Monasticism studied at international conference in Rome
Benedictine priest Fr. Jeremy Driscoll
Benedictine priest Fr. Jeremy Driscoll
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Christian monks once saved the cultural treasures of the western world from barbarian invasions, and now a major four-day conference in Rome is examining how modern culture affects monasticism.

“We’ve invited scholars from around the world to share around the theme of monasticism and culture – the effects of monasticism of culture and the effect of culture on monastic life,” Father Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., told CNA June 10.

The conference at the Sant’ Anselmo Benedictine University in Rome is titled “Monasticism between Culture and Cultures” and runs from June 8 to 11.

The word “monasticism” actually comes from the Greek word for ‘dwelling alone’ and has come to denote the mode of life in seclusion from the world, under religious vows and subject to a fixed rule. It emerged in the deserts of northern Africa in the earliest centuries of Christianity.

“A monk is cut off from the world so he can deeply join the world in spirit and in prayer,” explained Fr. Driscoll, who joined the Benedictine Abbey at Mount Angel in Oregon back in 1973, at the age of 22.

“The solitude of a monk and the intensity of the monk’s life apart from the world are precisely done for the world, and to give witness to the world, and in unity with the world.”

The conference is looking at every aspect of monastic life – past, present and future.

For his own presentation, Fr. Driscoll drew upon the life and work of a 20th century Italian priest and monk, Don Divo Barsotti. He was a diocesan priest in Florence but went on to found a community called the Figli di Dio - or Sons of God – on the belief that monastic ideals could be applied to ordinary lay life.

“He wanted to share monastic spirituality with lay people and to really let them think of themselves as a sort of living an interior monastic life in the world.”

“He says that monasticism is nothing less than the Christian life intensely lived and lived,” Fr. Driscoll said.

Given that the work of Don Divo Barsotti is currently little known outside Italy, Fr. Driscoll said this week’s international conference presents an ideal opportunity to change that situation. He hopes that many more lay people will now attempt to live a spirit of monasticism.

“Being cut off from the world is an attitude of being absorbed in Christ and then being united to the world by means of that absorption in Christ - because he is united to the world.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20