The Monks of Mount Athos: A Western Monks Extraordinary Spiritual Journey on Eastern Holy Ground

Discover the wealthy spirituality of monastic existence on Mount Athos―a position like no different on earth.

Twenty-five years in the past, M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, used to be the 1st Western monk to survive Mount Athos for greater than the often authorized in a single day stopover at. The clergymen of Mount Athos chronicles his notable remain, his reviews of the East, and full of life conversations along with his hosts approximately theological alterations and surprising non secular practices.

Listen in as Abbot Basil wrestles with ancient alterations among Christianity's East and West, learns the Orthodox perform of "the prayer of the heart," and explores the panorama, the monastic groups, and the nutrition of Athos―a monastic republic like no different position on the earth. New to this version, Archimandrite Dionysios, a monk from “the Holy Mountain,” displays at the ecumenical openness fostered due to, and because, Abbot Basil’s stay.

The abbot’s reports on Mount Athos encouraged him to reassess his function as a monk and his courting to God. His inspiring meditations can assist you to discover your personal courting to God and to others.

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So approximately midday I went all the way down to Pantokratoros. The guestmaster, Father Sabbas, obtained me such a lot warmly, didn’t ask the standard question—“Orthodox? ”—fixed me a great lunch, after which took me to a good huge room that has 3 home windows overlooking the ocean. there have been fresh linens on a mattress grew to become down for my siesta and a sink with working water—luxuries now not formerly met in my travels at the Mountain. There appears to be like nobody during this monastery who speaks English and no different viewers so i get a few genuine peace, sitting on a balcony over the ocean. those prior days appear to have been extra sharing than retreat. yet that are meant to go while i am getting settled at Simonos Petras. the truth that discussions retain getting again to doctrinal questions exhibits that, not less than within the Orthodox brain and maybe greater than we're often aware of, spirituality is an expression of doctrine. therefore there's a valid query as to what quantity we Catholics can use the religious writings and practices of alternative traditions in an crucial method. this can be a very far-reaching query, with significant importance, which i need to discover additional. Pantokratoros is a truly well-kept monastery through Athonite criteria. The courtyard is brightly painted in white and blue (the Greek nationwide shades) the place it's not brickwork. There are citrus trees—orange, lemon, and lime—set in wells and an impressive magnolia. the surface of the monastery is being refinished now with cement and painted the standard dusty crimson. there's a friendly solar apartment out in entrance of the most gate, overlooking the ocean. i found one other quiet lookout a bit extra down the cliff, but if I went there after Vespers i discovered an outdated monk catching a smoke. He appeared startled to determine me so I handed on and went again as much as the sunlight apartment to proceed my interpreting of Acts in education for the banquet of Pentecost on Sunday. it's very not easy to think i've been at the Holy Mountain just one week. Silence and solitude are the excellent luxuries of lifestyles. —THOMAS MERTON Friday, might 29 The bell sounded after 4 and the semantron approximately part an hour later. prone ended a bit after seven with the Epistle and Gospel of the day, yet no Liturgy. Breakfast used to be espresso, bread, honey, and olives. Honey is being built extra at the Mountain. there are various hives among Daphni and Karyes. I observed new ones being unloaded from a small freighter on the port. The Mountain is so jam-packed with wild vegetation that the bees have plenty with which to paintings. I loved a quiet morning out on a bit terrace over the ocean, interpreting Acts. How a lot the Church of at the present time and the Church of the Council of Jerusalem have in universal: the traditionalists, the flow to bigger freedom, the compromise files. even though it has its very genuine drawbacks, compromise is helpful; it permits each one to either supply and obtain. Father Sabbas mounted me a very good dinner: fried potatoes, lentil soup, pasta, clean bread. even though it is lower than an hour’s stroll alongside the coast to Stavronikita, the day was once scorching and the path rugged, so i made a decision to take the straightforward means.

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