First, be sure to read the first post from Fr. James Arcadi’s (a new blogger!) on the Feast of the Annunciation.
Next, be sure to read the essay from Rev. Susan Skillen, Canon of Spiritual Formation for the Anglican Diocese in New England, on the relevance of St. Benedict’s “Three-Fold” Rule to the church today. Canon Skillen shows how “new monastic” communities are being formed throughout the area that commit to a Rule of life defined by common prayer, mission, and mutual submission and love to each other. The Ministry House project being founded in New England is one such example.
It is often assumed that monastic communities are full of cloistered monks unengaged with the real world as they attempt to climb Jacob’s Ladder to commune with God in heaven. However much this may be true in some cases, it should be remembered that monastic communities, and especially the “new monastic” communities of New England, serve an evangelistic purpose to the world. Through their daily habits, their common life of prayer, and their service to others, new monastic communities provide an alternative to the world’s cultures of pride, greed, and lust. These communities are signs that point to the more glorious way of Jesus Christ, who created the culture of love unto death and bequeathed it to the church. The new monastic communities are one way in which this culture of love is maintained and shared with the world.