Actually, it is but a “renewed” old idea; old reality; original reality; an “Ancient Future” kind of reality. When I heard a while back a pastor of a large successful church refer to The Church of the Saviour as atypical in the sense that it “really isn’t so much a church as a monastic community”, I thought, yeah, and how is that “other than church’ actually? The problem is the moving away from the monastic community sense, and into the mainstream of “communities” as so defined by the culture.
This from Stanley Hauerwas on the back cover endorsements for Schools for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism:
Whatever future God has for the church, I am convinced the essays in this remarkable book will help us discern that future. Monasticism has always been one of the main means God has used to renew the church. Through some strange miracle God now seems to be calling Protestants to consider what it might mean for them to live in communities that might look very much like monastic communities. Such a call might tempt many toward some kind of romanticism, but one of the remarkable things about these essays is their stark realism. Such a realism is unavoidable not only because of the challenges facing those who are about the formation of communities faithful to God but also because they have lived with one another enough to know this is not going to be easy. So these essays are full of good sense and they help us see the potential of this extraordinary movement. Moreover, each essayist never forgets to remind us that when itâ€™s all said and done, itâ€™s about God who makes is possible for us to live patiently and nonviolently in a world of impatience and violence.
“It’s about God who makes it possible.”. So what is my role; my “initiative” (which is actually a proclamation of the initiative God has already taken) ?How is that going to become a reality rather than a possibility? I’m so tired of asking “How Long”? But I’ll keep asking, and keep on trying waiting –listening — praying — wondering–desiring—seeking—-hoping…….