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Author Topic: A Gem I found  (Read 2106 times) Average Rating: 0
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Keble
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« on: November 12, 2003, 01:00:07 PM »

Five Good Reasons Not to Visit a Monastery
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2003, 02:03:04 PM »

A Gem? Oh, Kebie, Kebie, I don't expect a non-Orthodox to understand.
It seems that Fr. Ephraim's brought true Orthodox Athonite monasticism to America and SOME jurisdictions (or some clergy in some) are getting a bit of heartburn or maybe guilt pangs. Not all feel the way it's been presented in Again mag, BTW.
Seems the hierarchies of some jurisdictions feel threatened by the faithful seeing true Orthodoxy without the protestantized-American bent they have allowed to creep into the Church in America. They feel put out that the faithful might learn the the path is not easy, that being "in the Church" is not a "club-thing", that all of the ecomonia being allowed is NOT OK really. Well. too bad.
Too much effort's been done portraying our church as a "denomination". No such thing in the Church. ('Denominations' - Now THAT is weird!) The Athonite monastic tradition is here and that is good for the Church. And the source of the celibate episcopacy in the Church is here and I'm sure that's on the malcontents minds as well.
Too much congregationalism has crept into the Church in America. These monastaries will thwart that dubious flirtation as well. Good.
Think I'll read some more Dostoyevsky tonight.
Demetri
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2003, 02:11:22 PM »

Good article - I'd read it years ago on Usenet, where I first met Keble. 'Soul-profiting reading' for much of the online Eastern Orthodox scene (the Bills/Vasilis of the world do seem to congregate there, don't they?), especially those who LOUDLY and repeatedly lecture everybody else on what is and is not really EO when they themselves aren't EO and don't even worship regularly at one of those churches.
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Keble
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2003, 02:21:50 PM »

A Gem? Oh, Kebie, Kebie, I don't expect a non-Orthodox to understand.
It seems that Fr. Ephraim's brought true Orthodox Athonite monasticism to America and SOME jurisdictions (or some clergy in some) are getting a bit of heartburn or maybe guilt pangs. Not all feel the way it's been presented in Again mag, BTW.

I dunno-- I am increasingly coming to the opinion that Orthodoxy is better off with the Athonites on Mt. Athos, and preferably without high speed internet access.

I don't think the authors of this feel guilty at all; I think they (and especially the Antiochians, who are bearing the brunt of the convert experience) are getting really tired of having to tell converts to get a grip on themselves.
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2003, 02:31:28 PM »


I dunno-- I am increasingly coming to the opinion that Orthodoxy is better off with the Athonites on Mt. Athos, and preferably without high speed internet access.

I don't think the authors of this feel guilty at all; I think they (and especially the Antiochians, who are bearing the brunt of the convert experience) are getting really tired of having to tell converts to get a grip on themselves.

I'm getting light-headed. You and I agree on that much at least. I've seen too much internet criticism of Fr. Ephraim recently and am too sensitized. I know it's a rarity here, but I relate with mostly cradle Orthodox in person and my perspective may be different.
You're right about "high speed internet access", too.  Smiley
Demetri

Addendum to above post :
I have reconsidered my own hasty retraction above and now retract IT. I miss-read Kelbe's "on Mt Athos" as meaning "of Mt Athos". Hence, my original post stands as my opinion. Henceforth, I will try to ignore statements, comments, and opinions made by those outside the Church about Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 03:17:50 PM »

Keep in mind that the article is written by an Abbot (rather conservative and unpretentious one at that).  I think it's a good article to remind you to "keep the middle path" so to speak and not get carried away.  A good reminder on when and when not to visit a monastery.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2003, 06:02:48 PM »

Keep in mind that the article is written by an Abbot (rather conservative and unpretentious one at that).  I think it's a good article to remind you to "keep the middle path" so to speak and not get carried away.  A good reminder on when and when not to visit a monastery.

Good point-Abbot Jonah is in one of the more conservative dioceses in the OCA, led by a bishop who can be rather outspoken about traditional Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2003, 12:29:23 AM »

Yes, a good article.  And a call to sanity.

In IC XC
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demetrios
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2003, 12:56:14 PM »

Seems the hierarchies of some jurisdictions feel threatened by the faithful seeing true Orthodoxy without the protestantized-American bent they have allowed to creep into the Church in America

this is the greatest piece of truth I have found on this thread yet.
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2003, 01:50:56 PM »

Seems the hierarchies of some jurisdictions feel threatened by the faithful seeing true Orthodoxy without the protestantized-American bent they have allowed to creep into the Church in America

this is the greatest piece of truth I have found on this thread yet.

demetrios,

-à +¦+¦+¦-ä-â+¦-é

Demetri
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2003, 09:08:26 PM »

"Wherever Orthodox monasticism is absent, the Church does not exist, just as there cannot be a goverment without an army and a well goverened state without gendarmes.  The monastics guard the boundries of our Church and protect Her from her enemies, who, in our contemporary materialistic age, rush to mangle Her like wovles."  

-Elder Amphilochios of Patmos
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2003, 09:34:49 PM »

What some seem to be missing is that the article isn't anti-monastic, it is written by a monastic for goodness sake.  It is anti-prelest and anti-personality cult.  This is exactly what some converts and monastics and clerics are engaging in, as witnessed by the ROAC "I am a  catechumen but know better than everyone else" types and others like them of this and other forums.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2003, 09:45:28 PM »

Fr. Lance,
I know that the article itself wasn't intended to be anti-monastic, but I think some people are using it in thier anti-monastic agenda.  Also I think a well written critique of the problems, not satire, would have been more effective and contained more clarity.
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2003, 11:16:05 PM »

Personally, I believe Fr. Jonah is right on target.  I only wish I could have gone to hear him when he was in Bozeman in February of this year to speak on monasticism.

Fr. Jonah has some very good points.  He is warning against prelest and pride and recent converts who think they know everything and judge those who don't do it the way that they think it should be done.  He warns against the pride of thinking that a mere priest could not be the spiritual father that you need.  I have heard too many people who talk about their quest to find the perfect spiritual,  father.  Fr. Jonah has probably heard way too many people talk about finding a spiritual father worthy of their obedience.  I think he's right that a real spiritual father would deflate him in a hurry.   I know I've heard many people on the internet talk about their quest to find the perfect spiritual father.  I've also heard many priests on these boards and lists warn them that this can be fueled by spiritual pride, and the reaction that this usually gets.  I think the operative thing that opens the mouth of the teacher is our willingness to hear and to obey.  If we're at that point, then God can use anyone, including a "mere" priest or the worst sinner, for that matter.    

Personally, I'd stay away from a "spiritual father" who thinks of himself as a great spiritual father, because true spiritual fathers are very humble and don't tout themselves as great spiritual fathers.  

I don't believe that Fr. Jonah puts down monasticism at all.  He just points out the fact that life in a monastary and out in the world (which would be most parishes unless you attend church in a monastic community) are two different things and that there are different standards for each.  And that is traditional in the Orthodox Church.  There are different expectations in parishes than there are in monasteries.

Also, I can guarantee you that Fr. Jonah's bishop, His Grace +Bishop TIKHON, is very conservative and traditional (which I'm thankful for--I have tremendous respect for him).  Fr. Jonah took over as abbot of the monastery after His Grace, +Bishop NIKOLAI was elected to the Episcopacy (sp?).   Having met His Grace, +Bishop NIKOLAI, a couple of times the week before his election, he is a very holy person, and I bet is and was a great spiritual father.  I think it meant a lot for him to visit the parishes here in Montana, since this is where he was born and raised.  The first time I met him he scared me to death.  When he looks at you, he sees right into your soul.  However, if you make eye contact with him (as I did later that night), then you see the kindness and compassion in those eyes.  He has tremendous humility as well.

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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2003, 03:32:50 AM »

Oh, and if you're single and male, Fr. Jonah will, ahem...try and recruit you so to speak.  He could use young men with good backs to help build things on the property. Wink
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