It’s not exactly something you can go to your school counselor and talk about or see a booth set up in your gym on career day.

There is a great deal of criticism toward those who do not contribute monetarily to our society. Even in cultures that are used to monasteries there is push back by their families and friends on those who wish to become monastics. Parents wish for their children to get married and have children. In our western culture there is still emphasis on marriage, to a point… as long as it doe snot interfere with your making money. Money is the goal in all things even most churches in the west. But the world rests on the shoulders of monastics, so why is there not more acceptance and encouragement toward those wishing to take this path?

In a word, monastic life can be grueling. Yes, it has its rewards. Make no mistake, however, it can be terribly lonely and isolated living in a monastery. Not just physically as many monasteries seem to be located as far from civilization as possible while still being accessible to food and healthcare, but you are also isolated in a manner difficult to explain. Your friends and family do not understand why you chose this life and you face persecution and even ridicule from people you thought would support you.

However, if you have toyed with the idea or are open to exploring this life path more, I encourage you to visit monasteries and begin by just going to one and praying as often as you can. Eventually you may become a novice and one day maybe even tonsured as a monastic. who knows. Even if you never end up entering officially into monastic life, you can still create that reverential lifestyle in your home, even if you are smack dab in the middle of a big city.

Here is a video I just finished watching about a monastery in Nova Scotia.

“Goosechase” is the observational documentary of three monks living in a solitary Monastery north of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Tucked away in the rolling hills beside the LeHave River, the Monks of the Hermitage of the Annunciation spend their days praying, working, and studying. This is not a story about the individual Monks, but rather their way of life, and the Rule that guides their actions and thoughts as they go about their Holy Business. It touches upon the nearly mystical Annunciation of Mary, the methods they use to find peace and stillness, and the key theology of their order and faith.

Thinking of becoming a monastic?