In a world that values personal freedom, pleasure, and the satisfaction of the senses through many stimulating and exciting ways, the lives of the monks can seem so out of touch with what our world is preaching today. The way our media portrays it, the majority of America support legalizing marijuana, so most of the media portrays the legalization of the recreational use of this drug as a good thing and something that is right for society. Yet, the monks try to abide by a tradition that was formulated by St Benedict back in the 6th century. They get up at 3:15 in the morning to start their day with pray, and then the rest of the day includes mass and 6 others times of praying as a community. The rest of their day includes work and spiritual formation. The monks, however, do not see themselves as apart from the world, but rather see their prayers and monastic lifestyle as being in union with the world and lifted up for the good of the world.
I have been to different Trappist and Benedictine monasteries on retreat while I have been a seminarian and a priest. I always leave those times of prayer and reflection edified and renewed. I thank the monks of the Abbey of Gethsemani outside of New Haven, Kentucky for their hospitality and warm welcome that they give to visitors. I thank them for their prayers and their way of life.