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Author Topic: Monasticism - Catholicism and Orthodoxy  (Read 12014 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: January 19, 2010, 10:52:39 AM »

Grace and Peace,

I'm curious to know your views. What is the goal of monasticism? Please note, I would rather hear something more substantial than simply 'theosis' from Orthodox and something more substantial than "keeping the Commandments" from Catholics.

Thank you all.
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 11:44:54 AM »

We all have the same vocation lay or monastic that is that we are to acquire the likeness of God that was lost during the Fall of Adam. This is attained through public participation in the life of the Church and privately through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


For a pure monastic interpretation from a cenobitic perspective lets look at a Saint and Monastic highly respected in Both The Orthodox and Catholic Church, Saint Benedict of Nursia. Here is what he has to say on this topic:

The Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

Quote
Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20). Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience. To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience. And first of all, whatever good work you begin to do, beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,
that He who has now deigned to count us among His children may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.

For we must always so serve Him with the good things He has given us, that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children, nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions, deliver us to everlasting punishment as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.

Let us arise, then, at last, for the Scripture stirs us up, saying, "Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom. 13:11). Let us open our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us, "Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Ps. 94:Cool. And again, "Whoever has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7). And what does He say? "Come, My children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12). "Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you" (John 12:35).

And the Lord, seeking his laborer in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
says again, "Who is the one who will have life, and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)? And if, hearing Him, you answer, "I am the one," God says to you, "If you will have true and everlasting life, keep your tongue from evil and your lips that they speak no guile. Turn away from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).

And when you have done these things, My eyes shall be upon you and My ears open to your prayers; and before you call upon Me, I will say to you, 'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

What can be sweeter to us, dear ones, than this voice of the Lord inviting us? Behold, in His loving kindness the Lord shows us the way of life. Having our loins girded, therefore, with faith and the performance of good works (Eph. 6:14), let us walk in His paths by the guidance of the Gospel, that we may deserve to see Him who has called us to His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12). For if we wish to dwell in the tent of that kingdom, we must run to it by good deeds or we shall never reach it.

But let us ask the Lord, with the Prophet, "Lord, who shall dwell in Your tent, or who shall rest upon Your holy mountain" (Ps. 14:1)?

After this question, brothers and sisters, let us listen to the Lord as He answers and shows us the way to that tent, saying, "The one Who walks without stain and practices justice; who speaks truth from his heart; who has not used his tongue for deceit; who has done no evil to his neighbor; who has given no place to slander against his neighbor." This is the one who, under any temptation from the malicious devil, has brought him to naught (Ps. 14:4) by casting him and his temptation from the sight of his heart; and who has laid hold of his thoughts while they were still young and dashed them against Christ (Ps. 136:9). It is they who, fearing the Lord (Ps. 14:4), do not pride themselves on their good observance; but, convinced that the good which is in them cannot come from themselves and must be from the Lord, glorify the Lord's work in them (Ps. 14:4), using the words of the Prophet, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give the glory" (Ps. 113, 2nd part:1).

Thus also the Apostle Paul attributed nothing of the success of his preaching to himself,
but said, "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). And again he says, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor. 10:17).

Hence the Lord says in the Gospel, "Whoever listens to these words of Mine and acts upon them, I will liken to a wise person who built a house on rock. The floods came,
the winds blew and beat against that house, and it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock" (Matt. 7:24-25).

Having given us these assurances, the Lord is waiting every day for us to respond by our deeds to His holy admonitions. And the days of this life are lengthened and a truce granted us for this very reason, that we may amend our evil ways. As the Apostle says, "Do you not know that God's patience is inviting you to repent" (Rom. 2:4)?

For the merciful Lord tells us, "I desire not the death of the sinner, but that the sinner should be converted and live" (Ezech. 33:11).

So, brothers and sisters, we have asked the Lord who is to dwell in His tent,
and we have heard His commands to anyone who would dwell there; it remains for us to fulfill those duties. Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands; and let us ask God that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace for anything which our nature finds hardly possible. And if we want to escape the pains of hell and attain life everlasting, then, while there is still time, while we are still in the body and are able to fulfil all these things
by the light of this life, we must hasten to do now what will profit us for eternity.

And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord. In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity, do not be at once dismayed and fly from the way of salvation, whose entrance cannot but be narrow (Matt. 7:14). For as we advance in the religious life and in faith,  our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love (Ps. 118:32).

Thus, never departing from His school, but persevering in the monastery according to His teaching until death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13) and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom.

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/rule_st_benedict_e.htm#_Toc74181906
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 11:45:11 AM by Sinner Servant » Logged
ignatius
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 12:04:59 PM »

We all have the same vocation lay or monastic that is that we are to acquire the likeness of God that was lost during the Fall of Adam. This is attained through public participation in the life of the Church and privately through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


For a pure monastic interpretation from a cenobitic perspective lets look at a Saint and Monastic highly respected in Both The Orthodox and Catholic Church, Saint Benedict of Nursia. Here is what he has to say on this topic:

The Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It was very much what I was looking for. Thank you so much.
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 02:10:58 PM »

We all have the same vocation lay or monastic that is that we are to acquire the likeness of God that was lost during the Fall of Adam. This is attained through public participation in the life of the Church and privately through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


For a pure monastic interpretation from a cenobitic perspective lets look at a Saint and Monastic highly respected in Both The Orthodox and Catholic Church, Saint Benedict of Nursia. Here is what he has to say on this topic:

The Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It was very much what I was looking for. Thank you so much.
For that Catholic view of monasticism, I think you can once again read the rule of St. Benedict.
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 02:25:41 PM »

We all have the same vocation lay or monastic that is that we are to acquire the likeness of God that was lost during the Fall of Adam. This is attained through public participation in the life of the Church and privately through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


For a pure monastic interpretation from a cenobitic perspective lets look at a Saint and Monastic highly respected in Both The Orthodox and Catholic Church, Saint Benedict of Nursia. Here is what he has to say on this topic:

The Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It was very much what I was looking for. Thank you so much.
For that Catholic view of monasticism, I think you can once again read the rule of St. Benedict.

Papist,

Would you agree that ascesis in the West seems to have largely died out since Vatican II? what I mean to say is that renunciation of the World doesn't seem to be the Catholic goal anymore.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 02:26:26 PM by ignatius » Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 04:16:22 PM »

We all have the same vocation lay or monastic that is that we are to acquire the likeness of God that was lost during the Fall of Adam. This is attained through public participation in the life of the Church and privately through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


For a pure monastic interpretation from a cenobitic perspective lets look at a Saint and Monastic highly respected in Both The Orthodox and Catholic Church, Saint Benedict of Nursia. Here is what he has to say on this topic:

The Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It was very much what I was looking for. Thank you so much.
For that Catholic view of monasticism, I think you can once again read the rule of St. Benedict.

Papist,

Would you agree that ascesis in the West seems to have largely died out since Vatican II? what I mean to say is that renunciation of the World doesn't seem to be the Catholic goal anymore.
I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

Indeed, after the Second Vatican Council, the Church was assaulted by the modernist error, and while our teachings did not fall into heresy, often our practices became weaker. Yes some religious gave up their vocations. Some became more liberal. However, I see these people as a daying breed. Those orders that are part of the new revival or orthodoxy are the orders that are growing and bursting at the seem with vocations. One great exmaple of this growth is the mendicant order, The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They lives lives of great poverty, chastity, and Obedience. Their lives are lives of self denial and service to the poor. Never have I seen such joyful men; never have I seen such happy men. One of the men from this order, Fr. Robert, passed away last year and he was a very dear friend of mine. His passing brought me tears, but also joy to know that he was in Heaven. His holiness and rejection of worldy things was observed by all he came into contact with and his shinning example of love and holiness inspired many who knew him to repentance, penance, and love of God. This man, I honor as a true saint and the Russian Cross he gave me, I keep as relic. So is there self denial and holiness still in the religious orders of the Catholic Church? YES THERE IS!
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 09:10:58 PM »

I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

I will mention another group who I would say is an example of renunciation in the Roman Catholic Church. Have you seen the documentary called Into Great Silence? It shows the lives of Carthusian monks in France. It was pretty interesting. I guess they are a part of an Order of St. Bruno which I've never heard of. They live in complete silence which is only broken while singing in church. They are pretty shut off from the outside world and are almost like hermits. I find this group the most interesting of the Catholic monastic orders. I read today that their rule is still as strongly enforced in its monasteries as it always has been.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 09:11:32 PM by Andrew21091 » Logged
ignatius
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 09:44:36 PM »


I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

Indeed, after the Second Vatican Council, the Church was assaulted by the modernist error, and while our teachings did not fall into heresy, often our practices became weaker. Yes some religious gave up their vocations. Some became more liberal. However, I see these people as a daying breed. Those orders that are part of the new revival or orthodoxy are the orders that are growing and bursting at the seem with vocations. One great exmaple of this growth is the mendicant order, The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They lives lives of great poverty, chastity, and Obedience. Their lives are lives of self denial and service to the poor. Never have I seen such joyful men; never have I seen such happy men. One of the men from this order, Fr. Robert, passed away last year and he was a very dear friend of mine. His passing brought me tears, but also joy to know that he was in Heaven. His holiness and rejection of worldy things was observed by all he came into contact with and his shinning example of love and holiness inspired many who knew him to repentance, penance, and love of God. This man, I honor as a true saint and the Russian Cross he gave me, I keep as relic. So is there self denial and holiness still in the religious orders of the Catholic Church? YES THERE IS!

Actually, my question wasn't directed toward Religious but the laity in the Pews and the instruction they receive from the Parish Priests. We have a ministry called Christ Renews His Parish... it's a lay group that leads retreats for other lay parishioners and it's one of the most 'Protestant' expressions of spirituality I've seen within the Catholic Church. There is simply no Classic Catholic Spirituality taught and it's very disappointing because there is a very robust Ascetic Theology within Western Tradition and it's basically ignored by the majority of 'teachers' in Catholicism.

This is largely what has been drawing Catholics to Orthodox. It's not the polemics because those are frankly just as shallow and boneheaded as anything I've heard from Protestants but the vibrant spirituality is powerful. This has been the second year I've had an Orthodox Priest over my house for the Blessing of the House and I've attended many lectures and study sessions with his Orthodox community and I hate to say it but I am far more 'at home' among them than I am at my own Catholic Parish. When I speak about the Saints among Catholic Priests and Deacons as well as Catholics at my Catholic Parish they just stare at me like I'm some kind of weird anomaly. Among the Orthodox I hear 'wisdom' and I see 'crossing' and they share with me teachers in the East who share our Western Saints ascetic disciplines.

It is a real shame to say that American Catholic to a very extent has become 'Protestant'. Now I'm sure there are some 'orthodox' Religious Orders who by and large have be taught well by those who have not embraced whatever Spirit of the Age that invaded the Catholic Church after Vatican II.

It's nice to meet individual Catholics who hold on to 'orthodoxy' but honestly 'we' are by and large the exception not the rule and it's really disappointing. As my wife and I begin to bring another little life into this world the more I find myself weary of trying to keep orthodox Catholicism alive in my own little bubble. I wonder if it isn't far better for me to enter into a community were I can be nourished and fed and were sharing the lives of the Saints is welcomed and not avoided as I find in most Catholic circles.

My daughter crosses herself in the Orthodox fashion and she's drank holy water since she could walk. Our home is covered with icons blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest and I recently received a necklace of Our Lady for my wife to wear which I am having Blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest. Why? Because he's a 'real' Priest and even without the Sacraments I find myself far more nourished there than I do at my own Catholic Church were I receive the Sacraments almost every weekend.

For sure I chaff at poorly thought out Orthodox Polemics and numerous ex-Catholic Apologetics but I honestly find the 'real' Orthodox Church 'on the ground' far more nourishing than the 'real' Catholic Church 'on the ground'.

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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2010, 10:40:45 PM »

Check out the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, a most worthy group...

http://www.carmelitemonks.org/index.html
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010, 10:59:43 PM »


I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

Indeed, after the Second Vatican Council, the Church was assaulted by the modernist error, and while our teachings did not fall into heresy, often our practices became weaker. Yes some religious gave up their vocations. Some became more liberal. However, I see these people as a daying breed. Those orders that are part of the new revival or orthodoxy are the orders that are growing and bursting at the seem with vocations. One great exmaple of this growth is the mendicant order, The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They lives lives of great poverty, chastity, and Obedience. Their lives are lives of self denial and service to the poor. Never have I seen such joyful men; never have I seen such happy men. One of the men from this order, Fr. Robert, passed away last year and he was a very dear friend of mine. His passing brought me tears, but also joy to know that he was in Heaven. His holiness and rejection of worldy things was observed by all he came into contact with and his shinning example of love and holiness inspired many who knew him to repentance, penance, and love of God. This man, I honor as a true saint and the Russian Cross he gave me, I keep as relic. So is there self denial and holiness still in the religious orders of the Catholic Church? YES THERE IS!

Actually, my question wasn't directed toward Religious but the laity in the Pews and the instruction they receive from the Parish Priests. We have a ministry called Christ Renews His Parish... it's a lay group that leads retreats for other lay parishioners and it's one of the most 'Protestant' expressions of spirituality I've seen within the Catholic Church. There is simply no Classic Catholic Spirituality taught and it's very disappointing because there is a very robust Ascetic Theology within Western Tradition and it's basically ignored by the majority of 'teachers' in Catholicism.

This is largely what has been drawing Catholics to Orthodox. It's not the polemics because those are frankly just as shallow and boneheaded as anything I've heard from Protestants but the vibrant spirituality is powerful. This has been the second year I've had an Orthodox Priest over my house for the Blessing of the House and I've attended many lectures and study sessions with his Orthodox community and I hate to say it but I am far more 'at home' among them than I am at my own Catholic Parish. When I speak about the Saints among Catholic Priests and Deacons as well as Catholics at my Catholic Parish they just stare at me like I'm some kind of weird anomaly. Among the Orthodox I hear 'wisdom' and I see 'crossing' and they share with me teachers in the East who share our Western Saints ascetic disciplines.

It is a real shame to say that American Catholic to a very extent has become 'Protestant'. Now I'm sure there are some 'orthodox' Religious Orders who by and large have be taught well by those who have not embraced whatever Spirit of the Age that invaded the Catholic Church after Vatican II.

It's nice to meet individual Catholics who hold on to 'orthodoxy' but honestly 'we' are by and large the exception not the rule and it's really disappointing. As my wife and I begin to bring another little life into this world the more I find myself weary of trying to keep orthodox Catholicism alive in my own little bubble. I wonder if it isn't far better for me to enter into a community were I can be nourished and fed and were sharing the lives of the Saints is welcomed and not avoided as I find in most Catholic circles.

My daughter crosses herself in the Orthodox fashion and she's drank holy water since she could walk. Our home is covered with icons blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest and I recently received a necklace of Our Lady for my wife to wear which I am having Blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest. Why? Because he's a 'real' Priest and even without the Sacraments I find myself far more nourished there than I do at my own Catholic Church were I receive the Sacraments almost every weekend.

For sure I chaff at poorly thought out Orthodox Polemics and numerous ex-Catholic Apologetics but I honestly find the 'real' Orthodox Church 'on the ground' far more nourishing than the 'real' Catholic Church 'on the ground'.



So you would rather quit than stand and fight for being the example of a true catholic among more modernist ones?
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2010, 11:06:39 PM »

Let me show you what catholicism in my city can do to venerate the Virgin Mary the Theotokos, our mother, in a city of 4 million people: (and yet it is not Guadalupe) (lit your faith)



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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2010, 11:09:56 PM »

I will mention another group who I would say is an example of renunciation in the Roman Catholic Church. Have you seen the documentary called Into Great Silence? It shows the lives of Carthusian monks in France. It was pretty interesting. I guess they are a part of an Order of St. Bruno which I've never heard of. They live in complete silence which is only broken while singing in church. They are pretty shut off from the outside world and are almost like hermits. I find this group the most interesting of the Catholic monastic orders. I read today that their rule is still as strongly enforced in its monasteries as it always has been.

I actually have this movie sitting right in front of me as I type this.  I got it off of Netflix and I've watched about the first thirty minutes so far (it's three hours!).  I think I'm really going to enjoy it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 11:51:46 PM »

I will mention another group who I would say is an example of renunciation in the Roman Catholic Church. Have you seen the documentary called Into Great Silence? It shows the lives of Carthusian monks in France. It was pretty interesting. I guess they are a part of an Order of St. Bruno which I've never heard of. They live in complete silence which is only broken while singing in church. They are pretty shut off from the outside world and are almost like hermits. I find this group the most interesting of the Catholic monastic orders. I read today that their rule is still as strongly enforced in its monasteries as it always has been.

I actually have this movie sitting right in front of me as I type this.  I got it off of Netflix and I've watched about the first thirty minutes so far (it's three hours!).  I think I'm really going to enjoy it.

I liked it. I did watch it in shifts because of the length.
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2010, 12:37:23 AM »

So you would rather quit than stand and fight for being the example of a true catholic among more modernist ones?

Grace and Peace Alonso,

When the modernists are everywhere I honestly feel like I am a Church of one not that I am someone special or anything like that but I simply don't see 'any' ascesis in the North American Catholic Church. The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition. I welcome a Catholic Church like that but I honestly don't know if I will be among them. I might be a 'better' Catholic a 'better' Christian in Orthodoxy.

I don't say this to threaten your devotion Alonso. I don't mean it to insult Papist. I just say what I am experiencing.
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 12:56:59 AM »

The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition.

I have only seen the fiercest of devotion from the Latin American Roman Catholics, and I greatly respect these people and their piety.
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2010, 01:04:41 AM »

So you would rather quit than stand and fight for being the example of a true catholic among more modernist ones?

Grace and Peace Alonso,

When the modernists are everywhere I honestly feel like I am a Church of one not that I am someone special or anything like that but I simply don't see 'any' ascesis in the North American Catholic Church. The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition. I welcome a Catholic Church like that but I honestly don't know if I will be among them. I might be a 'better' Catholic a 'better' Christian in Orthodoxy.

I don't say this to threaten your devotion Alonso. I don't mean it to insult Papist. I just say what I am experiencing.


"Whatever you find you are drawn to in following God's will, do it and let your heart be at peace". - Abba Nesteros

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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2010, 01:24:00 AM »

So you would rather quit than stand and fight for being the example of a true catholic among more modernist ones?

Grace and Peace Alonso,

When the modernists are everywhere I honestly feel like I am a Church of one not that I am someone special or anything like that but I simply don't see 'any' ascesis in the North American Catholic Church. The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition. I welcome a Catholic Church like that but I honestly don't know if I will be among them. I might be a 'better' Catholic a 'better' Christian in Orthodoxy.

I don't say this to threaten your devotion Alonso. I don't mean it to insult Papist. I just say what I am experiencing.

Remember that Faith is not only about feelings, it is also about obedience, Our Lord obey his Father, and by his obedience, He saved us, It is by obedience that the apostles gave us the sacraments.
Now, about your intraquility respecting the church, ¿Do you think that St Francis of Asisi felt quite content with the church he met? Not at all, but ¿did he leave the church or did he transform it?
I ask you not to go the easy way, quitting the ship, but to go the hard way, the one that really closes you to sainthood as St Francis did. The same that St Ignatius of Loyola took, transforming the church exalting again what it needs to be exalted. Other way you may pass as one who left the church instead of one who worked for her for Our Lord’s Major Glory.
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2010, 01:32:10 AM »

The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition.

I have only seen the fiercest of devotion from the Latin American Roman Catholics, and I greatly respect these people and their piety.
¿do you think it is only devotion? ¿Don´t you think it is driven by faith?
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2010, 12:03:58 PM »

I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

I will mention another group who I would say is an example of renunciation in the Roman Catholic Church. Have you seen the documentary called Into Great Silence? It shows the lives of Carthusian monks in France. It was pretty interesting. I guess they are a part of an Order of St. Bruno which I've never heard of. They live in complete silence which is only broken while singing in church. They are pretty shut off from the outside world and are almost like hermits. I find this group the most interesting of the Catholic monastic orders. I read today that their rule is still as strongly enforced in its monasteries as it always has been.
Beautiful group of men. I recently read a book about their order.
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2010, 12:10:10 PM »


I think it depends on where you look. There is a wonderful monastery out here in New Mexico called Christ in the Desert, where the monks live lives of great simplicity and their example has helped inspire many people to repentance and conversion. Are they living a life in which they renounce the world? Abosolutely!
Also, in Santa Fe, NM there is a cloister of Carmelite Nuns. They are of course cloisterd, and practice great self deprivation and penance. They are a shinning example of the renunciation of the world to which both religious and laymen are called.

Indeed, after the Second Vatican Council, the Church was assaulted by the modernist error, and while our teachings did not fall into heresy, often our practices became weaker. Yes some religious gave up their vocations. Some became more liberal. However, I see these people as a daying breed. Those orders that are part of the new revival or orthodoxy are the orders that are growing and bursting at the seem with vocations. One great exmaple of this growth is the mendicant order, The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They lives lives of great poverty, chastity, and Obedience. Their lives are lives of self denial and service to the poor. Never have I seen such joyful men; never have I seen such happy men. One of the men from this order, Fr. Robert, passed away last year and he was a very dear friend of mine. His passing brought me tears, but also joy to know that he was in Heaven. His holiness and rejection of worldy things was observed by all he came into contact with and his shinning example of love and holiness inspired many who knew him to repentance, penance, and love of God. This man, I honor as a true saint and the Russian Cross he gave me, I keep as relic. So is there self denial and holiness still in the religious orders of the Catholic Church? YES THERE IS!

Actually, my question wasn't directed toward Religious but the laity in the Pews and the instruction they receive from the Parish Priests. We have a ministry called Christ Renews His Parish... it's a lay group that leads retreats for other lay parishioners and it's one of the most 'Protestant' expressions of spirituality I've seen within the Catholic Church. There is simply no Classic Catholic Spirituality taught and it's very disappointing because there is a very robust Ascetic Theology within Western Tradition and it's basically ignored by the majority of 'teachers' in Catholicism.

This is largely what has been drawing Catholics to Orthodox. It's not the polemics because those are frankly just as shallow and boneheaded as anything I've heard from Protestants but the vibrant spirituality is powerful. This has been the second year I've had an Orthodox Priest over my house for the Blessing of the House and I've attended many lectures and study sessions with his Orthodox community and I hate to say it but I am far more 'at home' among them than I am at my own Catholic Parish. When I speak about the Saints among Catholic Priests and Deacons as well as Catholics at my Catholic Parish they just stare at me like I'm some kind of weird anomaly. Among the Orthodox I hear 'wisdom' and I see 'crossing' and they share with me teachers in the East who share our Western Saints ascetic disciplines.

It is a real shame to say that American Catholic to a very extent has become 'Protestant'. Now I'm sure there are some 'orthodox' Religious Orders who by and large have be taught well by those who have not embraced whatever Spirit of the Age that invaded the Catholic Church after Vatican II.

It's nice to meet individual Catholics who hold on to 'orthodoxy' but honestly 'we' are by and large the exception not the rule and it's really disappointing. As my wife and I begin to bring another little life into this world the more I find myself weary of trying to keep orthodox Catholicism alive in my own little bubble. I wonder if it isn't far better for me to enter into a community were I can be nourished and fed and were sharing the lives of the Saints is welcomed and not avoided as I find in most Catholic circles.

My daughter crosses herself in the Orthodox fashion and she's drank holy water since she could walk. Our home is covered with icons blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest and I recently received a necklace of Our Lady for my wife to wear which I am having Blessed by my Orthodox Parish Priest. Why? Because he's a 'real' Priest and even without the Sacraments I find myself far more nourished there than I do at my own Catholic Church were I receive the Sacraments almost every weekend.

For sure I chaff at poorly thought out Orthodox Polemics and numerous ex-Catholic Apologetics but I honestly find the 'real' Orthodox Church 'on the ground' far more nourishing than the 'real' Catholic Church 'on the ground'.


I guess this idea of "not rejecting the world" is not my experience at all. My parish is very Catholic. The priests call us to live lives of traditional Catholic Spirituality, in keeping with the teachings of the Church and the experience of the Saints.
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2010, 02:21:17 PM »

I actually have this movie sitting right in front of me as I type this.  I got it off of Netflix and I've watched about the first thirty minutes so far (it's three hours!).  I think I'm really going to enjoy it.

I just wanted to say that I finished the movie last night and I really enjoyed it.  I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Western monasticism.  It seemed like all of these monks had Orthodox icons in their cells, and their were Orthodox icons to the right and left of the altar as well.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2010, 03:01:45 PM »

I actually have this movie sitting right in front of me as I type this.  I got it off of Netflix and I've watched about the first thirty minutes so far (it's three hours!).  I think I'm really going to enjoy it.

I just wanted to say that I finished the movie last night and I really enjoyed it.  I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Western monasticism.  It seemed like all of these monks had Orthodox icons in their cells, and their were Orthodox icons to the right and left of the altar as well.
Very Cool! I will have to watch this.
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2010, 03:08:43 PM »

Let me show you what catholicism in my city can do to venerate the Virgin Mary the Theotokos, our mother, in a city of 4 million people: (and yet it is not Guadalupe) (lit your faith)

A street procession in Russia to honour the Tikhvin icon of the holy Mother of God

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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2010, 03:20:37 PM »

Let me show you what catholicism in my city can do to venerate the Virgin Mary the Theotokos, our mother, in a city of 4 million people: (and yet it is not Guadalupe) (lit your faith)


Let us show you what Orthodoxy can do to venerate the Mother of God.

Here is another procession to honour another icon of the Mother of God in Russia.  This is the Kursk Icon.  This was in in September last year.



The icon of the Mother of God which these hundreds of thousands of people have come to venerate is the blue one in centre picture

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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2010, 03:22:31 PM »

To the two gentlemen that are posting pics, why are you guys engaging in a "look how much more we honor Mary than  you" game. Its actually silly.
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2010, 03:35:43 PM »

And... the other side of veneration, apart from the great street processions.   Deep quiet prayer

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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2010, 03:38:45 PM »

To the two gentlemen that are posting pics, why are you guys engaging in a "look how much more we honor Mary than  you" game. Its actually silly.

I think the pictures are beautiful.  In a world which is grey and faithless it is wonderful to see this love for the Mother of God, in both the Catholic and Orthodox Church.

The pictures uplift my heart more than the thousands of words we exchange on the forum.
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2010, 03:44:38 PM »

Well Here we go.

The seminary students walking to The Basilica of Zapopan in GDL. October 12th 2009

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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2010, 03:46:16 PM »

Well Here we go.

The seminary students walking to The Basilica of Zapopan in GDL.


Alonso, many in the United States like to characterize the Catholicism in Mexico as sort of a "Folk Catholicism" mixed with superstion and paganism. I know this to be false, for the most part, but what is the true status of Catholicism in Mexico?
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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2010, 03:47:13 PM »

Dancers going ahead

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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2010, 03:51:52 PM »

Well Here we go.

The seminary students walking to The Basilica of Zapopan in GDL.


Alonso, many in the United States like to characterize the Catholicism in Mexico as sort of a "Folk Catholicism" mixed with superstion and paganism. I know this to be false, for the most part, but what is the true status of Catholicism in Mexico?

Catholicism in Mexico is only catholicism, no superstition but faith. superstition is very reduced, and only those who come to look for it they find it, In my house, that is also yours, I have very few Portraits, one of our Lord of Mercy, and other two of the virgin Mary. Do you consider that to be a superstition?
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« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2010, 03:53:32 PM »

Franciscan nouns awaiting the pass of Mary image.

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« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2010, 03:54:39 PM »

The only hope is that Latin America Immigrates will reconstitute the Catholic Tradition.

I have only seen the fiercest of devotion from the Latin American Roman Catholics, and I greatly respect these people and their piety.
¿do you think it is only devotion? ¿Don´t you think it is driven by faith?

I would say that devotion comes from faith.
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« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2010, 03:55:04 PM »

Music in the feast:

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« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2010, 03:57:21 PM »

Franciscan brothers awaiting Our Lady:

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« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2010, 03:59:12 PM »

Nocturn Eucharistical Adorators walking before Our Lady:

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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2010, 04:01:38 PM »

Main group of the march, just before Our Lady

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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2010, 04:03:52 PM »

WE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:

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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2010, 04:06:33 PM »

The Car of Our Lady:

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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2010, 04:10:16 PM »

After 8km of walking, we celebrate the Sacred Liturgy:

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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2010, 04:11:44 PM »

The liturgy:

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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2010, 04:14:26 PM »

After Sacred Liturgy, Our Lady is taken to inside her Sanctuary, ruled by Franciscan Brothers who live in the convent aside the Basilica:

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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2010, 04:16:56 PM »

The Basilica:

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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2010, 04:18:08 PM »

The place of Our Lady:

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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2010, 04:19:42 PM »

The Cathedral from where our Lady departs to her Basilica.

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