Hello there my spiritual friend,
I would like to take this opportunity to point out a few things regarding the contemplative life:
The contemplative life has an apostolic aspect, it is an idea, which the hectic activity of modern life is unfamiliar. It is more appropriate to ask what is the practical use of idle individuals, shut up alone in contemplation, at a time when there is so much to be done. Moreover what can they do in their state of isolation?
May I say: “The criterion of a monk is to seek Christ as hermits.” In this endeavor, I will further explain that we are not hiding nor running away from neither the world nor ourselves. In fact, we have plotted a course set for ground zero. The truth is, as a cloistered individual you are confronted with yourself and God, in a face-to-face encounter, which does not diminish, but envelopes your entire scope of thought reason and vision. In our daily encounters, there is nothing beyond these two. This I because we have nowhere else to, from no-one can we hide. Our faults are self evident to all who reside within our compound.
Now for many, upon hearing that we live our lives of prayer and self-sacrifice, the laity are inclined to ask why, and for whom? The answer is that we do so for the good of souls that greatly need both prayer and self-sacrifice. We are in the habit of forgetting that prayer and penance are indispensable to the conversion of sinners, and to the progress of the good and to the perfection of the Saints? As a cloistered member, you continually are confronted with the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and those around you. Honesty, integrity, humility, and love are essential, since you have nowhere else to go. You cannot escape, where shall we go? We must confront, address, and deal fairly and honestly with what is presented before us. We cannot live in a community with anger, envy, strife and alike. Throughout the ages from John Cassian on down to Benedict and to Teresa of Avila, all have repeated this same subject.
My spiritual friend, I am not attempting to provide an excuse, for indeed some have entered religious denominations, cloth for reasons known only to them and God, and indeed, while this is a dilemma, yet for those who answered a call from God, these are far more reliant, resilient and are more active, out shinning those who are mere moss growing between the rocks of strong foundation.
May I ask that you see the beauty of the foundation and the various components utilized in this endeavor, and perhaps either see the moss as an ornament, relying upon the rock, purposely placed there, or actively begin to facilitate the purging. In either event you will shall also hear and answer a calling.
Bro. Smith SGS