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Our vocation as Eastern Orthodox monastics, united in interactive communities of monks, nuns and married couples, is to grow in the likeness of Christ through a vowed life and to embody and express Christ's love and message for all seekers in a manner responsive to contemporary needs and faithful to the prophetic spirit of the earliest Christian communities.
To carry out this mission... We embrace our responsibility to foster the single-minded search for God in each other and in those we meet.
We are open to others of all beliefs through retreats, days of recollection and liturgical services.
We interact with the wider community in accord with our way of life.
We are firmly committed to the equality of all persons, and, in very
simple ways, we reverence all of creation as the dwelling place of God
We aim to be responsive to the prophetic character of our vocation which from the very beginning of monasticism in the desert of Skete has made monks and nuns responsible not only for attaining the end for which they were created but for that of all God's people.
As heirs of these primitive Christian monks and nuns, we want to live in harmony with their spirit especially that of the Eastern monastic fathers and mothers. In adapting our own everyday life from tradition; we hope to show in our own lives the perennial nature of Christian monasticism, especially for contemporary America.
Though the emphasis may vary in monastic life at different times and places, our life emphasizes the liturgical offices of each day. Every aspect of our life receives impetus and nourishment from the daily and seasonal celebrations of the church. We live in union with the praying church. Our worship seeks to edify, to inspire and to raise us all to that reality for which we were made: union with God
Monastics strive for enlightenment and wisdom by seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding. Therefore we continue day-by- day to reflect on all aspects of the spiritual life.
We live with the conviction that an authentic and vibrant monasticism is an essential ingredient to healthy Church
life. By nature, the monastic vocation is contemplative and apostolic, challenging both the Church and the world at
large to fuller life. Monasticism has always incarnated itself within a particular cultural context, so throughout our
history we have worked to express the mystery and dynamism of our vocation in a manner appropriate to our
culture and times.
Monastics pray in the secret of their hearts, in the privacy of their cells, fostering a spirit of silence and recollection
which permeates all other aspects of our lives. Personal prayer is cultivated with the simplicity and freedom of the
children of God. Like all else, personal prayer is nourished by and benefits from the choral worship of the entire
In accord with the simplicity that characterizes monastic life, we earn our daily bread by our own hands. As all the
fathers and mothers of the monastic life have taught and practiced themselves, so do we value and esteem this
work. We find in work a time-honored means of self-discipline and growth.
We hold in special esteem the virtue of hospitality. Though our own means are limited, we extend to all who come
our way the basic courtesies of Christian charity and hospitality. Whenever possible, we are ready and willing to
provide whatever may be asked of us in a friendly and cheerful way with respect and compassion. What we do to
others so do we do to Christ, mindful always that we are brothers and sisters of all.
- Brother Stephen Updike
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