As St. John Chrysostum says, "The holy scriptures do not know any distinctions. They enjoin that all lead the life of monks even if they are married." Therefore, our monastic expression is integrated.
As consecrated life traces its origins to Jesus and the disciples, who were both celibate and married, and developed primarily but not exclusively with celibates (from monks and mendicants, to include those in societies of the apostolic life without vows, and secular institutes without common life), so do we now include both celibates and families in our new but ancient form of consecrated common life as a true development of that sacred tradition. We continue to emphasize and foster the celibate life as the primary and more traditionally accepted form.
By the religious nature of the brotherhood and sisterhood, this profession requires a more intense living out of each respective covenant of poverty, chastity, and obedience in religious and intentional community life.
By the more secular nature of the single monastic community, this profession demands a less intense living-out of each respective covenant than in the religious expression of our community. However, it requires a more intense living-out of each respective covenant than the non-monastic expression of our community.
Members of the family expression profess the evangelical counsels for a consecration of their life in a way proper to their state of life in this community. Specifically, and most obviously, chastity means simply extra effort for fidelity to one’s matrimonial vows, poverty allows for the physical things needed for the raising of children, and obedience does not violate the more primary domestic church of the family in community and in the Church. Families with children moderate the normal celibate monastic routine of solitude, silence, etc., to insure the children have ample time and space for education and recreational play.
By the more domestic nature of the family monastic community, their profession demands a less intense living-out of each respective covenant than the religious expression of our community. However, it requires a more intense living out of each respective covenant than the non-monastic expression of our community.