Life at the Monastery of the Transfiguration
A new episode of Ancient Faith Documentaries takes listeners behind the scenes of a day in the life at the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. The community was founded in 1967 under the omophorion of His Eminence Archbishop Valerian, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate with Mother Alexandra, formerly Princess Ileana of Romania, as the first abbess. Mother Alexandra put into formation her dream of a monastic community in English for Americans. In 1987, then-Abbess Benedicta left the Transfiguration Monastery to begin the Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery with two other nuns from this monastery. The community consists of women living the monastic tradition ...
Reasons to Visit a Monastery Part 5
Encountering Sacred Even if there were no other reason for visiting a monastery, there would remain this one: it is an agios topos, a holy place. “And Moses said, I will go near and see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed. And when the Lord saw that he drew nigh to see, the Lord called him out of the bush, saying, Moses, Moses… loose thy sandals from off thy feet for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exodus 3: 3-5).d Place Coupled with the prayers of the monastics, the saints that dwell within ...
Reasons to Visit a Monastery Part 4
Imitation The command to imitate Christ is found throughout the Gospels. He is the image of perfect obedience, extreme humility, utter chastity, and a life of poverty. To be sure, if a believer only ever read the Gospels, he would be informed on how to live a proper Christian life. However, because man is weak and in need of examples, the monastic life illustrates the Gospel commandments lived out to their perfection. Thus the layman has before him a pragmatic example of how the teachings of the Lord are upheld and practiced. In turn, he emulates those things in an appropriate ...
Reasons to Visit a Monastery Part 3
Humility The fallen human soul is predisposed toward pride. This is something that occurs with the monastic as much as with the layman. When the Christian keeps his prayer rule faithfully, observes the fasts of the Church, or attends church services regularly, the soul is inclined to become puffed up. The antidote is finding better examples than oneself of Christian dedication to remind the proud soul that she is lacking in virtue. The layman has the ability to make pilgrimages to monasteries and so finds a helpful means to stay grounded in his spiritual life. Encountering monastics reminds the pilgrim that there ...
Reasons to Visit a Monastery Part 2
Spiritual Conversation and Action One of the greatest benefits of visiting a monastery is the spiritual conversation and activity pilgrims are able to take part in. At a monastery, spiritual stories and uplifting anecdotes abound. Although many monastics shy away from conversation with pilgrims for a variety of reasons, given the appropriate circumstance a conversation with a monastic can rear a multitude of benefits – not to mention conversations with fellow pilgrims. Whether they share a story they have heard, wisdom from the Mothers and Fathers of the Church, or even a tale from that monastery, their words inform and enlighten the ...
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