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Author Topic: The Benedictine Order and Me 2.0  (Read 7168 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: April 20, 2005, 11:37:32 PM »

http://www.stmartin.edu/abbey/index.htm

St. Martin's abbey is of the Benedictine Order, the oldest monastic Order in the Church.
They are dedicated to the daily celebration of the beautiful Gregorian mass. Could any form of worship be better?

St. Martin's also has a college dedicated to religious and intellectual education. As a monk, I could be a college professor or some other member of the faculty. Not only would I live a life of spiritual fulfillment but I'd have a great vocation to serve humanity.

Located in Lacey, Washington in the Puget Sound, no location could be better.
"The physical beauty of the 300+ acres at St. Martin's is reflective of its rich spiritual presence in the Pacific Northwest. The Abbey grounds are threaded with pleasant walking trails. Many species of wildlife roam or fly over its undeveloped acres and in the meadows near the Abbey and College buildings."
http://www.stmartin.edu/abbey/location.htm

I've put a lot of thought into Orthodox monasticism and I find it to be a little too rigid. Furthermore, I wouldn't have the opportunities to serve the world that I would have at St. Martin's.
All Merciful Savior Monastery, for example, is located on a secluded island and there are only five monks. What would there be to do besides pray and chop wood?

Please pray that in whatever I do, it will be for the greater glory of God.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 11:51:11 PM »

If you're Orthodox, why would you even consider joining a Roman religious order?
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 12:19:21 AM »

If you're Orthodox, why would you even consider joining a Roman religious order?

Because he's not really Orthodox - read his religion entry.
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 12:29:11 AM »

Matthew,

You are deluded. I think you need to chop some wood and pray all day, for the next 20 years or so!

Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 12:44:10 AM »

I think you need to chop some wood and pray all day, for the next 20 years or so!

That ought to be just about right.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 12:57:59 AM »

I've put a lot of thought into Orthodox monasticism and I find it to be a little too rigid.

Well, if this is the case, you have to think a lot more, because I can tell you that there are almost as many differences between individual Orthodox monasteries as there are monks.



What would there be to do besides pray and chop wood?

You mean exactly what a monk is supposed to do?
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 01:47:09 AM »

http://www.stmartin.edu/abbey/index.htm

St. Martin's abbey is of the Benedictine Order, the oldest monastic Order in the Church.


WRONG.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 01:49:37 AM »

As one who has had exposure to more than a few Catholic religious orders, I must urge you to reconsider.  What you may find "rigid" in the Orthodox Monastic tradition is in fact what the fathers of our Faith found necessary in order to live a life of piety and purity.  Catholic religious life, in especially the more "progressive" monasteries is anything but this.  I don't know about you- but I find "chopping wood" on a secluded island much more conducive to the humbling of the body and the destroying of the passions than any abbey might do to me. 

You obviously don't appreciate your Orthodox faith, which is a shame.  You leave the faith that your ancestors fought and died for for a "Gregorian" liturgy from the good old days- 1969.  Congratulations- you have found ancient Christian monasticism.

How many thriving Orthodox monasteries are there in the United States- and you spurn all of them for catholicism?

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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 01:53:10 AM »

Oh, and by the way.  You must be impressed with their "Artwork" if I may call it that.  If their "Gospel Book" looks like that- and it contains the words of Our Lord and Savior- How will the liturgy of theirs ever impress you?
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 01:58:01 AM »

Quote
I think you need to chop some wood and pray all day, for the next 20 years or so!

LOL!!! Grin

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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 02:04:15 AM »

What good does chopping wood do for the world? At least the Benedictines serve society through education.
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2005, 02:14:50 AM »

What good does chopping wood do for the world? At least the Benedictines serve society through education.

You have absolutely no concept of what monasticism  is truly about. 
You refuse to listen to anything anyone says.  People have been through this with you again and again, and all you do is keep posting the same statements and questions.  Learn some humility, for your own sake.  Stop posting dead air.  Read about the lives of real monks, see what a GENUINE difference they made to people around them, and then come back and discuss monasticism, instead of being a pig-headed lout who always insists that he is right, which is the opposite attitude displayed by any true monk.
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2005, 02:31:02 AM »

...instead of being a pig-headed lout who always insists that he is right, which is the opposite attitude displayed by any true monk.

Are you not the one who is sounding like a "pig-headed lout"?
I asked a legitimate question regarding Christian charity.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2005, 04:01:09 AM »

Matthew777,

All I would advise is that you take some time to think, reflect and above all PRAY before you go any further down your latest avenue of spiritual exploration. You seem to be very unsure as to what it is you believe which is a stage I'm sure many people go through (I know I did) but you don't seem to be willing to settle down into any one belief for long - you seem to be a 'spiritual butterfly' for want of a better term.

Since I have been on this forum you seem to have changed from an OO theistic evolutionist, to an OO young earther, to an OO but ROCOR leaning Fr. Seraphim devotee, to a EO/OO, not really sure, might be old earth creationist, to, now, an RC leaning would be monastic philanthropist. I've not been here that long, and that's quite an impressive list of shifts in opinion, none of which I'd note shows any adherence to a consistent theology. Until you can sort out the fundamentals of your own faith then I would advise you to stop looking at all these superficials, like how exactly God created the earth or whether monastics are called to be in or apart from the world.

I have no reason to doubt your intentions or sincerity but, in my honest opinion, you come across as an extremely confused person. I would recommend a long talk, or preferrably series of talks, with a priest who can give you solid advice - don't be afraid to ask for help but you'd be better off asking a priest than a collection of near-anonymous, almost strangers on a discussion forum. I wish you well in sorting out your faith and will pray for your success. Needless to say, though, I feel that I cannot possibly recommend your becoming a Roman Catholic monk and I feel the reasons you give for your admiration for the Benedictines are superficial at best, at worst ignorant and dangerous.

In Christ,

James
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2005, 05:40:33 AM »

Matthew,

People are being remarkably kind to you, considering that we've been here, done this before.  Don't be lulled into complacency, I won't be - you bring out the worst in me.

The scariest part of all this is that this thread is virtually identical to one you initiated months ago, on the same topic.  At the risk of having Jennifer again accuse me of being uncharitable or bullying, I'm going to offer similar comments to those that I made then.  You identify yourself as Syro-Malankara Orthodox, but have been having this semi-public debate over joining a Russian Orthodox or Roman Catholic monastic foundation for some time now, with the Catholics winning based on what appears to be a motivation for you to further your education and become a faculty member of their institution of higher learning.  Your commitment to any one Church appears to be so elastic as to boggle the mind - being focused more on Matthew than on God or theological precepts.

As I said to you way back then, if I were the person in charge of either monastic house and I had even the slightest inkling of the fickle nature of your attachment to your faith of the moment, I wouldn't accept you into my community on a bet.  You dishonor the communities that you are considering, both Catholic and Orthodox, by the shallowness of the basis on which you purport to choose between them.

You are young and, by your writings, you are spiritually immature (think that's the line that got me in trouble before, but it is extraordinarily true) and you are absolutely uncommitted to any Church's theological praxis, otherwise you would not write as you do.  You need to pray and confer with a spiritual father before pursuing any peceived discernment toward a monastic vocation since, at the moment, you would have to lie about, at the very least, your motivation and your theological leanings to be accepted by either of the two.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2005, 06:46:34 AM »

Matthew,

You are deluded. I think you need to chop some wood and pray all day, for the next 20 years or so!

Matthew! Dude, you are so whacked!

Repeat after Mr. Miyagi !!!!

"Wax on, wax off.
Wax on, wax off.
Wax on, wax off.
Wax on, wax off"

Good Grasshopper!
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2005, 07:08:40 AM »

Matthew...bear in mind that wich ever order you join, you will be under obedience. You may get to teach, but on the other hand if the community needs wood you will end up chopping! Remeber Br. Lawrence? He worked and found fufillment in his communities kitchen, even though he hated cooking!
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2005, 11:29:30 AM »

I find all your postings very immature - whatever subject.  OK that's youth, been down that road myself and made a fool of myself.  But God is MERCIFUL and points us in the right direction eventually, IF we care to listen to advice (not mine!) but other well-wishers on this forum.  When the last monk/nun stops praying then all those wonderful welfare institutions will crumble, the world as we know it will evaporate.  It is aPRAYER that sustains the world, not social action. If you have to chose, chose PRAYER.


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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2005, 11:44:43 AM »

One wonders *why* you think that whatever monastic order *you* deem good will automatically take you.  "The house chooses the monk" not the other way around. 

Novice masters are not chosen carelessly, but to guide and winnow out those who do not have a calling or do not fit into the monastic life. Not all persons who think they have a Call to the monastic life actually do. 

You seem to think that your plans are What Will Be.  A useful thing to learn is what one wants is not always (or even mostly) what happens.  Reality is itself and does not bow to our wishes.


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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2005, 12:36:26 PM »

You dishonor the communities that you are considering, both Catholic and Orthodox, by the shallowness of the basis on which you purport to choose between them.

Perhaps I am just able to look beyond sectarianism.
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2005, 12:54:14 PM »

What more good can a monastic do for the world, than pray for them?  People are too busy with the rat race and trying to get to the top and pray is the first to suffer. 
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2005, 02:37:43 PM »

What more good can a monastic do for the world, than pray for them? People are too busy with the rat race and trying to get to the top and pray is the first to suffer.

Prayer is important but that is not all the good we can do for the world. If God desires me to be more than a prayerful lumberjack, then I will heed that call.
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« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2005, 02:42:08 PM »

Prayer is important but that is not all the good we can do for the world. If God desires me to be more than a prayerful lumberjack, then I will heed that call.

Ah, but the question is whether being more than a prayerful lumberjack is truly God's desire, or if it's actually your desire that you're attributing to God.
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2005, 02:47:17 PM »

Matthew777,

All I would advise is that you take some time to think, reflect and above all PRAY before you go any further down your latest avenue of spiritual exploration. You seem to be very unsure as to what it is you believe which is a stage I'm sure many people go through (I know I did) but you don't seem to be willing to settle down into any one belief for long - you seem to be a 'spiritual butterfly' for want of a better term.

I believe in Apostolic Christianity though this is not limited to one church. I am willing to see that the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches share Apostolic Succession and are the body of Christ. At St. Gregorios, I have been taught to understand both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches as Apostolic and holy.

Matthew777,

Since I have been on this forum you seem to have changed from an OO theistic evolutionist, to an OO young earther, to an OO but ROCOR leaning Fr. Seraphim devotee, to a EO/OO, not really sure, might be old earth creationist, to, now, an RC leaning would be monastic philanthropist.

We are unable to comprehend God's relationship with time. He created in six days but that does not necessarily mean human days. What I find unsettling is the concept that Genesis is only an allegory and Adam and Eve are mythical figures. If they did not actually exist, then why do we have the doctrine of ancestral sin and why have they been considered saints in the Church? If we are to use labels, I am a creationist but the age of the universe is not my concern. I still love Fr. Seraphim Rose and I find that he was the best Orthodox theologian of our time but that doesn't mean that I must follow his footsteps into Russian monasticism.
In monastic life, my primary concern is how much I can serve God through serving humanity.
I've been raised in the Catholic faith, the clergy at my church are open to Catholicism, and they recomend the Benedictine Order as a traditional monastic community.
I do not have reason to consider the words of forum members where they contradict the advice of my clergy.

Matthew777,

I have no reason to doubt your intentions or sincerity but, in my honest opinion, you come across as an extremely confused person.

I would not be considering to join a Catholic Order if I had not been advised by a priest to consider it.
There is still plenty of time for me to receive guidance before I make that decision.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2005, 02:48:57 PM »



Ah, but the question is whether being more than a prayerful lumberjack is truly God's desire, or if it's actually your desire that you're attributing to God.

That is a good observation. This will take a great deal of prayer and clerical guidance.
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2005, 04:10:11 PM »

I don't know what this is but this is not art:

"Gospel Book
In 1976, the Abbey published a Gospel Book with illustrations by Seth Polanski and calligraphy by Tim Girvin. The book includes the major feasts of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, St. Benedict, All Saints, and St. Martin. This oversized leather-bound book with images and Gospel passages for the feasts is a true work of art."
http://www.stmartin.edu/abbey/gospel_book.htm

What the heck?
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2005, 04:44:33 PM »

I do not have reason to consider the words of forum members where they contradict the advice of my clergy.

I would not be considering to join a Catholic Order if I had not been advised by a priest to consider it.
There is still plenty of time for me to receive guidance before I make that decision.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.


Even if said Clergy person is in error?  Just because a clergy person tells you something, doesn't mean it is true of a good opinion.  I think my own priest is great.  He is theologically very conservative, has a sense of humor, a great preacher, rubricly strong, relatively young and energetic, but sometimes he can be snippy, too opinionated and uncharitable and other things.  He's human as well.  I'm not going to agree with him all the time, but he still is the rector of the parish.

If the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is in Communion with Rome, the of course it is plausible that one of their clergy might recommend you to join a Roman Catholic Order!
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2005, 04:52:28 PM »

I don't know what this is but this is not art:

"Gospel Book
In 1976, the Abbey published a Gospel Book with illustrations by Seth Polanski and calligraphy by Tim Girvin. The book includes the major feasts of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, St. Benedict, All Saints, and St. Martin. This oversized leather-bound book with images and Gospel passages for the feasts is a true work of art."
http://www.stmartin.edu/abbey/gospel_book.htm

What the heck?


Exactly!  It's freaky looking!
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2005, 04:57:19 PM »

If the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is in Communion with Rome, the of course it is plausible that one of their clergy might recommend you to join a Roman Catholic Order!

Elisha,

If it is, it'll be a matter of much surprise to both Mor Ephrem and to Benedict XVI.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2005, 04:57:48 PM »

Quote
Exactly! It's freaky looking

I guess if you were a resident of Berkeley you could consider that real art! Grin
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2005, 05:02:14 PM »



Elisha,

If it is, it'll be a matter of much surprise to both Mor Ephrem and to Benedict XVI.

Many years,

Neil

I have no idea - one reason why I made the statement - just thought it MIGHT be the case.
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« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2005, 05:12:25 PM »

If the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church is in Communion with Rome, the of course it is plausible that one of their clergy might recommend you to join a Roman Catholic Order!

The Malankara Church is rather ecumenical and allows Roman Catholics to receive communion.
Deacon Gabriel recomended the Benedictines for being a traditional Order. He went to St. Martin's for college. Father Michael considers it a good possibility also.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2005, 07:15:53 PM »



The Malankara Church is rather ecumenical and allows Roman Catholics to receive communion.
Deacon Gabriel recomended the Benedictines for being a traditional Order. He went to St. Martin's for college. Father Michael considers it a good possibility also.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.



So you trust the opinions of two whittie convert priests over what your bishop Mar Barnabas might think??  There is a great need for an Indian Orthodox monastery in America, so why not be in obedience to your hierarch and ask him how you can be one of the founding members instead of jumping ship for the Roman Catholic Church?

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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2005, 07:23:37 PM »

So you trust the opinions of two whittie convert priests over what your bishop Mar Barnabas might think??

It is ironic how the members of this forum always recomend that I seek the guidence of my clergy in spiritual matters except for when they disagree with your opinions.
I would assume that Bishop Mar Makarios would be open-minded also.
I am not strong enough of a person to start my own monastery.

If the monastery is "progressive" or "modernist" instead of traditional Catholic, then I probably wouldn't even think about joining. I'll have to visit first before I can make a decision.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2005, 07:26:39 PM »

Quote
I would assume that Bishop Mar Makarios would be open-minded also.
 

I would be VERY careful about what you assume. Go ask him first!
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2005, 07:51:35 PM »



I would be VERY careful about what you assume. Go ask him first!

Why should I care about what you say?:

Because he's not really Orthodox - read his religion entry.

Yes, I am a "monophysite heretic" and by your advice, I will consult my "heretical" bishop. :-

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2005, 08:07:46 PM »

Correction Matthew,

The Benedictines USED to be traditional.  Not anymore my friend.  Just look at the Art and the way they decorate their own church.  If you are too blind to realize anything past a few lines of Gregorian Chant then go ahead and be a Benedictine.  It is a shame how you spurn your own tradition to join somewhere where you have nothing in common.  If you want to be a Benedictine go right ahead, but the Benedictines of Today are a far cry from St. Benedict's original Order.  No doubt St. Benedict would have much more in common with "chopping wood" and disciplining the body (By throwing himself in the snow when the passions got to him) than getting a respected teaching position.  Instead of floating from one topic to another, get a clue and read about your own tradition

Question-  Were you raised Malankara Orthodox or did you convert?


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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2005, 08:10:05 PM »

I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and converted to Orthodoxy in my junior year of high school.
If the Benedictine Order is no longer traditional and is full of "modernist" influence, then I would never join it. That is something I will have to look into.
I don't want a respected teaching position, I just want to do whatever I can to help people.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2005, 08:14:25 PM »

Obviously your conversion was not genuine.  Your spiritual fathers are probably acknowledging this fact now.  It was impulsive- believe me I have done some impulsive things I am not proud of.  You should have had a longer catechumenate.  Your spiritual father in the Malankara church has probably given up on your possibility of remaining orthodox.

Take Care
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2005, 08:19:02 PM »

Obviously your conversion was not genuine. Your spiritual fathers are probably acknowledging this fact now. It was impulsive- believe me I have done some impulsive things I am not proud of. You should have had a longer catechumenate. Your spiritual father in the Malankara church has probably given up on your possibility of remaining orthodox.

Take Care

You do not even know enough about me to question my conversion to Orthodoxy and make judgements on my spiritual fathers. This is the same pharisaical attitude that I have been talking about.
My spiritual fathers are happy with my dedication to patristics and Orthodox theology and consider the Benedictine Order to be a good possibility considering how ancient it is. If it is no longer traditional, then I will not join it.


May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2005, 08:47:29 PM »

Matthew I am sure you know that I would advise you to seriously consider the Orthodox Faith again. However I know that is probably not what you want to hear.
The Benedictines are not what they were before Vatican II. There are now Anglican and even Lutheran Benedictines! The monastery you linked to seems very modernist but they do not provide pictures of their altar so I am not sure. Thomas Merton is a good example of what the Roman Catholic church did to monasticism. Read his early works when he was still a faithful Roman Catholic monk and then look at what happened. If you want a Traditional Roman Catholic monastery than go to Northeast Iowa http://www.newmelleray.org/index.asp?menu=home New Melleray is a few hours from where I live. Northeast Iowa is one of the most 'conservative' Catholic parts of the U.S.A. The Dyersville Basilica http://www.uvcr.catholicam.org/bsfxavier.html is also not too far from New Melleray if you ever visit and still serves the Latin Mass; it is the only cathedral I know of that serves the Latin Mass every Sunday. My sister was married at the basilica and I remember being awed at how big it is and its beauty.
Anyway I thing there are more traditional Catholic monasteries in California than what you linked to.
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« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2005, 08:51:04 PM »



It is ironic how the members of this forum always recomend that I seek the guidence of my clergy in spiritual matters except for when they disagree with your opinions.
I would assume that Bishop Mar Makarios would be open-minded also.
I am not strong enough of a person to start my own monastery.

If the monastery is "progressive" or "modernist" instead of traditional Catholic, then I probably wouldn't even think about joining. I'll have to visit first before I can make a decision.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

Don't lump me in with others please. Your bishop outweighs your priest any day.

Bp Makarios is not your bishop, Bp Barnabas is, unless you can establish that your parish is in a special status, and Bp Barnabas he is traditional and Orthodox.  I highly doubt he would allow you to join a Catholic order!

If you are too weak to join a monastery that is new then go to California and join the Coptic monastery there.

If you can't handle being away from your family and friends, then you are not called to be a monk.

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« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2005, 08:51:36 PM »



Why should I care about what you say?:



Yes, I am a "monophysite heretic" and by your advice, I will consult my "heretical" bishop.  :-

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.



If you don't care then why do you POST HERE?
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« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2005, 08:52:48 PM »



You do not even know enough about me to question my conversion to Orthodoxy and make judgements on my spiritual fathers. This is the same pharisaical attitude that I have been talking about.
My spiritual fathers are happy with my dedication to patristics and Orthodox theology and consider the Benedictine Order to be a good possibility considering how ancient it is. If it is no longer traditional, then I will not join it.


May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.


We can only judge you based on what you write.  And what you write is confused.  You should probably quit internet forums for awhile and just read some more books and talk to your bishop. Why not visit the Coptic monastery in person to get a feel for REAL monasticism?
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« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2005, 09:20:00 PM »



I guess if you were a resident of Berkeley you could consider that real art! Grin

Art who?

But I guess "art" and it's merits are a matter of subjective taste. To each thier own.

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