Holy Mountain: a universal presence and a heavenward orientation

Holy Mountain: a universal presence and a heavenward orientation

By Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis The spiritual influence of Mount Athos is indisputable and certainly stems from the fact that many men have attained holiness through their secret ascetic struggles there. In recent years many pilgrims have found peace of mind and repose on the Mountain, together with spiritual...

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Tonsuring of Monks

Tonsuring of Monks

I imagine that very few Orthodox have ever observed the rite for the tonsuring of a monastic.  The first time I observed the rite was during my stay at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary in Pennsylvania, where a priest who had been recently elected bishop was being tonsured a monk prior...

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People as Liturgical Beings, Part 2

People as Liturgical Beings, Part 2

Read Part 1 here. By Abbot George Kapsanis of Gregoriou People who offer ‘your own from your own, in all things and for all things’ serve God truly and pleasingly. That is, people who recognize that whatever they have is a gift from God. They believe that they’ve got nothing...

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On Humility and the Humble Outlook – 1

On Humility and the Humble Outlook – 1

By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi (+2009) The title of this speech in Greek is ‘Περί ταπεινώσεως και ταπεινοφροσύνης’. An Elder has explained the difference as being that ‘ταπεινοφροσύνη’ is an attitude of mind (hence ‘humble outlook’), while ‘ταπείνωσις’ (‘humility’) is from the heart. In practice, however, the terms are often...

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Even Ascetics Need Community

Even Ascetics Need Community

They said of an old man that he went on fasting for seventy weeks, eating a meal only once a week. He asked of God the meaning of a text of the Holy Scriptures and God did not reveal it to him. So he said to himself: “Here I am:...

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St. Symeon the Stylite: His Astonishing Ascetical Life and Its Relevance Today

St. Symeon the Stylite: His Astonishing Ascetical Life and Its Relevance Today

St Symeon the Stylite is one of the great figures in the early history of monasticism. By the time he renounced the world in his youth in the late fourth century, the mature form of monasticism pioneered by St Anthony in Egypt was already almost a hundred years old. Symeon’s...

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Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Born into the one of the most illustrious Christian families of late antiquity, Saint Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of Saint Marcina and Saint Basil the Great. He joined the family in about 335 AD, the middle child of the nine living children of his mother. Like his...

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Eating with Mindfulness

Eating with Mindfulness

Recently while waiting for my wife at a doctor’s office, I flipped through a “wellness” magazine. In it was an article entitled, “Are You Aware of What You Eat?” True to the title, the article suggested knowing what we are eating. We should also know where our food comes from,...

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A Modern-Day Monk Living in the Clouds

A Modern-Day Monk Living in the Clouds

There are a variety of kinds of Orthodox Christian monasticism. Some monks live in monasteries with hundreds of fellow monastics; some live in small sketes; others live in extreme isolation as hermits. Throughout the history of the Church, there have even been a variety of types of hermits who live...

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Dr. Kyriakos Markides on Monasticism

Dr. Kyriakos Markides on Monasticism

As a member of the university community in the United States, Dr. Kyriakos Markides felt he had become secularized by his training. In this interview with Fr. Chris, he shares his yearning for something meaningful and how this lead him back to his Orthodox faith. Dr. Markides also recounts how...

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