No one is going to ever take offense, or argue, with the Protestant faith's stress that scripture is the ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice. So, it would come as no surprise that Protestants hold a bit of suspicion in their hearts regarding the commitment to the authority of the magisterium (the only authorized teachers of Church dogma). However, monastic communities developed and presented a "living gospel" to a world in need long before the Reformation, but also before the rise of the Bishop of Rome to the office of Primate of the Western Church.
The communities established by the Celtic monks were not off out on the fringes of civilization. The monastic communities in Ireland, Wales and Scotland were to be found within the village it served as a living expression of the teachings of Christ, communal as was the early Church (just as Luke relates in the Acts of the Apostles). When we look at the rule, or teachings, by which these men and women lived, we find quotations of sacred scripture as the basis for their daily living. These communities were lead by, and established by, men for whom biblical text was an integral part of their daily living long before the establishment of the community.
Finally, it would be well for Protestants to explore monastic, or community, life, if for no other reason, than to clear out misconceptions which seem to have taken on a life of their own through the ages. What better way for the path to be cleared for the Christ in the one to minister to the Christ in the other? And, the Christ in the other to minister to the Christ in the one?
Curtis Wheeler passed from this life three weeks ago. He was one of our flock, one of our sheep. He is now in the loving arms of He who is the Shepherd of us all. He is now at peace. He now has no pain.