But, as Saint Jerome once said, "Interpret the name monk, it is thine own…"
To be a monk is to follow an uncharted path. It is a journey of discovery, a quest to find the source of the river. Along the way, he or she may stop to test the water, to gauge its clarity and determine what direction to take. A monk, however, doesn't stop to build a church along its banks or form an organization to advance the expedition. The quest leaves little time or energy for worldly matters.
A monk will forsake family but sees people he or she encounters on the journey as a brother or sister. Nevertheless, a monk often walks alone.
A monk has few friends for not many also search for the source of the river.
A monk is celibate so to be blind to the world of duality, seeing neither male nor female, neither old nor young, neither beautiful nor ugly, seeing not the flesh, but the light of the soul.
Always, a monk tries to be "as innocent as a dove and as wise as a serpent."
A monk is imperfect. Only God is perfect and a monk seeks perfection through God.
A monk is a child and will stumble over his or her mistakes. Chastity, simplicity, obedience, devotion are all practices and like someone practicing a musical instrument, the wrong note will trouble the harmony.