I have not yet visited a monastery, I keep being “too busy” and put it off. Part of the reason is my own social anxiety – I don’t like being put in new situations. I suspect my other so-called reasons are just as valid (or should I say they are invalid excuses?). Regardless, this is good advice, and while I have been blessed to find a spiritual guide in my priest, I know that spending time at a monastery away from the world is just beneficial to the soul.

lessons from a monastery

(Originally published on OCN’s The Sounding)


Journeying by boat to visit their beloved spiritual father, Constantine Palamas – the father of St. Gregory – suddenly realized he and his family had forgotten to bring food with them for the monastery. While his wife and five children looked on, he raised his voice in prayer and put his hand into the sea; immediately he caught a massive fish. Taking it out of the water, he glorified God for the miracle. Out of his great admiration and respect for the monastic life, Constantine Palamas worked a miracle so that his family would not arrive at the monastery empty-handed. In this way, and in countless others, he instilled in the hearts of his children a firm love for and reverence of monasticism.

This practice of going out into the wilderness to seek a word from a holy monastic is a…

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