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A calling to go to Mt Athos


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#21 Isaak Scott Cairns

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:25 AM

I've always had an interest in Mount Athos. I want to be close to the Theotokos. I don't like America. I've lived here all my life. It is just too apostate, worldly, materialistic and carnal. I also don't think Orthodoxy is very healthy here in America. I saw a video on Sinai. I like the monatery there also.


One thing I like to keep in mind, brotherman: to turn from something out of contempt is to assure calamity; to turn to something out of love is to assure grace.

I wish you a very good journey. Should you find your way to the holy mountain, you may wish to visit some of the sketes (Nea Skiti, Agia Annis Skiti, Agio Andreas Skiti), where an idiorythmic rule is still possible. In any case, you must find a spiritual father who can help you in discerning these matters.

Isaak

#22 Euthymius Valdez

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:12 PM

Probably the Kelandari (Chilander) Monastery is the monastery Fr. Paisios recommended. The monastry of St Katherine's on Mt Sinai probably will not accept you. Usually you have to be greek and from a specific geographic area??. Fr Justin Sinaiticus the first and only american monk ever on Mt Sinai is an exception not the rule.

I have no idea what the rules are for the other world famous monastery of St Saavas in Palestine is, but you will probably have to be fluent in greek and arabic. Same with the many monasteries in Greece except the Athonite monasteries. Mt Athos is pan-Orthodox, so yes that would probably be your best bet.

Fr David i think has given you the besr advice. If you can make it one of Elder Ephraims monasteries you can make it anywhere. In fact on Mt Athos you can become a hut dweller where there should be a less strict schedule.


I don't agree with that last statement. I doubt any Ephraim monk would survive one month at Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California. I think this is the most rigerous monastery in America, and one of the most rigerous in the world.

#23 Kypreos

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

I doubt any Ephraim monk would survive one month at Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California.


Good luck to you

#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:30 AM

There was - may still be - an English monk at St Catherine's. I met him at the monastery here but I can't remember his name.

#25 Andrew

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:52 PM

There was - may still be - an English monk at St Catherine's. I met him at the monastery here but I can't remember his name.


In the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review they have a part where they interview the American monk there... he is the only monk there not of Greek descent. His parents were Texan Baptist missionaries, and he converted to Orthodoxy. Maybe you met him? Maybe they have more monks of English descent than I know of...

#26 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 12:16 AM

My wife just made what I think is an interesting remark: Mount Athos is not a place but a concept in the heart. It is an idea of perfection but the geographical place is not perfection since, evidently, we can see there examples of lack of Christian love. As Elder Sophrony said, 'there is only one perfect Christian: Christ'.

#27 Paul Cowan

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:18 AM

My wife just made what I think is an interesting remark: Mount Athos is not a place but a concept in the heart. It is an idea of perfection but the geographical place is not perfection since, evidently, we can see there examples of lack of Christian love. As Elder Sophrony said, 'there is only one perfect Christian: Christ'.


Dear Andreas,
Yes and no. It is a perfect place. At least where I walked.

I apologize to all for not yet publishing my exerience on the mountain. We had a severe challenge at my home while I was gone and Leah and I are currently living in a rental house for the next 4-6 months. No one ws hurt but she was home alone. I am very proud of her for stepping up to the plate and pressing past her pain and illnesses to take care of everything.

As soon as the insurance company decides to write us a check, I hope to be back on line a little more often and get the site up and running. I kept a diary and took as many pictures as my camera could hold. I met a friend there from Poland who took any more Ihope to use in my site.

Perhaps if it is up to snuff, Matthew will consider using it in the Monasticism section of this forum. But that may be hoping for a bit much. I will say, I had 2 distinct "experiences" there I am talking to my priest about before I tell too many about them.

Please keep us in your prayers. Athos is all that and a bowl of beans too.

in Love
Paul

#28 Dionysios DiGregorio

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:44 AM

What is xentia?

#29 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:54 AM

What is xentia?


A very expensive television.

#30 Olga

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 06:55 AM

What is xentia?


Xentia is a misspelling of xenitia. This Greek word means exile, separation (e.g. from one's country or people), from the root word xenos, meaning stranger (and, interestingly, guest as well). Greek emigrants and "guest workers" frequently use this word as a noun to refer to the "foreign" place they now live in, or have returned from.

#31 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 08:46 AM

I don't agree with that last statement. I doubt any Ephraim monk would survive one month at Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California. I think this is the most rigerous monastery in America, and one of the most rigerous in the world.


Euthymius, I might be wrong but I do not think nationality plays a part in becoming a member of a monastery. There are many monasteries (including women's monasteries) in Greece that are full of Orthodox religious of many nationalities.


Effie

#32 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:34 PM

Dear Andreas, you wrote:

My wife just made what I think is an interesting remark: Mount Athos is not a place but a concept in the heart. It is an idea of perfection but the geographical place is not perfection since, evidently, we can see there examples of lack of Christian love. As Elder Sophrony said, 'there is only one perfect Christian: Christ'.


Like all good statements, I think this is both true and false.

In as much as Athos is a place where struggle is focused on the attainment of the kingdom, it is something that transcends its own borders. It can, indeed, be a condition of the heart - a concept stirred within it.

But I would be wary of trying to pit perfection against imperfection. The strength of Christ is made perfect in weakness, not flawlessness. Perfection is often found in the midst of most profound weakness.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#33 Clinton R. LeFort

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:40 AM

Brothers in Christ all,

I feel the pain myself when I sense that others are seeking that path which they believe to be Gods Will for themselves, yet feel divided in themselves as to what this division between the spirit and the flesh means. There is no easy answer, yet the wisdom of the Fathers often guide on our path.

I must reply because I have myself, though in the "Roman Catholic" tradition of monasticism, had fetl very drawn to live the lives of the desert fathers, from my early teenage years. Yet, for thirty odd years now, God has been pleased to lead me in ways which I have cannot categorize as monastic, but 'spiritual.' I have found that looking at my life in this way has allowed me the freedom to accept the will of God where I am. This has meant a different kind of suffering for me, because I have no other to rely upon but pure grace; that is, no physical ties with comparing myself with others and all. It hurts in oey way, yet is freeing on another.

Secondly, the spiritual masters, hint at the fact that our own fallen nature, because it needs purification, will find ways to rationalize God's will for ourselves. For example, John of the Cross reminding others that perfection is leaving self and clinging to God. Today I read a passage from St. Gregory Palamas, "To the Nun X..."[#58] that when the soul transcends all the forms of intelligibility and concepts it must "stand deaf and speechless" before God. This pretty much sums up all of our contemplation here and in the next life. I don not say that the monastic system is not perfecting souls, since we know this would be a very false gesture, but that as Rev Black and others have posted, that God can choose to lead a soul along ways certain to Himself and to whom he leads.

Thirdly, last year I posted a question about the divine light and those souls who experience it on the holy Mountain. In regards to this, I see the need for a wise spiritual director who can confront our own evil tendencies; moreover, that the Holy Spirit can use to guide us inwardly to accep tour own limitations. If we can find this kind of person, one in a billion on the planet, then we have the essence of fidelity. I think that the traditions all confirm the need for a wise director who is compassionate to our weaknesses.

Lastly, please pray for me also, since I find myself constantly surrounded by those who want evil in their lives are happy with living in hell, and want to justify their own destruction by wanting others to follow them.

Clinton LeFort

Edited by M.C. Steenberg, 01 January 2008 - 12:42 PM.
Removed long quotation of full previous post at end of message


#34 John Wilson

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 07:55 AM

Has anyone given any thought to the Hermitage of St Herman at Platina?

#35 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 11:31 AM

Quotation:
Originally Posted by Andreas Moran
There was - may still be - an English monk at St Catherine's. I met him at the monastery here but I can't remember his name.

In the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review they have a part where they interview the American monk there... he is the only monk there not of Greek descent. His parents were Texan Baptist missionaries, and he converted to Orthodoxy. Maybe you met him? Maybe they have more monks of English descent than I know of..


Sorry, Andrew - I've only just spotted this. The monk I met was definitely English. He had been sent to London to attend a course in conservation techniques for manuscripts. This would be about ten or twelve years ago.

#36 Monk Ioannes

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 06:04 AM

Hi, would it be possible for me an English speaking American to go to Mount Athos or Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai to be a monk? I am interested in these two places. What would you recommend? Also, how would I get there? I have never travelled outside the U.S. I don't know anything about passports, costs, etc. Or should I just settle for an American monastery? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.


Spek to a Greek Orthodox priest - who might know monasteries at Mt athos, and might know priests who are from there. That happened to me.

Then decide to which monastery you wish to write. I wrote to the one the priest was from; and asked the priest to write me an introduction to them.

They will invite you and accept you - if you have not too many sins - as they sweetly wrote to me.

Then follow the usual procedure for going to Mt Athos. There exist websites thats et this oput ind etail, as it changes slightly over time.

You do not have to go to a monastery but could try a small skete from 2 to 5 monks. Many monks do that and then go to a monastery, while others start in amonastery and then end up in a small skete.

Myself been a hermit for 40 years. I have an ecumenical list for monastic subjects at http://groups.yahoo....oup/monasterion.

If you have a calling, nothing will prevent you realizing it. I am a former academic..
hermit monk

good place for eremitic life is hermitary.com Google for it.

#37 Joseph "Siphis" Baxter

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:59 AM

Χριστος Ανεστι!

I stumbled on this this morning and it piqued my interest. Please forgive my ignorance if I am out of order here.... :)

The issue of nationality and monasticism strikes me as odd. When a man or woman feels the calling to enter the monastery and take up the habit, do they not abandon the world as we know it? When tonsured does not a monk or nun forsake their lives as they once knew it and become a new person, including a new name to go along with the new life?

If so, then why is nationality an issue? Seems to my simple mind that the first (and biggest!) steps to monasticism are surrender and obedience. What does it matter if one was born American, African, or Asian if we devote our entire lives to Christ? If one surrenders completely to the monastic life and is joyfully obedient to one's elder, then the issues of learning a new language and becoming one with a new ethnicity seem moot. I think of the struggles of Elder Joseph the Hesychast and his spiritual children and my burdens and tasks suddenly seem rather trifling.

Yours in Christ,
Siphis

#38 Fr Dn Theodoros

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:34 PM

Hi, would it be possible for me an English speaking American to go to Mount Athos or Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai to be a monk? I am interested in these two places. What would you recommend? Also, how would I get there? I have never travelled outside the U.S. I don't know anything about passports, costs, etc. Or should I just settle for an American monastery? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.


Χριστος Ανεστι!

Yes it is possible. My cousin is a monk at Philotheou monastery on Athos. He's from Canada and traveled to Greece one summer. He ended up staying on the Holy Mountain. What he did was get Elder Ephraim's blessing (while he was still the abbot of Philotheou). You could contact Fr. Ephraim now that he's in Arizona. He might help.

God bless you on your journey.

In Christ - Theodoros




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