What do monks do

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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st. anthony
Saint Anthony the Great is the founder of Christian monasticism
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The answer to what do monks do is in a balanced life of prayer, work and leisure

A monk is a man who chooses to make God central in his life. A monk is a member of a community of men who share their love for God, as well as spiritual values and a spiritual life.

A monk is a single man who decides to live a moral and spiritual life. The monkís life revolves around prayer because the belief is that prayer is the basic way of seeking and finding God. Monks believe that if daily and repeated prayers are not done it is impossible to keep God at the center of a oneís life.

When a man joins a monastery he pursues a life of monasticism, which is a religious form of life where worldly pursuits are renounced so that the individual may devote himself to spiritual work.

Christians are generally called monks, brothers or brethren. There are also monks in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jainism religions.

A monk that is Christian considers his life as a vocation to God and his goal is to achieve eternal life in Godís presence.

There are rules in a monastery, which can be called counsels of perfection.

In the east, there are three distinctive forms of monasticism including anchoritic, which refers to solitary living in isolation; cenobitic, which means living and worshiping in a community under the guidance of an abbot; and the middle way, or skete, which is a community of monks living separately but close to one another, who get together on feast days and Sundays, but pray and work the rest of the week in solitude, under the guidance of an elder. Orthodox monastics have very little contact, if any, with the outside world. 

Monks believe in the teaching of salvation and liberation, which involves a process of mind-body-transformation that occurs when restraint of certain actions of the mind, body and speech is achieved.

Monks recognize that living an austere life does not mean that they have no pleasure or enjoyment but is an acknowledgement that religious and spiritual goals cannot be attained when one indulges oneself.

When a man chooses the life of an ascetic, he does so in preparation for the mind and body transformation. The idea is that a man can achieve freedom from temptations and compulsions when living as an ascetic. Moreover, the monk gains power of thought, clarity of thought and peacefulness of mind when he denies himself of material comforts. Monks lead an ascetic lifestyle which means they abstain from worldly pleasures and instead pursue spiritual and religious goals.

Monks, like nuns, are self-supporting. Monks write books, grow and harvest coffee beans and other types of food; create rosaries and baskets and raise bees that produce honey. They tend their garden, make cheese, create stained glass, art works and produce hand-made food all of which can be sold. Monks give talks throughout the country and give retreats.

Monks work for their living using their own hands. No one supports them but themselves. Some monks are teachers or do carpentry work, provide spiritual direction to others, are involved in a parish ministry or health care. Monks generally engage in services to society. The monks believe that a balanced life is important and that includes prayer, work and leisure.

Some monks wear their habits all the time while others donít. It depends on what type of work the monk is doing. However, habits are worn to church, during formal occasions and to the main meal of the day. Rules will vary depending on what monastery is in question.

Most monks do not take a vow of silence but they do observe silence during certain periods of the day because silence is essential. When silent, monks can listen with the ear of the heart.

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