Consider the Ancient Paths
The Challenge of Monasticism
Monks and nuns? Old hat surely? Veiled Sisters and tonsured monks floating in long robes to the sound of music and opting out of the world and the church alike. Christians after all are supposed to be relevant, to get out there and be seen and heard, in the world’s way, if they are to make their mark.
Of course up to a point but Jesus requires us to be in the world in his sort of way and not in ours. As Catholic Anglicans we are specially called to witness to the fullness of the tradition we have inherited, to pass it on and to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in his work of renewal.
The Religious, or Monastic, life is an essential part of the Church’s mission and has been at its heart from the earliest days. It matters as much now as in the beginning. Where monastic life is strong the Church flourishes. So we have a challenge. We have been given the chance to prove our mettle as Catholics in the Church of England. We are at the crossroads and perhaps a little fearful that we will mistake the way. The prophet Jeremiah counsels us:
Take your stand and watch at the crossroads, enquire about the ancient paths; ask which is the way that leads to what is good. Take that way, and you will find rest for yourselves.
Perhaps you are at the crossroads yourself. What next in my life, what does God ask of me? How can I take my part in the building up of the Church? It could be that the Holy Spirit is inviting you to share in the great enterprise of the renewal of the Religious Life in our midst, following in the footsteps of our revered Oxford Movement Fathers and Mothers who pioneered the way before us.
If you are interested in finding out more you may like to spend a day with some Anglican Monks and Nuns in York on Saturday 1st October. This taster day will include monastic worship, personal stories, questions and conversations, a simple shared meal, and the opportunity to discover what Nuns and Monks actually do all day!
For further details and to register contact firstname.lastname@example.org