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monasticism #66898
05/28/02 05:37 PM
05/28/02 05:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 141
Southbridge, Massachusetts
R
Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble Offline OP
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Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 141
Southbridge, Massachusetts
Greetings All,

I would like to begin a discussion about monasticism in the Byzantine church. Specifically, where do you think monasticism is going? Do we see a revitilization of Monasticism in the BC? Is there a future for monasticism in the BC? Lastly, does anyone have a reading list on the subject that they would be willing to share with the group.

Peter

Re: monasticism #66899
05/28/02 06:04 PM
05/28/02 06:04 PM
Joined: Oct 1998
Posts: 324
Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
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Moose Offline
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Moose  Offline
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Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
The existing monastic groups in the Byzantine Catholic Churches are rapidly dying. Some argue that this is because of excessive latinization but I think the real reason is that for the last forty years they were not really monastic. These communities were broken up to supply priest-monks to serve in parishes. These groups should be allowed to make a graceful exit as they have given their existence to serve the Church.

There is currently a huge interest in authentic Byzantine monasticism. I have no doubt that within a few years new communities will be formed that will be centered on prayer and a proper celebration of the Divine Services. My hope is that the new Metropolitan will allow one or more monastic communities to form. Holy Resurrection Monastery in California is wonderful but we don't really need monks in the desert of California. We need monks close to downtown Pittsburgh, in Cleveland, in Scranton, in Phoenix and in central New Jersey.

Re: monasticism #66900
05/28/02 06:42 PM
05/28/02 06:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,042
Washington, DC
DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic Offline
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DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Moose:
There is currently a huge interest in authentic Byzantine monasticism. I have no doubt that within a few years new communities will be formed that will be centered on prayer and a proper celebration of the Divine Services. My hope is that the new Metropolitan will allow one or more monastic communities to form. Holy Resurrection Monastery in California is wonderful but we don't really need monks in the desert of California. We need monks close to downtown Pittsburgh, in Cleveland, in Scranton, in Phoenix and in central New Jersey.


Moose,
While I agree with you 100%, here is something that I see that could happen to those monks that serve close to the downtown areas.

Won't the temptation of the Bishops be great to "raid" the monasteries that are close to the downtown areas where priests are needed? Just as has been done with the so called "latinized" communities of today?

Maybe the only place for authentic Byzantine monasticism is in the desert where it is not as convenient to use the monks in this way.

I hope I am wrong otherwise my vocation is at risk.


Your brother in Christ,
David

Re: monasticism #66901
05/28/02 06:54 PM
05/28/02 06:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 220
U.S.A.
amonasticbeginner Offline
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amonasticbeginner  Offline
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Posts: 220
U.S.A.
Re: books
Please excuse this duplication, but I started a new thread on books. We must have been writing at the SAME time.

I believe that traditional monastic life (Eastern Christian/Orthodox) is being re-established in our
Church just as our Holy Father asked us to do.

Restore, reclaim, re-establish, resurrect (all these wonderful R words) for monastic life in our country in 2002.
MONASTICS are under the local Bishop. The year 2002 is seeing new Bishops and a Metropolitan. IT IS SO WONDERFUL.

Yes, read lots of books. Ooops, that should be second. The number one priority is PRAYER -- liturgical prayer and private prayer. Then, read and contact other monastics. PRAY, read, and PRAY some more.


[ 05-28-2002: Message edited by: amonasticbeginner ]

[ 05-28-2002: Message edited by: amonasticbeginner ]

Re: monasticism #66902
05/28/02 06:58 PM
05/28/02 06:58 PM
Joined: Oct 1998
Posts: 324
Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
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Moose Offline
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Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
David,

I appreciate your concerns.

There is nothing to prevent a bishop from raiding any monastery anywhere of its priest-monks to supply parishes. Also, monasticism and the priesthood - like marriage and priesthood - are two different vocations. One can be called to monasticism without being called to service as a priest just as one can be called to both marriage and the priesthood. Vigilance from hieromonk-robbing bishops is always and will always be necessary. Maybe one of the positive aspects of having three monastics as bishops will be more support for monasticism in our Church?

I did not mean to suggest that desert monasticism has no place in America - it does. I believe, however, that the Christian community needs the everyday witness of monasticism to help restore balance to the Christian life.

Moose

Re: monasticism #66903
05/28/02 08:38 PM
05/28/02 08:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,196
Columbus, Ohio
Sharon Mech Offline
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Sharon Mech  Offline
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Columbus, Ohio
Moose,

Agreed on everything except..

We absolutely need monks in the high Mojave. Prayer knows no distance.

Sharon

Sharon emch, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com

Re: monasticism #66904
05/29/02 01:15 AM
05/29/02 01:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,700
Pennsylvania
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Hieromonk Elias Offline
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Pennsylvania
The Church needs monks and monasticism's witness everywhere!

God grant many young men and women the courage to embrace this wonderful vocation.

Elias

Re: monasticism #66905
05/29/02 01:17 AM
05/29/02 01:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,700
Pennsylvania
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Hieromonk Elias Offline
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Pennsylvania
It was said on another thread not too long ago, that there was insufficient encouragement and guidance offered to those who were willing to study for the priesthood.

I hope that is not true of monasticism! Monks are only too willing to help and support those who wish to continue this awesome tradition, and this wonderful way of life in our Church.

Elias

Re: monasticism #66906
05/29/02 04:05 AM
05/29/02 04:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Kansas/UGCC
Diak Offline
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I have a nice spot on the back of my farm for any hermits out there - the more the merrier.

I think Moose is on the right track - there is a growing interest in authentic monasticism, not the "paramonasticism" of the past, especially as manifested with the Basilians. Let's pray that more monasteries like HTM and HRM in California, the Skete in Michigan, Mother of God in Ontario, and Holy Cross in D.C. can attract vocations but also that new foundations can begin. St. Anthony went to the Pecherska Lavra in Kyiv by himself and soon there were many more. May our God who loves mankind through the prayers of the monk-confessors Leonid Fedorov and Klement Sheptysky grant our churches many holy monks.

Re: monasticism #66907
05/29/02 05:46 AM
05/29/02 05:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 644
Reseda CA
Steve Petach Offline
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Reseda CA
Quote
Originally posted by Sharon Mech:
Moose,

Agreed on everything except..

We absolutely need monks in the high Mojave. Prayer knows no distance.

Sharon

Sharon Mech, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com


And to add that in the high desert more than 'just a monastery' biggrin has flourished. There is also a very active community of families supporting the monks, many (most) of whom are not cradle byzantines. As another thread puts it in tems of beautiful liturgies- one of my fondest memories of a wonderful liturgical service was of compline during a pilgrimage a few years ago at the monastery. more about that on the appropriate topic.

Steve Petach

Re: monasticism #66908
05/29/02 07:24 AM
05/29/02 07:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 43
Semi-nomadic
Michael Brooks Offline
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Michael Brooks  Offline
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Posts: 43
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Quote
Originally posted by Moose:
Holy Resurrection Monastery in California is wonderful but we don't really need monks in the desert of California. We need monks close to downtown Pittsburgh, in Cleveland, in Scranton, in Phoenix and in central New Jersey.


You write of our monks from a utilitarian perspective, referring to what "we" need, or to what use they can be put. I can't fault you for this, as one purpose of this forum is to discuss the needs of the Church. Besides, this tends to be the way I think.

It reminds me, however, of a conversation with Hegumen Nicholas of HRM a couple of years ago. I, being very American and having a protestant formation, was obsessing about this or that activist concern, blathering on about tactics and strategy or something like that. Fr. Nicholas emphasized to me that the most important thing is my own soul's state, my own partaking of the divine nature, my own union with the Trinity and so on.

This was not the way I thought or felt. It is still not second nature to me. But I have become convinced it is true.

St. Antony walked out into the desert because he wanted to give up everything to possess and be possessed by Jesus Christ. He had no illusions about saving the Church. Yet that was what he and those who followed in monasticism did. I do not refer merely to the copying of scriptures or fighting the iconoclasts. I mean that, as Seraphim of Sarov said, "Sanctify yourself and you sanctify the world." When men and women are fllled with light, the darkness cannot do its work so much. And, as St. James tells us of St. Elias, the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. I can easily believe God heeds the prayers of monks before my own.

In short, by following St. Antony, they help us, probably more than if they made themselves "useful" to us.

Re: monasticism #66909
05/29/02 03:09 PM
05/29/02 03:09 PM
Joined: Oct 1998
Posts: 324
Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
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Moose Offline
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Moose  Offline
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Posts: 324
Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, US...
Quote
Michael wrote:
You write of our monks from a utilitarian perspective, referring to what "we" need, or to what use they can be put. I can't fault you for this, as one purpose of this forum is to discuss the needs of the Church. Besides, this tends to be the way I think.


The usefulness of the monks I speak of is simply their witness within the Christian community as those who are partaking of the divine nature. I admit that it is partly utilitarian to want the monks where the greatest number of people can benefit from the witness of their lives. biggrin

Re: monasticism #66910
05/29/02 03:40 PM
05/29/02 03:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,172
Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Orthodox Catholic  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,172
Canada
Dear Friends,

There is a special role for Monasticism strictly speaking.

I was in a monastery and it was a deeply meaningful experience for me. It brought me into touch with God in a way that I had never known before.

But I can't help wondering to what extent Monasticism is fountain-spring that Laity can and should be able to drink from, as deeply as they wish, within the context of their lives in the world.

Doesn't Monasticism have something to say to busy lay people? Can aspects of this life not become part of their lives?

Retreats and other ways of directly experiencing monastic life are important.

But how can the insights of the Desert belong to laity as well, laity who do not have the option of turning their backs on the world.

And are we called to do that anyway? Aren't we called to be in the world, but not of the world?

Just thinking out loud . . .

Alex

Re: monasticism #66911
05/30/02 12:31 AM
05/30/02 12:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Kansas/UGCC
Diak Offline
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Kansas/UGCC
Alex - have you ever read "Poustinia" by Catherine de Hueck Doherty (Madonna House, Combermere)? She addresses that very issue, of how we can have a poustinia and some of that precious life even while "in the world" with all of its hustle and bustle.

Re: monasticism #66912
05/30/02 01:06 AM
05/30/02 01:06 AM
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,157
Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Washington, PA
Perhaps the answer lies in hegumens not allowing their monks to become priests. This was the practice of the earliest monks. Our great monastic fathers, St. Pachomius and St. Sabbas the Sanctified, would not accept priests into their monasteries nor allow their monks to become priests. For Eastern monasticism to flourish again perhaps this rule needs to restored, maybe only temporarily so bishops are not tempted to raid the monasteries for priests. One priest and deacon per monastery for the liturgical needs of the community.

In Christ,
Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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