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By clicking 1 Click Bid, you are agreeing to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. During the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos, a nun was tonsured to the Little Schema at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA.  The tonsure begins  about 20 minutes into the video as the Mother Abbess, covering the kneeling nun with her mantiya (mantle), and the other monastics lead her forward.
As a result of anti-clerical legislation during the reigns of Emperor Peter I and Empress Catherine II, a general decline in monastic life had taken place across Russia from the middle of the 17th century through the end of the 18th century.
When, at the beginning of the 19th century, a more propitious time for monasticism arrived, and the run-down Optina Monastery was being restored, it was by these ascetics that true monasticism was instituted in Optina. The Optina Elders also had a profound effect on the spirituality of Russia by fostering the publication of a significant body of patristic literature concerning the ascetic, spiritual life. In the twelve years since the first English printing of Elder Leonid of Optina, interest in and veneration of the God-bearing Elders of Optina Monastery have grown tremendously, both in Russia and in the West. In 1990 only Elder Ambrose had been glorified by the Orthodox Church in Russia (1988), while in April of 1990 all the Optina Elders were glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Besides the written Lives, and the many letters of spiritual instruction, a beautiful and powerful prayer was left to us by the holy elders of Optina. The words of the prayer were the inspiration for a song performed in this video from the Optina Monastery website.
Teach me to deal sincerely and wisely with every member of my family, bringing confusion or sorrow to none.
O Lord, give me strength to bear the weariness of the coming day and all the events of this day.
On Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of September, Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV held its annual Pilgrimage Weekend. The monks at Hermitage of the Holy Cross (Wayne, WV) have put together the second issue for their new journal, Kairos Quarterly: A Journal of Orthodox Living. A man wanted to become a monk and so having given most of his belongings to the poor, he kept some back for himself.
Some monks asked Saint Antony questions about a passage from the book of Leviticus, so Saint Antony excused himself and went a far way off into the desert, not knowing he was being followed by Saint Ammonas. Three monks often visited Saint Antony to talk about their spiritual lives, but one of them always kept silent and never said anything.
One day an old man told God he wanted to see the desert fathers and he saw them all except Saint Antony. Saint Antony received a letter from Constantius the Emperor, inviting him to Constantinople, and so he thought if he should go.
One day Saint Antony went to visit Saint Amoun in Mount Nitria and Saint Amoun said to him, ‘By your prayers Father, the number of monks is growing, and so we need to build more cells where they may live in peace. Recently, with the help of my friend – a Benedictine at Chevetogne and my successor as librarian, our common friend, Fr. My first library consisted of small selection of the sayings of the Desert Fathers – a minuscule Paterikon. Immediately after reading The Way of a Pilgrim, I began practicing the Jesus Prayer – walking, as he did, because I went from my home to the university through a park. These were quite striking figures and one can say that each of them incarnate the essence of monasticism, but each in his own way: no two were identical. It is very difficult to give a response, because everything is continually changing, everything is in motion. In Russia, to speak of Russian monasticism, there was this institutional rupture – that’s how I understand it, essentially – with the practical suppression of the institution of monasticism and the razing of monasteries to the ground. I personally believe that monks today in Russia would be much better off if they would focus on elements of spiritual continuity rather than on the aspect of institutional rupture. I am very skeptical of all initiatives to reform the Church internally, because one remains at the institutional level. I am old enough to remember that there were statistical calculations done in the West to indicate the date when the last monk would die. If you want to renew the spiritual life in a monastery, take an excellent monk – obscure perhaps, but who is known to have spiritual charisma. When a monk or nun does not know this, they can very quickly become discouraged, because they are overwhelmed by work and obediences and do not see the greater goal.
Beginning at a certain moment, it is not the quantity of prayer (or of prayers), but their quality that counts. In fact, laypeople come to the hermitage with more or less the same questions as monks: they come with questions about the spiritual life, about how to live a full Christian life surrounded by the noise of the world. There are many Christians who live in the world, such as mothers of families, who lead a very intense prayer life. Therefore the lives of saints, which were always much read in Russia, are excellent, because you can see how the Gospel was lived out concretely. I learned English in school and have spoken it since childhood; later I lived in Belgium for seventeen years, and I speak French. The good monks at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia, have put together an excellent inaguaral issue for their new journal, Kairos Quarterly: A Journal of Orthodox Living.
They write of the endeavor:  “Herein we wish to offer our own humble observations about place, faith, community, culture and ‘Orthodoxy of the Heart’ as it is lived on our little mountain in West Virginia. A beautiful and challenging film about a monks and nuns in the Ukraine serving orphans and the disabled with joy. Overview - A superb high quality children's bedtime meditation CD by leading yoga teacher and Montessori teacher Christiane Kerr.
In May 1967 the author wrote to some friends: "My meditations on the Tarot are no scientific undertaking. Note: Both Thoth and Hermes were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures.
Thus, the Greek god of interpretive communication was combined with the Egyptian god of wisdom as a patron of astrology and alchemy.
If you are seeking inspiration, tune into a very uplifting gospel CD entitled Blessed, which is performed by the Soweto Gospel Choir. Three revered Cantors gather in Amsterdam's historic, 17th century Portuguese synagogue to record this moving and magnificent audio collection of prayers, liturgy and traditional Yiddish folk and theatrical songs.
A multicultural exploration of old musical traditions, the Chant: Spirit in Sound CD set brings to life the remarkable world of traditional and contemporary chant. In Kentucky, Abbey of Gesthemani Benedictine Monks and Drepung Loseling Monks descend into Mammoth Cave, the largest cave system in the world, and gather at the Furnace Mountain Zen Temple and the Abbey of Gethsemani to record authentic chants from their religious traditions. Graceful Passages is a two CD-set that offers anticipatory guidance to those facing death themselves or the death of a loved one.
It is the prayer of Nechung Monastery in exile that the younger monks will be able to take the traditions kept alive, including the chanting on this CD recorded in Dharamsala, India, back to Tibet once it becomes a free nation.
Herman Hesse's masterpiece, Siddhartha, is the story of Siddhartha Guatama, son of a Brahmin, who initially follows Buddha's teachings, then travels the world as a wandering ascetic. The "off" amount and percentage simply signifies the calculated difference between the seller-provided original price for the item and the seller's current discounted price. Find out more about your rights as a buyer - opens in a new window or tab and exceptions - opens in a new window or tab.
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Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase your maximum bid amount. While several spiritually well-ordered monasteries still existed, such as Valaam and Sarov, the strict new regulations often forced those desiring to follow the Gospel commandments within the God-ordained monastic life to choose one of two alternatives: either to leave Russia in search of a monastery in one of the neighboring Orthodox countries, or to live this life in the depths of forests, hidden from view. From the Roslavl Forest came the Putilov brothers, Elders Moses and Anthony, who took the reins of the Optina Monastery and established the Optina Skete nearby. This is the prophetic ministry of the Church, which has existed since apostolic times, and through which God’s will is directly revealed to those seeking guidance. The books that Optina Monastery published were sent out free to all monasteries in Russia, and were read by great numbers of laypeople, as well. Written by their immediate disciples, these rare biographies contain a multitude of priceless details and anecdotes that shed light into the secret corners of lives totally dedicated to Jesus Christ. Since the 1988 reopening of Optina, numerous men, inspired by the Lives of the Elders and thirsting for the kind of monastic life inspired by them during the 19th and early 20th centuries, have found shelter within the walls of this great monastic citadel. With the fall of Communism in Russia and the consequent freedom experienced by the Church there, preparations were undertaken for the glorification of all the Elders by the entire Russian Orthodox Church.

This prayer has become so essential to many people’s everyday lives that they often paste it into their prayer books, to be read every day along with the other morning prayers. Guide my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to endure, to forgive and to love.
He was a doctor and anything he had more than what he needed, he gave to the needy and every day he would sing praises with the angels. Gabriel Bunge was born in 1940 in Cologne, Germany, to a Lutheran father and a Catholic mother. As I have already related several times, when telling my personal history, I became acquainted with Orthodoxy, originally with the Greek Church, at the age of twenty-one, in 1961.
Even if the relations I had with the Orthodox were already excellent, to participate in the inner life of the Church is another matter entirely. Antoine – I reconstituted my first patristic library, because I had lost one piece or another. I had never before seen a prayer rope, but I learned how to use one long before entering the monastery and even long before visiting the East. Just the same as with the Elders here in Russia – of whom there have been many, right up to the present day – who always had something in common while simultaneously being completely different from one another. He did not make His appeal to the crowd, but He always chose two brothers, and then another two brothers: follow Me.
Orthodox and Catholic monasticism share a common roots, but they have been evolving differently for the past seventeen hundred years. But in my opinion – and here I am not in agreement with my brethren in Russia, who see things otherwise – there was no interruption at a spiritual level.
Because the institutional aspect is human, while the spiritual side is divine – it’s the Holy Spirit. And I believe – this is my personal conviction – that man has the right to reform only that which he has formed himself. But these gentlemen did not know that in secret, in the hermitages, renewal was already underway. Here I would say that it is the duty of the spiritual father, of true Elders – and may God grant us always to have such Elders, true one, and not fake ones! When the spirit is constantly attached with God, to the remembrance of God, then we can do everything that is asked of is, everything that our strength permits us to do. I give the same advice that I give to monks, but the rule I give to each person is adapted to their conditions of life.
But when a first child is born, and then a second and a third, certain things become very difficult. You cannot imitate them, but you can see how all this was possible in one circumstance or another.
I have lived for thirty-two years already in the Italian part of Switzerland, and I speak Italian. We wish to share our own experiences, as well as bits of wisdom and inspiration that we have found helpful and spiritually profitable over the years, and we hope that you might find some benefit from these little treasures as well. Southern African gospel music incorporates vocals with background drums and Blessed reflects that tradition along with the western church styles of music absorbed by the African culture. The tenors travel in song back to the times when a Cantor was considered a Messenger of God.
He comes to challenge both the Buddhist and the Hindu ideals of enlightenment, yet he resonates to nature's rhythms. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. They, in turn, brought in Elder Leonid, a disciple of Elders Theodore of Svir and Cleopas of Valaam, both of whom were direct disciples of St. An elder is one who, through inward purification, has become a vessel and conduit of the action of the Holy Spirit. Famous Russian authors, such as Gogol, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy, were deeply affected by their contact with the Elders. This labor of love began under the leadership of Elder Macarius (Elder Leonid’s disciple) and continued until the forced closure of Optina Monastery. The Monastery and Skete, after years of neglect and destruction under the Communist regime, have gradually been restored by loving hands, and are already beginning to regain their former magnificence.
During the restoration work on the Optina Church of the Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, which had been almost totally destroyed, the relics of Elders Moses and Anthony and those of Archimandrite Isaac (Antimonov) were uncovered and later placed in that church. PETER of Cleveland, whose homily is at 10:40), also with multiple deacons and serving priests.
Raphael of Brooklyn and the Orthodox Church in West Virginia,” and “God’s Grandeur,” a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
At the age of twenty-two he entered the Benedictine Order in France; he was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. Because it had been the discovery of this literature that had originally formed in my spirit the image of a monk. When I made this trip – I was then a twenty-one year old student – I discovered in the person of an old abbot, Fr. One should first add that “spiritual father,” “abba,” and “starets” or “geron” – these are all the same thing.
Each incarnate, in his own way, the essence of monasticism, and thus the essential virtues.
In the Orthodox world there is simply monasticism, while in the West there exists an infinity of orders and institutions, each of which has its own specificities, and thus one has to choose among all these. He alone created the human heart, and He alone can know it, as it is said in the Scriptures and in the Fathers.
This was very risky: to leave a large, powerful, rich abbey and embark on this adventure, because no one really foresaw whether it would meet with success or failure.
At first they were very close: there was intercommunion during the first millennium and one could move from one monastery to another. Because in the person of the Elders, the essence of monasticism had always been present and was in fact transmitted. I know a bit about the history of monasticism in East and West and what has always been of particular interest to me is the manner – very different in East and West – of reprising the monastic life after a period of decadence.
Look at reforms that are institutional, constitutional, military, monetary, whatever you like – these are reforms of human institutions.
We can turn to Greece: Mount Athos in the early to mid-twentieth century was declining towards the zero mark. Of course, in a coenobitic community the divine services are essential – besides, the monks do not serve them for themselves alone, but the whole Church participates in them.
I cannot give the same rule to a young married man with four children that I would give to an older man who lives alone.
She had been in the habit of reading a certain number of akathists but now, with all these noisy little people at her feet, it is no longer so easy. Being a Russian Orthodox monastery of mostly American converts in the hills and culture of Appalachia sometimes makes for an interesting mix. Her work has been featured in the national press and on TV and is now available through a new range of state of the art CDs published by Diviniti Publishing. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Thich Nhat Hanh and Ram Dass speak to themes of letting go, closure, giving and receiving love, forgiveness, appreciation of life and continuity of spirit. Baron Christian, narrator of the Academy-Award winning film The Story of Healing, brings to life this 4-CD version of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, a classic of 20th-century literature.
Paisius Velichkovsky (+ 1794), who labored ascetically on Mount Athos and ended his days at the head of a vast monastic army centered in Moldavia, Romania.
This ministry was passed on in Optina from one Elder to the next, in a remarkable chain of sanctity that lasted a full century. At this time there are over forty monks settled in the Monastery and Skete, as well as many others in the Monastery’s metochia in Moscow and St.
At about the same time the relics of Elder Nectarius, which had been uncovered in 1989 in the village of Kholmishche and brought to Optina, were placed in the Optina Church of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. Whatever news I may receive during the day, teach me to accept it with peace of mind and with firm conviction that everything is according to Your holy will. Tryphon, a monk for almost thirty years and the co-founder and abbot of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island.
I had known the Orthodox Churches very well – including the Russian Church – but it had been from the outside, which is not the same thing. Now I can relate entirely differently today with my brethren than I could when I stood on a high threshold, as it were, but was not a full member of the Church.
When I wanted to become a monk, I first went on a literary search, because in Cologne, where I was born, there was no Benedictine monastery of a classic type. John Cassian on prayer, then a small Philokalia – or, more precisely, excerpts translated from the French. Today a distinction is sometimes made between these three aspects, but in fact an Elder (geron or starets) is a spiritual father, who out of respect is called Abba. I understood that this was me, today, and that I had to respond and, moreover, that response could only be “yes.” Curiously, I was certain at the same time that this “yes” signified that I should become a monk, although I had never seen a monk.
Then one is called to the conjugal life, and another to the sacerdotal life of a priest in the world, another to the monastic life and sometimes, as in my case, later even to the hermitic life.
At first – this was in the 1920s – people looked at him somewhat askance, because it seemed strange what this monk wanted to realize: to build a bridge between East and West.
You probably know that the Benedictines, the Amalfitians, were among the founders of Mount Athos.

It was not the same thing in the West: during the French Revolution there was truly a complete rupture. We can mention one name that is very well known here in Russia: Joseph the Hesychast, who reposed in the 1950s, along with many others who are not as well known.
John Cassian put it, is purity of heart – all the ascetic labor, obedience, and humility are necessary for realizing this.
But it’s not by doing tons of prayer that one prays; one needs to bear in mind the quality of prayer. And I always tell myself: if he was capable of holding out to the end in the intolerable conditions of the camps, then I, in my truly favorable conditions, must also be able to do so – even if I cannot imitate him that way. I speak a little in other languages – but, alas, too little in Russian, which I learned when I was young in the monastery. Thus, we hope, in some small way, to provide a perspective that is unique.” – from Kairos Quarterly, Issue 1, Introduction, p. This 52 minute CD comprising of 3 bedtime meditations is specifically designed to help kids sleep more soundly. Their delivery is enhanced by music created to provide an opportunity for listeners to both relax and to feel supported in contemplating the gift of simply being alive. A number of his disciples later returned to Russia, bringing with them priceless patristic writings on the spiritual life which had been painstakingly translated by St.
Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge), renowned patristic scholar and hermitic monk, replies to these and other questions. Since 1980 he has lived in the Skete of the Holy Cross in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where he follows the ancient Rule of St. I had known it apart from the essential fact of sacramental communion, which I had always lacked, and which finally became the major reason for which I took this step. I hope this will not seem indiscreet, but I had perplexities about my own life as a schema-monk. The other orders that existed were not, in my eyes (and in actual fact) monks: they were brothers.
There was also The Lives and Teachings of the Startsi [Leben und Lehre der Starzen] by Igor Smolic, an emigre scholar living in the West, who wrote some very substantial things about Russian monasticism that I came to know of this way. They are simultaneously in perpetual communion with God through prayer and in communion with their neighbors.
I was a young man when I went to church one Sunday and they read the Gospel about the rich young man [cf. In the end I decided – or God guided me – to choose the most ancient order in the West: the Benedictine Order, the roots of which go back to the undivided Christian Church of the seventh century, to someone who is a great saint of our Church as well. For, as you know, for thirty-two years I have lived as a hermit in the mountains of Ticino in Switzerland. The old monks from the old monasteries did not enter the new monasteries, which had been founded by secular priests, not by monks. For example, the Cistercians wanted to reform the Benedictine Order by applying the Rule of St. The monasteries were impoverished, the brethren no longer lived communally, and all the larger monasteries had become idiorrhythmic. But from this small community, who lived in caves truly like the first hesychast fathers, four large monasteries were renewed from within – there was no reform or massive intervention from the outside. And then there is unceasing prayer, unceasing contact with God, the ability to hold the thought of God always in one’s spirit – to “breathe the name of Christ,” as St. Therefore I can give the same advice I give to monks, but always adapted to the circumstances of one’s life, one’s age, and the one’s spiritual age as well. They are the greatest ecumenists: they do not distinguish between confessions, tormenting all Christians regardless of whatever church they belong to.
I studied the grammar ten times, but because of the other languages it all got a bit mixed up in my head.
There are also a number of suggestions to help children feel more confident and secure in their home and school life.
Paisius, and which became instrumental in bringing about a new blossoming of sanctity in Russia. Two years later, in June of 1998, the relics of the remaining Elders were uncovered (except those of Elder Nikon, who reposed in exile in the far north, and those of Archimandrite Isaac [Bobrikov], who was executed by the Communists and whose relics have not been found) and later that year placed in the newly rebuilt Optina Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos. Because many people said to me: “Wasn’t spiritual communion enough for you?” As a matter of fact, it wasn’t.
Now I could simply go to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra and have a long talk the Elder Ilya [Reyzmir] – he is about my age, only a bit younger. And, above all, there was The Way of a Pilgrim in the first German edition going back to the 1920s. But later, by the end of the first millennium, Western monasticism took a different direction, but now that’s a question of history. One can only make or create – and this is the duty of the hierarchy, of bishops and patriarchs – favorable conditions so that the Holy Spirit could, through good monks, renew monasticism from within. Then little by little, because they had become convinced, all the monasteries returned to the communal life.
Personally, I am in the habit of first giving to anyone certain basic texts, such as the Paterikon – the sayings of the Desert Fathers – because this is the Gospel as lived in the desert. I would need to live in the country to revive everything that is in my head, but you know it is difficult to put something new into an old head. Drawing upon her vast experience of working with children Christiane skilfully guides children to the creative part of their mind through a number of carefully scripted story meditations. An example of those who chose the second way was the community of ascetics who dwelt in the Roslavl Forest of the Bryansk Province in Russia. Finally, on August 7, 2000, in connection with the glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, all the Optina Elders were universally canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. And he gave me the answer that I could have given to someone else, but that I do not have the right to give to myself. This had only the first four tales – since this book is made up of several parts; today it is a thick volume. A monastery must not turn into a quarry from which the most capable are extracted by bishops. That means that monks and nuns should understand what their life consists of, what the rules are, what the goal is, what the stages are, and what the difficulties are – which come in all sorts. People speak it very quickly, and without paying attention to the fact that my vocabulary is limited to ecclesiastical and liturgical language. Each meditation story has an underlay of subtle sound effects and gentle music which combined with Christiane's calming voice make them irresistible and a deeply relaxing bedtime treat.
This was not a word addressed to all of humanity: this is a call that Christ, when He so desires, addresses to a specific person.
Then came the catastrophic expulsion of the Greek population from Asia Minor in the 1920s, and the large monasteries no longer had their recruiting zones, because traditionally the large monasteries had received their vocations from different parts of Asia Minor.
But he was not pleasing to God, because his heart was not humble; he was convinced that he would be saved by his own works. But when people talk about daily life – not even to mention literature – I am already lost. This empowering CD is completely safe and very effective way to help your kids drift away into a peaceful sleep and to help build their self-confidence and self-esteem. Paisius by means of his patristic translations, which reached them through Elder Athanasius, one of St. It was with the help of this literature that I was able to form in spirit an image of the monk. And I would like to hope that the hierarchy, because it is their duty, will create favorable conditions. The CD can also be used as a general relaxation at other times and is suitable for all children up to the age of 12. And very often, as I have already said, without the intervention of a bishop, perhaps the monks themselves would not be able to accomplish this.
A heart that is broken and humbled (Psalm 50) ­– this is what God wants; this is what pleases God. This cannot be attained at once or on one’s first try; but it’s the goal of our entire ascetic struggle. Because if you get a taste for the essential and the authentic (and these books are the most ancient we have), then later you can read anything you want, such as a book that was written today.
Paisius (Velichkovksy), who had been in Moldavia, because it was no longer possible to live like a good monk in Russia after the reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine. And then, following the appointment of an abbot or abbess who is a true monastic, the monastery will quickly revive on the basis of its own resources, which had always been there. Because then your palate, your mouth, will be able to distinguish between the real and the counterfeit.
So when, for example, it was necessary to renew life on Valaam, the Metropolitan asked Theophan: “Whom can we send as abbot?” Because this could not have been done alone.
And here it’s the Gospel and the foundational texts of monasticism – or of what we call the spiritual life – because in the Scriptures, in the Gospel and St. He is an illiterate monk, but a great monk.” And if fact this Nazarius completely renewed this great, ancient monastery. But in the Holy Fathers (I am speaking about the spiritual fathers now, not the great theologians) you see how this was put into practice.

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