Those who gathered in monasteries were singularly devoted to living faith full-on, which included following Jesus not only personally but in community. I know a lot of people who want to do the same. They’re mostly younger, raised in a post-Christian culture, but age is no limit.
These millennial monks edge towards liturgy and are partial to a living room atmosphere–farmhouse style. Thirsty for authenticity, there’s an undercurrent of a new monasticism. Have you heard of remonking the church?
Welcoming the Millennium in France.
My early exposure to monasteries, cathedrals, and seminaries continued and my knowledge of monastic movements deepened as I lived in Europe for 12 years. I attended retreats at a local monastery—guided, silent, discernment retreats, you name it. I learned about the history of monasticism. Its ethos and spiritual disciplines entered my faith walk.
And then I returned to America.
We were barely into the millennium and I found myself more in sync with millennials than my peers. The new churches looked like Walmart’s or cinema complexes, complete with fair trade coffee bars and designer snacks. But they were emptying. Where were the monasteries?
Technology was exploding and through it, travel—virtual or otherwise. We flung ourselves around the world and into cyberspace at a soul-killing pace. I’ve been to about 25 countries myself (@monkinmotion). In every nook and cranny of the world, there’s a cell phone.
How do we cultivate life in the motion and commotion?
Would a monastery help? To make sense of what the Author and Finisher of our faith was up in the midst of the chaos. To learn how to live in it. To bring a sense of discipline, roots, and connection to the ancient church. For beauty and quiet. For community.
It doesn’t have to be a physical building. If you don’t happen to live near one at the moment, you can visit virtual ones. That’s my case and then I created my own—to consider the True Myth, found not only in history but in story.