monastics in our midst
Monastics in our midst… A few weeks ago, from the choir loft, I caught a glimpse of monk (who I later learned was from Mount Athos), as he entered the altar, at the start of Liturgy. I never saw him leave, and that is a wonderful thing and quite symbolic too.
Every now and again we have monastic visitors at our parish and it is always a tremendous blessing. Our holy monastics pray for all of the souls in the world. They keep a daily rhythm of worship and prayer and inner silence that, although with encouragement we seek, we can scarcely capture.
All our lives are greatly enriched by their prayers and we, the faithful, should pray for them too. While they may not often join our parishes physically – having withdrawn from the world – they are always with the faithful spiritually. They are the vanguard of Orthodoxy, and a source of salt and light for the Church.
Saint Nilus of Sinai says of monastics that although they have “withdrawn from all men, they are united with all men“.
Saint John Chrysostom says that the health of the Church is directly related to the presence of monasteries.
I am most grateful that we are finally realizing such an increase in the formation of so many monasteries in this country.
O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance!