In order to gain insight into the meaning of the term ‘monastic church-ness’, it is necessary to first interpret the term ‘monastic’. Although ‘monastic’ is derived from the Greek words ‘monos’ (alone) and ‘monachos’ (lonely), it is a way of life that takes place in ‘communion’ (community). Even the hermit is not a solo-religious. Monastic spirituality is about the unity of prayer and work, action and contemplation. In other words: to be ‘contemplative in action’. The core of this is that you do everything from an attentive attitude to life. Mark Rotsaert sj puts it this way against the Ignatian tradition:
It’s about being with the center of your person at the center of things and at the heart of people. In this way you constantly keep in touch with God, so you live in the constant awareness of God’s active presence.
Thomas Quartier, theologian, philosopher and a member of the Benedictine Willibrord Abbey in Doetinchem, writes in his book ´Anders leven´ that ‘monastic’ refers first and foremost to a way of life, an attitude to life, which concerns all areas of life and is not available ‘separately’ in the form of spiritual practices. This radical devotion has taken on specific manifestations in the monastic tradition. In the twentieth century, new and ecumenical forms have been added, such as Taizé, Grandchamp, Iona and the Northumbria Community.