Sunday, October 16, 2011
Initial reading on New Monasticism: Or Sitting On My Front Porch Listening To Traffic And Reading About Twenty-first Century Friars and Monks (No really)
I have in the past found myself drawn to this rediscovery of an old way to do Christian faith in community. I read 'Punk/Monk' by Andy Freeman and Peter Greig, chronicling the move of the 24/7 prayer movement into rediscovering the rhythm of prayer, community, hospitality, creativity and mission, amongst the new tribes of Europe. I also read'Irresitable Revolution' by Shane Claiborne, chronicling his own journey of discovery of a call to simple communal living, where his faith in Christ is work out in prayer and action in the modern urban deserts or rather as Claiborne puts it the places deserted by empire. I found myself moved and challenged by the depth of these peoples faith and the ways that they have been prepared to live it out seeking a vision for life shaped more by the gospel than the bankrupt dream of consumerism, standard of living, suburbia and comfort that our western society and the global mall try and sell us.
So far, in my fist week, I've read three books that I think offer a useful introduction to new monasticism.
study leave proposal used a funny story about a Irish bricklayer to articulate my desire to look at monasticism/community because I was sick of working alone. Similarly I could have taken, and may still take, Ian Adam's story of ministry huddles where ministers in a variety of parishes huddle together to pray with and for each other and share common spiritual practises and together encourage each other to develop and grow. But as I started to open up and read even on the surface I see that New Monasticism with its call to seriously consider discipleship in the context of community and its context of living in the deserted places of the urban landscape and world, while radically engaging with he world and gospel, run so much deeper. Again in a Matrix like moment it would be easy to take the blue pill and wake up tomorrow and continuing to believe what ever I want or to take the red pill and just see how deep the rabbit hole goes. One thing is for sure my reading list keeps getting longer... and I continue on the journey.