Overview of a Monos Foundation Centre
The English monastic landscape of 750 AD was diverse and complex. There were huge variations in size, wealth and character and many channels by which communities obtained rulership, learning, cultural guidance and economic support. The strength of the insular monastic model was that it was infinitely extendable and flexible and could appeal in different ways to learned bishops, successive war-leaders, widowed queens, royal servants and spiritually minded peasants.
John Blair – The Church in Anglo Saxon Society.
A centre is a place where a new/lay monastic life is being lived according to measure and desire and that through participation in the Mission of God; is open to others in a variety of ways. Often these ways are made incarnate through the creativity of those living the associated ‘way for living’. The ‘passing on’ of our life in Christ is born out of HOSPITALITY. Each centre should be an incarnation of the ‘life’ and spirit of its community/family and the cultural sympathy in which it finds itself.
Centres are autonomous, but are connected to the Monos Foundation at the very lest through a shared concern and desire to participate in its work and mission. With this in mind, centres are simply vehicles that aid those people (s) who feel that God is asking them to share their experiences of Him with others. Centres are born as a response to a call from God to communicate and ‘pass on’ as people ‘pass through’. The transparent nature of the Centres should be such that openness and honesty warmly greets guests, but also act like a mirror to others. To be available to this level of hospitality can be vulnerable, but that is our call from God.
Centres whilst being new/lay monastically orientated are not exclusively monastic. Like many traditional monastic communities, Monos Foundation centres, should nurture a genuine concern to help the poor in spirit and needy, providing direction, retreat and a listening ear. Monos centres need to be centrifugally operating and existing around a monastic spirit. A monastic ethos within the centre is very much reflected in and dependant on the personnel who run the centre and the director and or accompanying community that is attached to such a centre. This will breed an authentic outreach to others that reflect the genuine inner life of the centre.
Centres are also to be places of education and learning and the provision for spiritual growth. The centres will seek to communicate through education, art, spirituality, prayer, direction, listening and hospitality that Christian message of hope in times of despair, and joy in times of prosperity. ‘All creativity starts in the darkness of listening meditation.’
Centres need to be attentive to the society and culture they reside in and then when called to, take the risk and jump into the unknown through being subversive to that culture or society, wherever led by the Holy Spirit. In this way, real circumstances and real dilemmas are lived through and when the Holy Spirit decides to send people to the centres, they are met with a genuine lived experience, rooted in time and place, reflecting a ‘way for living’ the Christian life here and now.
Types of Monos Foundation Centres
Being mindful that Monos Centres reflect a simple philosophy of education and community, communicating Christ through ‘passing on’ as people ‘pass through’. Centres can be any size, static or mobile and foundered by a family, community, church or organisation, or a combination of any of the above.
If you would like further information or would like to consider becoming a centre then please get in touch.