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Urban hermit


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#1 John W.

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:21 AM

Call me paranoid, but I get the feeling that I just spotted the next big thing that spiritual fadsters within the Orthodox Church are going want to borrow from the Episcopalians (thanks for the general confession!). Just the thing to counter the works of the genuine Orthodox monastics in this country...


From New York Magazine:

Hermit of the Heart
With no convent but the city itself, one woman finds a prayerful solitude as a contemplative order of one.

By Paul O’Donnell Published Jan 13, 2008

http://nymag.com/gui...ody/2008/42818/

#2 Olga

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:36 AM

That's not an entirely new idea in the Orthodox world. Mother Maria Skobtsova (recently glorified as New-martyr Maria of Paris and Ravensbruck) was doing much the same in the 1920s and '30s. Though even then, it was a rather controversial move.

#3 Michael Stickles

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:50 PM

Interesting article. I admit, though, that I just don't understand the bit where the writer says "Solitude, as psychologists and prison wardens know, is inherently stressful" and "the solitaries I spoke to warned of depression". For me, solitude and quiet has always been my way to de-stress, and when I was younger, depression could only become a problem when I spent too little time alone, not too much.

Not that I've ever tried complete isolation for more than four days at a time, but then the folks in the article aren't doing complete isolation either. Maybe it's a difference in the nature of the solitude; I don't know. But I can't get it to make sense.

Mike

#4 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 08:24 AM

How can we be with God if not in solitude. All the fathers (correct me if I am wrong) wrote about the benefits of solitude. The biographies I have read of both past and more recent Orthodox elders always stress this. You find these people giving everything they have to help those who come to them with their problems, but always, always, you find that they retreat for a few hours each day. To be alone, to pray and to be with God. They could not have helped others if they didn't do this.

Effie

#5 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:50 PM

I think it is along the lines of "if I were to pick only one person to be with for the rest of my life, I would be the last person I would pick."

Actually facing yourself and being honest with yourself seem to be difficult activities for many people. That is why we fill our days with senseless activity, watching oxymoronic (and simply moronic) "reality TV" or sports or do whatever we can rather than simply face ourselves.

Oh bother.

Herman the Pooh

#6 Nina

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:46 AM

I think it is along the lines of "if I were to pick only one person to be with for the rest of my life, I would be the last person I would pick."

Actually facing yourself and being honest with yourself seem to be difficult activities for many people. That is why we fill our days with senseless activity, watching oxymoronic (and simply moronic) "reality TV" or sports or do whatever we can rather than simply face ourselves.

Oh bother.

Herman the Pooh


That's true.

What you say is what Metropolitan Hierotheos writes about in "Life after Death" how those pastime activities are what distract us while in this life, however when the soul is alone in the moment of death and not purified it is a torment since the passions do not release him, and also the activities that are used to numb the soul are not accessible since the soul lacks the material (body) but it is still very attached to the material world.

That is why many Fathers advise us to refrain from such things. St. Chrysostom was persistently trying to teach his flock about attendance to such activities was harmful for the soul.

Edited by Nina, 04 February 2008 - 05:43 PM.


#7 Monica

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:59 AM

I am new here but I just wanted to chime in:

As an earlier poster said, this type of monastic practice was once common among women from the very early centuries of Christianity. Benedictine oblates are an example. This is often called domestic monasticism.

M.




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