Our Monastery is Here and Now

Our Monastery is Here and Now

by Richard Carter, author of The City is My Monastery: A Contemporary Rule of Life


We plan the holiday in advance

But the holy day is today

The monks knew the ancient wisdom of giving each part of

the day to God

So that they tasted the height, breadth and depth of

God’s presence

The coming of the light, the hopes and struggles of the day,

the intensity of noon,

the shadows of evening bringing the toil to an end,

food and refreshment, the silence and darkness of the night

But we no longer notice the movements of the sun

We do not see the sky just the screen

We have used the remote and become remote

We who have no time for God

Have become time’s prisoners

We have pulled the curtains on the sun and moon and have

closed the windows so that we no longer smell the rain or

breathe the air polluted by our fumes

We have been given this treasure beyond price and yet we scarcely notice it.


Our monastery is here and now

Where you are today

The person you are speaking with

The room you are sitting in

The street where you are walking

The action you are doing now

This is your monastery

This is your prayer

Eternity is now

The city is our monastery.

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