The first monks and nuns went out to the desert precisely to live a more fervent Christian lifestyle than they found elsewhere, one based on a radical following of Christ. Today we do not literally go out to a desert, but our life of withdrawal, with its three vows of obedience, chastity and poverty still remains a radical choice for God. But God, as love, is a communion of three Divine Persons, profoundly one: the perfect “Community”. Our striving to live for God alone does not separate us from others, but draws us into a deeper, purer love, one embracing all.
So through monastic life, you enter the “school of love”. You come to be formed by a community to make yourself ready for eternal life with the perfect Community of the Trinity, and not to have your personal tastes and desires fulfilled. Such a lofty goal requires a daily death to self for love of Christ, to each day begin anew!
You learn through holding all things in common with your sisters.
You learn through sisterly friendships and sharings.
You learn through pondering the Word of God and Study.
You learn through “trials and tribulations”, through falling down and getting up again.
You learn through extending forgiveness to others, and through humbly asking pardon for your own faults.
You learn through fidelity to the common life: being at Choir when you’re suppose to be at Choir; being at work when you’re suppose to be at work; going to your cell when it’s time for Profound Silence; joining in the laughter when it’s time for Recreation.
Yes, “community” means you enter the “school of love”; you come to be a disciple.
Are you up to the challenge?