Want to become a monk...
Posted 08 December 2002 - 11:47 PM
1)can monastics receive medical attention? i for instance have asthma, and have to use releivers and preventatives from time to time. does an illness such as asthma immediately disqualify somebody from the monastic life? how are these kinds of issues resolved?
Yes, they can. Monasteries on Mount Athos often have monks who are trained doctors, and certified doctors from Thessalonica come by every so often. Some of the monasteries have dentists, with full blown dentists offices right in the monastery itself.
2)if monsaticism is a higher calling, if all the world where to live as monastics do, are we supposing that we would create a kind of heaven on earth?
Yes.... this is one of the whole points.
Posted 09 December 2002 - 03:41 AM
If perchance I'm missing the point here, please let me know!
The matter of monasticism being a higher calling was discussed in another thread, whose name I don't remember (ask Matthew), I'd like to speak to the point of creating "...a kind of heaven on earth".
There's a phrase in the model prayer, and my limited understanding of 'kingdom' as it appears in the Bible, which are the basis for my comments.
The Kingdom of God is both physical and immaterial, it is both present and future. The most striking thing is this, we know it's not like any fifedom this world has to offer. My understanding about God was that wherever I'm at, my struggle was to submit myself in obedience to God, so that the rule and authority (ie; kingdom/heaven) of God would be evident.
Creation is the business of God, it is also His choice to 'show off' those servants of His to the demons and all creation (Job), "...that men may glorify your Father in heaven".
the unworthy servant
Posted 09 December 2002 - 06:52 PM
Posted 10 December 2002 - 12:26 AM
Posted 10 December 2002 - 11:13 AM
You will be in my prayers.
Posted 11 December 2002 - 02:47 AM
you are right, i know that it would be very difficult. i become even more discouraged when i am a witness to my own constant failings in the secular life to even maintain a strict routine of praying, and other more simple orthodox practises. and its easy to blame the modern world and its distractions for my lack of discipline. but i figure if i can't get these basics right in the secular world, how can i even comtemplate entering a monastic community.
Posted 11 December 2002 - 03:14 AM
Posted 11 December 2002 - 11:02 AM
I think it takes a great deal of self-knowledge, courageous examination of motives and alternatives, and rare self-possession to survive and thrive in a community, and unless the prospect (and experience, once tried) inspires in you joy rather than tedium, my advice is: don't even contemplate it as a permanent way of life. Why not however sample a few monasteries as a guest, and if you should encounter a particularly charismatic spiritual guide along the way, this may indicate what your own vocation should be. At the least reckoning it could enhance your vision and inner growth.
How refreshing it is to read such accounts from all posters here of real spiritual motivation amongst Orthodox Christians. One principal reason for my deep alienation from the RC church is its legalistic and repressive outlook in respect of the personal quest for wisdom. But then look at Cherie Blair (Booth), who seems to marry her RC faith quite happily with the practice of New Age nostrums and association with lifestyle gurus. Maybe that's the Third Way in practice?
Posted 11 December 2002 - 12:19 PM
>>also curious, there appears that many of the posters here may have considered a monastic life. my question is, how can you tell, what is the
defining moment or thing that either directs you to remain as part of the laity, or to try the monastic life? have any of you tried and realised
that it wasn't your calling after all? would appreciate your responses...
I considered the monastic life as a child. Realized it was more a "romantic dream" when I was a teenager, but continued to be interested in it. Made the acquaintence of the members of a brotherhood and have kept contact with them over the years. My husband and I have grave plots in the cemetary they own. At this time in my life, I find I think more and more of "last things." My husband, who is, as literally as can be in this life, my other half, and I have decided that whichever of us dies first, the other will go to a monastery - at least for a while. It will permit us to "try" the life and see if that is really for us. It will also permit us to cut many ties here on earth and let us cement more ties to God and heaven.
The thing that is difficult for me is that I have so many things that tie me to this earth and distract me from focussing "there." Children, grandchildren, friends, business, all of these keep me "here" when I know I should be focussing "there." Going to a monastery even if only for a few weeks or months as well as knowing my other half is with God, I think will help me focus "there" better.
Sometimes it is the timing in life. It may be that I have a vocation and that the time for it will be after my husband's death. OR, it may be that I do not have a vocation afterall. One way or another, I will find out. My husband feels the same way. Right now, however, we are trying to help lead each other to salvation - however poorly we do it - as we are adjured to do in marriage.
I have found that, at least for now, I have a "true" vocation for marriage. Our bond is very close. We pray together, we laugh together, we mourn together. He helps keep my emotions from running away with me, and I help him acknowledge his rather than burying them in a mound of logic and reason. We work on subduing "the passions" together and try to set some kind of good example for our children and grandchildren.
There are many vocations - some monastic, some marriage, some a celibate life in the world. While monastic life can approach the angelic life, remember that it can also lead to prelest and self-delusion (of course, so can any other kind of life!). Wherever we are in life, we must gird our loins and try to work out our salvation. Perhaps even these electronic forums are a part of our work toward salvation.
Posted 11 December 2002 - 03:51 PM
1. always get in the longest check-out line, or drive-thru.
2. do small things for people without them knowing about it.
3. spend one day identifying all negative thoughts and removing them
4. spend one hour sitting still, reciting the Jesus Prayer
5. spend some time around some people who are fat and smelly (most monastics are).
6. the next time someone says something critical of you, say absolutely nothing. Just nod your head, yes.
7. try to help an alcoholic or drug addict get into treatment, without losing your temper
8. add to this list till you get to ten. you get the idea.
Posted 11 December 2002 - 08:21 PM
Posted 12 December 2002 - 10:00 AM
For me, one of the main attractions of the religious life in community would be communal singing of the daily office, but precious few houses in the UK any longer do that properly, apart from the Benedictines (for women, and in the RC tradition, of course). I have heard Orthodox monks in Bulgaria, Cistercians in Hungary, and Premonstratensian canons in Belgium chanting the office; all very different but equally impressive. It gives a real focus to the life in community.
Posted 12 December 2002 - 11:15 AM
Posted 12 December 2002 - 01:07 PM
Posted 12 December 2002 - 05:32 PM
Posted 12 December 2002 - 06:01 PM
> defining moment or thing that either directs
> you to remain as part of the laity, or to try
> the monastic life?
What I am told by my monk friends is that you never know until you try - e.g. get clothed as a novice. Most novices never get tonsured. Usually even the "failed" monks have found that their attempt was time well spent, and still contributed to their spiritual life. There is a great photo frontispiece to a chapter on bearing one's cross in the book by St. Theophan the recluse - letters to nuns. It shows a monk on the cross, being tortured by the demons from below, and being encouraged by the angels from above. That picture and the chapter associated with it, is probably a good description of monastic life - joyful suffering.
Posted 12 December 2002 - 06:58 PM
Posted 12 December 2002 - 07:14 PM
This all is contingent upon the degree in which we are following Christ in our every day lives whether we have entered 'ministry' or not. As we are faithful to follow, the Lord will continue to lead each of us into that which He has already prepared for us. As we come to know Him more, we will then come to know our calling on a much greater level with a greater degree of clarity. I honestly don't think it ought to be looked at, as something just to 'try', but if one's heart is leading them in this, and they do sense a calling, then continue in earnest prayer in seeking the Lord, and He will make each of our paths before us straight and clear in the way we should go.
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