Am I Called to the Monastic Life?

WordFromTheHolyFathersHere we have a very profound and important message from St John Climacus, conveyed to us by Archimandrite Irenei (Steenberg), Abbot of the Monastery of St Silouan in Sonora, California. In it he reminds us that “the Christian calling  involves finding a suitable place, and suitable exercises, for living out the transformative life in the Lord.”

For some, that can be best accomplished in a monastery, but for many it will involve a life in the world, married, serving Christ at the parish level. This is a very helpful message for those considering the monastic life, and indeed, testing that life may be essential for a Christian to come to know himself or herself well enough to be able, with the counsel of their priest or a monastic elder or eldress, to discern where they may best live and serve the Lord.

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Living in the Real World

by Fr. Stephen Freeman, Glory to God for All Things, November 24, 2015

St Gregory Palamas - 79Nothing exists in general. If something is beautiful or good, it is manifest in a particular way at a particular time such that we can know it. And this is our true life. A life lived in a “generalized” manner is no life at all, but only a fantasy. However, this fantasy is increasingly the character of what most people think of or describe as the “real world.”

A monk lives in a monastery. He rises early in the morning and prays. He concentrates his mind in his heart and dwells in the presence of God. He will offer prayers for those who have requested it. He will eat and tend to the work assigned for him to do. And so he lives his day. He works. He prays.

And someone will say, “But what does he know about the real world?” But what can they possibly mean? He walks on the earth. He breathes the same air as we do. He eats as we do and sleeps as we do. How is his world any less real than that of anyone else on the planet?

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