Found an intertersting blurb on “Anamchara.” It is in relation to neo-monasticism.
I’ve included it below…
Yesterday I was talking with one of the Cistercian monks with whom I work at the
Abbey Store. I mentioned the concept of neo-monasticism to him and he
said he had never heard of it. So I told him it was a movement toward
new forms of intentional Christian communities, popular especially with
young evangelicals. He interrupted me. “Are they celibate?” He asked
abruptly. I said that I believed most neo-monastic groups neither
required nor forbade celibacy. “Then they’re not really monastics,” he
He went on to explain that a core characteristic of monasticism has
always been the quality of “monos,” or being alone, i.e. single, before
God. He thought it was lovely that new forms of Christian community are
emerging, and pointed out that there has been a long-standing confusion
between the monastic and contemplative vocations. Perhaps in their zeal
to create new communities of prayer, the so-called neo-monastics were
simply being a bit over-enthusiastic by identifying themselves as such.
I asked him, “If these communities are not properly called monastic,
then what are they?” He replied, “just call them communities, that’s
(bold for emphasis)
I do have one question in response to this statement: Why did later monastics, such as Benedict, emphasise the communal if monasticism is being single before God? Yes the early desert fathers and mothers focused on singleness before God. However, later monastics recognised the need for a communal aspect to their search. Moreover, why pray the hours, if there is a need for singleness? There is a deeply rooted sense of community found in the hours which cannot be reomoved simply by praying them alone.
Just some thoughts….