Christopher Jamison is the Abbot of Worth, a Benedictine monastery in Sussex, England, that was featured in the BBC series "The Monastery" about five men living the monastic life for 40 days and nights. The author, who served as host for this television event, delivers a series of meditations on the insights for Christian living in the Benedictine rule, which was written 1500 years ago and still provides a spiritual path for many seeking a meaningful life.
Jamison is worried about the excessive busyness of people's lives today. The long work schedules and the constant pressure to perform well leave individuals with little time to nourish their souls. The author believes that we all need a sanctuary where virtue is the door. He examines the three key qualities of the monastic life: obedience, silence, and humility. These are steps toward Christian maturity, and they provide an antidote to the frenzied pace of our days. Jamison describes the community in this way:
"Thus the kind of community we envisage is best described as the windows of the building: they protect us from the elements, yet they also allow us to see other people and let in the light of their presence. We can see their needs and communicate with them; we can also open the door of the sanctuary, the door of our hearts, and let them in. If our sanctuary has no windows, it will be a dark and gloomy place. So, like good builders, we need to balance out the need for windows with the need for strong walls. The strong walls of obedience need the windows of community to ensure that our sanctuary is bright and welcoming."