TLC: The Monastery

Christ in the DesertMy husband and I watched a fascinating TV show last night called “The Monastery” which followed the lives of five ordinary men seeking to find God or themselves in a cloistered space such as Christ in the Desert monastery in New Mexico. This is a silent monastery and visitors are encouraged to speak only 15 minutes a day. We must have missed previous episodes, because the men were 17 days into their retreat already and problems were beginning to manifest. I say problems, because each man is there for a particular reason, whether it’s to find a vocation, recover from alcoholism, or to even find their way toward God. Some of the men aren’t sure God exists, but felt they could find God here at the monastery, with its rigorous rules and ritual schedule. The silence alone might be enough to bother anyone! How many of us could keep silence all day long? If last night’s episode was any indication, this looks like a very well made and quality program.


6 thoughts on “TLC: The Monastery

  1. hopefully those men find God. But it would seem awfully difficult to find Him in a place where there is no verbal fellowship. It sounds like an interesting program.

  2. Yes, well, they do interact with the monks every morning as part of their 15 minutes of talking before silence. They do have individual counseling as well as group discussions about how things are going, so it wasn’t that no one talked at ALL. Sorry, I should have made that clear. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  3. What’s going on with the Monastery? Now they show it, now they don’t. Have they given any reason to cut it in mid-series or is this just another example of something worthwhile that someone decides should not be seen by the masses?

  4. Ron, the series concluded last Sunday. They are following the television format of many cable shows: An October – December release and then hiatus until February or March. I hate it, but that’s how they do it. You can find out about reruns on the web site at

  5. At last, a show about Catholicism that didn’t ridicule us or imply that all priests are pedophiles (the scandal is really about homosexuality invading the seminaries, let’s face it!). I can’t help but wonder why such an edifying program simply dropped out of sight. It showed Catholicism in all its orthodoxy and yet all its humanity. Great viewing for our young people who are seeking themselves. Could it be that motorcycles and tattoos are are of more interest to God’s people?

  6. Rosemary,
    I, too, was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the program. The human side of the priestly life and the wisdom with which they lived it was what drew me to the show. I hope they have another run at the series soon. Thanks for posting! 🙂

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