Inspired by Saint Benedict, Western monasticism is the heir of the great number of men and women who, leaving behind life in the world, sought God and dedicated themselves to him, "preferring nothing to the love of Christ." The monks of today likewise strive to create a harmonious balance between the interior life and work in the evangelical commitment to conversion of life, obedience and stability, and in persevering dedication to meditation on God's word (lectio divina), the celebration of the Liturgy and prayer. In the heart of the Church and the world, monasteries have been and continue to be eloquent signs of communion, welcoming abodes for those seeking God and the things of the spirit, schools of faith and true places of study, dialogue and culture for the building up of the life of the Church and of the earthly city itself, in expectation of the heavenly city.
Our hearts are filled with "the ardent love of spouses," preferring nothing whatever to Christ, we monks are called to love the Lord Jesus with our whole heart, all our soul and all our strength- in our praying, in all our work, in our silence, even in our conversations no matter how brief.
Photograph by Brother Brian. Excerpts from Vita Consecrata of Pope Saint John Paul II.