“Now the thing I have always loved about the monastic founders–whether it was St Anthony of Egypt or Pachomius, or Benedict–is that they didn’t set out to start a ‘movement.’ They just did what they had to do.
“They were faithful to their vocation and calling. That others joined them, and that a movement developed was not only an unexpected growth, but often an unwelcome one at that. . . .
“You thought monks were just cutting themselves off–doing something radical and a little bit misanthropic. In the meantime they were doing something beautiful for God.
“Hidden away in the desert, they are cultivating the power of prayer and planting the seed of God in the world.”