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An American monasticism?


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#1 Rick H.

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 01:13 PM

The Mark of the Eastern Church: "In the End, the Beginning"

Dear Monachos Community, Dear Fellow 'Monachoi without Monasteries:'

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" . . . and by way of introduction, this thread is the third and final "spin-off" (from this good ol' boy) of the good ol' An American Orthodoxy? thread. As it relates to both monastic heritage and practice, as well as principles of monasticism, monastic ascesis, the spark for what is being attempted was actually from one of the earliest posts on A.O.--from the pen of Seraphim98, when he said:

Think of how monasteries were instrumental in converting pagan Europe. They became centers of the Christian communities as they grew and spread...anchor points. So I'm thinking this model might be adaptable to the American circumstance.


Serahim98 continued to develop this point very well in other posts just before this past Christmas (some of which I will include, at the conclusion of this initial post, for your review).

And, for the one's who just couldn't get enough of the original retrieval effort, possibly this one will be appreciated to a greater degree in terms of the evolving nature and overall method; however, I am fully persuaded and suspect that the opposite is also true. In this thread, God willing, we will firstly, look at: 1.) The invention of monasticism; 2.) What monasticism was originally, and what it was sought to be; and 3.) The origination, meaning, and purpose of spiritual direction.

Again, while acknowledging the evolving nature, and allowing room for both intuitive linguistics and addressing special needs as they arise, God willing, we will secondly, and possibly in less of an abbreviated mode compare our initial investigation of the above three second level sub-headings and: 1.) Consider the question, 'Is there an American Monasticism?' and if so what is its current state or non-state of being; 2.) Ponder the possibility of the need of a rescue effort for a modification or a change in the monastic tradition, which may also include a rescuing of the special vocation of the spiritual director?

So, there may very well be a perpetual oscillation here in this conversation, as we attempt to continually look back via monastic studies and patristic theology, and then look at the present day forward. Again, as with another thread, it is my hope that both the monastics and the theologians and the historians will converge here on this one place, this one ground, and attempt to reach a place of union and communion as it relates to our question (which is not a short conversation and which begins now :)

***



The Heart of the Eastern Church/ The Mark of the Eastern Church: Monastic Rule



Hopefully, not to the extent that St. John of the Cross borrowed from the Sufi poets, but equally unembarrassedly, I will begin now 'with a little help from our friends at Tübingen as we take a very simple and brief look at the invention of monasticism:

Monasticism is not a Christian nor even a Jewish invention (Qumran!), but an old Indian institution. The Upanishads already give a reason why renunciation can be one of the supreme virtues. Monasticism is central to Buddhism, which in its origin and nucleus is a monastic religion, since those who followed the Buddha and accepted his teaching as normative were mostly hermits and itinerant monks, and then also cenobites (monks living together) in monasteries. Moreover it is monks who are addressed everywhere in the Sutras of Buddha Gautama, through the message also applies indirectly to the laity.


So, our consideration of the invention of monasticism took about 60 seconds. I don't think any educated person would disagree with [or 'quibble'] what has just been said, do you? Whereby, not hearing any objections, we just begin to move towards the question of "What monasticism originally was and sought to be" in the following:

If we now move from Indian and Buddhist monasticism to the history of Christian monasticism, we can see striking similarities between Buddhist and Christian spirituality, despite the very different backgrounds. And, since the downfall of the militant monks in the second Jewish Roman War in 135, Jewish monasticism in Qumran had come to an end and nothing is reported to us of a Jewish Christian monasticism . . .


And, I think this is enough for now, possibly with the exception of providing one answer of a question that has been asked repeatedly over the past four months here on monachos.net without answer viz. "What does the word monachos mean?" Because if this one question is not fully understood, then I cannot see how one could understand anything that is being said here in this thread!

For what is characteristic of the monk is a retreat from the world into solitude--which was not the attitude of the earliest [Christian] community. The monk, from the Greek monachos = living alone, is someone who lives alone in the world; he can also be an 'anchorite,' one who has 'escaped,' 'withdrawn' (from the world into the wilderness), or--since the Greek for wilderness is eremos, a 'hermit,' dweller in the wilderness.' So the ermitic-anchoritic-monastic tradition aims at a critical distancing and withdrawal from the world, in the name of Jesus Christ. This withdrawal (even from the regular community of Christians) first took place around the villages or even the cities, and finally was made into the complete solitude of the wilderness, through often in groups which gathered around 'father' figures.


And, I threw in a little extra measure on this last quote as both bonus pack and a segue into the afore mentioned inclusion of more of Seraphim98's pen in the following which concludes this initial post.

In Christ,
Rick

"Truth leading reason!"


From: "An American Orthodoxy?"
By Seraphim98



It might well be that monasticism as it is shaping up in America might hold a key to reverse this trend. In the US monasteries are places laity goes to forge deeper connections with the faith before going back to their normal lives. They are places of respite and spiritual hospitality. While it is nice to dream of an American Athos/Valaam or two we might be better served to think in terms of holy Holiday Inns in the interim. Our own supernodes as it were seeded across the continent to serve and root the faith across the breadth of the land...at least one or two per state/province, if not more. And if they were seeded in large part by bringing over select monks and nuns from the "old countries" so much the better...a few scions of Mt. Athos, Siahastra, Valaam, and Mt. Sinai among others would be quite welcome. Each diocese ought to have at least two reasonably sized monasteries (men's and women's) in its borders in addition to any other smaller ones it might have. And honestly, I don't think it would hurt if we encouraged our young people to spend at least 3 or 4 months at one at some point in their lives, if not a year or more...hey if Mormons can demand a year or two of the lives of their young men...given our day and time maybe its not too much to ask our youth to invest a little of their lives in their faith as well....just a thought.

At any rate increasing the number of monasteries would increase the opportunity for Orthodox Christians to be "rooted" in the faith not just in relation to their parish...which too often can be a cultural ghetto, but to the deeper aspects of their faith, things they can bring home with them....sort of a desert/oasis ecosphere approach. As the super nodes grow the community...increasing the nutrient base for new life to expand from the desert shrinks a little...and in time the life generated by the nodes meets up to form a pasture...a prairie (or prayery if you prefer) where all God's little sheep can graze. Then as that job is done the better rooted and established of the monasteries can work on deepening their own lives as monasteries until we have at least a few that can stand in the same company as the great monasteries of the old world...and produce our own Xenia's and Seraphim's and others of that caliber, God willing.

Our day to day lives in the western world are hurt by our disconnectedness. A mutual connection to the rooted lives of monasteries though can ameliorate that to a certain extent. still, we don't have nearly enough of them yet. But if our heirarchs press for it, and bring over some key monastics from abroad we will see this or something much like it. If our heirarchs don't, I rather suspect in the coming generation we shall see more monasteries grow on the model of Platina. Two or three young men or woman who want that life and band together to learn it and become as much as possible the sons and daughters of the saints they've read of and admire...they might even import their own abbas an ammas.

I say this because of what I see in the young catechumens in our parish...there is a genuine longing for some connection to monastic life. In some it is strong enough it may eventually turn into a monastic vocation. What is true here must be true elsewhere...people are still people. A recent example is that Punks to Monks group last decade that ended up on Spruce Island. Such things may never be a flood tide...but I would be very surprised if we don't see more of them popping up here and there in the next twenty or thirty years.

(buh-buh . . .buh-buh . . .buh-buh . . . buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh . . .)

#2 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:12 PM

I think I see it happening in Canada too...

By the way, pretty good print rendition of the "Jaws" music! I like it! :)

#3 Andrew

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 05:25 PM

We already have about eighteen monasteries in the US founded upon the Athonite typicon by a geronda who repopulated four monasteries on the Holy Mountain... and they are attracting a lot of young people. The Romanian monasteries in the OCA look really good, and some younger OCA ones are just getting off on their feet too... Saint John of Shanghai in California being one of them. ROCOR has some good monasteries too, from what I've seen and heard.

I think Elder Ephraim's monasteries are the ones that are going to pull the weight of US monasticism, though. I don't think anyone else is doing things on the same scale as what is being done by him and his spiritual children.

I think it would be a good idea to have abbots and spiritual fathers of the monasteries be experienced monastics who have spent time in great monasteries overseas, like on the Holy Mountain, in Romania, Serbia, Russia, and the Holy Land. Not that Americans who are raised up within American monasticism can't do this, far be it! But I think we need strong links to the rest of the Church throughout the world, and especially guidance by renowned monastics.

I know there aren't any plans for this, but I wish that the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist would set up monasteries in the US along the lines of according to how they do things, with the twice daily two hour Jesus Prayer services. I know that the dual monastery in Essex developed under unique circumstances, under the insight of a modern day Father among the Saints, but still, I wish I could take part in their spiritually nourishing environment within my own country!

#4 Trudy

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:16 AM

God willing, we will secondly, and possibly in less of an abbreviated mode compare our initial investigation of the above three second level sub-headings and: 1.) Consider the question, Is there an American Monasticism?' and if so what is its current state or non-state of being; 2.) Ponder the possibility of the need of a rescue effort for a modification or a change in the monastic tradition, which may also include a rescuing of the special vocation of the spiritual director?


Rick,

How do you have, or plan to have, the understanding to take on this topic?

You are not a monastic. If I recall, you mentioned being married. Also, if I recall correctly, you were received into Orthodoxy a little over a year or so ago. There are those I know who have been Orthodox for 15 or more years and are only just acquiring an Orthodox mindset. Without the blessing of my spiritual father, I wouldn't be teaching Sunday school since I have been Orthodox only for almost three years. That isn't long enough to truly understand anything.

Forgive me if I sound rude, but this truly puzzles me.

In Christ,
Athanasia

#5 Rick H.

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 05:06 AM

"This Forum Is for Discussion"

Trudy,

So we are back to this routine again are we? You seem to be setting yourself up as a judge and jury (of sorts) that decides who possesses [and to what degree] spiritual understanding and an Orthodox mind, and even more, who does not! But, in the end, characteristically, there is no contribution to the conversation, just a hindrance. Whereby, the words of Matthew Steenberg, about those who would "attempt to curtail discussions," and those who would "project their fears onto a discussion" come to mind from a previous roundabout way:

If one believes oneself to have attained the spiritual perfection required to judge others in such a manner, this can be done in personal correspondence -- not on the forum.


Actually, I was trolling for sharks on this first pass . . . and, there is a real need that has presented itself here, but this one is just too far outside of the scope of this thread. Possibly, in the An American Orthodoxy? thread, in a post on 4/12 sub-titled "Expressions, Exclamations, and Disclaimers" you can find some help in a section of this very long contribution that directly addresses your situation.

If there is nothing there that seems familiar or helpful, then I guess we are back to the thinking of Matthew who has also said in the past:

From the moderator's point of view: this forum is for discussion. If one is uncomfortable with having such discussions in such an environment, one is under no obligation. But the whole purpose of a place of open and friendly discussion is precisely that people can ask questions -- particularly questions about which they might be unsure, or timid, or otherwise find difficult to ask in other settings, knowing that here such questions are not viewed as anathema if asked in honesty and without agenda, open to hearing responses framed from the context of the forum.



And notice Trudy, this applies to questions and answers framed from the context of the forum, *not* in context of the thread initiator.

I don't know if you have noticed or not Trudy, but I ask a lot of questions here. And, this is not completely an unintentional method for both creating a dynamic learning community and spurring dialogue. However, as you clearly have demonstrated in your post above, some of us are slow learners. But, this is one proven way of finding some answers and reaching some conclusions. I have noticed that this also emboldens some, who I think may not have otherwise been inclined to ask questions even in this setting which has brought about a most pleasing growing and blossoming in Christ.

And, finally, you put me on the spot, and ask me, how do "I" have the understanding to take on this topic here? This question itself is very revealing. The honest answer is "I" don't. But, here is what I don't think you understand . . . "I" never will. And, neither will you, or any other! It is an ignorant statement for anyone to say, "I" have the understanding necessary to take on a topic such as this. Because the one who says that he does has just made a confession. And, for that matter, it is equally as absurd of a proposition to place oneself in the seat of either the accuser or the judge of the servant of God--not a wise move, for anyone, not too smart! So, hopefully, this will address your concerns in this area once and for all, because from here on out I'm not going to do this anymore, and there will be no further personal responses to this type of thing/diversion, which seems to only serve as an outlet for personal disturbances in some cases.

As we now *hopefully*--*prayerfully*--*God Willing[!]* return to our regularly scheduled programming . . . and ask the question afresh, "An American monasticism?"

In Christ,
Rick

"Peace, but not at any price"

#6 Rebecca Gabl

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 05:18 AM

I understand both your points. I was in a monastery for 2 1/2 years (God willing, I will return to monasticism!), and I quickly realized that one can never really get a feel for it till one has actually lived it. (Then, of course, it takes decades to develop a truly monastic mindset which I don't claim to have at all.)
On the other hand, this is also a forum for discussion. If many people contribute to this thread (which I hope they will-it really hits home for me!), all of our varied experiences (including those of some of our monastics) could make it quite profitable. But that's just my opinion! :)

#7 Trudy

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:14 PM

"This Forum Is for Discussion"
So we are back to this routine again are we? You seem to be setting yourself up as a judge and jury (of sorts) that decides who possesses [and to what degree] spiritual understanding and an Orthodox mind, and even more, who does not! But, in the end, characteristically, there is no contribution to the conversation, just a hindrance.


Dear Rick,

Please forgive me for insulting and offending you with my question.

In humility,
Athanasia

#8 Rick H.

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:19 PM

The Question of questions

Dear Athanasia!

I am genuinely touched by your request for forgiveness, and can only respond in kind, as a 'forgiving servant', who knows that "I" am the one who is need of forgiveness ('seven times seventy') on a daily basis.

And, this is a hard thing to communicate--as it relates to 'living in the already and the not yet'-- but, my passionate response to your question was *not* directed at you personally. Because you personally are one of my teachers, and I respect very much what you bring to the table when you are engaged with a given topic here on monachos. As evidenced by your astute handling of the topic in the 'Not I, but Christ' thread, you are sharp as a tack. And, the way you process such things as you did there (viz. 'starting points') clearly demonstrates a way of knowing and a way of understanding that is not negotiable[!] as it relates to the ongoing conversation of union with God and the life of Christ. So, I will stop here before I run off with this.

But, I can promise you that from my point of view, there is no need for forgiveness, "I" was not insulted or offended by the asking of your question. Becuase, at the heart of the matter, your question is my question and is the Question of questions here as far as I am concerned. And, while possibly I am more 'direct' after midnight when I am writing than before, the point is, this *is* a question that needs to be asked over and over, and in new and varied ways. For as long as I am here on monachos, I will be asking this same question over and over (and over ;) This is a question that must be asked and answered in each person's life. It is imperative, this is something that must be learned and re-learned in each generation--otherwise Orthodoxy ceases to exist where this question is not asked and answered. As do others, I become a very passionate apologist when this question arises--IT is everything. Upon this question rides the Salvation of our Souls. Sometimes we who work in the field of apologetics [and evangelism] 'do' a better job than other times, and sometimes we hide our passion better at times. But, this is 'the' question that I was addressing, one that necessarily must be open for discussion regardless of the forum or the sub-forum. Regardless of which coffee shop or which fellowship hall we find ourselves sitting in.

And, now I'm thinking of a post made by Father Raphael in the St. Isaac thread last month when he said possibly as only a true monachos [who lives in the 'real' world] can say:

It is through the monastic tradition of our church that St Isaac was accepted as a saint due not just to the obvious sanctity found in his writings. Rather in his writings there is a kind of sanctity so rarely encountered which takes one beyond this realm to the noetic. And from reading his writings it becomes clear that most of all St Isaac lived in that world beyond. In other words while here he was already there.


"Beyond this realm to the noetic . . . while here he was already there." It doesn't matter really what the topic is. This is the Question. And, *this* is a question that I hope you never stop asking here or anywhere in your circle of influence (especially with the young ones). But, back to where we were, I will be very disappointed if you do not continue contributing to this thread. Whereby, in an effort to find closure, from my heart I both forgive you, as you have requested, and thank you, for bringing your contributions to the table as we all finish our time here together, and play our parts living in 'the already and the not yet.'

May we all continue to play our parts in the Church of God.

Shalom-Shalom!

In Christ,
Rick

#9 Rick H.

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:22 PM

Dear All:

I think I see it happening in Canada too...


but still, I wish I could take part in their spiritually nourishing environment within my own country!


If many people contribute to this thread (which I hope they will-it really hits home for me!), all of our varied experiences (including those of some of our monastics) could make it quite profitable. But that's just my opinion! :)


Humphrey, I don't know if you noticed or not but I "borrowed" one of your photos from your personal profile, but I have replaced it. Andrew, I hear what you are saying--me too! Rebecca, thank you, and this, I think, would be the best thing of all if others would contribute by way of experiences--yes most profitable!!!


Any other takers at this stage?

In Christ,
Rick

#10 John Charmley

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 04:11 PM

Dear Rick,

The influence of Monasticism cannot be overstated, not least in my own tradition, the Coptic, on whose territory monasticism first flourished - as it does to this day.

I do not know whether you are familiar with a book called Journey Back to Eden by a Benedictine Monk, Mark Gruber, published by Orbis Books in 2002[ISBN 1-57075-433-0 (pbk.)], but I would recommend it to anyone interested in acquainting themselves with how a Monastic tradition founded nearly two millennia ago still thrives and testifies to the working of the Spirit. The author spent time among the Coptic Monasteries of the Wadi Natrun, and his account is one of the most edifying and inspiring and uplifting things I have read for years.

Beg, borrow (but don't steal) it.

In Christ,

John

#11 Archbishop Lazar

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

We founded a Canadian Orthodox monasticism in British Columbia in 1970, chartering it in 1972. It was our intention of trying to provide three things for a nascent Orthodoxy in Canada that could be called Canadian. The first was a Canadian Orthodox Monastery that operates in English and, when necessary, in French. The second was a Canadian Orthodox Publishing house, and third, a Canadian Orthodox feastday (the Theotokos, Joy of Canada). Like our American neighbours, we began with a realisation of regional differences in culture within our own nation. Any expression of a national movement toward Orthodoxy can be hampered by such regional differences, which do have to be taken into account. Nevertheless, next year, the 35th anniversary of the formal founding of the monastery (the day the charter was received from the Provincial Government) will take place, and the monstery is still there and still Canadian. The Joy of Canada has become a truly national pilgrimage, as we have people from other provinces, as well as Americans, who participate in the feastday. There are always representative of other ethnic Orthodox parishes participating, and it is a small step toward integration to celebrate the feast. The other Canadian pilgrimage, to Sifton, Manitoba, will grow in future also. It is a new celebration to one of the points of origin of Orthodoxy in Canada, celebrating St. Arseny of Winnipeg. Such roots and foundations are a necessary aspect of Orthodoxy in every nation.

#12 Rick H.

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:25 PM

On Roots and Foundations: "A New Celebration"


We founded a Canadian Orthodox monasticism in British Columbia in 1970, chartering it in 1972. It was our intention of trying to provide three things for a nascent Orthodoxy in Canada that could be called Canadian. The first was a Canadian Orthodox Monastery that operates in English and, when necessary, in French. The second was a Canadian Orthodox Publishing house, and third, a Canadian Orthodox feastday (the Theotokos, Joy of Canada). Like our American neighbours, we began with a realisation of regional differences in culture within our own nation. Any expression of a national movement toward Orthodoxy can be hampered by such regional differences, which do have to be taken into account. Nevertheless, next year, the 35th anniversary of the formal founding of the monastery (the day the charter was received from the Provincial Government) will take place, and the monstery is still there and still Canadian. The Joy of Canada has become a truly national pilgrimage, as we have people from other provinces, as well as Americans, who participate in the feastday. There are always representative of other ethnic Orthodox parishes participating, and it is a small step toward integration to celebrate the feast. The other Canadian pilgrimage, to Sifton, Manitoba, will grow in future also. It is a new celebration to one of the points of origin of Orthodoxy in Canada, celebrating St. Arseny of Winnipeg. Such roots and foundations are a necessary aspect of Orthodoxy in every nation.


Dear Archbishop Lazar,

Thank you very much for blessing us with this contribution. I actually clicked on the wrong link, just now, and was trying to go to the main board, when I was brought here and found your contribution that I had not seen before. Possibly, the junior member status was in effect when this was posted and there was a delay; but, either way this is another great[!] example of the Good Doctor's (John Charmley's) phrase which is, "Sometimes we have to push the wrong button to get the right answer."

I especially appreciate your approach to a Canadian Orthodox Monasticism whereby your first point of the three point plan included operating in English! And, this does not seem to have cursed the project at all, but just the opposite. As well, I love the publishing house objective (which I assume will or is publishing books in a language that can be read by the people who they are intended to speak to ;) But, possibly, and to move away from what may in fact be a trivial point regarding language . . . what I appreciate most is the *simple* recognition of the fact, as you say:

Any expression of a national movement toward Orthodoxy can be hampered by such regional differences, which *do* have to be taken into account. [emphasis mine]


I could not possibly agree more with this way of thinking--yes "Any expression."

I also especially appreciate, and would like to emphasize your use of the word "integration" in the above. As used in this fashion, what a beautiful/heavenly word! And, as you conclude with the following:

Such roots and foundations are a necessary aspect of Orthodoxy in every nation.


Your conclusion is my conclusion.

Thanks again for this day brightener and for sharing this beautiful example of the Church working in the Power of the Holy Spirit!

In Christ,
Rick

#13 Rick H.

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 01:26 PM

A History of E.O. Monasticism?

Dear All,

In the first post of this thread on 5/3/07, it was suggested that we use a 3 pt. outline for this discussion:

In this thread, God willing, we will firstly, look at: 1.) The invention of monasticism; 2.) What monasticism was originally, and what it was sought to be; and 3.) The origination, meaning, and purpose of spiritual direction.


Beginning with #1: "The invention of monasticism," I do not think any would try to say that monks, monasticism, and individual spiritual direction (for these who had withdrawn) was found firstly with the Christians.

However, I honestly do not know what the Eastern Orthodox view is about the origination of monasticism in our tradition.



a.) Do we have any evidence in a history of the Church that speaks to this question?


b.) Do we know if the early Church was aware of the other traditions in the East who already had monks, monasteries, and individual spiritual directors in place before the time of Christ?


c.) Do we see any mention of the other traditions and their practices in the early church writings that would show any degree of awareness of this existing method of spiritual formation and search/groping for union with the divine?



In Christ,
Rick

#14 Andrew

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:38 PM

a.) Do we have any evidence in a history of the Church that speaks to this question?


b.) Do we know if the early Church was aware of the other traditions in the East who already had monks, monasteries, and individual spiritual directors in place before the time of Christ?


c.) Do we see any mention of the other traditions and their practices in the early church writings that would show any degree of awareness of this existing method of spiritual formation and search/groping for union with the divine?


a. Monasticism was in existence in the Old Testament Church, with the various schools of the prophets, the Nazarite Vow, the Temple Virigins, and on into the era of the Second Temple there were various groups living communally in the deserts, like the disciples of St. John the Baptist, the Essenes, and other groups. Our Lord and his travelling disciples were monastics, in a sense. They held all things in common, left their families, and lived lives of strict asceticism as they walked with Christ. After the Ascenscion of Christ and the gift of Pentecost, the Church had many communities of virgins, widows and widowers, and others who would live together under the spiritual direction of holy men and women. Also the daily rigor of married Christians at that time was pretty much equal to very strict monastic standards. After the Church came out of the catacombs, so to speak, and was legalized, an influx of new Romans made the Church have to focus on getting these people in line with how they were supposed to live. Those who wanted to live a more maximalist life of Christlike asceticism and repentance fled to the Desert, not only to be purified, but also to reclaim the Desert and bring it into communion with Christ... to conquer the wasteland and bring it rightfully back to being a place of Transfiguration. So then that led to the Desert Fathers, and continues to now.

For b and c, I don't know.

#15 Loucas

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 09:27 PM

There are many Monestaries in America, Greek, Romanina, Russian, men, women, and have lots of faithful who pilgrim them for Spiritual growth. Spiritual Fathers and Mothers. Christian Monestaries, I feel, can not be compared to those of other faiths and are not copies of or inspired by them. That statement by the way in no way is a shot across the bow, it is a statement of faith and defence for our Holy Monastics. It is incorrect to compare Orthodx monestaries with those of Budism, Hinduism ect just as it is incorrect to compare the Jesus prayer with Transendental Meditation. Monestaries in America are of the Greastest importance to the Church, first of all they are where the few who leave the world, they are not running away from the world for salvation, they are running to God for salvation. And the are the ones who are drawing God's Grace to us, by thier lives we are saved.A small example could be seen on this short video, https://www.youtube....?v=ooZiPrSm8sI. This is one small example of the large and active monastic life in America. It is a blessing to have these monks and nuns who give thier lives to God, not simply for thier own salvation, but the world's.



#16 Rick H.

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 11:12 AM

There are many Monestaries in America, Greek, Romanina, Russian, men, women, and have lots of faithful who pilgrim them for Spiritual growth. Spiritual Fathers and Mothers. Christian Monestaries, I feel, can not be compared to those of other faiths and are not copies of or inspired by them. That statement by the way in no way is a shot across the bow, it is a statement of faith and defence for our Holy Monastics. It is incorrect to compare Orthodx monestaries with those of Budism, Hinduism ect just as it is incorrect to compare the Jesus prayer with Transendental Meditation. Monestaries in America are of the Greastest importance to the Church, first of all they are where the few who leave the world, they are not running away from the world for salvation, they are running to God for salvation. And the are the ones who are drawing God's Grace to us, by thier lives we are saved.A small example could be seen on this short video, https://www.youtube....?v=ooZiPrSm8sI. This is one small example of the large and active monastic life in America. It is a blessing to have these monks and nuns who give thier lives to God, not simply for thier own salvation, but the world's.

 

Do you think someone here is comparing the Jesus Prayer to TM or making other comparisons as mentioned above?

 

History is clear that monasticism is not a Christian invention.



#17 Loucas

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:47 PM

Sorry Rick, my mistake. I thought this was an Orthodox forum. As an Orthodox, I was just making a statement. I was not in ANY WAY, and I think I made a failed attempt to say so, " not a shot across the bow". But I can only state what I believe and what I have read in my Spiritual quest from the Fathers of the Orthodox Church. I do not approach Orthodoxy from a scientific or non Orthodox viewpoint. But I stand down and appologize to everyone.



#18 Rick H.

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 02:16 PM

Sorry Rick, my mistake. I thought this was an Orthodox forum. As an Orthodox, I was just making a statement. I was not in ANY WAY, and I think I made a failed attempt to say so, " not a shot across the bow". But I can only state what I believe and what I have read in my Spiritual quest from the Fathers of the Orthodox Church. I do not approach Orthodoxy from a scientific or non Orthodox viewpoint. But I stand down and appologize to everyone.

 

 

No need for apologies Loucas.  I didn't take it as a shot across the bow.  This is about sharing and back and forth conversations, although I have found that one needs to be able to handle direct conversation here as well as have a thick skin characteristically if one wants to play here.



#19 Loucas

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 02:56 PM

Has nothing to do with the thickness of my skin or willingness to interact. I interact openly and discuss things all the time. If the conversation is with regard to the Orthodox Faith, Monastism, Theology, Christology, I discuss what I confess in the Orthodox Church along with other Orthodox Faithful as an Orthodox Christian. No offense. I have an education, but that does not mean I am willing in anyway to approach Orthodox topics in a scientific or non Orthodox fashion. This is not about history or a time line, Orthodox Monatism is entirly different from something in the far east one might call monastics. This is not my view all by myself, this comes from Many of the Patrisic Fathers.



#20 Loucas

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 03:15 PM

a.) Do we have any evidence in a history of the Church that speaks to this question?


b.)
Do we know if the early Church was aware of the other traditions in
the East who already had monks, monasteries, and individual spiritual
directors in place before the time of Christ?


c.) Do we
see any mention of the other traditions and their practices in the early
church writings that would show any degree of awareness of this
existing method of spiritual formation and search/groping for union with
the divine?
 

 

 

Everyone should also know, this is actually a web-site, not just a forum. And many of the topics and discussions in this forum have imformational sections on this site. http://www.monachos....ent/monasticism


Edited by Loucas, 18 April 2015 - 03:16 PM.





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