The author Rowan Williams will characterize the monastic life as follows: “A humanity serving God in steady engagement with the material world and in mutual giving and receiving…a humanity shaped by Christ.”
He goes on to remind us that the monk’s life is "incarnational," always lived in and through Christ Jesus. As Williams writes, the monastic life is: “always modeled on Christ’s human life (and) open to the divine at every moment; it is not that God the Word deigns to take up residence in those parts of our lives that we consider important or successful or exceptional. Every aspect of Jesus’ humanity and every moment of his life is imbued with the divine identity, so that if our lives are to be images of his, they must seek the same kind of unbroken transparency. Likewise, Jesus lives out in his humanity a complete dependence on God as Father, the eternal dependence of the Word on the divine Source, and is thus also capable of living a human life that is not anxiously in search of the highest degree of autonomy: he receives gifts, receives friendship and hospitality. A life that values every dimension of experience, including the routine, the repetitive and prosaic, one that assumes mutual need and invites generosity at the same time as offering it in hospitality – this is a life that is not merely apostolic but Christlike and illustrates the freshness of what the Gospel makes possible.”
Christ Jesus longs to be ordinary in us and with us and through us.
Photographs by Brother Brian.