There’s an interesting article on the LA Times website, which chronicles the ups and downs of a small ‘new monastic’ community experiment.
It makes great reading for any people interested in the practicalities of Early Church or monastic style community living.
At first I thought it seemed a bit bleak, as the reporter grimly recounted the difficulties faced by the occupants, difficulties I might add, which will be immediately familiar to any who have lived in community before – certainly where young children are involved.
But as the end of the article hoved into view, I found that it became far more encouraging, showing how the little group overcame many of their teething problems and began to pull together.
I am sure that they, just like any other similar venture, continue to struggle in one way or another, but the picture painted by the end was certainly upbeat. The cynic in me suggests it was perhaps too upbeat, none of the potential problems had actually occured… for instance there was nothing in the article about betrayal of trust by one of the visitors, nothing about sustained difficult times… and these kinds of experiences are the measure of the strength of such a community.
That said though, it really is a great look at a real experiment in community living – which is totally accessible to any of us. I really hope that this goes on to be a blessed and special place for all those involved.