As ordinary people, Urban Monks seek to live extraordinary lives by deepening a personal living covenant with God as agents of change and healing in the communities in which they live, work, worship, recreate, socialize, and/or serve.
I. Forging a Personal Covenant with God
“Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I,
and let it serve as a witness between us.”
“This is the covenant that I will make with (you), says the Lord:
I will put my laws into your mind, and write them in your heart,
and I will be your God, and you will be my (servant).”
“So remember, you are my servant whom I have chosen!
and I am the LORD who made you,
who formed you in the womb as my servant,
whom I have chosen and You shall say,
I am the Lord's, ...and write on your hand, The Lord's..."
--Isaiah 44.1; 2; 5--
II. Living a Personal Covenant with God
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your law is within my heart.
Behold, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
"See, I am about to do something in (the world)
that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
--1 Samuel 3.11--
III. Nurturing a Loving Private Relationship with God
Urban Monks seek to nurture an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God by means of personally chosen spiritual principles and practices to enrich and strengthen a loving relationship with God.
"Love the Lord your God with
all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your strength and with all your mind"
God is love. Whoever lives in love
lives in God, and God in them.
--1 John 4.16--
Faith, hope, and love
and the greatest of these is love
--I Corinthians 13.13--
Each Urban Monk shapes a Rule of Life by choosing spiritual principles and practices while in community with other Urban Monks, which will likely evolve over time into a Rule that is both similar to, and unique from, the distinctive Rules of Life of other Urban Monks.
Spiritual principles include faith, hope, and love. Other spiritual principles are encouraged in the scriptures as fruit of the spirit—joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Other spiritual principles encouraged in the scriptures include grace, honor, integrity, acceptance, open-mindedness, humility, gratitude, patience, self-acceptance, and forgiveness.
Spiritual practices include ways to pray and read scripture such as daily bible reading, bible study, daily prayer, intercessory prayer, spiritual discernment, morning prayer, evening prayer, etc.
Spiritual practices have developed over time. Some were developed over centuries and others during the past century and others during this century. All these practices stem from prayer and/or scripture reading. However, there are various ways to pray and read scripture that these spiritual practices encourage and include Lectio Divina, Prayer of Examen, Silence, Fasting, Divine Offices of Prayer, Centering Prayer, Journaling, Theological Reflection, Vigils, and Wounded Healer.
IV. Cultivating a Loving Public Relationship with God and Others
Urban Monks seek to cultivate a public relationship with God and others by integrating personally chosen spiritual principles and practices into personally chosen acts of charity.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.
--Matthew 22: 37-39--
For we are God's handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
Each Urban Monk shapes a Rule of Life by integrating personally chosen spiritual principles and practices into personally chosen acts of charity while in community with other Urban Monks.
V. Maturing a Loving Public Relationship with God and Others
Urban Monks seek to mature a public relationship with God by advancing solutions to help solve social issues and injustices by integrating personally chosen spiritual principles and practices into public action.
For I, the LORD, love justice
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him (her), and
he (she) will bring justice to the nations.
Each Urban Monk shapes a Rule of Life by integrating personally chosen spiritual principles and practices into personally chosen acts of justice.
Acts of charity are often needed because there is no justice. Such acts become the necessary bandage that tries to make up for the unjust reality that surrounds persons in need until justice is achieved.
Urban Monks not only encounter the injustices experienced by others, but seek to elucidate and end the injustices furthering the teachings of Jesus Christ and the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers. The source of Jesus’ teaching was an intense passionate love for humanity, which resulted in his uncompromising commitment to spiritually and physically restore humanity.
Urban Monks seek to express an intense love for humanity by nurturing a private and public relationship with God and others to encounter, elucidate, and end social injustices through the spiritual principles and practices that they choose to integrate into their public actions to help advance solutions to social issues and injustices.
VI. Leaving a Life-long Integrated Rule of Life for Others
Integrating spiritual principles and practices into solutions to social struggles is a life-long experience that can help ordinary people live extraordinary public lives.
Leaving a life-long integrated Rule of Life for others to help them nurture a deep, collective, and public relationship with God in order to encounter, elucidate, and end social injustices is a unique spiritual legacy. As a result, others may be encouraged to craft their own integrated Rule of Life. Others who have crafted an integrated Rule of Life to nurture an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God, may be encouraged to be more intentional about nurturing the relationship with God out of a desire to help solve social struggles.
Others who have crafted an integrated Rule of Life may want to learn how you nurtured a deep, collective, and public relationship with God because of your commitment to, and experiences with, helping to solve social struggles. They may want to know what spiritual principles and practices that you chose to integrate into your efforts to help achieve solutions for social struggles for others when needed.
Sharing your life-long integrated Rule of Life with others is a unique spiritual legacy. Leaving your life-long integrated Rule of Life for others is a distinctive spiritual legacy.
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever.”
"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day."
"Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom
of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear."