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Author Topic: Layperson- Marriage or celibate  (Read 4686 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 08, 2008, 07:16:09 AM »

If you are single, it doesn't mean that you are called to be a monastic.  God can call you to remain single and celibate and to work out your salvation in the world. 

This topic is renamed and was divided off   Topic: Having and Raising a family in an Ethic Parish, how is it???--- Thomas, Convert Issues Forum Moderator
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 02:15:55 PM »

If you are single, it doesn't mean that you are called to be a monastic.  God can call you to remain single and celibate and to work out your salvation in the world. 

This is not the norm in Orthodoxy though.  If you remain single, you are not obedient to anyone but yourself.  When you become a monk, you are obedient to your abbot, and when you are married, you are obedient to your spouse.
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 12:19:58 AM »

This is not the norm in Orthodoxy though.  If you remain single, you are not obedient to anyone but yourself.  When you become a monk, you are obedient to your abbot, and when you are married, you are obedient to your spouse.

Nonsense, drewmeister. A layman can remain single and celibate and live an acceptably Orthodox life without becoming a monk. The world is full of such people. The only time a single man has to make a decision as to whether he will marry or enter monastic life is if he is called to the priesthood. Not all single celibates are cut out for monastic life. Obedience to God is paramount, then to an abbot or spouse.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 02:30:17 AM »

Nonsense, drewmeister. A layman can remain single and celibate and live an acceptably Orthodox life without becoming a monk. The world is full of such people. The only time a single man has to make a decision as to whether he will marry or enter monastic life is if he is called to the priesthood. Not all single celibates are cut out for monastic life. Obedience to God is paramount, then to an abbot or spouse.

This is not the norm though in Orthodoxy.  In earlier times almost everyone became a monk or was married.  There may be exceptions though here and there, something that has to be worked out with one's spiritual father.  While yes, obedience to God is paramount, having another person (abbot or spouse) to be obedient to on this earth can help us be obedient to God by helping us to live not for ourselves, but for someone else, to become humble to accept and do someone else's will not only our own all the time, which ultimately strengthens us to accept and do God's will.
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 04:47:37 AM »

Again, I have to disagree with you. History is full of laymen (women included) who were single, or became single again through becoming widowed, who did not enter monastic life, yet led proper, if not exemplary, Orthodox lives. What period in history do you refer to when you say "in earlier times"? 50 years ago? A century ago? 500 years ago? 4th century? In all honesty, what is against the "norm of Orthodoxy" (whatever that means, please shed some light on this) for a single, celibate layman from establishing and maintaining obedience to a spiritual father? Do not let your "traditionalist" jurisdiction blind you to this.
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 02:41:11 PM »

Again, I have to disagree with you. History is full of laymen (women included) who were single, or became single again through becoming widowed, who did not enter monastic life, yet led proper, if not exemplary, Orthodox lives. What period in history do you refer to when you say "in earlier times"? 50 years ago? A century ago? 500 years ago? 4th century? In all honesty, what is against the "norm of Orthodoxy" (whatever that means, please shed some light on this) for a single, celibate layman from establishing and maintaining obedience to a spiritual father? Do not let your "traditionalist" jurisdiction blind you to this.

Again, I did not say there weren't exceptions, but it is not the norm (the norm being that one be married or become a monk).  When I say earlier times, I mean before this last century.  In the past, you never read about "the single life" in the works of the Fathers.  They only mention monasticism, and for those who are not able to live the monastic life, they mention marriage.  Obedience to a spiritual father isn't quite the same.  He is only supposed to guide you in the spiritual life, and while yes, this is of course important and we should obey him, it is good to have a spouse or abbot to guide you in the more worldly and day-to-day aspects of life. 

BTW, this has nothing to do with me being traditionalist.  If you don't agree with me, fine, but don't criticize what I say as if being Old Calendarist somehow affects me seeing what is right.  Stick to the content of the argument Smiley.   
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 03:38:25 PM »

BTW, this has nothing to do with me being traditionalist.  If you don't agree with me, fine, but don't criticize what I say as if being Old Calendarist somehow affects me seeing what is right.  Stick to the content of the argument Smiley.   

Indeed!  Smiley
Actually I do not see you two as arguing, outright. If I'm not mistaken, the first step in entering a monastic life for a layman is living as Orthodox Christian life as fully, completely as possible where they are, as they are, at all times. So, LBK is correct...and so are you.
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 03:51:30 PM »

Again, I have to disagree with you. History is full of laymen (women included) who were single, or became single again through becoming widowed, who did not enter monastic life, yet led proper, if not exemplary, Orthodox lives. What period in history do you refer to when you say "in earlier times"? 50 years ago? A century ago? 500 years ago? 4th century? In all honesty, what is against the "norm of Orthodoxy" (whatever that means, please shed some light on this) for a single, celibate layman from establishing and maintaining obedience to a spiritual father? Do not let your "traditionalist" jurisdiction blind you to this.


Quote from: Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.


Those who are widowed have already experienced obedience to a spouse.

Being celibate and single is not the norm in Orthodoxy. As Andrew said, exceptions exist for various reasons. But they are exceptions. I do not judge those who are in such situations if they are in obedience to their parish priest.  But that does not mean that "bachelorhood" is an "equally valid third choice" either. Christianity is a social religion. Being alone is not good for the soul except for hermits who have been monks in a community for many years. So it is in a similar way that an older widow(er) that has purified his or her soul through years of marriage can make a very prayerful person (while a younger one would probably seek a new spouse).  Some people have emotional or physical issues that preclude marriage but they are not called to monasticism. Fine. That still does not make it an equal life-path choice or something that should be encouraged.

Don't let your "modernist" jurisdiction sway you into thinking there is not a "norm of Orthodoxy" Wink
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 03:57:35 PM »

What I've been told is that both marriage and monasticism are sacramental, whereas living single without monastic vows is not.  That doesn't mean one can't be a good Orthodox Christian as a single person, it's just not a sacramental lifestyle in the way that marriage or monasticism are.
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 04:48:12 PM »

Well, this is interesting.  I have never married, nor am I a nun.  That's just the way it is.  I've never thought my life was anything "less" because of the omission of either state.

I certainly am not "anti" marriage, however, the opportunity simply has not yet presented itself. 

When I was in my 20's, I couldn't wait to get married.  However, over the years, when the "right" man hadn't entered my life, I've resigned myself to being "alone".  Why fight the state you find yourself in?  Why be unhappy and always "wait" for happiness.  I am happy and grateful every day of my life, for what I DO have, not sad for what I am missing.

I busy myself with work, taking care of an aging mother, and spending time with my godchildren.  Additionally, I try to help out with any church activities that come my way (being "single" leaves more time to do these things). 

I believe there is a reason why things happen the way they do, even if we are not aware of that reason.

My life is full, and I DO try to live a "good" Orthodox life - even though I often fall short.

This is news to me that God should be unhappy with me for being single.  However, I don't think he'd be happy with me, just because I was married, if I married for the wrong reasons.

Besides, I don't need a husband or an abbess to keep me in line, if I have the Lord "before" me at all times.  My conscience does a good enough job on its own.

Just my opinion.




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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2008, 05:30:26 PM »

I don't think God is unhappy with anyone--God is beyond our human conceptions. I think the attitude that is being addressed here are people who deliberately avoid marriage, not people such as yourself for whom, "the opportunity simply has not yet presented itself."

I think your attitude is very good because you are open to God's will in case some day someone does come along. You certainly are doing a lot at your church and are a valued part of the community. That's excellent, and I certainly would not tell you to do anything differently.

As to your point as to whether your life is "less" than others'--I don't think my life is "less" than my monk friends' even though their calling is certainly higher than mine as a married person.  As you said, "it's just the way things are." You may be in the minority but you seem to be responding to the circumstances you find yourself in in a very appropriate way.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2008, 07:16:08 PM »

I find the discussion here to be rooted in very rigid categories of monastic vs. married.  I was always under the impression that Orthodoxy is rooted in flexibility.  There has to be a third category or fourth or fifth.  In fact, I know a priest who has a monastic tonsure but does not live in a monastery simply because there is not one around where he serves a parish.  I don't think anyone here is going to say that he is doing wrong.

I'm in my early thirties.  I have tried to find a spouse and I cannot, for whatever reason, and it becomes more and more difficult as I grow older and simply moving to "greener pastures" is not really an option as I am vested in my job and also in my parish.  I have to be prepared to live the celibate life possibly forever, but I don't think the solution is to fly out to the east coast and find a monastery to enter as a novice.

Non-married people in the church (whether yesterday or today) were never automatically encouraged to join a monastery.  Again, it seems ridiculously rigid.
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2008, 09:54:27 PM »

I find the discussion here to be rooted in very rigid categories of monastic vs. married.  I was always under the impression that Orthodoxy is rooted in flexibility.  There has to be a third category or fourth or fifth.  In fact, I know a priest who has a monastic tonsure but does not live in a monastery simply because there is not one around where he serves a parish.  I don't think anyone here is going to say that he is doing wrong.

I'm in my early thirties.  I have tried to find a spouse and I cannot, for whatever reason, and it becomes more and more difficult as I grow older and simply moving to "greener pastures" is not really an option as I am vested in my job and also in my parish.  I have to be prepared to live the celibate life possibly forever, but I don't think the solution is to fly out to the east coast and find a monastery to enter as a novice.

Non-married people in the church (whether yesterday or today) were never automatically encouraged to join a monastery.  Again, it seems ridiculously rigid.

Well, I think the "flexibility" in this case would be with regards that there are exceptions here and there that someone may not end up being married or becoming a monk.  If Orthodoxy were inflexible, it would say that everyone must become a monk or get married, and there can be no exceptions ever.

There are many cases where hieromonks have to go and serve in parishes.  This is not the ideal to have so many hieromonks outside of their monasteries but is usually done because of the lack of married clergy to serve the parishes.  Ideally, they would all be at monasteries and only married clergy would serve the parishes.  This may be considered an exception of sorts based on the shortage of priests, but is not really ideal.  Even then, they still owe obedience to their abbot.  Also, usually if a hieromonk is sent out to a parish he has most likely been a monk for a while before hand, and so doesn't end up living his whole life away from the abbot and monastic community. 

No one is judging your situation though Smiley.  The important thing as Fr. Anastasios noted is to remain open to marriage, or even possibly being a monk if God so leads you to it.  Ultimately this is something to work out with your spiritual father. 
 
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2008, 11:03:37 PM »

I find the discussion here to be rooted in very rigid categories of monastic vs. married.  I was always under the impression that Orthodoxy is rooted in flexibility.  There has to be a third category or fourth or fifth.  In fact, I know a priest who has a monastic tonsure but does not live in a monastery simply because there is not one around where he serves a parish.  I don't think anyone here is going to say that he is doing wrong.
I guess I can say from my own first hand experience that there are other options for those who neither marry nor join a monastery, but I still wouldn't recommend it as though it were on the same level of ideal vocations as the "big two".  You could join an intentional community of non-monastic singles, such as a house of three or four Orthodox men.  I sense no calling whatsoever to pursue the monastic life, and I wonder if I'm yet ready for a wife, but in the meantime I have certainly benefited from living in some semblance of obedience to my housemates and to a house mentor/father.  I realize that this is certainly not an ideal situation for me, but I would definitely offer this as a viable alternative while you settle into a possibly longer wait for a mate.
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2008, 11:43:42 PM »

I guess I can say from my own first hand experience that there are other options for those who neither marry nor join a monastery, but I still wouldn't recommend it as though it were on the same level of ideal vocations as the "big two".  You could join an intentional community of non-monastic singles, such as a house of three or four Orthodox men.  I sense no calling whatsoever to pursue the monastic life, and I wonder if I'm yet ready for a wife, but in the meantime I have certainly benefited from living in some semblance of obedience to my housemates and to a house mentor/father.  I realize that this is certainly not an ideal situation for me, but I would definitely offer this as a viable alternative while you settle into a possibly longer wait for a mate.

You brought this up once before PtA, but unfortunately, this is is not a tenable situation.  I live in a place where the ORthodox are a very distinct minority and I am in a small parish.  This parish simply does not have the means or the resources to make accommodations such as these.  Much easier said than done espeically when I am pretty much the ONLY single male in the parish!
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2008, 01:05:50 AM »

Well, this is interesting.  I have never married, nor am I a nun.  That's just the way it is.  I've never thought my life was anything "less" because of the omission of either state.

I certainly am not "anti" marriage, however, the opportunity simply has not yet presented itself. 

When I was in my 20's, I couldn't wait to get married.  However, over the years, when the "right" man hadn't entered my life, I've resigned myself to being "alone".  Why fight the state you find yourself in?  Why be unhappy and always "wait" for happiness.  I am happy and grateful every day of my life, for what I DO have, not sad for what I am missing.

I busy myself with work, taking care of an aging mother, and spending time with my godchildren.  Additionally, I try to help out with any church activities that come my way (being "single" leaves more time to do these things). 

I believe there is a reason why things happen the way they do, even if we are not aware of that reason.

My life is full, and I DO try to live a "good" Orthodox life - even though I often fall short.

This is news to me that God should be unhappy with me for being single.  However, I don't think he'd be happy with me, just because I was married, if I married for the wrong reasons.

Besides, I don't need a husband or an abbess to keep me in line, if I have the Lord "before" me at all times.  My conscience does a good enough job on its own.

Just my opinion.

Right on, sister. If the "right man" comes along, then marry him. If it is your fate to remain single, then fate/Providence will show you this. If not, then there's no shame in remaining single, while maintaining and practicing your Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2008, 02:25:27 AM »

You brought this up once before PtA, but unfortunately, this is is not a tenable situation.  I live in a place where the ORthodox are a very distinct minority and I am in a small parish.  This parish simply does not have the means or the resources to make accommodations such as these.  Much easier said than done espeically when I am pretty much the ONLY single male in the parish!
Granted, my general suggestion may not work for you, but it may work for someone else who might be reading this thread.  (My house also has men from more than one parish in this town.)
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2008, 04:47:19 AM »

Hi everyone,

In discussions like this one, I have always wondered, just why is monasticism considered a "higher" calling than a life in the world (either married or single). I keep hearing this argument that while marriage is a "natural" thing (implying, it's easy, just "go by the flow" etc.), monasticism is an angelic, "spernatural" thing. That's why all our bishops are monastics. Strange... Having been married for 25 years and having been a severe neurotic all my life, I know all too well that marriage is "unnatural" for at least some oddballs like myself, and that it really is a martyrdom (those crowns do make sense:)).

Sometimes I think, you know, all people should marry. Let'em try...  laugh
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2008, 09:08:23 AM »

Ahem... what about hermits? They often didn't (or don't?) live in monasteries but completely alone, but they were (or are?) not married.
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2008, 09:21:08 AM »

I find the discussion here to be rooted in very rigid categories of monastic vs. married.  I was always under the impression that Orthodoxy is rooted in flexibility.  There has to be a third category or fourth or fifth.  In fact, I know a priest who has a monastic tonsure but does not live in a monastery simply because there is not one around where he serves a parish.  I don't think anyone here is going to say that he is doing wrong.

I'm in my early thirties.  I have tried to find a spouse and I cannot, for whatever reason, and it becomes more and more difficult as I grow older and simply moving to "greener pastures" is not really an option as I am vested in my job and also in my parish.  I have to be prepared to live the celibate life possibly forever, but I don't think the solution is to fly out to the east coast and find a monastery to enter as a novice.

Non-married people in the church (whether yesterday or today) were never automatically encouraged to join a monastery.  Again, it seems ridiculously rigid.

At issue here is the discernment of the life that God has called us to live.  It is true that some have been called and accepted the call to  marriage  also known as  the "green Martyrdom"  in which one sacrifices their will to the needs of their  spouse and family  to the Glory of God, ascesis, prayer, and almsgiveing etc. Others have been called to live the "White Martyrdom " of monastacism and all that entails---obedience, submission of one's will to a spiritual father and a community, prayer, ascesis, etc.  Still others are still open to God's call waiting to discern whether they are to be married or enter the monastic calling. In Russia (under the communists) and other areas where monastacism was either discouraged or not readily available, some  became as though they were monks and nuns living in their parish communities but under spiritual direction, living a personal prayer rule, and being active with in the parish community with ascesis, prayer, and alms giving. [Indeed in our parish  Father has stated that the most generous in giving alms to the Church and the poor have been women who have never married and had careers, they often give anonymously and with great love to those in need].

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« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2008, 09:37:18 AM »

Ahem... what about hermits? They often didn't (or don't?) live in monasteries but completely alone, but they were (or are?) not married.

One could only become a hermit after many years of community life normally (there are examples in the Desert Fathers of people not doing this and having suffered the effects).

Hermits are still in obedience to a spiritual father--they have to come down for confession and communion.
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« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2008, 10:05:49 AM »

Non-married people in the church (whether yesterday or today) were never automatically encouraged to join a monastery.  Again, it seems ridiculously rigid.

This got me thinking about cultures and societies and how people live.  In many places unmarried daughters just lived at home and sometimes ended up caring for aging parents.  Unmarried sons might stay or leave to find some other place.  Farms or small shops need hands to get the work done.  So I wonder historically how a married or monastic supposed dichotomy actually applied to the societies.

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« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2008, 01:52:50 PM »

In discussions like this one, I have always wondered, just why is monasticism considered a "higher" calling than a life in the world (either married or single). I keep hearing this argument that while marriage is a "natural" thing (implying, it's easy, just "go by the flow" etc.), monasticism is an angelic, "spernatural" thing.

I used to think that monasticism was somehow better or a higher calling than the vocation of marriage.  But I don't anymore especially when I have read much about the Orthodox teaching of what marriage is.  Marriage is no more, no less a vocation than monasticism.  Both are mechanisms in place for us to die to ourselves and serve our Lord.  In fact, if I recall correctly, St. Pachomios, the founder of monasticism in the East wrote a most impassioned defense of marriage as an equal calling for the servants of God.  Neither is better than the other.
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2008, 03:20:40 PM »

Do you mean that we are ALL obliged to have an authority on Earth?
Well we can also do the same as celibate layman. I can live my life in chastity and celibacy and go for confession and communion to my spiritual father but receiving no tonsure.
Sincerely I take this situation seriously as I think it's my personal vocation to remain celibate... but who knows?
In my opinion there are "eunuchs for the kingdom of God" who are not obliged to become monks. I mean... celibacy as a charisma preceeds monasticism and was originally held in the communities (think of st Paul and Barnaba)
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« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2008, 03:51:37 PM »

I used to think that monasticism was somehow better or a higher calling than the vocation of marriage.  But I don't anymore especially when I have read much about the Orthodox teaching of what marriage is.  Marriage is no more, no less a vocation than monasticism.  Both are mechanisms in place for us to die to ourselves and serve our Lord.  In fact, if I recall correctly, St. Pachomios, the founder of monasticism in the East wrote a most impassioned defense of marriage as an equal calling for the servants of God.  Neither is better than the other.

Here is a link that describes how monastic life is considered higher than married life by the Fathers: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/metrtheo_mon.aspx
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2008, 04:29:23 PM »

Here is a link that describes how monastic life is considered higher than married life by the Fathers: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/metrtheo_mon.aspx
Higher calling?  Undoubtedly!  But only those who can withstand its rigors should pursue this higher calling.
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2008, 05:07:38 PM »

Higher calling?  Undoubtedly!  But only those who can withstand its rigors should pursue this higher calling.

Exactly--while monasticism is the higher calling, it is not everyone's calling. And with that calling comes extra responsibility.

BTW, of interest to this discussion is the fact that a hieromonk automatically outranks a priest (unless he has an award).  So even if I am a priest for like 5 years, if my monk friend gets ordained a priest, he will outrank me automatically and get to go first in line during liturgies. But I really don't have a problem with that--because he accepted the higher calling Wink
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« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2008, 07:27:08 PM »

Exactly--while monasticism is the higher calling, it is not everyone's calling. And with that calling comes extra responsibility.

Nor is marriage everyone's calling.  That calling has a lot of extra responsibility as well, such as rearing children.

I find this debate frivolous, having become almost a scorecard about who is more pious than another based on their vocation.  With that, I will end my participation in this thread.
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« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2008, 09:38:07 PM »

Exactly--while monasticism is the higher calling, it is not everyone's calling. And with that calling comes extra responsibility.

Perhaps the calling is timely, too. I seem to remember reading of saints who were called to monastic life after the death of their spouse. Previously they were married people, bringing up children. Not everyone is called to monastic life in their youth. Come to think of it; I seem to recall reading that often women sort monastic life (in the west, at least) as a refuge from a disastrous marriage. Unfortunately, I can't think of any examples, at the moment.
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« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2008, 10:48:54 PM »

Nor is marriage everyone's calling.  That calling has a lot of extra responsibility as well, such as rearing children.

I find this debate frivolous, having become almost a scorecard about who is more pious than another based on their vocation.  With that, I will end my participation in this thread.

I don't believe that one's calling has anything to do with how pious he or she is.
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« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2008, 10:54:59 PM »

Nor is marriage everyone's calling.  That calling has a lot of extra responsibility as well, such as rearing children.


It would be a sin to avoid that calling just because it has more responsibility though. I don't think that is what you are saying, but I think someone might read it that way.
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« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2008, 11:11:28 PM »

I seem to remember reading of saints who were called to monastic life after the death of their spouse.

I know a few bishops who have followed this path even today. 
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2008, 12:31:41 AM »

It would be a sin to avoid that calling just because it has more responsibility though. I don't think that is what you are saying, but I think someone might read it that way.

No, I was neither saying nor implying such.
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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2008, 08:49:29 AM »

Do you mean that we are ALL obliged to have an authority on Earth?
Well we can also do the same as celibate layman. I can live my life in chastity and celibacy and go for confession and communion to my spiritual father but receiving no tonsure.
Sincerely I take this situation seriously as I think it's my personal vocation to remain celibate... but who knows?
In my opinion there are "eunuchs for the kingdom of God" who are not obliged to become monks. I mean... celibacy as a charisma preceeds monasticism and was originally held in the communities (think of st Paul and Barnaba)

Actually, as Orthodox Christians we are tonsured as on the day of our Baptism and Chrismation. Our first offering to God is our hair being cut (tonsured) in the sign of the cross. We may have additional tonsuring  during our life at various ordinations (Reader, Subdeacon, etc)or when we take additional vows like those of a monk.

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« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2008, 03:38:49 PM »

I meant monastic tonsure, of course. I mean I don't feel any vocation to monasticism -that's not my personal charisma - but at the same time I'm not going to engage in a relationship that could bring me to the altar. I find both ways a little bit "strange" for me. Sincerely I prefer to go and care for my parents, for the poor or use my talents for my neighbour in the so-called "world". Is that intrinsically wrong in Orthodoxy? Am I wrong in sensing my personal vocation?

I hope in a good answer (if you can give canonical or patristic sources on this subject... maybe that could help both me and those who are interested in this topic)

In Christ,     Alex
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2008, 04:24:37 PM »

I have to be honest here and say that I totally reject the idea that monasticism is a higher calling than marriage.  It is a DIFFERENT calling, and a difficult calling, but I reject that it is "higher."  Yes, I know that there are some fathers who said this.  But there are other fathers who said marriage is just as high a calling.  This topic is argued all the time, and was often the topic of arguments at Holy Cross while I was there.  You'll find people (including priests who are FAR better read and FAR better educated in their Orthodoxy than I am) on both sides.  I'm personally on the side that both are of equal height.  I'm not interested in arguing (which is why I'm not really offering any rebuttals of substance), just mentioning how I feel about the subject, and that it should not be taken for granted that monasticism is "higher" than marriage.  That is the opinion of some people.  Not everyone.  I personally feel that to say monasticism is "higher" is to (yet again) corrupt the Orthodox view of marriage, its purposes, and its fruits... hasn't this been discussed on the forum before?  I feel like I've had this conversation before... maybe I dreamt it... hmmmm... Smiley


I do have one question, though, for those who think that there is only marriage or celibacy.  What do you make of priests who are celibate but not monastics?  I know a bunch of them.  And they themselves will tell you that they are NOT monastics.  Monasticism and celibacy are simply not the same thing, and monasticism is not required of one who is celibate.  The priests that I speak of are obedient to their spiritual fathers, dedicated to Christ, celibate, etc.  But they have not been tonsured monastics, have no intention of becoming a monastic, etc. 

And just curious... who is deciding what is "the norm" in Orthodoxy?  Haven't we seen time and time again that just because our own experience of Orthodoxy gives us an idea of what is "normal" doesn't make that the case?  I know I certainly have been humbled in this way many times here on OC.net.

Just offering some food for thought, not intended to ignite any controversy or arguments. 

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2008, 04:43:48 PM »

Thanks for your contribution to the topic, Presbytera Mari... I was thinking ofthis just two or three minutes after I wrote my last post here. I think that celibate priests who are not monastics are also a great resource for the Church. They are the proof that monastic celibacy is not required to everybody which is not married...

In Christ,    Alex
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