What is a Monk?

"The principal duty of monks is to offer a service to the divine majesty at once humble and noble within the walls of the monastery, whether they dedicate themselves entirely to divine worship in the contemplative life or have legitimately undertaken some apostolate or work of Christian charity." Vatican II PC9.2: Decree on Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatas)

Listen… with this one word at the beginning of St. Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, Benedict began a revolution which led others to enter a process of conversion. A conversion of people’s hearts and minds and spirit. A conversion in which individuals answered an inner call which God wanted them to respond to and pursue. A revolution which is still going on because God is always calling.

Listen… is still a powerful word especially to people who are discerning a monastic call, a monastic vocation. When we listen, the human heart hears the call of God, and a process of conversion begins: we surrender our will and say ‘yes’ to a God who loves us. A process is begun rich with possibilities for the individual, the monastic community, and the Church.

Listen… isn’t a word which our society gravitates toward. Most people are afraid to listen because of what they may hear. However, it is a prerequisite for monastic discernment, monastic vows, monastic life and anyone who is willing to follow the call, God’s call.

For a glimpse of what monastic life is like and why someone might become a monk please watch this video clip featuring Br. Daniel Walters, OSB. For a more in depth overview of Glastonbury Abbey, please click here to view a 10-minute video.