How is it possible to follow a Rule that was written in the 6th Century? This is a question that many might ask, and quite rightly. Our world is much changed, the modern mind formed in quite different ways and we live in quite a different society.
A monastery is not a museum, nor are monks museum-pieces. We seek to live out the Rule of St Benedict in a modern way. Its values are timeless, and in some ways are needed more and more as a sign to modern society that there is an alternative, that the Gospel of Christ continues to illumine the hearts of men and women today. Modern life has seen wonderful progress in many areas, but its values do not need to be uncritically accepted, and the Gospel of love and service, the vision of the Kingdom needs to be joyfully proclaimed.
To join a monastery is not to turn one's back on the world, but engage with the world in a new way. We share the mission of all Christians to be signs of hope in a sometimes dark age, but by being together in community sometimes that light can shine brighter and stronger.
No-one would pretend that Belmont or any other community is the perfect community. All human beings have to work at relationships and often succeed but sometimes fail. This is no less true in a monastic community. Living in Community requires patience, understanding and sometimes personal sacrifice. Through community living we learn of the weaknesses of others, and more painfully our own weaknesses.
However it is precisely here that the grace of God can enter, and we grow spiritually stronger through the relationships we have in community. We journey together to God, we are seeking him together, and we pray that "together he may bring us to everlasting life" (Ch72). For we come to God together or not at all.