Saturday, March 24, 2018

Two somewhat recent NYT articles about Trappist monastery/abbey in Belgium and in USA

1) An Unholy Fight Over a Saintly Beer, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/world/europe/monks-beer-supermarket.html, 15th March 2018

Interesting! The concerned Trappist monastery in Belgium says that they brew and sell beer (limited quantity at reasonable price, it seems) as a means of bread-winning (to sustain themselves)!

The Dutch supermarket guys changed all that and so they don't like it.

2) The World Is Changing. This Trappist Abbey Isn’t. Can It Last?, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/trappist-monks-mepkin-abbey.html, 17th March 2018

Very interesting article about Trappist monks in the USA and how in one particular Trappist monk institution they are facing a crisis of dwindling membership and so are experimenting with new options like inviting people to be a Trappist monk for a month or a year!

A small extract from the article:
The abbey’s new affiliate program will offer two new short-term monastic options for people of any, or no, faith traditions: a monthlong monastic institute, open to men and women, and a yearlong residency. And in a departure from its otherwise passive approach, Mepkin created an ad campaign — albeit a small and highly targeted one — to publicize the program. (It featured copy that read: “BE A MONK. FOR A MONTH. FOR A YEAR.”)
--- end extract ---

Ravi: In case some USA resident ever wanted to try Trappist monk lifestyle for a month :-), they may find the above offer interesting. They invite people of no faith traditions too!

Serenity and communing with nature for a month with silence and inward life being the focus! Not a bad idea!

I am so happy to note that such short-term options from faith based (Catholic) monastery(ies) in the USA are made available to those of no faith as well. It enables people who simply want to explore that option for a short period of time, without any commitments beyond that, to do so.

A far cry from an attitude that publicly preaches and looks down upon people with no faith (or other faith than theirs) as people destined for hell fire!

So I am really happy to read about this South Carolina Trappist monastery and its low-key outreach to those of other faiths and no faith. And the pics of the place given in the article are so peaceful and beautiful to see!

[I thank nytimes.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extract from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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