This is essentially my first post on the forums but have been benefiting from the various threads on here for a few months now. What a great resource, thanks.
However, after much searching I can’t find the answer to my latest question which is: How do cloistered monastics fulfill the Church’s directive to be missionary?
I’m thinking here of those monastics such as the Carthusians, the Trappists, the Benedictines (but maybe not), etc. whose work consists of making bread, goods, and perhaps teaching within their seminary. When I speak of the Church’s directive I’m referring to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, where he states,
20. The word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in him “to go forth”. Abraham received the call to set out for a new land (cf. Gen 12:1-3). Moses heard God’s call: “Go, I send you” (Ex 3:10) and led the people towards the promised land (cf. Ex 3:17). To Jeremiah God says: “To all whom I send you, you shall go” (Jer 1:7). In our day Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples” echoes in the changing scenarios and ever new challenges to the Church’s mission of evangelization, and all of us are called to take part in this new missionary “going forth”. Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel.
[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT]Francis, Apostolic Letter Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2014), 20[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]
I ask, one because it’s interesting by itself, and two because as I discern, I’m finding myself attracted to the monastic life of prayer and silence but don’t want to live a life that is somehow not complete according to an objective call by the Church, which ultimately comes from God (right?), to not only have a life full of prayer but to also be missionary as Christ was missionary.
Can you see my dilemma?
Also, I’ve heard of the immeasurable impact the prayer of such monastics has on the world (potentially more impactful than missionary work according to one source), but don’t consider this prayer to satisfy the call to missionary work as described by the Pope.
I greatly appreciate any and all answers or even questions you may have for me as well as good sources of text on this topic.