Why Every Home is a Monastery Part 3: St. John Chrysostom’s Answer

So how do we (while living in the world) strive after the monastic ideal of communion with God, is it really possible to have monasticism as our reference point?  Saint John Chrysostom has an answer:

“Even a man living within a city can imitate the life of monks. Indeed, even a man who has wife, and who is occupied with the demands of his household, can pray, fast, and learn contrition. For those who were first taught by the Apostles, even though they were living in cities, showed the same piety as those who lived in the deserts, again, others, such as Priscilla and Aquila, ruled over workshops [this case, they were tent-makers]. Also the Prophets had spouses and homes, as did Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the great Prophet Moses, and these things did not hinder them at all with regard to virtue. Let us therefore imitate these people, and let us continually offer up thanks to God, and let us constantly praise Him. Let us cultivate self-mastery and all of the other virtues, and let us bring into our cities the way of life which is sought in the deserts.”

From such great men and writers as St. John Chrysostom, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and St. John Paul, we see a great challenge and calling for all of the baptized (monastics, married and single Christians). A challenge to live the gospel fully whether in the deserts or cities, monasteries or homes, we are each called to love, to communion with God and each other.


Children gathered around the Holy Gospel.

This blog is about what it means in practical terms to have monasticism as a reference point. We can only share our own experience of course, which is that of a married couple, parents with eight children, and as Eastern Christians. We are monastic associates (oblates) and long time friends of Holy Resurrection Monastery. Our family has been blessed to worship with the monks for many years now. We do know that we have a unique and privileged perspective and want to share what we have experienced and learned over the years in the hope of helping others on their own journey.


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  1. Pingback: Every Home a MonasteryWhy Every Home is a Monastery Part 2: Patriarch Bartholomew on Marriage and Monasticism - Every Home a Monastery

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