I’ve spent the last couple of weeks living in a monastery, largely to complete a book chapter (now uncompleted) but also to commune with God in the run up to Christmas. The guest house is about 300 yards from the chapel, yet that hasn’t stopped me from never entering it. I’ve spent most of the time curled up in a warm bed reading Margaret Atwood’s latest novel and watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond (I love that guy). The monks tell me that this is nothing to be ashamed of, that I’m here to rest as well as worship. But monks are like that: they never complain, never criticize.
Isn’t this basically using a monastery as a hotel you don’t have to pay for?