Monasticism

St. Benedict and the Spirit of Community

St. Benedict and the Spirit of Community

Whether you’ve read The Benedict Option or not, there is a good chance you’ve heard of it or even had a discussion about it. This book written by Rod Dreher has spurred many important discussions on how we as Christians should build community. It has also brought Saint Benedict of Nursia and monasticism into the mainstream conversation among Christians. What Dreher is describing is real […]

Community: Liturgy and Radical Individualism

Community: Liturgy and Radical Individualism

Lingering incense from liturgy the night before mixed with the smell of fresh flowers that decorate the empty tomb; bright lights filling the small chapel; the sanctuary veil swept aside, the holy doors flung wide open. These are the first things I experience when arriving for Agape Vespers on Pascha evening. Everyone in the chapel is that tired-to-your-bones exhausted after […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Love is a Call to Action

Lessons From A Monastery: Love is a Call to Action

What does it mean to partake of the life of the Holy Trinity? What does it mean to have communion with God? Think of a married couple. In this marriage, the couple fulfills all their duties. They are good to each other, respectful. They build a home where all obligations on both sides are met. There is even love for […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Detachment

Lessons From A Monastery: Detachment

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Chastity and the Eschaton

Lessons From A Monastery: Chastity and the Eschaton

“Thus monastic chastity is completed in love, just as the sacrament of marriage is consummated in love.” —Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Of all the monastic virtues I have written about so far, monastic Chastity (celibacy) most often makes religious life and married life seem worlds apart. AsPatriarch Bartholomew once said, “It is, therefore, unfortunate that centuries of negative connotations ascribed to […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Keeping Tradition Alive

Lessons From A Monastery: Keeping Tradition Alive

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. (2 Thess. 2:15) There are two extremes in the Church right now regarding Tradition. The first is to disregard anything one finds irrelevant to our modern age. Meanwhile, the other extreme is to […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Why a Habit?

Lessons From A Monastery: Why a Habit?

“The Habit brought the Church to life.” —Brian Plum Of all the outward signs of religious practices, the wearing of the habit is the most visual and also the one with the most wonder, questions, and controversy surrounding it. Seeing a nun in her full habit can conjure up strong feelings from childhood, remind a person of God’s nearness, or […]

Lessons From A Monastery: Obedience in One’s Vocation

Lessons From A Monastery: Obedience in One’s Vocation

Obedience is, without doubt, more meritorious than any austerity. And what greater austerity can be thought of than that of keeping one’s will constantly submissive and obedient? —Saint Catherine of Bologna There is a story about the Desert Fathers where four monks visit the Abbot Pambo. Each of them in turn tells him in private the virtues of the others. […]

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