Monasticism seemed to emerge from within the deserts of the near-East during the 4th Century. Set against a backdrop of social, theological and spiritual unrest, it drove men and women to leave the familiar setting of the city and embrace the unfamiliar world of the desert in order to renew their relationship with God. This new world of the desert required a new way for living, a new scaffold from which to grow towards God, self and neighbour. This scaffold is still present within the institution of monasticism, a balance of work, study, prayer, hospitality and monastic leisure and Christians are now turning to this spiritual scaffold to support life in everyday Christian living.
Why new/lay monasticism?
Whilst many Christians don’t feel the call to enter a monastery, abbey or convent, we continue to witness a large amount of people who are embracing monastic practice and spirituality as a scaffold to support everyday Christian living. This phenomenon has manifest itself through many terms, some of these include new, domestic, lay and worldly monasticism and the groups associated with this phenomenon also vary in charism and context.
How does Monos connect with both?
Monos emerged in order to engage within a conversation between this growing new phenomenon and traditional or institutional monasticism. It highlights the importance on the attention to personal growth (Monos – to be alone) amidst and rush to build new communities, the benefit of service and care towards traditional monasticism to safe guard against pride and ego and provide practical and reflective support for those within the movement.