I was doing some of my regular reading around monasticism tonight and came across this quote, from the sermon preached at a Solomn Monastic Profession at Belmont Abbey in the UK. I like it.
'Timothy Radcliffe [OP], former Master of the Dominicans and a Benedictine Old Boy, just like [St Thomas] Aquinas, has written that the purpose of the monastic life is to show to the world in a prophetic way that God exists. We are like men standing at a bus-stop, he says, waiting patiently day in, day out, come rain or shine, for the bus to come. Meanwhile other people rush by in cars, on bikes and on foot and, puzzled perhaps, stare at us just standing there. By our persistence and perseverance we proclaim to the world that God exists. He takes his time in showing up, but he is there alright. Others pass by and laugh. They think we are mad. But we wait in hope because we know that one day the bus will come. Watching and waiting, being vigilant in prayer; keeping the commandments, being faithful to our vows; loving the brethren, seeing Christ in all people; persevering in the monastery until death, never despairing of God's mercy; putting nothing whatever before Christ, we are the living proof that God exists. Why else would we be here? Why else would you be taking your vows today? You, Br Andrew, are the seventh proof for the existence of God. Remember that, and whenever they ask you, "What is the point of being a monk?" Just say in reply, "I am the seventh proof for the existence of God."'
The vowed life as the seventh proof for the existence of God. That's cool. Nothing whatever before God - that's a struggle, but that's what I'm aiming for. All of my family, all of my work, all of my life, is caught up in this living towards God.