Monasteries are not as otherworldly as you might imagine. If they appear secluded and removed from the mainstream of society’s activity, it is only because they attempt to create a climate that fosters an authentic engagement with life at its most profound and human level, something often lost amid the noise and distraction of today’s world. When we are quiet enough, freed from all our inner noise and chatter, we can see with new respect the natural beauty and wisdom of the world around us and appreciate our ties to it. Such perceptive silence opens up our lives to healthy reverence and awe for all things; it creates a capacity for acceptance that is both humanizing and life-giving.

The Monks of New Skete, The Art of Raising a Puppy