Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

A Monks' Guide to the Recession

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Spirituality, Politics, economy, monks, America,

Trappist MonkThe financial crisis has hit the Abbey of the Genesee, a Trappist monastery in Western New York, but the monks inside aren’t panicked like much of the rest of the country. Sales of their artisan bread has dropped steeply, and unemployed locals are looking  to the monastery for employment and help. The monks, however, aren’t too worried. “Society values short-term goals,” one of the monks, Dom John Eudes Bamberger, told America magazine. “The monastic life takes the long view.”

“If people are just looking to get past the recession, they are missing an opportunity,” according to Dom Eudes. This crisis is a moment for reflection, to get beyond the hyper-materialistic, short-term thinking that got people into this problem. “Recession, as a human phenomenon, is analogous to other crises that test one’s lifestyle,” Dom Eudies continued. “But that lifestyle, for many Americans, was never real.”

Source: America (excerpt available online)

Image by Daniel Tibi, licensed under Creative Commons.

genevieve griffith
12/28/2012 8:40:56 PM

Unfortunatly, the recession wasn't deep enough nor did it last long enough to teach us more about the benefits of living with less, of being more generous and more patient. A monks life has been stripped down to the bare essentials so he can see with clarity, We need to tune out the marketing and political hype and learn to be more quiet so we can actually start to look within at what is truly going on..