Could you please address the role of monastic life in our Tradition or is it a tradition. I am eager to learn of any books or writings that support this choice in life. Points in particular that I find myself failing to defend are: Where is this way of life supported in scripture?-:How is this obedience different from brainwashing?: What has touched me in particular but it is from me not any official teaching is Anna who waited in the temple with Simeon and that when it comes to holy obedience -what a grace it is to love God without putting your brakes on by making the choice with your intellect and will to say YES YES YES.
All of Scripture supports monastic life because monastic life is all about worship. To worship is to acknowledge the truth that God is Who He is. God is our sovereign. The vows of religious life represent the totality of human existence and the obligation that everyone has to place his or her life at the complete disposal of the One who has so freely authored that life as the complete gift that it is.
Everyone is called to be poor in spirit by which one is not possessed by one’s possessions. Everyone (including one who is married) is called to be chaste according to one’s way of life. Everyone is called to obey legitimate authority.
Religious life draws attention to how appropriate such response is to such a generous Giver by its vows which go further than what is required from us all. The one who lives the religious life vows not only to be poor in spirit, but to actually not own anything. Not only does he or she vow to be chaste, but to be celibate as well. Such a one promises not only to obey legitimate authority, but to put his or her entire life in the hands of those who ordinarily would have no such jurisdiction. The religious does this in order to be a sign for all to see—that God deserves the worship of our lives as a matter of justice. We owe Him for the privilege of existing and for all the other gifts He has given, including Redemption.
Founders such as St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi have seen religious life to be a very appropriate foundation from which to minister to the world. But religious life does not need an apostolate to justify its existence. And here we come to monasticism.
Monasticism is religious life simply for itself. The goal of monasticism is to acknowledge God as Holy Sovereign. The great Opus Dei (Work of God) of monasticism is the daily solemn celebration of the Liturgy.
To compare the vow of obedience to brain washing is to ignore the fact that such a vow is made freely and not under any coercion. Through the ages Catholics have seen such obedience as a holy thing in imitation of our Savior who was obedient to His Father to the point of dying on the Cross.
The following article has more on this:
*]Religious Life[/LIST]Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.