Saturday, December 19, 2009

Monasticism's limited relevance to my spiritual needs. A Benedictine oblate blog

The Carthusian Monastery d'Scala-Dei - Ladder of God

[Click picture to enlarge]

I could never see myself as a monk. Who would? Monks and nuns are shut away from the real world. How is that relevant today?

No, I could never be a monk except for the parts of monasticism about:
Seeking a deeper spiritual life
Seeking God in everything I do
Praying without ceasing
Lectio divina (divine reading)
The divine office
Living a simple life free of the world's fads and clatter
Making my life the "journey to dwell with God"
Being refreshed from the wells of ancient Christian spirituality and the early desert and church fathers.
So I guess I can see that some parts of monasticism might apply to the spirituality I seek. But that’s all. No more.

Let monks and nuns keep everything else about monastic life that does not apply to me — you know, those parts about learning how to live in harmony in a monastic community and how to get along with the people we live with and share life with. That's not relevant to me, I am married with a family.



Picture is The Carthusian Monastery d'Scala-Dei by art_es_anna and is used subject to license. The link to the picture contains information by the photographer about this first Carthusian monastery in the Iberian Peninsula. Here is another summary about the Ladder of God monastery.


  1. I enjoyed exploring the Ladder of God monastery through your links. I've always loved the French monasteries built into the stones...Provence's landscape is such a blessing for them. Thanks!

  2. Hi Becky,

    Thanks for the comment. Even tiny villages seem monastic when built into mountains. And the Church order perhaps most well known for its mystical heights are the Carmelites — named for Mt. Carmel. 

  3. As the world becomes more and more complex I find the monastic live more and more interesting. 

  4. John, this is a perfect descrption of life as an Oblate vs. life inside a monastery.  While life inside a monastery is often confined to the monastery walls, Oblates are an extension of the monastic life into the communities, subdivisions and neighborhoods. 

    God is the headwaters, monasteries are the rivers that flow from the headwaters, and Oblates are the little streams that branch off from the main flow of the river. 

    Thank you for such a beautiful commentary on Oblate life.