The Spirit and Origin of Christian Monasticism

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The Catholic ideal is the ascetic life. The true monk is the perfect Christian. “This”, says Thomas a Kempis “is the highest wisdom, by contempt of the world to make for the regions of heaven.” Possession of property, marriage, fatherhood blind a man’s eyes to life’s greatest possibility, the beatific vision of the King in His beauty. The monk’s complete renunciation of all, which the world holds to be good, is at once the proof of his devotion and the means whereby he is able to arrive most swiftly and certainly at close personal communion with God.In the lawful fulfillment of his body’s functions, he comes nearest to achieving the purpose of God who made the body what it is. In making the most that he can, honestly, out of life’s opportunities for gain and joy, he best shows his thankfulness to the God who placed him in the world. Monastic Series, Vol. 9
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January 8, 2017
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