We think of Catholic nuns in flowing habits when we use that word, “monastic.” Catholicism isn’t required here, but if you are Catholic, your girlhood dream of living a nun’s life can come true, right within your own home. A lot of us Protestant girls shared your dream and thought it could never be ours!
“Monastic” is an ancient word, older than Church usage, which at its root, means “alone,” or “solo” before God, and if death or divorce has left you alone, may God grant that you will gather up all that solitude and begin to use it to delight in His Son as never before. If you are married, Cor Unum Abbey will help you to live before God in such a way that life with your spouse can become sweeter by far. We never spend time with God at the selfish expense of those He has given us to love; that is unnecessary. There is an abbey-full of helpful disciplines here in Cor Unum, but a fast within these walls can be as small as the refusal to speak an unkind word!
Many among us have solitude they ever wanted or sought. Remember the life that Anna lived before God in the Book of Luke (chapter 2)? From her early widowhood, far pre-dating convent life as we know it, she “worshipped God day and night with fastings and prayers.” Without leaving home, without quitting our jobs, we pay attention to her example. We start small, and because we are a cyber monastery, each one of us will progress as the Lord leads. He is, after all, the goal of our vocation.
For those of you who find yourselves suddenly and tragically alone, or still alone, still single after years of waiting for the joys of marriage to be yours, you aren’t forgotten. You’re not alone in Christ, by His promise, and that is a reality we will celebrate continually! Each of us, married, single, divorced, or widowed, as am I, must live out our faith in the cloister of our own hearts. That is what Cor Unum Abbey is all about. We are marketplace monastics, alone together. “One thing have we desired of the Lord; that will we seek after . . . that we may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives, to behold His beauty, and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
Welcome, with all my heart. May you find the love of God in depths of joy and purpose and comfort that leave you breathless, only wanting more ….
Abbess Kerry, Cor Unum Abbey, Monastery of the Heart