CHAPTER 1 – The Kinds of Monastics - Part 2

“There are clearly four kinds of monastics.” – RB 1:1

The second kind of monastic Benedict mentions in the Rule is the anchorite, a label derived from a Greek word meaning “to withdraw.”

Anchorites (hermits) are drawn from the ranks of cenobites. The two are interdependent: living in community is the period of preparation for the solitary life and the solitary life manifests a heightened progression of the values of community living. Benedict sees the anchorite emerging from the cenobitic community and insists that they live in community for a long time as a period of real purification.