The Fertility of Zero

HolyMtnToday-coverWE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE of living in an age in which stone piled upon stone no longer remains. The last consequence of the values and and ideals exalted by Western society has been the disintegration of society.

I consider it a quite positive and challenging fact to live in a culture in ruins. Those values and ideals were idols destroyed by the power of their own deceptive effectiveness. Now we have the possibility to begin anew with the enriching experience of the past.

As an Orthodox monk, I believe in the fertility of zero. I think that those idols were the product of an unconscious but mistaken search for the authentic Value, for the true God, in whom all values are recapitulated. In fact they were created in order to justify man’s egoistical passions. This exaltation of man led Western society not only to abandon belief in God, but even in man himself…

— Hieromonk Symeon Grigoriatis, The Holy Mountain Today, Alexandria Press, 1983.

To be continued…

 

Ancient Faith Radio to host Live Call-In show on Monasticism in America

AFR-FELMarch27-MonasticismAmerica

Listen to the archived program at Ancient Faith Radio… 

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This looks most interesting, and will be a perfect follow-up to Alexei Krindatch’s fine new book, Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries.

Mother Christophora is, for those who don’t know, the abbess of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA (coming up on her 30th anniversary since being installed as abbess). Ancient Faith has some special broadcasts of her talks in the archives:

Upcoming program: Sunday, March 27

Faith Enouraged Live, with Fr. Barnabas Powell

A Visit to The Desert to Find Water: Monasticism in America
with Alexei Krindatch and Mother Christophora

Live Call-in Programs

Live call-in shows are broadcast most Sundays at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific
Call in to 1-855-AFRADIO (1-855-237-2346) during the show.

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‘Fire in the Desert’ – The Radical Call of Monasticism

cross-follow Christ

Monastics are a sign to the world, and to the Church in particular, that there are persons, men and women, whose love for Christ and zeal for following His call is so extreme as to lead them to literally “deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him.”

This is the visible, radical, total response to the call of Christ.

Monastics who heed this call are a sign of the eschaton, the fulfillment of all things when Christ comes again in glory. They die to this world, that they may begin living even now in the heavenly kingdom. They wear black, that they might be filled with light. They deny themselves, yet provide solace, hospitality and healing to pilgrims. They wear themselves out through asceticism, yet are renewed daily by the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading “‘Fire in the Desert’ – The Radical Call of Monasticism”

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?

Continue reading “Living in the Real World”