St Benedict calls the monastery a ‘school for the Lord’s service’, where those who enter are invited to seek God and His will in Community. This is not a ‘club’ for the spiritually perfect; like any Christian vocation, the monastic life is a journey of growth in faith. We live a common life, apart from the distractions of the outside world. Our life in the cloister fosters the careful listening we need in order to seek God and to allow Him to teach us. As St Benedict reminds us in his Rule, it is by persevering in the monastery according to Christ’s teaching until death that we share by patience in the sufferings of Christ, and so deserve to have a share in his kingdom.
Our daily lives need balance and structure. In his Rule, St Benedict teaches us how to achieve this in the monastery, with the help of God. Everything is held in common. All eat, worship and work together. Each one of us is mindful of and obedient to the other. All have individual gifts to contribute to the communal life. In this atmosphere of mutual love and understanding, we hope to be transformed into the image of Christ.