I just started reading The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, by Maria Augusta Trapp, and in the first few pages of the book Maria is in the process of becoming a nun.

The nuns in this book are spoken of as “kindly” [keep in mind that this book was first published in the 1950s] and “loving”… as people who had a heart for others. I don’t know their hearts. Maybe they really were loving and kindly. I’m not criticizing Catholics or anybody else; I am just examining what is in my own heart and commenting on the way this looks to me.

The whole point of separating themselves from the world seems to be hypocritical. I just read that in the Abbey they learned that “the most important thing in life is to find out what God’s will is and to do it wholeheartedly.” Okay… I agree that we need to follow God’s will with our whole hearts.

Following God’s will and separating myself from the world don’t mix though. To truly follow God, I have to be in the world and not of it. I have to be reaching out to others or I’m not really following Him. Yes, I need to be set apart from living in a worldly fashion, but this is different than living in seclusion away from the world.

If I were to live hidden away from all the world, I think this would make me look awfully showy. Maybe not in the way I’d dress, but in the way I lived. I think it would look like I thought I was better than everybody else and so separated myself from them so as not to get “corrupted” by the way they live. Secluding myself from other people is no way to love others and reach out to them.

I don’t embrace ungodly living. At the same time, I cannot let the way others live stop me from befriending them and reaching out to them. I have to put Jesus in my everyday life… out in the world… interacting with others.

What kind of a follower of Christ would I be if I thought of myself as better than everybody else and separated myself from everything and everybody as a result? Why is separating ourselves from all the world as nuns do seen by so many as a godly thing to do?

“By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].” – John 13:35, Amplified Bible

“When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.” – John 15:8, Amplified Bible

What kind of fruit would I be producing if I hid myself away and didn’t actively reach out to love others?