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So did I!

After discovering Celtic Christianity, and experiencing such a resonance in my spirit as I learned their distinct expression of faith, I wanted it to become my expression of faith, my lifestyle, officially.

The Knights of Prayer, who became an official monastic society in the 90’s, have an enormous website with great resources on it, and they offered a two-year induction into becoming an official monk.  Contact with them was always sparse, but I did get official certification that I was a Postulant monk, several years ago.

Since then, there’s been no contact at all, online or through snail mail, but I have voraciously continued Celtic studies and developing monastic practices.  Which is great.  But such an essential part of Celtic expression is community, and attempts to find others interested in such a lifestyle within the church have not produced fruit.

Thankfully, the Celtic Church did not have a central governing body.  All held to the basic creeds of Christianity, but practices varied widely between one monastery, or family of monasteries, and another.  There was no ‘one rule to rule them all’ until the Rule of St. Benedict was forced upon all Celtic monasteries after the Synod of Whitby.

I love the individuality of the Celtic model.  There is the safe framework of an Orthodox understanding of Christianity, but great freedom to express it, recognising that none of us has the right to say “it must be done this way only.”

There are a number of dispersed communities for those embracing a monastic way.  The Community of Aidan and Hilda is a flourishing expression of new Celtic monasticism, and so is The Northumbria Community.  These both have many wonderful resources.

There is no question that to have a Celtic expression of Christianity, it must include community.  And yet there were hermits, anchorites, solitaries.  Usually this was for a season of life – long or short – and with few exceptions included a spiritual connection to an existing community.

I’ve come to believe that if I’m called to be a monk, and I say yes to God’s call, that makes me a monk, whether or not I have a certificate or a community that understands and supports me.

I consider myself a Novice, and I’m working out how that looks in real life every day.   If you know in your heart that you’re called to explore or embrace this way, I encourage you to go for it.  Drink deeply of God.  An official stamp isn’t required, only a longing heart.



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3 Responses to “So you want to be a Monk?”

  1. denise boley long says:

    I am requesting to become a postulant with you and have you as my mentor and guide on my spiritual journey. I am turning “60” in june, and know that this is the turning point in my spiritual life.. much love and blessings, Denise.