Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is twofold: 1.) to provide you with an o

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Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is twofold: 1.) to provide you with an opportunity to experience first-hand (in a small way) what it is like to be a monastic; and 2.) to use that experience to reflect on your own insights and self-discoveries through writing.
RELI-1330-01-2021-May – Introduction to Christianity
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RELI-1330-01-2021-May
Unit Two: Christian History
Personal Monastic Day Essay
Personal Monastic Day Essay
Personal “Monastic Day”
100 points possible
15% of your grade
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is twofold: 1.) to provide you with an opportunity to experience first-hand (in a small way) what it is like to be a monastic; and 2.) to use that experience to reflect on your own insights and self-discoveries through writing.
This assignment will help you practice the following life-long skills:
Synthesizing information from a one context (monasticism) and creatively applying it to a new context (your own life)
Creating a schedule and committing to it
Challenging yourself with a new or difficult task, and successfully completing it
Communicating thoughtfully in writing about a personal experience
This assignment will help you gain the following knowledge:
Greater familiarity with the practices and purposes of the Christian Monastic tradition (e,g, silence, fasting, removal of distractions, meditative reading, and reflection)
A better understanding of the experience of someone who has committed their life to monasticism
A better understanding of your own self, including the habits and disciplines of your own life, and ways you might make self-improvements in the future
Tasks:
1. Think about the aspects of monastic life we read about in The Rule of St. Benedict, such as:
structured times of reflection or prayer throughout the day;
periods of silence;
a restricted diet or fasting;
putting away distractions (cell phone, internet, TV, etc);
meditative reading of Scripture or other texts;
works of service.
Then choose two or more of these aspects of monastic life that you would like to adapt and incorporate into your own monastic day.
2. Develop your own “Monastic Rule” that you will follow.
3. Choose a day (or 24-hour period) in the coming weeks when you will follow your personal “Monastic Rule”, and stick as closely to your own “Rule” as you are able (you may need to let family or friends know what you’re doing so they can understand and help you keep to the Rule you have chosen). You might also journal about your experience throughout the day.
4. After your personal monastic day is over, write an essay of 600 words or more that does the following:
a. Write one (1) paragraph describing the “Rule” that you chose to follow, and explain briefly how well you kept to it throughout your day.
b. Write several paragraphs reflecting on your experience. What was this experience like for you? Was it easier or harder than you anticipated? What did you like about it, and what did you not like? In what ways did this experience help you appreciate the monastic life that St. Benedict and his fellow monks were trying to live? What did you learn about yourself (and/or your spiritual life) from this experience? Is it something you would like to do again? Would you recommend it to your friends? Why or why not? Overall, what did you learn from this assignment?
Criteria for Success: Submit your 600-word essay on Moodle, uploaded as a Word document or cut-and-pasted into the assignment box.
Adequate submissions will complete all parts of the assignment and answer all the questions listed in 4b above.
Excellent submissions will do the above, plus demonstrate a deeper engagement with the assignment by adopting more than two aspects of the monastic tradition, or by providing more in-depth analysis of the experience, thoughtful self-reflection on personal habits and disciplines, and/or thoughtful reflections on the practices and purposes of the monastic tradition. (shoot for this!
Sub-adequate submissions will either fail to adopt at least two practices of the monastic tradition, and/or fail to answer all the reflection questions listed in 4b.

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