John Cranch 1751-1821
Monks Merrymaking circa 1804
Oil paint on wood
162 x 210 mm
Tate Britain, London
"We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. ...
When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness."
(Pope Francis, Homily at the "Missa pro Ecclesia" with the Cardinal electors, Sistine Chapel, Thursday, 14 March 2013)
"As Saint Basil the Great teaches (cf. Regulae Fusius Tractatae VIII, PG 31, 933-941), Christian life is above all apotaghé, "renunciation" of sin, of worldliness, of idols, in order to hold fast to the one true God and Lord, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Thes 1:9-10).
In monasticism, this renunciation becomes radical: it is the renunciation of home, family, profession (cf. Lk 18:28-29); the renunciation, therefore, of earthly goods in the unending quest for those that are eternal (cf. Col 3:1-2); the renunciation of philautía, as Saint Maximus Confessor calls it (cf. Capita de Charitate II, 8; III, 8; III, 57 and passim, PG 90, 960-1080), that is, selfish love, in order to gain knowledge of the infinite love of God and to become capable of loving the brethren.
Monastic mysticism is above all a path of renunciation in order to be able to hold ever faster to the Lord Jesus and to be transfigured by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Blessed Pope John Paul II Address at the Holy Monastery of Rila, Bulgaria Saturday, 25 May 2002