“Monasticism is prophetic, and it is prophetic primarily because of its simplicity. There is no agenda, just living and working with one another, listening to and praying with Scripture, devoting themselves to the breaking of the bread, being hospitable to the stranger and being patient with the eccentric.
“Why is that prophetic? Because, with the demise of Christendom, the church can no longer depend upon society at large to bolster its mission. The church will need to present Jesus the Christ in a manner that is not only credible and authentic but easily visible. Monasticism is—and always has been—a visibly different way of being Christian. Do not tell me, show me, my students are saying.”
(The photo is of a corridor in the Cistercian abbey of Notre Dame d’Hauterive, Switzerland.)