Monastic Life = Escapism?


#1

How is the monastic or hermetical life not a form of escapism? Thanks


#2

[quote="Geremia, post:1, topic:265161"]
How is the monastic or hermetical life not a form of escapism? Thanks

[/quote]

Because they aren't trying to escape from anything. They are seeking God or a sense of heaven on earth if you will. They aren't trying to get away from the world but get closer to God. I hope that helps.


#3

[quote="karebear92, post:2, topic:265161"]
They aren't trying to get away from the world but get closer to God.

[/quote]

I thought they were trying to get away from the world, though.


#4

[quote="Geremia, post:1, topic:265161"]
How is the monastic or hermetical life not a form of escapism? Thanks

[/quote]

Escapism is not, as many tend to think, simply trying to escape from something. Escapism is "the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc." Monastic or hermetical life hardly fit into that description. Possibly some do use that life to escape unpleasantness in their lives but that is most certainly not the norm.

I want to be a monastic nun. We remove ourselves from the world in order to not be distracted from wordly things but focused on God and prayer and giving everything in our days to Him. Not because we are running away from anything.


#5

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:4, topic:265161"]
I want to be a monastic nun. We remove ourselves from the world in order to not be distracted from wordly things but focused on God and prayer and giving everything in our days to Him. Not because we are running away from anything.

[/quote]

You would be running away from "worldly things," though, no? Thanks


#6

[quote="Geremia, post:5, topic:265161"]
You would be running away from "worldly things," though, no? Thanks

[/quote]

I don't see it that way. It is giving them up, yes but that is not the same as running away. Perhaps that is just semantics but to me running away indicates you have something to run from: something aversive, some negative situation or whatever. Monastics often have what would be considered very blessed lives before they join their order. It's more like leaving a past life behind and moving to a new one than running away from it. One does not deny their earlier life when joining a religious order, no more than one does when marrying. It is simply a new stage in life.


#7

Knowing how one does not escape one's thoughts anywhere where you go, (It about dealing with thoughts and life events in a way that works for you - Oh sooo easy to say so but much harder to do of which I am more than fully aware). I believe that Monastic Life isn't Escapism. If anyone was joining for that reason I think they wouldn't be there for very long as it would meet them at some point. They be miserable as hadn't learned how to handle the ups and downs of life.

The long withstanding 'members' are the ones who have learned how to deal with life rather than escape from life.


#8

I think the problem here is the idea of “running away” which those who enter, and are accepted for, religious life are not doing.
Each person in this life tries to choose for themselves that life which is the most fulfilling. The life where they feel most at peace. In choosing a given path, they are not “running away” from something else, they are simply choosing the path that best fits them.
So it is not a matter of “running”.

The monastic is drawn toward the monastic life because of what if gives not what it avoids.
As for “Worldly things” - these are things that we all should avoid regardless of our vocational call.

Peace
James


#9

+Seeking to live life as a monastic is a vocational calling . . . and one of the specific factors that will definitely . . . disallow . . . an individual from joining a monastic community is if they want to “escape” from the world . . . becoming a healthy and successful religious is open to those answering a specific personal . . . **Call from God **. . . to become a worker in **His **vineyard . . . in particular by chastely embracing the monastic way of life as the . . . **Holy Pathway of God **. . . He has willed for their soul life’s purpose here on earth by . . . His Holy Grace.

. . . :coffeeread: . . .
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

ARTICLE 9
"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

III. The Consecrated Life

Consecrated virgins and widows

923
"Virgins who, committed to the holy plan of following **Christ **more closely, are **consecrated to God **by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church."464 By this solemn rite (Consecratio Virginum), the virgin is "constituted . . . **a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for **Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come."465

:compcoff: Link: old.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9p4.shtml

Even as the Blessed Virgin Mary became the “holy spouse” of the **Blessed Holy Spirit of our God **. . . **Third Person of our Holy Triune God **. . . so also God particularly calls out certain men and women to the depth of a holy chaste consecrated life to be lived wholly for Him . . . to be lived out as monks and nuns . . . :nun1: . . . who follow in the holy footsteps of our Lady . . . the Blessed Virgin Mary . . . and the Blessed St. Joseph . . . Foster Father of our Lord . . . mirroring the revelation of our to-come relationships to God and man as they are in heaven above . . . and mirroring the revelation of our Holy Mother Church’s bridal relationship to . . . ***Jesus ***. . . the Blessed Christ . . . as the . . . Bride of Christ . . .

[INDENT]

. . . :coffeeread: . . .
Seeking God

The grace of baptism makes us sons of God, in imitation of Christ. And by the action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in each baptised person, faith and love progressively transform our natural life. Our view of God and the world are renewed and gradually resemble that of Christ, the only** Son of God**.

[INDENT]

The kingdom of heaven

is also like a merchant of beautiful pearls.
He finds a priceless pearl
and he goes off to sell all he has
and he buys it.
- Matthew 13:45-46

He whom **God **calls to the monastic life feels attracted by this mysterious discovery of God, and he understands the supreme value of the priceless pearl. To acquire it, everything else must be subordinated to it because **only it **gives him the plenitude of life and wisdom.

Saint Benedict resumes this program with the expression, “seeking God”, and he wants us to verify carefully if this is indeed the intention of a candidate to the monastic life. This is what he writes in the Prologue of his Rule:

«The voice of God calls out to us each day: *‘Run as long as you have the light of life, for fear that darkness cover you over!’ *And the Lord, seeking his worker in the crowd whom he speaks to, says, ‘Who is the man who wants life and desires to see blessed days?’ If, having heard him, you answer, ‘Me!’ God answers you,‘Do you want true life, eternal life? Then keep your tongue from evil and do good, seek peace and keep to it.’ See with what tenderness the **Lord **shows us the way of life!»

[INDENT]«God seeks man, comments Dom Delatte, and in turn man must seek God. We do **
nothing else**
in the monastic life.» [/INDENT][RIGHT]- Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes[/RIGHT]
:compcoff: Link: solesmes.com/GB/priere/chercher.php?js=1
[/quote]

[/INDENT][/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]


#10

I would say that it is the other way aroubnd: living a worldly life is true escapism from reality. Worldly things very easily distract us from focusing on God. People manage to go through their entire life escaping thoughts of God because daily life is busy and fills the hours. Spending time alone, with only ourselves and God for company is the most difficult thing to do in my opinion. Slowly we are laid bare and little things that used to occupy us become less important. We can't escape from God, who is the ultimate reality. Choosing to live the life that makes Him the focus of everything in that particular monastic way is ultimate bravery.


#11

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:4, topic:265161"]
Escapism is not, as many tend to think, simply trying to escape from something. Escapism is "the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc." Monastic or hermetical life hardly fit into that description. Possibly some do use that life to escape unpleasantness in their lives but that is most certainly not the norm.

I want to be a monastic nun. We remove ourselves from the world in order to not be distracted from wordly things but focused on God and prayer and giving everything in our days to Him. Not because we are running away from anything.

[/quote]

Well said. If I could add also that if one is not comfortable in a social dynamic, they might have an even more difficult time in a monastic setting. This is why monastic orders do not allow their own to become hermits without great supervision on most occasions.

In fact, their role in our Communion is very social, not only in constant prayer for others, but also in prayer with the Saints.


#12

[quote="Geremia, post:1, topic:265161"]
How is the monastic or hermetical life not a form of escapism? Thanks

[/quote]

religious-vocation.com/redemptive_suffering.html


#13

[quote="DasErlibnis, post:11, topic:265161"]
Well said. If I could add also that if one is not comfortable in a social dynamic, they might have an even more difficult time in a monastic setting. This is why monastic orders do not allow their own to become hermits without great supervision on most occasions.

In fact, their role in our Communion is very social, not only in constant prayer for others, but also in prayer with the Saints.

[/quote]

Yes, that is true. Even monastic life involves living in a community, in fact even more of a close community that one normally would live in. One must be able to deal with that social dynamic and the simple daily living with others.


#14

[quote="Geremia, post:5, topic:265161"]
You would be running away from "worldly things," though, no? Thanks

[/quote]

Christ calls us all away from worldly things. He doesn't call everyone to the religious life (ie monastic orders/priesthood/etc) but we are all expected to rebuke worldly things and be living lives of prayer and selfless acts for others. I'm not saying if we have worldly things we're going to hell by any stretch but I just don't see it as escapism since we're all supposed to do it to begin with. Not to mention you have to understand that our beloved brothers and sisters religious spend the majority of every day either in physical service of others or spiritual service of all. Some monks spend the majority of every day praying constantly. Talk about being someone special to be able to do that. I don't think I could ever handle that but that's just because there's probably a good chance Christ isn't calling me to that. Though I have been discerning and considering the possibility that I may be called to the Priesthood, whether it be a Diocesan Priest or a Religious Priest (the Jesuits is where I'd go). But for those who can spend almost all day quite literally every day, just praying for the world, for specific intentions as well as general intentions for the world. There are many, myself included, who believe that it is because the lives they lead and their selfless actions that grant this entire world such graces that it is a fairly common and growing belief that it is their actions which stay God's hand in judgement. It's all done to His will, but if He can still see such good in the world He would be less inclined to punish us (is what common sense tells us). Lord knows if something ever happened to our brothers and sisters religious almost all the grace in this world would be gone and all we'd have are selfish, sinful, prideful, gluttonous, etc etc people living horrid lives with so few selflessly doing anything for others. Then we're all in some real trouble.


#15

The monastic life is not for people who have fallen apart in the world and are trying to run away from life. The monastic life is for those to whom God has given this gift. For them, the monastic life is not "running away"- it is embracing the fullness of life.

Two great Catholic movies that have this theme immediately come to mind: The Sound of Music, and The Bells of Saint Mary's. Just out of curiosity, has anyone else thought the same thing?


#16

[quote="m134e5, post:15, topic:265161"]
The monastic life is not for people who have fallen apart in the world and are trying to run away from life. The monastic life is for those to whom God has given this gift. For them, the monastic life is not "running away"- it is embracing the fullness of life.

Two great Catholic movies that have this theme immediately come to mind: The Sound of Music, and The Bells of Saint Mary's. Just out of curiosity, has anyone else thought the same thing?

[/quote]

Honestly, monastic life looks to me like running towards something, not away from something.

It would only be running away from something if that something being avoided was all there was, and that's simply not the truth.


#17

[quote="Geremia, post:3, topic:265161"]
I thought they were trying to get away from the world, though.

[/quote]

the best way I like to describe it is that they are living in the world, not of the world.

Monks look to bring salvation to those around them as best they can.

the monks at the seminary here

make caskets, which are more affordable then ones you would get from funeral directors and such.

They make bread, most of which I think goes to the poor and the needy. They occasionally make bread for special events. Like fundraisers for the seminary.

They now make soap which probably goes to the workings of the monastery.

There biggest things here si the education and formation of tomorrows priests. This is by far their biggest role for the monks here.

The seminary has a rector who is a monk a vice rector who is a monk, a dean of students who is a monk. A few teachers. Then some priests are spiritual directors for the seminarians itself. I think one of the monks who is a brother is a formation advisor.

pretty much every monk on campus here has some role in seminary formation.

ranging from being a confessor or prosider at one masses seminarians attend. Or to running the school practically.

So at this monastery its far from Escapism.

I'm actually going to visit another monetary on my March for Life trip I suspect it would be Escapism.

Monks live in the world but are not of the world.


#18

[quote="Geremia, post:5, topic:265161"]
You would be running away from "worldly things," though, no? Thanks

[/quote]

every single Catholic shouldn't be involved with worldly things to an extent.

It is a worldly thing to have multiple sexual partners and contract when you have relationship with your significant other.

it is a worldly thing to be ok with tv shows showing girls in questionable clothing that show just slightly to much.

It is a worldly thing to try and make as much money as possible and live in a large house, and not care about the poor.

I could go on and on.

All of us are called not to live that kinda life style. That will have us tied up in the world, and tied up in things that are not of God and do not glorify God.


#19

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that when one is discerning the monastic life, one of the things that the monastery is looking at is whether it is a true vocation or if the person is "running away from something".

Those trying to "escape" the world are normally not going to be good monastics.

Peace
James


#20

[quote="JRKH, post:19, topic:265161"]
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that when one is discerning the monastic life, one of the things that the monastery is looking at is whether it is a true vocation or if the person is "running away from something".

Those trying to "escape" the world are normally not going to be good monastics.

Peace
James

[/quote]

Correct.


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