What is the Apostolate of Monks?
All Christians are called to the Apostolate; to good works that build up the Kingdom of God in our world. What is the apostolate of contemplative monks? What do they do to benefit others? On the surface it could appear that monks living out their lives separated from the world by the cloister and who rarely if ever leave the monastery grounds contribute little or nothing to spreading the Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This may indeed by the opinion of some, even in the Church. It requires great faith to see the grace that is not visible to the eye. But if in faith one believes that we are all connected, then they may come to realize that when even one soul turns to God whole-heartedly and unreservedly, as monks are called to do, then it opens a window in Heaven for the whole world, through which God’s Light flows in to brighten the whole house. God has willed to give His graces in cooperation with and through human beings. The monk’s life of renunciation, constant prayer and sacrifice cannot but have an effect on other souls and on our world. As our Lord has intimated in the Gospel, some kinds of wounds and sufferings can only be healed by prayer and sacrifice. This is our faith and our hope.
--a monk of New Clairvaux