Monastic Life: A Monks Perspective

Monastic Life: A Monks Perspective
April 5, 2023

Author: The Crusader Staff Writer, Sarah Bruton

Have you ever seen Brother James around campus or heard people talk about him? Brother James has been a monk here at Belmont Abbey since 2013. However, he wasn’t always a monk or Catholic. He became a monk 9 years ago on his journey to reconnect with God while living in Charleston, SC, as a merchant marine. 

As a Benedictine monk here at Belmont, Brother James lives by the Benedictine Hallmarks and Traditions to live for God rather than himself. He demonstrates this daily as he is always trying to be involved in school activities and is also an excellent listener when needed. He lives his life to show the students here how appreciative the monks are to have us students attend the college they have built and want to spread knowledge to everyone. 

Brother James states, “I became a monk to pursue the will of God because it’s a calling and gift and for yourself, for happiness. I was looking for more, and I wasn’t expecting it to be a monastery, but that is what God wanted me to have.” He also states, “Listening is the key component. I listen to people because I listen to God.” He gives spiritual direction, which is listening to the person and God and determining what God wants the person to hear and not what they want to hear by spiritually guiding them. 

If you see a monk or Brother James around campus, go and talk to them and find out about their journey to Christ.

This article was originally posted in the Spring of 2023, Issue 1 of The Crusader Newspaper. Download the full issue here.