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Catholic Dictionary




The way of life, characterized by asceticism and self-denial, followed by religious who live more or less secluded from the world, according to fixed rule and under vows, in order to praise God through contemplation and apostolic charity. The principal duty of those living the monastic life is to offer humble service to God within the boundaries of the monastery. Some monastic institutes dedicate themselves wholly to contemplation; others engage in some works of the apostolate or of Christian charity, in accord with the character of monastic life.