The Journal of the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey
The spiritual journey of the lay monk in a secular context may be as complex as the cenobitic spiritual journey of the monk in a monastery. The stability of the monastic enclosure, combined with centuries of tradition, provides a structure and model for growth that offers spiritual companioning and guidance as well as rich resources for contemplation.
While the lay monastic may have some access to relevant literature, he or she faces different challenges in respect to the environment and the companions with which a search for God takes place. In addition, the absence of an established monastic structure requires the lay monk to personally define such a comparable place and to fashion a practice of prayer and contemplation which complements that monastery-without-walls.
The issues facing lay Cistercians are as multi-faceted as the physical, emotional and intellectual circumstances in which they have begun and continue their practice. Personal accounts of such challenges inform, encourage and provide options for those who are considering or have chosen the monastic path. Certainly, even the definition itself of a lay monk in the secular world is a matter for considerable discussion and exchange, and each contribution by those within and without the monastery adds to the context in which all make their way.
Considering these and many other aspects of the monastic experience, the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey will establish a journal which provides a formal context in which members and candidates explore their spiritual journeys and the role of the Cistercian charism and the monastery of Gethesmani in that journey.
The Journal of the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey is open to different forms of reflection through essays, poetry and other written narratives, as well through art, photographs or video presentations. The Journal also encourages scholarly submissions. Monks of the Abbey are especially invited to submit their comments and reflections to the Journal.
An editorial committee reviews submissions, may make suggestions for corrections or changes, if needed, and attempts to compose a balanced selection of material for each issue of the on-line periodical. The Journal will be posted when sufficient material has been accepted.
For further information or to submit work for consideration, contact Bill Felker, Journal Committee Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937)767-7434.
Be sure to check the JOURNAL section under Categories for Issue 1.