Becoming one of David's Monks
Anyone wishing to become one of David’s monks would have to spend ten days standing outside the gates of the monastery at Rosina Vallis, no matter what the weather was like. During this time the monks would test the man, trying to find out if he had the determination and patience to become a monk. It also gave the man a chance to see how hard working the monks were. If the man was still waiting at the gates after ten days he would be allowed to join the community of monks.
Men who became monks had to give up everything they owned. This was so that all of the monks would be equal. David would not accept any gift from them. Any monk who started referring to something as being 'his' was severely punished.
After a long apprenticeship the man would become a monk.
David was a wonderful example of a caring, gentle man. He cared not only for the monks in his monastery but for all people in need who came to him. He fed the poor, looked after orphans and widows, and gave a warm welcome to those who wanted to learn about God.
He led by example, showing others how they could care for others simply be helping them in small ways.
Becoming a monk today
There are still monasteries all over the world today; it is still a way of life which is very much alive. Today’s monks do not follow a Rule which was as strict as David’s but they still follow a hard way of life. They still have to provide food for themselves and those who come to them for help. They still have to give up all their possessions before they can join the monastery. They still spend many hours in silence and also pray for many hours each day. Their diet is simple, but they have a better choice of food.
Although monks live secluded lifestyles, they make use of modern technology such as machines which make their life easier. Many monks have access to computers and telephone and so can keep in touch with what is happening in the ‘outside’ world.
In an age of continued rifts between warring nations, when people get attacked on streets and onlookers walk quickly past, the monks feel they can best help with their prayers on our behalf. The live to serve God.
The people who feel the need to live a monastic life are not ‘running away from the world’ but living a life in which they feel they can achieve their ultimate aim - to have a personal lasting relationship with God.