In sanctifying the hours of each day through prayer, in growing much of their own food, monastics look at time differently — they know that almost nothing worthwhile is immediate, or immediately apparent, and that usefulness itself can be over- and underdefined.
What use is it? Charities in the world, missionaries, church movements, “active” religious orders who work with the poor, the disadvantaged, and so forth, their work is supported by the quiet prayers of the monastics. When they rise at night — the time when so many are lonely, or lost, or deeply enthralled in their harmful behaviors — monastics are praying for exactly those people, and for all of us. It is prayer that is concentrated, not limited; prayer with a far-reach of love.
And if you ask them to, they will pray for you and your specific intentions. No matter who you are. They don’t first question whether you’re a good person, whether you’re a Christian, whether you are saved, whether you are gay or straight, or in a state of grace or in deep sin. They’ll simply pray for your good.
If you would like to ask monastics to pray for you or someone you love, here are some links where you can do that:
[In order to help our readers become better informed on the subject of monasticism, look for further pieces on the subject throughout 2016 – Ed.]