The passions, the temptations, the dangers with which humans have to struggle, always remain the same. However, the high ideals for which we must strive also remain the same. Whoever questions whether monastic life is still relevant, needs to understand that the purpose of monastic life is nothing other than the striving to imitate the poor, humble, dedicated and charitable life of Christ as perfectly as possible. Not everyone is called to monastic life, for:
“It is not for everyone to entomb oneself alive, mutely in a bleak monastic cell detached from the tumult of the world, the wicked one.”
St. Benedict did not establish his Order as an asylum for individuals who are tired of life, but rather as a school for living, as he explains in the Prologue to his Rule, where he says: “Therefore we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.” This thought is also expressed well by Weber:
“He who led you out of the world into the silence of the monastic cell, wanted to show you the right way into the world, the desolate.”
—From Boniface Wimmer, Abbot of Saint Vincent in Pennsylvania, translated by Dr. Maria Von Mickwitz and Father Warren Murrman, O.S.B., editor.