WHAT IS A MONK OR NUN
Congregation of the Good Samaritan?
DO I WANT TO BECOME ONE?
The Rule of St. Benedict is a masterpiece of Christian wisdom that has guided the lives of thousands of Christians for nearly 1500 years. St. Benedict called upon Christians to “prefer nothing to Christ.” He challenged Christians, whether within the monastic life or living in the secular world, to grow continually in the love of Christ in every situation and in every encounter with other persons.
This Rule presents to us nothing that was not asked of us by Christ, but takes Scripture’s outline of the life of a Christian, and defines how such a life can be lived. Over the centuries, other religious groups have been formed, with ministries and spiritualities somewhat different from those that Benedict defined for his monasteries. But many of these new orders have taken the basic ideas and outline of Christian living, described in the Benedictine Rule, and applied it to their times, their goals, and their spiritual experiences.
The Congregation of the Good Samaritan (CGS) has established and follows a Rule, based on the Rule of St. Benedict, but modified to apply to an order established to minister to those members of society who are “in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity ( BCP, Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s Church),” serving Christ and His Church in the 21st Century.
We have adopted the Benedictine concept of Monks and Nuns, a group of men and women, called to live their lives in the seclusion of the monastery, while accepting the challenge of being active in the community. They are called to serve God in the way of Christ; to devote their lives to growing in their spiritual relationship with God and serving His people in need, using the gifts and talents that have been given to them by The Father.
Members of the Congregation work and pray and function in the world, while living in the monastery, under the direction of the Governor General and the Governess of the Congregation.
O.K. So What Is Monk/Nun?
Why do some Anglicans wish
to become CGS Monks/Nuns?
Men and women are attracted to the Religious Life because they are seeking God in Jesus Christ and believe they will be able to find Him through the Christian values manifested by the members of CGS and its Oblates. Such people recognize that the values of CGS and, ultimately, of the Gospel, have great significance in their own daily lives and in their own search for God in the midst of their lives of work and prayer. They are very aware of their own weaknesses and yet they know that God is calling them through His love to holiness. Both the Monk/Nun and God recognize that it will be an ongoing struggle to overcome their defects, but they realize that the struggle will be easier if they can find prayerful nurture and guidance within the Congregation.
In our day, the rejection of the way of fidelity, faith, and obedience threatens our society with ruin. The promises that bind us as Christians are being loosened every day. In family life, in public life, and even in the churches, these vows are being replaced by a code of unrestraint and license. We pray that this Rule of Life, with those who vow to follow it and be led by it, may come to the rescue of society. Through the witness of the Consecrated Life, we pray that the families of these men and women, and the other folks with whom they come in contact, will seek to return themselves to the Christian principles of fidelity, faith and obedience. When this happens, then we may rightly hope and pray that society and government will follow.
The only distinction between Monks and Nuns is that some Monks are ordained while others are not. Ordained Monks do not enjoy an elevated status above other Monks. Thus it is permissible and even encouraged, where possible, for the Monks and Nuns to share community life.
The Meaning of Religious Life
“Religious Life” begins as a Christian affiliation with the Congregation of the Good Samaritan for the purpose of reshaping and enriching one’s spiritual life by the Gospel of Christ as interpreted by the Rule of the Congregation. They live in the religious house, they take the religious vows of profession, forming their lives within the Evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, striving to become holy in their chosen way of life. It is through this commitment that they bring the light of the Gospel into the world and encourage others to Our Lord’s call of love. They can provide a powerful witness to the world of the real possibility of an intense Christian life in the midst of a largely non-Christian society. Along with the prayers and support of the community members of the Congregation, the daily reading of Scripture and the example of the Rule, Monks and Nuns, ordinary fallible people living among other ordinary, fallible people, are encouraged to live a life of extraordinary holiness. As they learn to live a life full of mutual respect, patience with others and obedience to God and others out of love of Christ, these ordinary people make room in their hearts from which the grace of God can flow.
Commitments of the Consecrated Life
Religious Men and Women make a total commitment to God through the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.
By the vow of Poverty, the Monks and Nuns give over their concerns for food, clothing and housing to the care of God. They own nothing of their own but have use of those things they need under the direction of the Congregation. If they work at a paid job, their income is turned over to the house for use by the whole community. They are freed of these worldly concerns to concentrate on prayer and the work of their apostolate.
By the vow of Chastity, the Monks and Nuns surrender their bodies to Christ, keeping themselves chaste. This frees the Monk or Nun to love all of God’s children equally.
By the vow of Obedience, the Monk and Nun is subject to the Rule and directions of all lawful superiors, freeing them from having to manage the worries of secular life.
Who Might Become a Monk or Nun?
The Congregation of the Good Samaritan welcomes all Anglican women and men who are truly seeking God and have discerned a desire for affiliation with a Religious Order within the Anglican Catholic Church. Applicants should contact Father John Benedict, Governor General, or Sister Anne, Governess. As soon as the required paperwork is complete, the applicant will be ready to be received Postulant. This postulancy, a period of several months to one year or more, gives time to become acquainted with the spirit of the Rule and members of the Congregation and let their values have a transforming effect on his Christian life. At the end of this period, if the Postulant discerns an ongoing call to continue their spiritual path within the Congregation, he or she may apply for Novitiate. It is the Investiture as a Novice that formally makes one a member of the Congregation. The Novice then continues to share in the prayers and the works of the monastic community, to grow in communion with other Religious, and live the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience with an ever more persistent turning to Christ in the daily living of one’s life. This growth in Christ, achieved by God’s grace, comes about as all the members of the Congregation offer mutual encouragement to one another to seek God by forming our lives according to the Gospel of Christ, embracing the values found in the Rule of the Congregation and as witnessed by the Community.