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By the time you read this post, I will no longer be working at the First Things office. Junior Fellows often stay at the magazine for two years, but I'm cutting my stint short and setting out for a monastery. With fear and trembling, I'll approach the gates and ask to spend my life singing the divine praises, ostensibly leaving behind the world and its political woes.

It may seem like a radical shift to go from an institution dedicated to defending the place of religion in the public square to the obscurity of a monastic enclosure. But mine is a choice of continuity as much as change.

This magazine traffics in ideals. We argue for the way things should be and invite gifted contributors to map out programs that might move society closer to those ideals. Likewise, the monastery is an earthly reminder of ultimate Christian realities. First Things has helped habituate me to a kind of idealism, rooted in reality, that is probably a salutary pre-requisite for monastic entry. The intellectual formation provided by these pages has prepared me to commit myself to living according to a set of ideals ordered toward the highest good.

And just as religious communities depend upon the support of generous benefactors to sustain their mission and financial health, so does First Things. Support vocations. Support First Things. Please donate today.

Jacquelyn Lee is a junior fellow at First Things.

More on: monasticism, ideals

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