working it out in the skin your living in

A ‘romantic’ mindset that I have fallen into from time to time (along with some other converts to Orthodoxy I imagine), is that of wanting to be a monk (or maybe just to be like a monk)– But what I must remember is that God has not called me to follow Him while wanting to be a monk… thinking that being a monastic would be better or more spiritual. Rather, He has called me to follow Him while I live my life as: A husband, father, son, friend, and etc. God has not placed me in a Monastery or the wilderness to work out my Salvation day by day; instead the arena that I have been placed in to work out my Salvation in is my home, my place of work, and my community. I am to follow Jesus Christ day by day in the skin that I am living in.

But even though the life of a monastic takes place in a different arena than ours as laity, at the same time it is lived out in a similar manner. Just like our monastic brothers and sisters in Christ, the same things they do are available to us as well. Just like them we too have the Medicines of the Church available to us; and just like them we too can attend Services, pray, read Scripture, fast, and etc.–And these Things are available to me in the day to day world that I live in.

I find inspiration from my Monastic brothers and sisters….

….I thank God for these men and women who have left the world behind to follow Christ. And who, amongst other things, pray for themselves and for the world. I have benefited from visiting Monasteries, and spending time there amongst the monastics for a couple of days where I have been able to learn from their example and from conversation with them. I encourage others to visit, and spend some time at a Monastery.

But still, I need to be who I am where I am; a guy following Christ Jesus in the realm that He has currently placed me in.

on a similar note:A post that I have enjoyed is one from 2004 written by Paradosis James. It is a post he called “Monasticism and Otter Pops.” I invite you to read it here.

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6 Responses to “working it out in the skin your living in”

  1. Mike Says:

    By the way, nice to have you back blogging.

  2. juliana Says:

    oh if only I had a tear drop amount of their zeal and holiness……..

  3. Belladonna Says:

    Great post! I mostly just want to go run away with the circus, but I get what you are saying about blooming where we are planted, following Christ in whatever life we may live. Good reminder.

    May your Lenten journey be blessed, my spirit brother. Know your family is often in my thoughts.

  4. Monastic Envy: A Symptom of Convertitis? « Caldwell Writing… Says:

    […] Published March 20, 2008 Uncategorized Papa Herman put up an interesting post called “Working it out in the skin your living in” in which he addresses the “romantic” mindset of thinking the Orthodox monastic […]

  5. Caldwell Says:

    Excellent post… reminds me of the wisdom of Elder Epiphanios of Athens:

    “How crafty the devil is! To young people who managed to unite in Christian marriage he whispers “How much better you would be if you went to the monastery and lived the heavenly spiritual pleasures, far from the cares of family life which sever you and keep you down!” While to those who went to the monastery, as they desired the life of virginity in Christ, he whispers, “How much better you would be, if you got married and made your home a temple of God, living the joys of marital life, far from ascetic mortification and the the loneliness which depresses you!” And if the married one became a monk and the monk married, he would tell them the opposite. All this to throw the person into despair and to pull him from the path of salvation. For the path of salvation is both blessed marriage and virginity in Christ.”

    Glory to God for knowing and giving us what we need for our salvation.

  6. Dn. Gregory Says:

    Nice post. My spiritual father here in Greece says that people living in the world make another kind of “vigil” for God when they’re up all night with a sick child, etc.
    Anyway, I notice my blog lost its place on your list! I’ll have to pick it up a little bit… ( ;

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