The basics of solitude, prayer, meditation, fasting, contemplation, scripture reading, giving with abandonment of all things, simplicity, and such are ways of shaping a ‘monastic life’ within in order to more carefully and consistently be with Jesus and to ask the Holy Spirit for more of His gifts. It is the gifts we are after and not the disciplines. The disciplines are the vehicle and the gifts are the destination. The destination is to glorify Jesus.
When the disciplines take on a purpose greater than their intended purpose, which is to receive Holy Spirit gifts, then something religious, legal and institutional begins to replace the simple trusting faith of asking and receiving. When there is balance in the disciplines and the purpose of the disciplines, there is a beauty in our lives that cannot be compared to any other experience. It is the combination of worship, solidarity, brokenness, joy, peace, love, caring, confidence, faith, and hope because in this hidden place of the disciplines we find the Holy Spirit gifts, which is our treasure to give to Jesus.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus