Monasticism in the 21st Century: A Viable Alternative or an Ideal?
by Mother Ephrosynia of the Convent of Lesna, France.
A wonderful article on value and beauty of monasticism from an Orthodox perspective:
"At times this impulse has been stronger, at times weaker, and the Holy Fathers speak of monasticism as the barometer of spiritual life in the Chuch. When monastic life flourishes, the faithful are really striving spiritually, and conversely, when few people find inspiration in the monastic ideal, monasteries diminish and are ignored, spiritual life amongst the faithful is on the decline...."