirals out of control. You could be the key to evangelization. I pray that you will reconsider. God bless and Happy Easter!

[/quote]

I am personally a happy person thanks be to God, but recently I have started seeing everything in a different way. I had already decided that I wanted to go into the wilderness for lack of a better word some years ago, but didnt have the opportunity. So I continued living normally and socializing, but recently I just dislike it intensily more and more. It seems empty. people seem empty and unhappy. I find nothing that appeals to me of society, none of its entertainments, none of its "values" , nothing. I find excuses to not go out to dinner I turned down two invitations this week end to go to dinner, I am popular with friends for which I am grateful, but I do not like the secular world anymore, so I find excuses to not go out now, I spend my free time praying, doing sports, hiking in nature or on the computer. But I think I would like to go further into the wilderness where there isnt much trace of civilization. Ideally next to a Monatery so I could have spiritual guidance and pray together, study, read and just learn from them while living a lay life , a simple happy life,maybe with my own family.

I did think this feeling would go away but it hasnt. I just dont like society anymore. I used to shop for clothes all the time, really into fashion, last months I havent bought anything. It seems so trivial. I suppose I will have to buy some new clothes, but I feel fulfilled with the simple things in life.
I like looking at the butterflies, the flowers in the field, listening to the birds and praying..it makes me happy..the noise of cars or civilization bothers me.
I have spoken to my spiritual director but I havent had much feedback yet.

I am not really in a position to follow through at the moment, I would like to try it at least


#12

I am dissappointed in human interaction I see which is mostly I think based on egotistical motives and a deep inability to be happy and grateful for all the things God gives us, so I prefer to step away and find peace in nature and communion with God.


#13

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:10, topic:320564"]
I have been discerning consecrated life for 5 years so I have learned quite a bit about monastic life in general. I have no problem with the idea of separating yourself in monastic life but that doesn't seem to be what the OP is getting across. I may be completely misunderstanding but it seems as though she wants to hide away. Even in cloisters, nuns aren't running away from the world -- they are embracing it and praying for it in its fallen state. Humanity is not perfect but Jesus taught us to evangelize -- even with prayer that is possible. I am not advocating running away from the problems. I understand that there are people still called to monastic life and eremetic life. If the OP wishes to expand, perhaps that would help us understand her better. :o

[/quote]

I am not running away, I am not the type. Ive changed, Im not sure why. I think its because I have experienced the beauty of living the Faith through a Catholic friend of mine. I had never viewed society like that before. This friend taught me. And I changed, this friend totally transformed me. And I understood what I had been looking for though I didnt know what it was. I had been searching all along for something but didnt know what. Like looking for something in the dark and not knowing what you are looking for. And I found it. And to make this perfect for me it would be to live away from society, near a monastery to keep this beauty intact, this peace, this purity. I would continue praying for society but no longer in it.


#14

[quote="Maria_Emme, post:11, topic:320564"]
I am personally a happy person thanks be to God, but recently I have started seeing everything in a different way. I had already decided that I wanted to go into the wilderness for lack of a better word some years ago, but didnt have the opportunity. So I continued living normally and socializing, but recently I just dislike it intensily more and more. It seems empty. people seem empty and unhappy. I find nothing that appeals to me of society, none of its entertainments, none of its "values" , nothing. I find excuses to not go out to dinner I turned down two invitations this week end to go to dinner, I am popular with friends for which I am grateful, but I do not like the secular world anymore, so I find excuses to not go out now, I spend my free time praying, doing sports, hiking in nature or on the computer. But I think I would like to go further into the wilderness where there isnt much trace of civilization. Ideally next to a Monatery so I could have spiritual guidance and pray together, study, read and just learn from them while living a lay life , a simple happy life,maybe with my own family.

I did think this feeling would go away but it hasnt. I just dont like society anymore. I used to shop for clothes all the time, really into fashion, last months I havent bought anything. It seems so trivial. I suppose I will have to buy some new clothes, but I feel fulfilled with the simple things in life.
I like looking at the butterflies, the flowers in the field, listening to the birds and praying..it makes me happy..the noise of cars or civilization bothers me.
I have spoken to my spiritual director but I havent had much feedback yet.

I am not really in a position to follow through at the moment, I would like to try it at least

[/quote]

My apologies. I misunderstood you. Now that you explained it, it seems that you are doing the right thing. I'm glad you have a spiritual director. Sorry for the misunderstanding! ;)


#15

I view it as returning home. Gods creation is my home not man made society.


#16

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:14, topic:320564"]
My apologies. I misunderstood you. Now that you explained it, it seems that you are doing the right thing. I'm glad you have a spiritual director. Sorry for the misunderstanding! ;)

[/quote]

He is a Priest of SSPX and lives many hours away from me in another city and is very busy so I dont like bothering him too much. I have another one in another country which is even further. So often I feel a bit lost as what to do etc..But God guides.
But I do need help and advice..I do feel a bit lost sometimes not knowing where to start.
Thats where I am now just waiting for God to show the way..But I have already started living a semi contemplative life and its so wonderful. I enjoy it even though I know my friends would not understand , so I dont tell anyone, they are just wondering why I dont go out anymore or much. Unfortunately I do not have many Catrholic friends where I live and in my situation. They are several hours away so I dont see them much.
I live in a sort of hamlet.


#17

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:14, topic:320564"]
My apologies. I misunderstood you. Now that you explained it, it seems that you are doing the right thing. I'm glad you have a spiritual director. Sorry for the misunderstanding! ;)

[/quote]

No need to apologize at all, I appreciate every bit of advice. :)


#18

I have no real family around either. Gods will I suppose :)


#19

Please excuse the monologue :)
But all this has helped me to get to know God even more and the wonders of His Grace.
Its been an extremely trying time for me and I have found myself more or less alone but I have managed and I have learned so much about myself , about life and about Gods infinite mercy.


#20

Maria; your private message box is full.. blessings and peace


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