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Want to become a monk...


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#161 Donna Rail

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:22 PM

Bob L.- prayers for you in your discernment. :)

#162 Owen Jones

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:46 AM

Dear Fr. David,

I am convinced that 99% of good mental health is based on love and structure (discipline). Without love the structure is a burden. But love without discipline is chaotic and even dangerous for the mind.

#163 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:58 PM

I think God is calling me to Monastic life...

#164 Paul Cowan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:24 AM

Check that with someone. I too had and still have these feelings before and when I returned from the Mountain. It "calls" to you. I understand.

Paul

#165 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:25 AM

I have been thinking about it even before I planned my trip to mount athos. I have been talking to the abbot of a monastery about it.

#166 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

The monastic calling is a wonderful thing. I have wanted to be a monk since the age of 17. I am now 19 going on 20, and have thought seriously about monasticism since last year. One passage of scripture especially struck me: Ye cannot serve both God and mammon. Wouldn't working in the world be serving mammon, if I am working for the sake of earning money? However, can an autistic person on the spectrum become a monk? I have Asperger's Syndrome, but am trying to overcome it. God willing, I will become indistinguishable from a normal person outwardly and in temperament. I know that I am very sinful, but I don't know if I could be saved if I continued to live in the world. Another thing is that I am studying engineering, but do not consider it a calling, or at least my heart is not in it. I doubt that I can achieve good results at something my heart is not in. Sorry if I have been rambling.

Pray for me, a sinner. 



#167 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:02 PM

Wouldn't working in the world be serving mammon,

 

Not necessarily. Even monasteries need money. Where do they get it from? Very often from sponsors, people who work in the world. We are told to give alms: how can we do that if we do not earn money? It is a matter of having an occupation which is not sinful of itself, and of having the right attitude to money. People often point to Christ's advice to the rich young man to sell everything, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Him. But that was specific advice to that young man - it was not for everyone. By contrast, Joseph of Arimathea is said to have been rich (from the tin trade), and Zacchaeus had only to give up half his wealth.



#168 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:37 PM

Dear Ilya,

 

I too have thought about becoming a monk though my spiritual father and I have thought it not right for me at least not for now, I would suggest that you speak to your spiritual father about it and of course pray.

 

Working is not for money, this idea of course permeates our thoughts because of the materialistic and money obsessed environment of this era in which we live but work is primary that which we do, that is the work par excellence is the Divine Liturgy,  on a "weekend"  we rise from bed we wash, we get dressed, we pray, we eat and then we may wash up or vacuum or bake bread for the coming day ect...  when we labour at a craft this is no different traditionally we may for example be a carpenter and made chairs that people might buy them to sit upon, the work was not for money but to produce something of value (a product or a service such as medical help) for others in exchange we got something of value back food, clothing ect.. money was just a way of reckoning the worth of each thing in comparison with another, of course now many of our jobs are not connected in a real way to this they are not crafts (this is one of the reasons we think in monetary terms), but the idea is still the same, we may work in a supermarket selling goods or we may work as a council official the point is we work because that is part of living both since "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread" and in another sense because working in a way is even more deeply connected to our life. The problem is when we work not  for this but because we wont money, when we live to serve money rather than use money to help us live. Andreas makes some good points above regarding monks needing provisions as well and this oft coming from those "in the world" also remember the Holy Apostle Paul he still worked when needed as a tent maker, monks still tend to what needs to be done in and for the monastery (growing and buying food, buying linen, washing clothing).

 

"However, can an autistic person on the spectrum become a monk?" There is no reason why not. The only obstacle I can think of from my own experience is maybe more difficulty submitting to the will of ones abbot and ones fellow brethren rather than wanting to do things ones own way and following the spirit rather than the letter of the law, also any practical difficulties you may have (for example I have to make my own food I don't like to eat that made by others as I worry about how they have made it) but this are examples from what I know of myself, I don't know you, only you can find what difficulties you may have there may be none, again I would suggest speaking to your spiritual father.

 

"I know that I am very sinful, but I don't know if I could be saved if I continued to live in the world." I could certainly say the same thing -I suspect most of us could- but remember the prime change for you is Christ you move from your sinfulness toward Christ through Christ, through the mysteries of the Church primary through Holy Communion, a monastery might help with that but then again it might not you are still going to face temptations different maybe but still there. Inside a monastery in a sense you are more shielded but in another the daemons seeing someone give there whole life to Christ in such a way will likely attack even more or with more force, a monastery is not somewhere to run away to. It is through Christ that we are saved, whether a monk or in the world, "But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" indeed "courage, courage, O ye people of God, for Christ will destroy our enemies, since He is all powerful".

 

"Another thing is that I am studying engineering, but do not consider it a calling, or at least my heart is not in it. I doubt that I can achieve good results at something my heart is not in." Again I can relate to this I would say keep on with your engineering it is a good skill to have, you may not end up doing it and choice something else whether that be in the world or in a monastery, God will guide you and lead you where you should go, keep praying to God and to the Theotokos and all the saints. 

 

In the Risen Christ.

Daniel,


Edited by Daniel R., 23 April 2014 - 10:43 PM.


#169 Ilaria

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:44 AM

First thing - and most important - would be to ask yourself : am I prepared to live all my life with different people?

As Fr. Emilianos used to say, monastic life is, in a very special way, a social life. Living with different people is not at all easy...it is not like having different collegues, as in school or at work; living with others is a very challenging perspective. One have to learn how to live with others and, sometimes, this lessons is a daylife lesson: you have to prepare yourself seriously!



#170 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

On the Fathers' house at the monastery here, there is a mosaic which reads, 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!' (Ps 133). This can be more a mission statement than a factual statement for a monastery!
 



#171 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 06:36 AM

However, if a monastery is functioning properly and has a God-fearing brotherhood, then why not? Even monasteries with few monks are better than no monasteries, because monks will still come, and all it takes is for there to be one man full of the Holy Spirit,as others will gather to emulate him.Archimandrite Ephraim of Philotheou left Mt Athos and set up 20 monasteries in the New World. He was attacked and criticized very much, but those monasteriesare healthy and functioning, with daily services. What more can you ask for?

#172 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 07:26 AM

However, if a monastery is functioning properly and has a God-fearing brotherhood, then why not? 

 

Because monastics are not perfect. Most monastics cannot transcend their own personalities. Personality clashes in monasteries are well known.



#173 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:52 PM

I have started to investigate more deeply with the permission of my spiritual father. I have read The Ladder, The Arena, and the Discourses of St. Dorotheos of Gaza. I have also received responses from various monasteries with offers to visit. I have also felt rather strongly that I do not belong in the world, and doing the normal routine things in the world is like torture to me. I do go to class, but not with as much pleasure as I would otherwise, and this makes learning a lot more difficult. I will ask my spiritual father again for more instructions, but is the feeling of not belonging in the world normal for those who seek the monastic life? If it isn't, I would like to know a way to suppress it. If it is, I would like to find out a way to act next. Sorry, if this post is very personal, but thanks to all.



#174 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 06:07 PM

Dear Ilya,

 

Personally I believe you are doing the right thing; keep following your spiritual father's advice, visit the monasteries, and most importantly keep praying. As for class ect.. just stick with it I know learning is hard when your heart is not in it but keep going until you have decided what to do, try to keep your dislike of normal routine things and your desire to become a monastic aside from each other, they may indeed be connected but try to keep them separate lest the former influence the latter, and not the other way around. Also remember any skills you learn could be of use to your monastery should you become a monastic, I'm sure St John of Damascus's classical education and administrative position would have been useful to his monastery and in his writing. Most of all pray.

 

In Christ.

Rdr Daniel,


Edited by Daniel R., 30 September 2014 - 06:09 PM.


#175 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 06:23 PM

I agree that you should stay at your studies. Elder Sophrony sent many of his novices to study theology. Anything can happen in life; if you have some qualification, it may be something to fall back on if need be.



#176 Mark Harris

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 07:07 PM

Some of the Philokalia may also be fruitful reading but perhaps your Spiritual guide can direct you here .




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