And what's discernment?
There are different forms of cloister. One is the 'cloister of the heart' within a person, a place
where they can commune with the One True God at any time, in any circumstance.
Another form of cloister is what we're dealing with on this website--monasteries.
All over the world, there are men and women beginning to feel the tug of the Holy Ghost on their hearts,
a call to come away from it all, and belong entirely to Christ.
We're trying to facilitate that process, which is known as 'discernment.' Those who are going
through the process are known as 'discerners.'
And the best advice we can give is that the Holy Ghost works on attraction, which is another reason
for this website.
When one is offered a religious vocation, they are not only called to a specific charism,
but, in the case of cloistered monasteries, a particular house within that charism.
Charism, simply put, is a particular group's gift to the Church and the world -- a particular way of
living the Christ-centered life. The 'uniform' that the monks and nuns wear is known as the 'habit,' and it is a physical
expression of their particular charism.
One of the sharpest criticisms that monks and nuns face is that they're wasting their lives. We would
like to counter that with the following statement:
The religious life is a calling. One does not wake up some day and say, "I'm going to be a nun."
As previously stated, in our Roman Catholic tradition, we believe in a God who is Trinity--three in one. The third person
of this Trinity is known as the Holy Ghost. After the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead
after His crucifixion, and after He ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Ghost.
We Catholics receive the Holy Ghost during the Sacrament of Confirmation. He is the one
who animated our saints, sometimes to the point of folly (in the world's eyes). We are all called to be the 'hands and
feet of Christ,' and in the cloister, the monk or nun's life of prayer supports those on the outside, while making amends
to God for those who choose to ignore Him. A business manager has a right to keep out a small percentage
of his profits for himself. The cloisters are God's 'small percentage.'