Morality of Monks and Hermits


If our life’s purpose is to bring ourselves and others to Heaven, then are monks or hermits who live out their lives in solitude sinning by not evangelizing to more people?
Or is the praying they do a substitute for physically being in the world?



I believe there is/was a woman saint who was a nun and never left her convent, and was the patroness of the missions. The reason was that thru her love of Jesus, expressed thru her prayers and penance for others, she was given knowledge of those who were saved and they were in the thousands.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.


The service that hermits and monastics provide is of a spiritual nature, but it is no less real than physical service. I liken it to the Communion of Saints. We count on the intercession of our Blessed Mother and the saints, and the Holy Souls in Purgatory count on our prayers. This is a real service, though not in a strictly physical sense. It has been said that the prayers of monastics help to sustain the world! Many souls are brought to Grace by both their prayers and example.


Yes! There is an invisible explosion of grace that comes out of contemplative communities and is sent where the Lord wants it to go. As they aspire to higher degrees of sanctity, the Body of Christ increases.
Those graces bring light where there is darkness.




They maintain the existence of these communities for future monks and nuns. Pilgrims in Catholic countries visit monasteries all of the time to stay and prayer. Many men who visit a monastery are saved from lapsing. The monks and nuns themselves are dedicated to prayer and serving God. They may serve local communities with the goods they produce as well. However, Christianity does not present a secular utilitarian ethic.


The reason a monk is retired from the world is to allow that prayer for the world. We can never know how many souls are saved due to the prayers of a single soul on the path of spiritual perfection.

And those who are on the path to perfection always counsel others who are on that seem path. For a good introduction, you might want to look at The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

God bless.



There is a convent of Poor Clares in Co. Carlow, nearby to me. They don’t venture out but anyone who needs a prayer or a word of advice or comfort is encouraged to ring a bell in the convent and a sister will come and speak to them. They advise on the best way to begin a fruitful prayer life and fulfil all prayer requests that are made by anyone who asks.

I have no doubt that the prayers of these loving women accomplishes much. Just passing the door and knowing of the devotion within makes me try harder. Being enclosed hasn’t stopped the sisters working in the community; the community just comes to them; and they still pray for those who don’t… yet!!

Jenny x


As soon as you shall yield yourself to God with all your heart, and seek nothing for your own will and pleasure, but place yourself without reserve at His disposal, you shall find yourself united to Him, and at peace. Nothing will afford you more joy and satisfaction than the perfect fulfilling of God’s will. Whoever, therefore, raises his intent to God with a pure heart, and disengages himself from all inordinate love or hatred of any creature, shall best be prepared to receive grace, and be worthy of the gift of devotion. For Our Lord bestows His blessings where He finds vessels empty to receive them. And the more completely a man renounces worldly things, and the more perfectly he dies to self by the conquest of self, the sooner will grace be given, the more richly will it be infused, and the nearer to God will it raise the heart set free from the world.
“The Imitation of Christ,” Book 4, Chapter 15

Nowhere can one find an environment more conducive to gaining these states of grace than in a monastery or hermitage.


That was what I expected but I can’t get to Religion until Monday and wanted an answer now! :rolleyes:

Thanks, everyone! God Bless!



921 They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One.


Yes, we definitely need their prayers.


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