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Solitary monastics


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#1 Xenia Randolph

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 06:50 AM

Christ is among us!

Hello, this is my first post. Is anyone @ Monachos interested in the solitary monastic life, outside of a cenobitic monastary, but involving solitude, simple living, a prayer rule and self supportive work?


Thanks, Xenia

#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 03:23 PM

Xenia,

Welcome to the discussion forum. Please consider posting a little bit about yourself in the introductions thread so we can all get to know you a little. This topic may well prove to be interesting and will most likely dovetail with some of the others topics under discussion (such as the current topic about prayer called "How do I not run out of material") Please join in wherever you have question or contribution to make.

Fr David Moser

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 09:07 PM

Welcome, Xenia. This is an interesting question. It is worth bearing in mind that any such course would need to have the blessing of someone qualified to give it. The motives also would have to be right. Such a withdrawal would be very difficult, I would have thought - the temptations would be great. There would also be the question of church life - how still to go to church and partake in the sacraments. My recent visit to the Outer Hebrides put me in mind of this. The Fathers of the Holy Trinity St Sergius Lavra, on their recent visit to Scotland, thought the islands there were perfect for a small skete - that might be a better option, in order to have some support.

In Christ,

Andreas.

#4 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:30 AM

Christ is among us!

Hello, this is my first post. Is anyone @ Monachos interested in the solitary monastic life, outside of a cenobitic monastary, but involving solitude, simple living, a prayer rule and self supportive work?


Thanks, Xenia


Welcome to the forum Xenia. I am married with a grown son but I have to admit that the above life has always appealed to me. Solitude, simple living, a prayer rule and self supportive work.

I realize that you are referring to monks and nuns (although I have not read that nuns live alone) but even in our everyday lives we can try and live like this I think. I try to although I am not that successful at it.

The Roman Catholics have oblates but I don't know if we Orthodox have something similar. Does anyone know?

Welcome again. You are going to love it here. So much to learn, so much to discuss and so many wonderful people who know so much, and who are willing to teach us.

Effie

#5 Father David Moser

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 12:35 PM

The Roman Catholics have oblates but I don't know if we Orthodox have something similar. Does anyone know?


Orthodox monasticism does not have the "lay orders" as does Roman Catholic monasticism. Also monasticism in the Roman Catholic Church has a number of different rules or "orders" (Benedictines, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, etc) and so you will see things like "OSB" after someones name indicating the order to which they belong (OSB is th Order of St Benedict I believe) but there is no such subdivision in Orthodoxy (and so you will never see such letters in an Orthodox monastic's title).

Monasticism is inherently communal. Those who withdrew into the desert to live solitary lives were, for the most part, first members of a monastic community and only withdrew into solitary life with the blessing and at the direction of the spiritual father of the community. The fathers, and particularly those who did withdraw into solitary life, are often of the opinion that such a life of withdrawal is spiritually dangerous and thus it is always better to enter into such a life with at least a companion of like mind.

Fr David Moser

#6 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 04:43 PM

Thank you Fr. David.

I knew about the Roman Catholics having different orders - one of my favourite books is "In this house of Brede", but I didn't know if we had oblates as they do.

Effie

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:07 AM

Very interesting is the old Welsh clas.

#8 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:53 PM

Christ is among us!

Hello, this is my first post. Is anyone @ Monachos interested in the solitary monastic life, outside of a cenobitic monastary, but involving solitude, simple living, a prayer rule and self supportive work?

Thanks, Xenia


Dear Xenia,

Truly Christ is among us!

The Orthodox Church throughout its history has always has it "solitaries", Some monastic, others led by the Holy Spirit to this type of life. Some of them were women as well as men. Even today the Church has Her solitaries, most of the time unknown by most people, Orthodox as well as other. After all, the withdrawl enterred into by a man or woman, is to be totally to the "Glory of God", through the following of Christ Jesus into the Desert-mystery...

Why a person experiences a call to this type of life is between God and him/herself. It is not something publicized, it is a "hidden life" alone with God; and not for most people.

marie_duquette

p.s. The true solitary life has nothing to do with "This House of Brede" or any other glamorized rendition of the solitary life.

#9 Nina

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:51 PM

Dear Xenia,

Truly Christ is among us!

The Orthodox Church throughout its history has always has it "solitaries", Some monastic, others led by the Holy Spirit to this type of life. Some of them were women as well as men. Even today the Church has Her solitaries, most of the time unknown by most people, Orthodox as well as other. After all, the withdrawl enterred into by a man or woman, is to be totally to the "Glory of God", through the following of Christ Jesus into the Desert-mystery...

Why a person experiences a call to this type of life is between God and him/herself. It is not something publicized, it is a "hidden life" alone with God; and not for most people.

marie_duquette

p.s. The true solitary life has nothing to do with "This House of Brede" or any other glamorized rendition of the solitary life.


Dear Marie Duquette and all,

As Father David mentions above in Orthodoxy there is a need for following the advise and the direction of the spiritual father, not only those who would like to pursue the kind of life this thread speaks about, but every kind of life. I have read that saints who wished to be martyred for Christ went first for advise and spiritual direction to a spiritual father and then pursued martyrdom (like Saint Christos the Gardner etc.) By this we affirm our belief that obedience is one of our highest virtues. Christ was obedient to the Father. Panagia was obedient to God. All Saints were obedient to their spiritual father. If one is alone there may be so many dangers. Unless the person is of the caliber of Saint Anthony the Great, or Saint Mary of Egypt. But even in those cases listen to what Father David says about them.

Also reading through other threads from monachos I know what Father Averky of blessed memory said about the expression 'Christ is among us!" - I have never heard it used before, among lay people, but when I read the post of Father Averky and his advise that we as lay people should not use this expression, I started being mindful of it.

#10 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 12:42 AM

Dear Marie Duquette and all,

As Father David mentions above in Orthodoxy there is a need for following the advise and the direction of the spiritual father, not only those who would like to pursue the kind of life this thread speaks about, but every kind of life. I have read that saints who wished to be martyred for Christ went first for advise and spiritual direction to a spiritual father and then pursued martyrdom (like Saint Christos the Gardner etc.) By this we affirm our belief that obedience is one of our highest virtues. Christ was obedient to the Father. Panagia was obedient to God. All Saints were obedient to their spiritual father. If one is alone there may be so many dangers. Unless the person is of the caliber of Saint Anthony the Great, or Saint Mary of Egypt. But even in those cases listen to what Father David says about them.

Also reading through other threads from monachos I know what Father Averky of blessed memory said about the expression 'Christ is among us!" - I have never heard it used before, among lay people, but when I read the post of Father Averky and his advise that we as lay people should not use this expression, I started being mindful of it.


There is no doubt in my heart and mind that the solitaries that I have met in France, and in the USA and Canada, had the blessing of a Spiritual Father or Mother to pursue the "solitary life-style" That is not the issue here on this thread. It is up to the individual who is called to follow this way of life to live according to the "obedience" s/he is blessed with in the Grace of God and the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I don't think that the person who initiated this thread had in mind to side-track obedience. It is not up to us on Monachos to be defensive towards a post of the kind mentioned above. It is a simply inquiry. So, why try to be guides to one who perhaps already has a Guide?

May we be blessed to someday meet a true solitary, not only in books which are beautifully written, very inspiring, and giving Glory to God by the "hidden light" carried and invisibly projected by God through the said solitary.

May we be saved from arrogance of mind concerning the Action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of solitaries. For who is worthy ........ to judge the Action of God in an individual person; or quench the Holy Spirit?

1Cor. 16:13
1Thess. 5:19

pray for me a sinner

marie_duquette

p.s. As the Word of God in Scripture expresses, Love is the greatest virtue; if it is obedience, it is obedience in Love, an obedience enlightened by Love.

#11 Nina

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 01:19 AM

It is not up to us on Monachos to be defensive towards a post of the kind mentioned above. It is a simply inquiry. So, why try to be guides to one who perhaps already has a Guide?

marie_duquette

p.s. As the Word of God in Scripture expresses, Love is the greatest virtue; if it is obedience, it is obedience in Love, an obedience enlightened by Love.


Oh no, no dear Marie Duquette, I am in no way trying to be a guide. God forbid! I can not even guide myself! Since the purpose of monachos is to discuss through and to share also the patristic thought on a matter, it is only fair to present also that side of the issue. From all fathers, elders that deal with the issue, one reads about the great care and discernment that come through obedience to one's spiritual father. Love is the greatest virtue, but Adam fell because he did not obey, this is what the Holy Fathers say.

Again, forgive me please, if my contribution was unnecessary here, but we need always to check our orthodoxy with the Orthodoxy of the Holy Fathers in all matters.

As you see I am not much... so it is better that you pray for me please!

With love in Christ,
Nina

#12 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 03:04 AM

There is no doubt in my heart and mind that the solitaries that I have met in France, and in the USA and Canada, had the blessing of a Spiritual Father or Mother to pursue the "solitary life-style" That is not the issue here on this thread. It is up to the individual who is called to follow this way of life to live according to the "obedience" s/he is blessed with in the Grace of God and the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I don't think that the person who initiated this thread had in mind to side-track obedience. It is not up to us on Monachos to be defensive towards a post of the kind mentioned above. It is a simply inquiry. So, why try to be guides to one who perhaps already has a Guide?

May we be blessed to someday meet a true solitary, not only in books which are beautifully written, very inspiring, and giving Glory to God by the "hidden light" carried and invisibly projected by God through the said solitary.

May we be saved from arrogance of mind concerning the Action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of solitaries. For who is worthy ........ to judge the Action of God in an individual person; or quench the Holy Spirit?

1Cor. 16:13
1Thess. 5:19

pray for me a sinner

marie_duquette

p.s. As the Word of God in Scripture expresses, Love is the greatest virtue; if it is obedience, it is obedience in Love, an obedience enlightened by Love.


Dear Nina,

May God be praised at all times and in each of His wonderful works!

Perhaps if Adam had had true love for God who walked with him in the cool of the day, his obedience would not have failed him.

#13 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:11 PM

Do you believe Adam did not truly love God?

#14 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 11:40 PM

Do you believe Adam did not truly love God?


Matthew,

All I know is that "God is Love.!" as expressed in the Scriptures, and that this God of Love was incarnate in the Virgin Mary, and was born of her, as Jesus, the Christ! and He revealed Himself as such. This I believe!

As to Adam himself, I do not know if he truly loved God! I can only read the Word of God and see that Adam's love of God, seemed immature and weak, since by listening to Eve and to the Serpent, he seemed to have loved himself more than he did God. So, his curiosity led him astray, and he sinned with Eve, by disobeying, and defying God's request:

"Do not eat of the tree at the center of the garden."

Adam chose rather to believe what the Serpent was saying, "Eat of the fruit and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil." Which they did. Then their eyes were opened, and they found themselves naked. And, in their shame, they tried to hide from God among the trees. As the Scripture says in Genesis 2 & 3 second account of the Creation, where God walked in the Garden tin he cool of the day with Adam and Eve. God called out, "Adam where are you?" ... etc.

You or anyone else can read this account in Genesis 2-3 which contains the second account of the Creation.

God had not yet said that "He is Love," in the beginning. Did Adam recognize this God of Love by His actions, by the trust that He put in them to even naming all of Creation, and by His Presence with them in the Garden. Who knows?

Others more learned than myself can surely expound on what the Fathers of the Church say on this topic.

All I can say, is "Lord God be praised, in all of your works, for your Love is everlasting!" Psalm 135

God is a faithful God, inspite of the straying of Israel, and of my own strayings. In God I put all of my trust. Psalm 90

unworthy, sinful one, who needs to continue to grow in God's own Love, ... that of giving my whole life for the One loved, upon the daily cross of life.

marie_duquette

#15 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 11:57 PM

I cannot forget Him for a single moment,
and my soul languishes after Him,
‘and from the multitude of my afflictions
I lift up my voice and cry:
‘”Have mercy upon me, O God, Have mercy on Thy fallen creature.”‘

Thus did Adam lament,
and the tears streamed down his face onto his beard, on to the ground beneath his feet, and the whole desert heard the sound of his moaning. The beasts and the birds were hushed in grief; while Adam wept because peace and love were lost to all men on account of his sin.

From Adam's Lament by St. Siluoan the Athonite

#16 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:19 AM

I cannot forget Him for a single moment,
and my soul languishes after Him,
‘and from the multitude of my afflictions
I lift up my voice and cry:
‘”Have mercy upon me, O God, Have mercy on Thy fallen creature.”‘

Thus did Adam lament,
and the tears streamed down his face onto his beard, on to the ground beneath his feet, and the whole desert heard the sound of his moaning. The beasts and the birds were hushed in grief; while Adam wept because peace and love were lost to all men on account of his sin.

From Adam's Lament by St. Siluoan the Athonite


Thank you Herman for this snippet of the "Lament of Adam" by St. Silouan. I have the BOOK in French. It is crying out to be read again!

marie_duquette

#17 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 05:59 AM

This is off topic but reading Marie's last message I couldnt help wondering how many different languages the members of this forum speak. I have counted at least 5 so far.

Effie

#18 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:15 PM

This is off topic but reading Marie's last message I couldnt help wondering how many different languages the members of this forum speak. I have counted at least 5 so far.

Effie


Remember the noble Canadian language, the only one spoken without an accent.

"My aunt sat on the roof."

Canadian: "Miee ant sat on the ruuf."

Some other place many leagues south of here: "My-yee awnt sa-a-it on tha' woof."

Some other place really far east of here: "Moy awwnt sat on theee rufe."

French-Canadian: "Voyons donc! Si te ne descends pas de ce toit, je vais te battre, mon p'tit enfant".

#19 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 05:52 PM

Your sentences made me laugh after phonetically reading them aloud, Fr. Raphael.

I have to say that I have always had a fondness for the Canadian accent (English). Their "ow" sound distinguishes them from the Americans. There are a few Canadian actors in America and I can mostly tell that they are Canadians when they pronounce "about" differently.

Effie

#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 10:05 PM

Presumably, Adam hadn't been lied to before and didn't know what a lie was, hence his confusion. How do we deal with the fact (as it appears to us, not to God) that the consequences of the Fall seem grotesquely out of proportion to the actual Fall (whatever that was - not the disobedience but the refusal to repent and the seeking to shift the blame eslewhere)?




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