I have long sought for someone or something to help me visualize how to live a life with more sanctity. Especially, in this day and age when every time you read a magazine or newspaper, turn on the TV, or even look at a billboard you feel like you’ve been exposed to so much that is ungodly. The home is really the only place that you can get away from it. Even then, there are still the distractions of the world that seem innocuous, but easily draw me away from using my time wisely and making my home worldlier than I would like. This is why I was so thrilled to find the Archuleta’s website, Every Home a Monastery. The Archuleta’s are a couple who have successfully actualized what I had been seeking.
Manny and Jessica’s story is very impressive. Here’s a rough overview as I hope you will read it for yourself. Having found themselves unwed teen soon-to-be parents these self-proclaimed nominal Christians took a serious look at their life and figured out they needed to change. That led them to taking a closer look at church teachings, which came together for them on a visit to a local monastery. They eventually became oblates and styled their life, with modifications, after these monks.
“Monastics are wonderful examples because their lives are meant to be structured so that they have removed the cares of the world, the unnecessary problems and distractions and have focused solely on Christ.”
They share what they’ve learned in the section titled “Lessons from a Monastery.” For me, this was like finding a gold mine. In each post the Archuleta’s focus on one aspect of religious life. They explain the reason it is a part of religious life and show how a layperson can incorporate that into their own life. For instance, in “Lessons from a Monastery: why a habit?” they explain that the habit was adopted as a “reminder of being dead to the world, but also an act of modesty, humility, and poverty.” They then conclude that we could act similarly in our homes by cutting back on our own wardrobe which would not only allow our money to be spent or invested somewhere more important (good stewardship/poverty), but also keep us from getting caught up in our image (humility), thus allowing us to “focus on God”.
There are three pages of little nuggets like these that helped me put things in perspective and see how I could easily incorporate these lessons in my own life. While I think it will take a little getting used to, I also think it will be worth the effort.
“You greatly delude yourself and err, if you think that one thing is demanded from the layman and another from the monk; since the difference between them is in that whether one is married or not, while in everything else they have the same responsibilities . . . Because all must rise to the same height; and what has turned the world upside down is that we think only the monk must live rigorously, while the rest are allowed to live a life of indolence.” – St. John Chrysostom
May God bless us and watch over us!
Image courtesy of Annie Spratt @ Unsplash.com