I was just listening to a story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about a Trappist monastery. It was a little disappointing. I thought the story would reflect some sort of upsurge in interest in the monastic order, but instead it was about how the new monastery was built by an architect and how tragically hip the building is when compared to other monasteries built in the 20th century. Who cares what a monastery in the Czech Republic looks like? I was hoping for some insightful thoughts into a rejuvenation of the priestly orders, which have been so sorely tested this year in the United States.

I paid particular attention since I just finished reading Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who was also a prolific writer and thinker. This only made my disappointment more poignant.