In our times many people and especially young people desire to see their ideas and the content of their faith embodied. To have people who live their faith and the hope in Christ with all its consequences is a great contribution to our society which, today, has an horizontal orientation. A contemporary Orthodox hierarch, referring to the three monastic vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience, quite aptly points out: "the evangelical exhortations of purity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience are based upon the word and example of our Lord and are recommended by the Apostles and the Fathers, as well as by the teachers and pastors of the Church, and are a divine gift which the Church received from the Lord, and which she preserves through His Grace".
Specifically, monks are not part of the Church's hierarchic structure: they do however belong to her life and participate in her sanctity. The monk is not separated from communion with his brothers nor is he indifferent to the world and its problems.
The true monk does not live inwardly, separated from the world, nor has he abandoned his responsibility for the world. He lives for the entire world with which he feels deeply united. His vocation and his charisma is to be a prophet and a preacher of the coming Kingdom, a living icon and proof of the future life.
In the life of the world the monk constitutes the indicator, the finger pointing towards heaven and reveals to the world another reality, the reality of heaven.
He deeply believes in the new creation "in Christ"; by his life he proclaims the superiority of the Kingdom of heaven vis-a-vis this life, and by his actions confesses: " I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and to the life of the future age".
This contribution is great, especially in today's world where everything is orientated towards the earth and runs the risk of being condemned unto death.
DECEMBER 27, 2010