|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Events and Society|
1. Monasticism is the renouncing of the world and all things related to the world, which is why one of the monastic promises is the rejection of ownership. Regardless where a monk may find himself, he is obliged to cultivate inside him the awareness that he possesses nothing, that he is possessed by nothing, and that any form of personal property constitutes a serious breach of promise. A coenobitic monk with a personal bank account for his own use constitutes a contradiction, both in the terminology and in the essence.
2. A Monastery is either a small or a large institute, which offers lifelong hospitality to possession-less monks as well as to pilgrims. It provides them with shelter, sustenance, clothing, covers, hospitalization. As such, it is at the same time an organized, autonomous, productive and economic unit, whose objective is certainly not the incrementing of a financial commodity, but the perfecting of its members in productivity and in their offer of love. Its financial basis merely secures its continuity through time, in the same manner that the first apostolic community of Jerusalem was maintained by a community fund. On his own, a monk can remain a monk and spend this lifetime anywhere: in the mountains, in cities, as a beggar or with hospitality that may be offered, or be a cave-dweller. A monastery however that lacks a steady financial basis and autonomy is condemned to death, given that at a certain point it will cease to support monks, it will turn into a museum, but even until that point in time, it will be dependent on dependencies. The emperors were well aware of this, which is why they endowed the monasteries with lands, heirlooms and letters of confirmation sealed with golden bulls. It is wrong to want to impose poverty on a monastery, given that poverty should normally be the personal virtue of each monk. Our Monastery continues to this day to feel the bitter aftertaste of deprivation that was inflicted on it by predatory actions that were to its detriment; a deprivation that endangered its operation and its continuing survival.
3. The maintenance and utilization of a monastery's holdings is a responsibility undertaken in every brotherhood. Of course this utilization does not include any concessions for business activities that can drive to a psychotic state of continuous accumulation and investing of wealth - something entirely contrary to monastic philosophy; and there is always the inherent danger that the monk who is commissioned with the administrating will slide into this kind of passion, because spiritual life - and especially extreme monastic life - hangs from very fine silk threads. The existence of the Mammon of injustice - of money - is justified, only when it is utilized for the needs of the beseechers.
4. Any form of moral deviation whatsoever, whether of one monk or many, offers itself as a springboard for the promoting of the plans of the upcoming New Order. Everything appears to be mobilized in a rigged, violent game, where every malevolent system of pre-decided conclusions and every kind of clever chicanery are being implemented. The New Order, which is striving to shape a universal community of terrorized people, is attempting to undermine institutions and values that comprise the spiritual foundation of a populace and the factor of its cultural unity. The Holy Mountain, as a self-governed monastic state that professes freedom of spirit - an axial point of Orthodoxy - cannot be anything but an undesirable dissonance in a homogenized and manipulated society that will be at the absolute disposal of a small number of potentates, who are presently accumulating capital and every other form of power in their own hands. In this planned course of events, the Holy Mountain must be weakened; it must be sacked, from the inside and the outside, with the contribution of many corruptive powers. Whatever is not accomplished by money will be accomplished by the misinterpretation of History, by the withholding of the truth, by exploitation and everything that is consecrated by populist propaganda.
5. The Church (and a Monastery - which is a miniature of the Church) follows a dramatic course in History. This means it has its stumblings and its rises, its downfalls and its flights; it approaches Paradise and it is also tossed about by the devil. However, all the blows inflicted throughout History pertain to the shell of the Church and not to Her essence. And Her essence is the Charismatic presence of the Holy Spirit which vitalizes the members and the fibers of the Body of Christ and produces fruits of holiness. And that holiness does not disappear; not from the Holy Mountain, nor from the world. Each crisis, each historical tribulation, provides everyone with the opportunity for self-critique and re-composition; for a painful cleansing and a return to the essential and the true.
The Holy Mountain does not belong to anyone. To be exact, it does not belong to anyone impious - whether he is a monk or a secular person. It is the centuries-old fruit of the collaboration of God and His saints, It belongs to the Mother of God and to those who have sanctified it with their lives, from the past, through to the end. The true Holy Mountain is the invisible quintessence of holiness that continues to exist to this day, for the sake of the life of the world. Therefore, if some of us want it alive and active, we need to protect it, just as we would protect a glasshouse. And even if today's monks are unworthy of its history, we must protect it, for the monks who will come after.
Translation: A. N.
Article published in English on: 2-2-2009.
Last update: 2-2-2009.