Evagrius Ponticos ~ 4th Century Monk
I believe that it is the witness of the monk to the eternal, to preach the tenderness of God, and to live it.
Mother Maria, Her Life in Letters
The word monk comes from the Greek monachos, “alone.” The term is applied to one who makes the choice to lead a life that is solitary, unified, integrated, pacified, and undivided in the quest for the Absolute. For the sake of God, the monk leaves the world, its allures, pleasures, and all those ties which have been part of his life until now. This is painful and hard; after all, monks and nuns have much the same feelings and sensibilities as their fellow human beings.
The difference is that they have heard a call in their hearts, an inviting call that tells them, “Come, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Follow me.” The person who decides to become a monk of nun and enter the solitude of a monastery or hermitage does it because he or she heard this call, a call stronger than any other, a call to communion and fullness of life with God, a call that fulfills the deepest desires of the human heart.
He is toil. The monk toils at all he does. That is what monk is.
Abba John the Dwarf, The sayings of the Desert Fathers.
Adapted from: A Monastic Year: reflections from a Monastery, Br. Victor-Antoine D’Avilia-Latourrette