Obstacles to Yes
It is wise to be mindful of removing obstacles to whatever hinders our growing closer to God. What are some of the obstacles that may stand in the way of a person being able to say “Yes” to monastic life?
“It is not necessary to enter a monastery to become holy”
That’s true; the Church calls all her sons and daughters to holiness in their particular state in life. However, monastic life is purposely designed to facilitate progressing in holiness as efficiently and directly as possible; everything about it has this as its goal. If you have a goal that is very important to you, wouldn’t you want to go about it in the most efficient way possible?
2. “I want to help people”
Serving the good of others is an essential element of every Christian life. However the idea that one does not do any good for the world in monastic life may stem not from faith but from a secular culture that doesn’t acknowledge anything that is not visible and corporal, that denies the reality of the spiritual. A life turned entirely to God, the Ultimate Good, is the best gift we can give our neighbor. Besides the irreplaceable witness of a life totally directed toward God, there are tremendous graces that are opened up for the whole world, including strangers whom we could never effect in any other way. Contemplative monastic life is one of service to humankind’s deepest need.
3.“It is too hard for me”
Though requiring discipline, we have found that Cistercian monastic life is not beyond the capacity of a person of normal physical and mental health. Certainly sacrifices are involved, but this is true of any truly worthwhile goal, and the goal and reward of monastic life are the Greatest of all: Intimacy with God Himself, in this life and the next.
Anyway, that is what I think. But what do you think?