The monk does not... exist to preseve anything, be it even contemplation or religion itself. Heis function is not to keep alive in the world the memory of God... the function of the monk in our time is to keep himself alive by contact with God."
There we go.
I want to be a monk. (might as well. I've already got the hair.)
"But in its essentials - solitude, poverty, obedience, silence, humility, manual labour, prayer and contemplation - monastic spiritual does not change."
~ Thomas Merton:
Basic Principle of Monastic Spirituality