When I hear “monastics” I automatically think of the cloisters and those vowed within them.
“Lay monastic” is similar to saying “Lay Dominican”. Lay monastics may not be affiliated with a particular religious order, but have taken the writings of the saints to heart, and are genuinely searching for God.
Laity who practice reclusion can be called Recluses (my blog is “Holy Name Reclusory” on Yahoo groups). However, Poustiniki are more along the lines of what they do – withdrawal from family and society when nobody’s there, then render hospitality when necessary. I personally identify more closely with the Recluses than I do the Actives or the Poustiniki. Hubby’s not too keen on outside charitable works, so I focus on my high-functioning son and the internet.
Our new congregation has adapted the “poustinia” concept to our charism.
We have Actives, Poustiniki, and Recluses. The Poustiniki have limited outside apostolate. The Recluses usually stick to their property, and minister more to their families.
Properly speaking, anyone can live a monastic life, as the word comes from the Greek “monos” meaning “one.” The monastery/cloister/hermitage/reclusory is in the HEART. There are websites dedicated to this concept. This also means that the property is usually dedicated in some way to the Sacred Hearts, and the intention of the inhabitants is to live a Godly life.
Mrs Cloisters OP