The essence of monasticism, strictly so called, is the formation of 'a community
of monks, bound to live together until death, under rule, in common life, in the
monastery of their profession, as a religious family, leading a life not of
marked austerity but devoted to the service of God'... It must be distinguished
from the community life of canons regular and the mendicant life of friars, both
of which are monastic only to a certain extent and incidentally, and still more
from the organized activity of later orders and congregations." (Catholic
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