Monday, 31 August 2020 16:32

An year of monastery life

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"By his measure of approaching God, one becomes more and more aware of one's own imperfection; therefore, "repentance is always appropriate to all sinners and righteous who desire salvation. And there is no limit to perfection ..."". (St. Isaac Sirin , Word 71) - that’s what in my best believe the monks try to live, through prayer, thoughts and action…

Already an year I live among them - right now I am in Valamo Monastery, Finland and prior to that I’ve spent about 6 months in Rila Monastery, Bulgaria. And since it is said that one picture is worth a thousand words, here some pictures from Rila and Valamo for those of you who haven’t otherwise seen them. I live and have lived with the brotherhood according to its rules, but am not officially a novice and since several people asked me what is the way of entering a monastery for longer, I would share my personal experience… I did not have any personal relations or recommendations, just called each of the monasteries (they have web pages and contact information) and at the beginning I appointed a conversation with the Igumen (Abbot). In my personal case it included many things around me and www.newfinns.com ‘s background and presence, but in general I would say that if your story is convincing enough, you might be invited to the monastery, heard again in person and then presented to the brotherhood and given some tasks. However an important part of your schedule and life then would be the daily services, usually two per day… 

For longer I have been only in Orthodox monasteries, but it may well apply for other denominations as well, I mean that every monastery is a unique spiritual family, given the Igumen, the brotherhood and the living Holy Spirit in it… Also different monasteries might have different regimes and to some extent set of rules. Not less important according to me are the worshipers and other people visiting it. Regarding the latter and as a whole, the monasteries are visited by more spiritual and open minded people, which contributes to the atmosphere of the place, because according to me one of the best things one can get from a monastery visit, is the part of Holy Spirit one can get into his/her thoughts and actions during and after the visit...This is what the monks pray for every day…, though many of them believe that we might well live within the last days of the human kind, which according to many Holy Fathers and up to my best understanding is not for ex 15.12.20XX, but dishonesty, mistrust, diseases, wars and in general unfavorable for normal human life and fulfillment conditions… Which given the current COVID-19 pandemic, global tensions, including many of the features of the contemporary silicone-vibrator-consumer society, sounds not at all far from the truth…That’s why, spiritual hubs, preserving truth and light are even more precious for keeping and fulfilling the providence of God… 

PS “(God) is not revealed in His essence (ousia), for no one has ever seen or described God’s nature (physis); but He is revealed in the grace (charis), power (dynamis) and energy (energeia) which is common to Father, Son and Spirit.” (St. Gregory Palamas - Confession of Faith)

Truly yours, Rosti...

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