Monday, December 1, 2014

Orthodox Monastic Obedience

The monastic rule has as its strength to safeguard the monk in his daily life, helping him, through obedience, to keep unceasing vigil upon his inward integrity so that the union of heart and spirit may become for him a reality and lead him, as far as this is possible upon earth, to union with God. It is the primary rule of the order of Offices and also covers the obedience of intellectual and manual work. Work is itself a prayerful activity with the ascetic end in view of overcoming our rebel nature and to keep us from idleness which is so harmful to the spiritual life. Hagiography, icon painting, Byzantine music, woodcarving, incense preparation, making Church vestments, translating or writing books on the spiritual life and printing them, all arts that originated in Byzantium are still performed and flourish in the Monasteries.

Art and especially Byzantine iconography is one of the basic ways for someone to approach God. Byzantium and the particular Tradition we inherit from it, mainly through the monasteries, constitute one of the main components of Christian identity. It is one of our deepest roots.
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