Friday, September 25, 2015

Monastic Military

Protestants are largely clueless about monastic orders, and that's a shame. They tend to think that they are not being of the world to the neglect of being in the world. They are strange. There were no monks in the Bible (never mind Jesus's words about celibacy, the fact that the Bible is silent on many things, and the fact that arguments from silence tend to be fallacious).

But that is a misconception from the monastic point of view. They are in the world conducting battle in a spiritual war on the front lines. Done properly they are Seal Team 6, unknown to most of the world and not in country. A largely thankless life except for the reward given by God about which the left hand does not know.
"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men and women who pray ceaselessly. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Tully Borland? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like "faith," "hope," and "love."  We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way."
My pastor who spent some time in a monastery conveyed to me that when he left, one of the monks told him that he would pray for him. Every day. For the rest of his life.

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