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Author Topic: "Lay Monasticism", "Crazy Convertisim", being an Orthodox Christian  (Read 9412 times) Average Rating: 5
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kansas city
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« on: August 07, 2010, 01:03:34 PM »

I started this as a split-off from the "Secular Music" thread.

I like a wide variety of music and listen to a wide variety on different occasions. Sometimes when I am doing some coding (I am a web developer by trade) I like to have something a bit loud to help me drown out the noise of the family and concentrate on what I am doing. But if I am reading something spiritual I prefer something quieter, or silence.

In terms of the monastic spirituality, I am increasingly thinking that we should see ourselves as secular or lay monastics, and that, as far as is appropriate with regard to our vocations, especially as married and family members, we should be seeking to present a radical Christianity to the worl around us. Both for the sake of the safety of our souls and for the salvation of the world.

Yet we must surely be radical without being pietistic or easily shocked by the world around us. We should be comfortable meeting and talking with someone in a pub, even if we choose not to drink alcohol ourselves. We should be aware of modern culture without allowing ourselves to submit to it. We must not live in a ghetto, but I think that the Western world needs us to be hard-core Orthodox with open and generous hearts. There are scary, rather intimidating Orthodox extremists, I am not suggesting we become like them, but we should be and must be entirely committed to our faith and to living our faith, even while we live in the world. The world needs a more monastic spirituality, and we need a more monastic spirituality if we are to be preserved in the Western world of the 21st century.

What if we lived and ate and dressed more simply? What if we prayed more and according to a rule? If we fasted more rigourously? If we participated more fully in the services of the Church without becoming liturgo-geeks but with the aim of becoming more completely transformed by grace. This is not a time for being half-hearted. I am sure that there is nothing wrong with listening to secular music, and much of the modern contemporary US christian music is just too awful to listen to in any case. But what would a radical Orthodoxy lead us to? What does it mean to be aware of modern culture, and not afraid of it, but just not closely engaged with it because it is so very often describing a false world view? I wanted to see a favourite band this year. They were only playing one gig in the UK this year, but it was during Holy Week so I didn't even think of going. But I like live music. I guess we need to find the balance at all times. Very often it must be tilted towards Christian and spiritual things, not because the secular is evil but because we only get one life, and we must live it like it matters, for our sake and for the salvation of the world.

Father Peter

I'm curious to hear people's perspectives or methods on living a serious Orthodox life outside of (in addition to)  Vigil & Liturgy.  In my experience if anything of this sort is even mentioned in real life and often on this board there are immediate accusations of being a crazy convert (an expression I find despicable).  If not the convertitis accusation then the impossibility of what others contemptfully refer to as "lay monasticism" with a reference to the Christ the Saviour Brotherhood's conversion to Orthodoxy. 

Obviously these aren't reasons not to pursue an active Liturgical life, simplicity, and generally living out our Faith.  It can, however, feel very defeating to hear these things from the people who are supposed to be helping you grow in our life in Christ, or even those who we approach in life or on this forum.

As an addition, what of all of the accusations of "super correctness" aimed at people who simply don't know, but want to learn The Church's teachings on right practice and belief? 

Have there seriously been enough people over-doing everything imaginable to dissuade others from pursuing God in His Church, just in case they might over do it?
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 01:50:02 PM »

My personal belief is that I should just live a normal, decent life. There is no need to dress in any patricular way, or to completely abstain from secular music, art, literature, theatre, movies, etc. Simple decency, purity (whether it is celibate or marital), truthfulness, respect and love for fellow human beings. Same thing as for Catholics or Protestants. Theosis is not about externals.
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 02:06:09 PM »

My personal belief is that I should just live a normal, decent life. There is no need to dress in any patricular way, or to completely abstain from secular music, art, literature, theatre, movies, etc. Simple decency, purity (whether it is celibate or marital), truthfulness, respect and love for fellow human beings. Same thing as for Catholics or Protestants. Theosis is not about externals.
I agree with the wisdom of Heorhij above.  I see no need for the extremism of new trends like "lay" monasticism, after 2,000 years of orthodoxy.

  We live in families, either biological families or monastic families in monasteries and work out our own salvation with the prayers, advice, admonition and help of our spiritual families either parish or monastic.

Great world literature and good art has seeds of the divine in it.  We can learn from good literature and good art and good music. It inspires us.  A well rounded life is important.
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 02:26:15 PM »

there are different paths for different people i think. i cant see how "lay" monasticism would be a problem if its done under the guidance of a spiritual father to avoid delusion and pride, but also, as someone else pointed out, the arts can have beauty and truth that reflects God as well. but whichever our path i think it is pretty foundational to our faith that we portray an other-worldliness -- if nothing separates us from the world around us then whats the point of being a Christian? even atheists can just live good lives.
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 02:34:11 PM »

I agree strongly with the first 2 posts above.  I'd even add that "secular" learning is important to the extent that it is available to the individual, not to be feared or written off wholesale as some may encourage.  jckstraw, I appreciate your perspective and I think it's what I'm talking about, it expresses a balance that is very dynamic, and most people would publicly agree with until they saw individuals living as such.

My question is more oriented to the accusation, directed only to those who were not born into Orthodox families, that allowing oneself or even striving to be transformed by the teachings and Traditions of The Church in our daily lives is ridiculous unless you completely hide the fruits of that transformation.

It's almost as if one has to feign complacency or loudly pursue divisive teachings to properly fit into American Orthodoxy
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 02:44:01 PM »

I tell my converts to slow down and take it easy in the beginning.  The problem I have with people getting out-of-control, super-duper-Orthodox in the beginning is that they tend to burn out after a few years.  I've been around long enough to see overly-enthusiastic converts go too far, too fast and end up tired out and ripe for the devil's plucking.

There is a type of false, self-imposed asceticism that leads to pride.  If you want to be a 'lay monastic,' then do what real monastics do and place yourself under true obedience.  Obedience, not fasting, is the core of monasticism.  The devil fasts, he just refuses to obey.
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 03:13:30 PM »


My question is more oriented to the accusation, directed only to those who were not born into Orthodox families, that allowing oneself or even striving to be transformed by the teachings and Traditions of The Church in our daily lives is ridiculous unless you completely hide the fruits of that transformation.


are you talking about a new convert who is really trying to live a fully Orthodox life and thus is being accused of being a crazy convert? i wasnt exactly sure what you were getting at here ...
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 03:23:18 PM »

are you talking about a new convert who is really trying to live a fully Orthodox life and thus is being accused of being a crazy convert? i wasnt exactly sure what you were getting at here ...

Yes, but that's not really the main issue.  The use of the expression, I think, is unfortunate.  But I'm mainly interested in hearing others experiences and ideas on how one is to "properly" live an Orthodox life in our era while avoiding that accusation.
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 03:38:40 PM »

If by lay monasticism you mean the normal Orthodox Christian life which is offered to all Coptic Orthodox, then this is what I understand by 'lay monasticism'. Within the Coptic Orthodox context I would not normally use the term because all Coptic Orthodox are called to a lay monastic spirituality. Fasting, prayer, worship and participation in the sacraments, service and obedience to a spiritual father are all 'monastic' elements of ordinary Coptic Orthodoxy. The people I know who use the term tend to be non-Orthodox who are seeking for a more committed Christian way of life. Coptic Orthodox already have it, if it be chosen as a way of life.

What bothers me about some converts is not the content of the spirituality but the attitude which is sometimes displayed towards others, especially those who either disagree with them or do not measure up to their standards. We need to always be aware that it is entirely possible to fast more than others, pray more than others, attend Church services more than others, and yet have no life-giving relationship with Christ at all. But in the right context all of these things become a means of salvation.

I find it hard to comprehend a rounded life that is not increasingly committed to Christ and life in the Church. I still have a very great way to go, but the goal and the means seem to be available to me. The way must surely include more prayer than at present, more and stricter fasting, more and deeper attendance at worship and the sacraments, and a more generous service of others. To have some enjoyment of secular things is not an obstacle to spiritual growth, and does provide a certain roundedness, but it is not as important as attention to spiritual things. We do not need to listen to a great deal of secular music, or enjoy the best of food, or become an expert on wine, but we do need to become committed practitioners of prayer, and we do not have so very long to become experienced.

If a person can remain generous and open-hearted, and avoid falling into pride or self-righteousness, then I would rather they committed themselves to a simple life of prayer and service than worried about becoming rounded people. I don't have enough time to become a rounded person myself. I don't mind some secular music, I don't mind a bit of TV, but I generally find that most secular music is an obstacle to being mindful of Christ, and most TV is of a very low and spiritually damaging quality. I would wish that I were able to live more simply, and with less concern about the things in the world around me that I can do nothing about and which tends to distract me.

I do think that the Christian life, and Christ Himself, requires a great deal of effort from us in our Christian life. The one who runs the race to win, the one who enters the battle to be victorious, these all require a certain extremity of commitment. It does not seem to me that less is required of all ordinary Orthodox Christians than is asked of the monastic though the setting in which we work out our ascesis is different.

Father Peter
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 04:06:49 PM »

Thank you Father. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 05:21:55 PM »

are you talking about a new convert who is really trying to live a fully Orthodox life and thus is being accused of being a crazy convert? i wasnt exactly sure what you were getting at here ...

Yes, but that's not really the main issue.  The use of the expression, I think, is unfortunate.  But I'm mainly interested in hearing others experiences and ideas on how one is to "properly" live an Orthodox life in our era while avoiding that accusation.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that Fr. Giryus was talking about a new convert who is simply trying to live a fully Orthodox life.  I think he's talking about individuals who may, without consulting their spiritual father, endeavor to take on a discipline they just aren't ready for.  For example, I once knew a very sincere, pious individual who converted to Orthodoxy after reading The Paradise of the Holy Fathers and The Way of a Pilgrim and told his wife that they should "live together as brother and sister" and started to adopt other austere measures in his personal life.  It almost destroyed his marriage, and thankfully, he had a wise father of confession who reigned him in and put him on the right track.  Being zealous for Orthodoxy and personal piety is laudable, but as Father Giryus said, we must remember that even the monastics must get the blessing of their fathers before embarking on any spiritual endeavor and are not free to become hermits, et cetera, without receiving permission and guidance first.
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 05:46:03 PM »

There is always the danger that a person seeking a deeper Christian life may do so on the basis of self-will, or in the delusion that reading about how others have practiced spirituality is the same as engaging in it oneself.

It seems to me that the measure of a sound spirituality is one which is rooted in obedience to one's spiritual father, and especially to whatever counsels of moderation are given. When we insist that we must run ahead of those given the care of our souls then we are immediately in danger of being deceived and deceiving ourselves.

Nevertheless it can also be a danger to assume our own spiritual guidance and convince ourselves that the little we do is probably more than enough and more than lots of others. The wise spiritual father does not look at others, but only has the growth and development of the Christian in front of him in mind.

In the Irish monastic tradition it was normal for novices to only slowly engage in an increasingly strict practice of fasting. The end was always the same but the Irish monastic fathers were well aware of the need to make small incremental developments that could be rooted in to a persons spiritual life, and not huge leaps that led to pride or despair. This seems always sensible advice for us all. Slow and steady wins the race. But a committed coach is always most helpful, to the athlete and the Christian.

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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2010, 08:42:11 PM »

Again, I think we're agreeing, even if I am unintentionally presenting the question provocatively.  What I'm talking about isn't "running ahead of others" or adopting lofty spiritual disciplines in prelest, God knows I'm not 'running ahead' of anyone and have little discipline generally. 

I'm talking about the liberal application of those accusations to individuals trying to learn the Tradition and apply it to their lives.  What I was trying to address, thankfully, hasn't been present in the responses given in this thread.  But I think we've all been on this board and in convert communities enough to know what I'm talking about.

In the original post I also made reference to the "super correctness disease" accusation, which has its dangers just like the others, but is often flippantly thrown around as well. Often seen anywhere converts try and find out what of the thousands of contemporary Orthodox approaches and divergences they're supposed to actually ascribe to.
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2010, 09:28:32 PM »

I tell my converts to slow down and take it easy in the beginning.  The problem I have with people getting out-of-control, super-duper-Orthodox in the beginning is that they tend to burn out after a few years.  I've been around long enough to see overly-enthusiastic converts go too far, too fast and end up tired out and ripe for the devil's plucking.

There is a type of false, self-imposed asceticism that leads to pride.  If you want to be a 'lay monastic,' then do what real monastics do and place yourself under true obedience.  Obedience, not fasting, is the core of monasticism.  The devil fasts, he just refuses to obey.


That is a very, very good answer Father.  Thank you.

I remember a discussion about "spiritual fathers" and I am not sure if it was here or not.  But one point that was made was that for us lay people, our spiritual father should be our local parish priest.
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2010, 09:39:42 PM »

I agree, Orest, Father has been very insightful in this conversation and I'm grateful he's taken the time to post.

I agree it would be ideal for everyone's spiritual father to be their local parish priest, however priests and circumstances vary as much as lay people and their situations.
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 09:46:18 PM »

There is a threefold division that tends to be evident among us, but especially newbies:  the hperdox, the slackadox, and the Orthodox.  It is better to have neither excess nor defect, but to follow the middle way.
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 09:48:12 PM »

I agree that "super-correctness" is annoying and not helpful (fortunately, I don't think this has really been a temptation for me), but what about, say, dressing modestly, especially if this practice is something deeply engrained in the individual even before he/she became Orthodox. Is one to give that up or is one allowed to maintain high standards of modesty even after becoming Orthodox? What if one has truly never been the slightest bit inclined towards monasticism, but just doesn't care for the ways of the world? Is this possible? Has anyone else ever felt this way?
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« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2010, 10:00:15 PM »

Again, I think we're agreeing, even if I am unintentionally presenting the question provocatively.  What I'm talking about isn't "running ahead of others" or adopting lofty spiritual disciplines in prelest, God knows I'm not 'running ahead' of anyone and have little discipline generally. 

I'm talking about the liberal application of those accusations to individuals trying to learn the Tradition and apply it to their lives.  What I was trying to address, thankfully, hasn't been present in the responses given in this thread.  But I think we've all been on this board and in convert communities enough to know what I'm talking about.

In the original post I also made reference to the "super correctness disease" accusation, which has its dangers just like the others, but is often flippantly thrown around as well. Often seen anywhere converts try and find out what of the thousands of contemporary Orthodox approaches and divergences they're supposed to actually ascribe to.

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, what you're talking about is stuff like this:

New Convert Syndrome Drives Wife Crazy

“I just think he’s taking it a bit far,” said Sara (“y’know, Abe’s wife”) Bushman. “I’m glad we found Orthodoxy, and I’m all for pushing ourselves to have a healthy spiritual life, but I really don’t think it’s a big deal for me to feed our three- and six-year-olds string cheese on a Wednesday. They have to have calcium, y’know? And if I don’t let them have cheese on the days they decide to like it, their little bones will turn to mush! This is Washington–we haven’t seen sunshine in weeks.”

“Have you tried giving them vitamins?” your terce reporter suggested helpfully.

“The only kind they’ll eat are the gummies, and…”

“Gelatin. Gotcha.”

“Exactly. So the kids are screaming for mac and cheese with hotdogs, Larry–sorry, Theophilact is giving a speech about the theological implications of allowing the girls to be lax even as toddlers, and I feel about as unspiritual as I can get.” Sara sighed. “It wouldn’t be so bad if food were all La–Theo wanted to go bonkers over, but his psy–er, enthusiasm is affecting our whole life! A woman has needs, y’know, and there are certain things only a husband can do!”

“Er–”

“I mean, I really don’t see how it’s appropriate for me to ask for a foot massage during the Dormition Fast! It’s just feet, and there is absolutely nothing passionate, inappropriate or even attractive about my bunions.”

“I see your point,” said your relieved terce reporter.

“And for another thing! While I think it’s great to pray as a family, and saying all the Hours together is a great, um, bonding experience, I don’t know why I bother wrangling the girls into bed at eight if we’re just going to wake them up for the Midnight Office! They’re so cranky in school that Maddie’s teacher wrote home. Apparently she’s stopped complaining about naptime and started refusing to get up afterward.”

“Oh, my.”

“AND, since our hair is our crowning glory, I haven’t been cutting it. So this entire month’s been one long bad hair day!” She looked about to cry. “I tell you, I’m hungry, tired, tea-deprived–I have never felt less spiritual in my life!”

“Wait a second. Tea-deprived?”

“Yeah. I love tea, but it’s just not worth it without honey. Sugar’s not the same.”

“Why can’t you have honey?”

“Animal product, remember?”

“Nonsense. Bees are insects. No backbone.”

She stared. “No…backbone?”

“Totally fasting. St John the Baptist was said to live off of locusts and honey.”

“I can have honey? Excuse me a moment.” Sara returned momentarily with a mug the size of a small cat.

“Better?”

“Much. I’m going to call Theo and tell him the good news. Thank you! I was afraid for a while there that he’d come home one day to find me rocking in a corner muttering, ‘Fish sticks have no backbone!’” She smiled. “Happy Dormition Fast.”

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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2010, 10:07:05 PM »

I agree that "super-correctness" is annoying and not helpful (fortunately, I don't think this has really been a temptation for me), but what about, say, dressing modestly, especially if this practice is something deeply engrained in the individual even before he/she became Orthodox. Is one to give that up or is one allowed to maintain high standards of modesty even after becoming Orthodox? What if one has truly never been the slightest bit inclined towards monasticism, but just doesn't care for the ways of the world? Is this possible? Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Yes, and I think it is a matter of attitude.  I know what you mean about modesty.  I've ridden out the latest mini skirt craze, continuing to wear skirts well below the knee, but I haven't run into people accusing me of super-correctness.  Dowdiness, yes, but not super-correctness.   Smiley  I think it is just attitude.

I think your concern is echoed in what Kansas City said just above.  When people try to follow a stricter way of life, they do open themselves up to the risk of people making these accusations.  God knows our hearts, though, and being under the care of a good spiritual father will help us fight off the pride that can be so deadly to our salvation.
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2010, 10:45:18 PM »

I don't see anything wrong with a person wanting to maintain a strong personal piety so long as it remains that: personal piety.  Modesty, abstaining from foods, discernment, more prayer, all these things can be good for one's spiritual development so long as one remains humble and does not judge others for not adhering to the same rigid standard.
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« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2010, 10:53:01 PM »

Being Orthodox has come in all forms and shapes; actually most Orthodox that have ever lived would be classified as mere "nominals" (whatever that is) by more zealous recently chrismated folks.
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« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2010, 11:07:16 PM »

There is a threefold division that tends to be evident among us, but especially newbies:  the hperdox, the slackadox, and the Orthodox.  It is better to have neither excess nor defect, but to follow the middle way.

I am an EXTREME slackadox. You judge me. Go right ahead. Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2010, 12:06:38 PM »

Quote
Yes, and I think it is a matter of attitude.  I know what you mean about modesty.  I've ridden out the latest mini skirt craze, continuing to wear skirts well below the knee, but I haven't run into people accusing me of super-correctness.  Dowdiness, yes, but not super-correctness.     I think it is just attitude

 Smiley However, I don't believe dressing modestly needs to be dowdy! We can do it with flare and style too!
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2010, 12:19:44 PM »

Why is it a rigid standard and not just an Orthodox standard?
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2010, 02:13:32 PM »

Why is it a rigid standard and not just an Orthodox standard?

Father,

If they read the works of the early fathers and nonfathers then they would see that the norm back then was way more strict and rigid than it is now in our day. Your right about it just simply being an Orthodox standard. In modern times, it seems as if the old standards for all are only put on the clergy and Monastics......which is understandable. Alot of people just don't want to follow rules and so they may never come back to church again. There is alot of breathing room for the lay people, but not necessarily so for the clergy and monastics.

I personally don't see anything wrong with quote on quote lay monasticism, but some people do. This is one reason why some in America look down on a number of quote on quote convert parishes. They see them as being too strict and rigid.










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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2010, 04:46:06 PM »

The little book <I>How to Live a Holy Life</I> by Met. Gregory of St Petersburg has some good advice on the lay Christian life. http://www.amazon.com/Live-Holy-Metropolitan-Gregory-Petersburg/dp/B000QAXIE4

I also find the life of St Juliana of Lazarevo inspiring. She was a married laywoman, a mother, and lived her life in the so-called secular world, but achieved great sanctity by being a good and faithful steward of what God had given her.

Kontakion tone 4
Shining forth with grace divine,/ even after death thou hast revealed the radiance of thy life;/ for thou pourest forth fragrant myrrh for healing/ upon all the sick who approach the shrine of thy relics with faith./ O righteous mother Juliana,/ entreat Christ God,// that our souls be saved.


Kontakion tone 8
All of us amid misfortune and pain hymn the holy Juliana as a helper quick to hear;/ for she lived a God-pleasing life in the world and gave countless alms to the poor.// Wherefore, she hath found the grace of miracles at the command of God.

Святая праведная Иулианиа моли Бога о нас!
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2010, 04:58:24 PM »

The little book <I>How to Live a Holy Life</I> by Met. Gregory of St Petersburg has some good advice on the lay Christian life. http://www.amazon.com/Live-Holy-Metropolitan-Gregory-Petersburg/dp/B000QAXIE4

I'll definitely second this recommendation.  At some point I'm going to have to scrounge the 12 bucks to pay for this book, as every time I work in our parish bookstore I add some wear and tear to this small but rich volume.

I also appreciate all of the thoughtful,  encouraging and uplifting responses.   
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2010, 05:15:01 PM »

There just seems something negligent in allowing the ordinary faithful to be denied the spiritual benefit, even their salvation, which comes from embracing the fulness of the spiritual tradition of the Church in an increasing and more and more comprehensive manner. This need not be done in a judgemental or legalistic manner at all, but surely the 'normal Orthodox Christian life' should be offered to all as a matter of course.

If someone will not come to Church because the priest preached about fasting then surely it is not the priest who is at fault, if he has not preached in a judgemental manner. The spiritual tradition of the Church is a great gift, not a burden. Those who reject it, even if as clergy we make every effort to win them for Christ, have rejected the way of salvation. We cannot and should not water it down so much that no-one finds if difficult or too much effort. If a Doctor makes out a prescription then the patient must follow it. He cannot expect to take one tablet a month if the prescription is for one a week or one a day, and still be healed. Nor should the Doctor be satisfied with the patient taking the medicine according to their own inclinations. If they want to be healed they must follow the Doctor's instructions. Indeed taking the medicine less frequently than instructed may actually cause harm and merely promote the strength of the disease and reduce the effect of the medicine in future.

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« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2010, 05:18:11 PM »

I would like to recommend 'Unseen Warfare' translated by Kadloubovsky and Palmer.

It is probably the most important book I have read and keep reading. It is popular among my congregation as well.
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« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2010, 05:22:01 PM »

Thank you Father Peter for these wonderful posts.  I appreciate them immensely. 

John
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« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2010, 05:22:56 PM »

Quote
If someone will not come to Church because the priest preached about fasting then surely it is not the priest who is at fault, if he has not preached in a judgemental manner. The spiritual tradition of the Church is a great gift, not a burden.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
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« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2010, 05:28:17 PM »

Unseen Warfare was recommended to me as a recent convert and was, to my shame no doubt, way over my head and out of my reach.  I have had that book with me all over the country and living in 4 states in as many years and still not read it!  Some day.

As far as your analogy to medicine prescribed by a doctor, that illustration takes for granted that the priest is making a prescription.  For those of us with deep wounds, showing up and simply participating in the minimum of sacramental life is not enough.  God in fact transforms through His mysteries, but in my experience it's been a deepening desire for a spiritual father.  Let alone one willing to enter that relationship of obedience.
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« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2010, 05:32:58 PM »

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Yes, and I think it is a matter of attitude.  I know what you mean about modesty.  I've ridden out the latest mini skirt craze, continuing to wear skirts well below the knee, but I haven't run into people accusing me of super-correctness.  Dowdiness, yes, but not super-correctness.     I think it is just attitude

 Smiley However, I don't believe dressing modestly needs to be dowdy! We can do it with flare and style too!

Something to strive toward.   Smiley

Actually, I've been hearing that this fall the fashions will be a little more modest.  The micro minis are on their way out, thank goodness.  I'm tired of buying dresses and then wearing them as blouses.  
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« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2010, 05:42:22 PM »

Why is it a rigid standard and not just an Orthodox standard?

Well, ISTM, that there are two ways of thinking about it.  Modesty, etc, are all things the Orthodox should strive for, but to a certain degree people are going to disagree as to what exactly modesty means.  While all might agree that mini-skirts and tube tops are certainly not modest, not everyone is going to agree as to the exact length a skirt might need to be to be "modest", or whether a sleeveless top crosses the line.  For men you have even more wildly differing interpretations.  Is it more modest to dress in jeans and a t-shirt or to wear expensive business suits or even to wear all-black?  Does every Orthodox male need to have an unshaved face as the monastics?

A person might for their own reasons choose to go the route of extreme "modesty", are they doing this out of personal conviction or self-righteousness?  Am I letting my beard go wild out of truly not caring about my personal appearance and vanity or am I doing it to look down on those less Orthodox than I?

Prayer: Am I praying seven times a day for my own salvation's sake, or am I praying with the Pharisee, thanking God that I am not as that Publican?  A Morning and Evening prayer rule said in true humility and penitence does far more benefit than the person who prays the Hours and thinks himself better than the person standing next to him at Liturgy.
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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2010, 05:48:42 PM »

Do try and read 'Unseen Warfare' just a little at a time. Just a chapter a week even. I find it very practical, and not too far over my head, because I do often find things hard to bed into my own life. But this book really helped me. Anything by St Theophan the Recluse is useful.

I guess I am thinking that a priest, and I am saying this as I reflect on my own ministry, should be making general prescriptions in the sermons so as to reach those who are not in a close spiritual relationship with him/me. There are generally useful spiritual teachings which can be applied by all, even while there are specific diagnosis and treatments which may provide better healing for a particular person. I guess there is a similarity between a Doctor prescribing moderate exercise and a healthy diet for all, while if able to have a one-to-one consultation will be able to dig deeper into a person's health problems.

Over a year, it seems to me, that I should preach several times, and offer midweek studies, on each of the various necessary aspects of our spiritual life, in a positive manner that encourages those who are not engaging as much as they could to do a little more each time we consider them together. Since I also need to do more myself it is a blessing to me to preach to myself on these subjects as well. It seems to me that my own congregation should at least know the times of fasting, the types of fasting and abstinence, and especially the reasons why and how we fast, and the object, dangers and potential rewards of our fasting. Whether or not everyone does fast as much as they should in their own spiritual journey is a different pastoral and personal issue, but I would not want regular worshippers to not know how, when and why we fast as a minimum.

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« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2010, 10:47:19 AM »

My personal belief is that I should just live a normal, decent life. There is no need to dress in any patricular way, or to completely abstain from secular music, art, literature, theatre, movies, etc. Simple decency, purity (whether it is celibate or marital), truthfulness, respect and love for fellow human beings. Same thing as for Catholics or Protestants. Theosis is not about externals.

Doing all that is difficult enough, IMHO.

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« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2010, 10:58:32 AM »

And how do we teach the faithful to live a 'normal, decent life' if we do not teach them to live the 'normal, Orthodox life'.

I would have failed as a priest if all I said was 'Go and live a normal life'.

We are not called to live a normal life at all, but to discover God's life within us. This is not possible without following the spiritual teachings of the Church. How else are we to live a 'normal, decent life', and normal and decent in whose eyes?

Nothing is impossible for those who have Christ. It seems to me to be quite a short step from 'there is no need to ....' to 'I worship God in my own way I don't need to go to Church'. Though I am not suggesting anyone on this thread takes that view.

It seems to me that there is a very great need indeed, especially in the West, to follow carefully and with commitment, the spiritual teachings of the Church as our priests teach them to us, and not to decide for ourselves what we will do and what we will not do. Nothing is impossible for God and He does not ask us to do what He will not give us grace to achieve.

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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2010, 09:19:38 AM »

Dear Kansas City:
I would recommend a book, where you will find "lay monasticism" described in vivid detail.  This is, after all, the kind of life we are all called to live. It is called:  "The Way of The Ascetics" by: Toto Colliander and is available through St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. 

Seraphim
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« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2010, 11:37:27 AM »

And how do we teach the faithful to live a 'normal, decent life' if we do not teach them to live the 'normal, Orthodox life'.

I would have failed as a priest if all I said was 'Go and live a normal life'.

We are not called to live a normal life at all, but to discover God's life within us. This is not possible without following the spiritual teachings of the Church. How else are we to live a 'normal, decent life', and normal and decent in whose eyes?

Nothing is impossible for those who have Christ. It seems to me to be quite a short step from 'there is no need to ....' to 'I worship God in my own way I don't need to go to Church'. Though I am not suggesting anyone on this thread takes that view.

It seems to me that there is a very great need indeed, especially in the West, to follow carefully and with commitment, the spiritual teachings of the Church as our priests teach them to us, and not to decide for ourselves what we will do and what we will not do. Nothing is impossible for God and He does not ask us to do what He will not give us grace to achieve.

Father Peter

At the same time Father, I would say that having idealist or romantic notions of monasticism and saying that this kind of life can be lived in the world is a gross misunderstanding of what monasticism is all about. 

I agree with your earlier statement about how we should just live a righteous life, one filled with prayer, fasting and all of the deep spiritual gifts of the Orthodox Church, however this is NOT monasticism.  It is living as an Orthodox Christian. 

For me, one of the most telling examples of how this is seen in the history of the church is the compilation of the canons.  The canons are always grouped into those for lay-people, those for monastics, those in the clergy.  The canons regarding those for monastics I believe triple the ones for the lay people and clerics (i'm pretty sure about that...i might go check my notes just in case though). 

The monastic life is different from the worldly life.  That doesn't mean we don't share spiritual disciplines as Orthodox Christians, but we must ask ourselves, how much of what monks do is being monks and how much is what they do being good orthodox christians.  In the answering of this question I believe we have an answer to the OP 
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« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2010, 01:31:04 PM »

Yes, that is a very good point.

But I think that is has become customary in many places for the 'normal Orthodox life' to not be very taxing at all, and that anyone who tries to live a more traditional Orthodoxy is considered odd. It seems to me that without taking away the reality of those elements of the monastic vocation which are properly their own, nevertheless a large amount of what monk's do is what we should all be doing.

In the Coptic Orthodox Church I do not sense that there is a great difference between that which is required of lay people and that which is required of monastics - taking into account the different situations and vocations. It has never been suggested to me in my 16 years of being Orthodox that I should not fast as much as the general rule of the monks for instance. There are a great many lay Coptic Orthodox who keep the fasts extremely strictly as a matter of course and eat only a vegan meal in the evening. The eucharistic fast is taken very seriously as well. Many Copts are in Church for hours, late into the night, at the weekends. This is not the same as being a monk, but I think that the use of the term 'lay monasticism' does make some people think about the seriousness with which they are called to life the Christian life - no less seriously at all than a monk or hermit, but according to their own vocation.

If you do not like the term 'lay monasticism' then perhaps we can speak of 'Orthodox asceticism', and this term, which is then common to monastics and those living in the world, seems to me to show even more clearly that we are living the same life, though in different contexts and under different vocations and according to the particular guidance we receive.

An amateur footballer and a professional footballer have much in common. They play the same game by the same rules. Each one must put in a great deal of effort if they want to achieve their best. The aim of both is the same, to win the match. The skills they must seek to learn are the same. The best amateur footballer may put as much effort into his game and have as much skill as many of the less able professional footballers. They are not the same. They have different lives. But they are playing the same game by the same rules and with the same objective. To say that John Smith is a successful amateur footballer is not to diminish Wayne Rooney or David Beckham.

I think this is a little like the spiritual life as experienced by true monastics and monastic minded (properly Orthodox) layfolk.

Father Peter
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« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2010, 01:39:46 PM »

Dear Kansas City:
I would recommend a book, where you will find "lay monasticism" described in vivid detail.  This is, after all, the kind of life we are all called to live. It is called:  "The Way of The Ascetics" by: Toto Colliander and is available through St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. 

Seraphim

Way of the Ascetics is also available online here: http://web.archive.org/web/20030424031943/www.stvladimirs.ca/library/way-of-the-ascetics.html
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2010, 11:52:43 PM »

Yes, that is a very good point.

But I think that is has become customary in many places for the 'normal Orthodox life' to not be very taxing at all, and that anyone who tries to live a more traditional Orthodoxy is considered odd. It seems to me that without taking away the reality of those elements of the monastic vocation which are properly their own, nevertheless a large amount of what monk's do is what we should all be doing.

Well...I do have to qualify what you say by asking what you consider a "normal" orthodox life.  I think that a life of prayer and fasting, almsgiving, and thinking about God at least some part of your day would be a very normal orthodox life.  More traditional than that...I can see how some would consider that odd.  It just depends.  I think we're on the same page on this, but maybe we're not.  I think that those people who say "i live in the real world" are just weak and need to understand better what the OC is all about.  Those who want to live semi-monastic lives also go to an extreme. i'm advocating for a middle ground. 

Quote
In the Coptic Orthodox Church I do not sense that there is a great difference between that which is required of lay people and that which is required of monastics - taking into account the different situations and vocations. It has never been suggested to me in my 16 years of being Orthodox that I should not fast as much as the general rule of the monks for instance. There are a great many lay Coptic Orthodox who keep the fasts extremely strictly as a matter of course and eat only a vegan meal in the evening. The eucharistic fast is taken very seriously as well. Many Copts are in Church for hours, late into the night, at the weekends. This is not the same as being a monk, but I think that the use of the term 'lay monasticism' does make some people think about the seriousness with which they are called to life the Christian life - no less seriously at all than a monk or hermit, but according to their own vocation.

Yah in the EOC you have such a divergence of tradition and "acceptable practices" I wouldn't even know where to begin.  I would say as a general rule though people are much more secular and do not have prayer and fasting in the forefront of their minds, and anyone who is let's say "pious" who is around them causes "uncomfortability".  I'll give you an example.  We had some Coptic Orthodox Christians come to our GOA church a few weeks ago and every time they saw me they would say "father pray for us"....every time.  The people who would be around me would just give them looks like "how wierd is that"...which is really sad, but that's the state most people are in...I would say. 

Quote
If you do not like the term 'lay monasticism' then perhaps we can speak of 'Orthodox asceticism', and this term, which is then common to monastics and those living in the world, seems to me to show even more clearly that we are living the same life, though in different contexts and under different vocations and according to the particular guidance we receive.

I can agree to the terms as long as we're saying the same thing.  What would you consider Asceticism?  Have you read the text recommended by Wynd?

This might be a good place to start a more indepth discussion, because I think in HOW we define asceticism, we can then agree or disagree whether OC's and monks should adhere to it, and how much. 

Quote
An amateur footballer and a professional footballer have much in common. They play the same game by the same rules. Each one must put in a great deal of effort if they want to achieve their best. The aim of both is the same, to win the match. The skills they must seek to learn are the same. The best amateur footballer may put as much effort into his game and have as much skill as many of the less able professional footballers. They are not the same. They have different lives. But they are playing the same game by the same rules and with the same objective. To say that John Smith is a successful amateur footballer is not to diminish Wayne Rooney or David Beckham.

I think this is a little like the spiritual life as experienced by true monastics and monastic minded (properly Orthodox) layfolk.

Father Peter

I like your analogy Father, but I think it is lacking.  The rules by which monastics must live are firstly triple the amount as lay people, much more stringent, with much harsher consequences (in general).  They also live a life completely centered in Christ without any distractions of the outside world like bills, money, etc.  I think you had a good point, but I just don't think it does justice to the magnitude of difference between what is asked of from a monk (in its totality) and of a lay person (in their totality). 

If you would like for me to be more specific i'd love to engage this, as it was one of my favorite topics in canon law. 

Adelfikos. 



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« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2010, 12:08:08 AM »

Why is it a rigid standard and not just an Orthodox standard?
Thank you, Father! You said it so perfectly in so few words. Blessed Seraphim of Platina was very adamant about the Christian podvig or spiritual ascetic struggle and lay people are to be no exception to it. I was visiting a monastery  a few days ago(Holy Cross Hermitage in Wayne, WV) and I believe that we should not be living too much different from the monks. I'm not saying that we have to live in cells and wake up at 5 AM for Divine Services. But we should not live as the world lives. St. Paul tells us to live differently. I'm not saying we should dress like the 'Little House on the Prairie" either, but I believe we fool ourselves when we say that we can watch all of these terrible movies, listen to music with blasphemous and sexually enticing lyrics and whatever else and not be affected by it. Whether we realize it or not, when we do that we are indeed laying the groundwork for Satan to come along and ever so gradually lure us away from the Ark of Salvation.

One of the things that attracted me to Orthodoxy was its "other-worldliness" and its compelling nature to push one to holiness, to theosis; not just another religion that allows for a different personality for Sunday or whenever "church time" is and another for the rest of the time. Many Christians act like a Christian on Sunday, but an atheist the rest of the week. Although, it is hard for us in non-traditional Orthodox lands because we don't have that foundation to really push us. Our generation's struggle will be to lay that foundation and we should not make any long tarrying in doing so. But if we don't start acting as if we are in the Ark of Salvation and in the true Faith, then what good are we doing? We are mocking Our Lord's incarnation and sacrifice for us.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2010, 09:31:38 PM »

I think that, when living in a secular environment, everyone's situation is a bit different.  for me, a high school student in 21st century America, I'm surrounded (and am myself) with students trying to find who they are, while still holding on to that comforting immiturity that is our childhood.  in my environment, this is what I find most spiritually helpful in living as an Orthodox Christian teenager:

-practice a prayer rule before school(morning prayers) snd before bed
-go to Liturgy and Vespers weekly
-attend all holy week and presanctified liturges when lent comes
-read Orthodox literature as often as possible
-dress modestly as possible
-do not use profanity..."don't say anything you wouldn't want to say in front of your priest".
-act with piety
-read and study the scriptures as much as possible

this is just the base of how I try to live.  of corse, once I have a job and am in colleage, these may change, but for now, this is what I aim for.
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« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2010, 09:40:44 PM »

Trevor, I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am by your maturity at your age. I can't even imagine having accepted the Orthodox faith as a teenager. Know that many doubts and trials will come, but please never give up on your Orthodox faith. It is the most precious treasure in all of the world, because it is the faith that holds the universe together.
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« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2010, 09:43:59 PM »

Trevor, I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am by your maturity at your age. I can't even imagine having accepted the Orthodox faith as a teenager. Know that many doubts and trials will come, but please never give up on your Orthodox faith. It is the most precious treasure in all of the world, because it is the faith that holds the universe together.
thanks, I appreciate that.  my biggest fear is losing my Orthodox Faith, so I'll guard it with my life, with the help of God and the Saints! Wink    It is deffinatly hard, being a teenager and trying to uphold the values of an Orthodox Christian.  I remember the words of my godfather, the night I asked him to assume the role   "When you become Orthodox, life gets harder, but the rewards are sweeter".
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« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2010, 09:51:04 PM »

I think that, when living in a secular environment, everyone's situation is a bit different.  for me, a high school student in 21st century America, I'm surrounded (and am myself) with students trying to find who they are, while still holding on to that comforting immiturity that is our childhood.  in my environment, this is what I find most spiritually helpful in living as an Orthodox Christian teenager:

-practice a prayer rule before school(morning prayers) snd before bed
-go to Liturgy and Vespers weekly
-attend all holy week and presanctified liturges when lent comes
-read Orthodox literature as often as possible
-dress modestly as possible
-do not use profanity..."don't say anything you wouldn't want to say in front of your priest".
-act with piety
-read and study the scriptures as much as possible

this is just the base of how I try to live.  of corse, once I have a job and am in colleage, these may change, but for now, this is what I aim for.

If you go to college, join OCF! This is very important......for it's very easy to become an atheist while in college. I know it's hard in highschool, but you will have more of that hardness in college.

I had a christian club to go to while in highschool, and I went to alot of campus ministries in college. OCF is a blessing for Orthodox college students! It will be easier to keep your faith while in OCF.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 09:54:02 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2010, 09:51:56 PM »

I think that, when living in a secular environment, everyone's situation is a bit different.  for me, a high school student in 21st century America, I'm surrounded (and am myself) with students trying to find who they are, while still holding on to that comforting immiturity that is our childhood.  in my environment, this is what I find most spiritually helpful in living as an Orthodox Christian teenager:

-practice a prayer rule before school(morning prayers) snd before bed
-go to Liturgy and Vespers weekly
-attend all holy week and presanctified liturges when lent comes
-read Orthodox literature as often as possible
-dress modestly as possible
-do not use profanity..."don't say anything you wouldn't want to say in front of your priest".
-act with piety
-read and study the scriptures as much as possible

this is just the base of how I try to live.  of corse, once I have a job and am in colleage, these may change, but for now, this is what I aim for.

If you go to college, join OCF! This is very important.
what's "OCF"?
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« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2010, 09:55:28 PM »

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship, a students' organization.  Smiley

http://www.ocf.net

Wish I had known about them when I was in school.  angel
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« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2010, 09:55:55 PM »

I think that, when living in a secular environment, everyone's situation is a bit different.  for me, a high school student in 21st century America, I'm surrounded (and am myself) with students trying to find who they are, while still holding on to that comforting immiturity that is our childhood.  in my environment, this is what I find most spiritually helpful in living as an Orthodox Christian teenager:

-practice a prayer rule before school(morning prayers) snd before bed
-go to Liturgy and Vespers weekly
-attend all holy week and presanctified liturges when lent comes
-read Orthodox literature as often as possible
-dress modestly as possible
-do not use profanity..."don't say anything you wouldn't want to say in front of your priest".
-act with piety
-read and study the scriptures as much as possible

this is just the base of how I try to live.  of corse, once I have a job and am in colleage, these may change, but for now, this is what I aim for.

If you go to college, join OCF! This is very important.
what's "OCF"?

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodox_Christian_Fellowship (OCF)
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« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2010, 11:23:02 PM »

From an interview with Abbot Seraphim (Voepel)of Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia.

Quote
- One would have to be spiritually blind not to notice that the world around us is rapidly spiraling out of control. Secularism, modernism, and liberalism are eating away at the Christian roots of this great nation and many of us find ourselves feeling hopeless. Turn on any news channel and you will see that there is a sort of hidden persecution of Christians. The Evil one is clever in his attacks on those who confess Christ, and although we rarely see outright violence, a battle is most certainly raging on. We find it increasingly difficult to pray because the troubles of this world weigh greatly on the souls of Orthodox Christians. After spending several days in this holy place, one does not wish to return to the world, because the soul yearns to be with God and it is difficult to maintain a relationship with Christ in the secular world. What advice do you give departing pilgrims upon their return to the world? Is it possible to maintain a monastic spirit while living in the secular world?

What you are saying appears to be sadly true; the contemporary world has become hostile to true Christian living. We feel this even within the monastery. Sincere modern Christians must seek refuge in prayer, both liturgical and private. There is no substitute for this. If we are not praying every day from our heart, then we will be defeated. Sometimes modern Christians think that the spiritual life is just another self-help program they can try out; this is absolutely untrue. The Orthodox spiritual life is about a relationship with the God-man Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things. The spiritual life is about entering into His presence and with humility and repentance asking His mercy and guidance. Without this, we cannot have the strength or wisdom to resist the powerfully seductive secular world around us.

-Sometimes as Orthodox Christians, we feel that we are not of this world and that we are not relevant to it. How should we react to the changes that are happening around us, specifically the various and increasingly successful liberal and progressive movements, without losing ourselves and our inner spiritual peace?

I understand and share in your concern, but the only answer is the one St. Seraphim of Sarov gave: "Acquire the peace of God in your heart and a thousand souls around you will be saved." You as an individual Orthodox Christian cannot change the course of the world, but you can change yourself. It is, in fact, easier to think about changing the world than to try to change ourselves. If we find the world around us increasingly filled with hatred, then we must try to love; if we find the world running after material goods and pleasure, then we must try to live a simpler life; if we find the world has become preoccupied with carnal things, then we must try to be pure and chaste.

The inner peace that Christ gives us is not the peace of the world. It is not dependent upon proper social conditions or environmental factors. The early Christians would walk into the arena peacefully singing hymns as the lions attacked them. In the lives of the early martyrs, we read over and over again how bystanders and even Roman soldiers were converted by witnessing the firm faith and peaceful resolve of these early martyrs.

Full interview can be read Here: http://eadiocese.org/News/2010/09/asv.en.htm
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« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2010, 11:31:02 AM »

Dear Trevor,

I would add to your list a few things to consider in addition to your previously-listed intentions:

- seek to be patient, polite and forgiving of all those you meet, even if they hate you.
- don't immediately react to being offended.  That means curbing your emotions and tempering your affect with an unemotional strategy of furthering God's will.
- seek to manifest the virtues (humility, respect, moderation, responsibility, gratitude, generosity and compassion) in all your relationships, which is only possible with faith.
- be honest and stand up for the truth in love.
- resist evil and do not be passive when you see evil in your presence.
- seek guidance from those who are more advanced, not just those who agree with you.

Just a few more concepts to think about incorporating into your list.

Don't be too hard on yourself if you stumble and fall, because we all do (particularly at your age).  Also, don't forget to have some fun once in a while (preferably the kind that isn't illegal or immoral, which you will find in the company of good people).

God bless you and keep you on the right path.



I think that, when living in a secular environment, everyone's situation is a bit different.  for me, a high school student in 21st century America, I'm surrounded (and am myself) with students trying to find who they are, while still holding on to that comforting immiturity that is our childhood.  in my environment, this is what I find most spiritually helpful in living as an Orthodox Christian teenager:

-practice a prayer rule before school(morning prayers) snd before bed
-go to Liturgy and Vespers weekly
-attend all holy week and presanctified liturges when lent comes
-read Orthodox literature as often as possible
-dress modestly as possible
-do not use profanity..."don't say anything you wouldn't want to say in front of your priest".
-act with piety
-read and study the scriptures as much as possible

this is just the base of how I try to live.  of corse, once I have a job and am in colleage, these may change, but for now, this is what I aim for.
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« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2010, 01:29:17 PM »

Perhaps we should show the converts what real cradle Orthodox look like.

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« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2010, 01:31:44 PM »


Look at her, her head is not covered! Apostate!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 01:33:29 PM by synLeszka » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2010, 04:32:01 PM »

synLeszka, I'm having trouble understanding what you hope to communicate with the above photos and the satire.  Could you please explain this to me?
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« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2010, 04:52:35 PM »

As for myself, I whole-heartedly approve of these photos. More photos! More photos!  Grin
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« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2010, 04:54:27 PM »

As for myself, I whole-heartedly approve of these photos. More photos! More photos!  Grin
I can't agree with this. She looks too plain!
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« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2010, 04:55:35 PM »

**rolls eyes**

men.
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« Reply #58 on: September 25, 2010, 05:07:39 PM »

As for myself, I whole-heartedly approve of these photos. More photos! More photos!  Grin
Don't encourage him. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2010, 05:07:48 PM »

**rolls eyes**

men.
Well, at least I have unique and realistic taste! Tongue
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« Reply #60 on: September 25, 2010, 05:16:33 PM »

**rolls eyes**

men.
Well, at least I have unique and realistic taste! Tongue

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« Reply #61 on: September 25, 2010, 05:17:00 PM »

As for myself, I whole-heartedly approve of these photos. More photos! More photos!  Grin
Don't encourage him. Roll Eyes

OOPS.  Too late. . .pft.
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« Reply #62 on: September 25, 2010, 06:08:34 PM »

Doesn't a lot of this come from what I am starting to call "the self absorbsion of the newly chrismated". I've noticed it at my parish...about five minutes reverencing an Ikon while people stand in line waiting..telling cradles what they are doing wrong...wanting longer services while outside the hungry are still hungry and the homeless are still homeless..
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« Reply #63 on: September 25, 2010, 07:27:17 PM »

Doesn't a lot of this come from what I am starting to call "the self absorbsion of the newly chrismated". I've noticed it at my parish...about five minutes reverencing an Ikon while people stand in line waiting..telling cradles what they are doing wrong...wanting longer services while outside the hungry are still hungry and the homeless are still homeless..

(shrugs) I don't do those things. Then again, I haven't been chrismated yet. Am I supposed to turn into an awful person or something?  Huh  Undecided
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« Reply #64 on: September 25, 2010, 07:40:47 PM »

Doesn't a lot of this come from what I am starting to call "the self absorbsion of the newly chrismated". I've noticed it at my parish...about five minutes reverencing an Ikon while people stand in line waiting..telling cradles what they are doing wrong...wanting longer services while outside the hungry are still hungry and the homeless are still homeless..

(shrugs) I don't do those things. Then again, I haven't been chrismated yet. Am I supposed to turn into an awful person or something?  Huh  Undecided

Don't worry about it. It's probably true that a disproportionate number of new converts are more fervent and have exaggerated ideas and actions for a while after conversion. However, when you look at who is really behind things that run-of-the-mill Orthodox consider to be "crazy," converts certainly haven't cornered the market.
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« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2010, 07:59:45 PM »

Thank you.
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« Reply #66 on: September 25, 2010, 11:54:37 PM »

National politics play a strong role in the state controlled mother churches. American converts entiring the church is said to "dilute" the ties to the mother country. There is a ultra-nationalist sect within many of the churches which condemn and discourage converts as going against the political interests of the mother country, especially Protestant converts. Disregard what these politicos say as they are clearly placing secular interests above God. Unfortunately, they have becoming increasingly loud in the past few years as they become even more marginalized in the American Orthodox Churches, even to the extent of calling on Papal authority for their Bishops to try and maintain their ultra-nationalist interests.
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« Reply #67 on: September 26, 2010, 06:58:36 AM »

National politics play a strong role in the state controlled mother churches. American converts entiring the church is said to "dilute" the ties to the mother country. There is a ultra-nationalist sect within many of the churches which condemn and discourage converts as going against the political interests of the mother country, especially Protestant converts. Disregard what these politicos say as they are clearly placing secular interests above God. Unfortunately, they have becoming increasingly loud in the past few years as they become even more marginalized in the American Orthodox Churches, even to the extent of calling on Papal authority for their Bishops to try and maintain their ultra-nationalist interests.
I don't know about you, but many, MANY americans are ethnically European.

I don't see the issue, then. It wasn't the American's choice to be born here.

Richard

(not that I abide with these guys, but it seems like they're far out there, even for me)
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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2011, 05:37:48 PM »

Quote
Yes, and I think it is a matter of attitude.  I know what you mean about modesty.  I've ridden out the latest mini skirt craze, continuing to wear skirts well below the knee, but I haven't run into people accusing me of super-correctness.  Dowdiness, yes, but not super-correctness.     I think it is just attitude

 Smiley However, I don't believe dressing modestly needs to be dowdy! We can do it with flare and style too!

Something to strive toward.   Smiley

Actually, I've been hearing that this fall the fashions will be a little more modest.  The micro minis are on their way out, thank goodness.  I'm tired of buying dresses and then wearing them as blouses.  

Am I dreaming, or have my prayers been answered?

Quote
2011 FALL NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: 15 TOP TRENDS TO TRY NOW

Calf-Length Hemlines

It's ladylike and feminine, but flexible enough for you to make it boho, minimal, or glamorous.

http://www.fabsugar.com.au/2011-Fall-New-York-Fashion-Week-Roundup-Top-15-Trends-14302646?page=0,0,0

Knowing our beloved Rosehip, this is probably due to her intercession.   Smiley   I really miss her.  I would have loved hearing her comments on this wonderful and sensible turn in fashion.
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« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2011, 01:35:18 AM »

I've notice Rosehip hasn't been posting since I've been back online. (my comp bit the dust back in Aug and only recently have replaced it)  Anyone know why?   
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« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2011, 01:39:18 AM »

I've notice Rosehip hasn't been posting since I've been back online. (my comp bit the dust back in Aug and only recently have replaced it)  Anyone know why?   

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32244.0.html
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« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2011, 06:33:48 AM »

I was wondering where Fr. Peter has been also...
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« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2011, 02:55:59 PM »

I've notice Rosehip hasn't been posting since I've been back online. (my comp bit the dust back in Aug and only recently have replaced it)  Anyone know why?   

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32244.0.html

I don't know what to say.  I appreciate the link. Dang!
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« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2011, 03:27:00 PM »

I've notice Rosehip hasn't been posting since I've been back online. (my comp bit the dust back in Aug and only recently have replaced it)  Anyone know why?   

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32244.0.html

I don't know what to say.  I appreciate the link. Dang!
I agree.  may her memory be eternal!
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