An ex-Calvinist outsider strongly drawn to Palamism

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Re: An ex-Calvinist outsider strongly drawn to Palamism

Postby Gregorik » Mon 1 September 2014 11:14 am

Barbara, thank you for your concern. I'll write more about my current situation, but I have a pressing professional deadline right now (secular job).

So you are saying that STOC monasteries are ill-equipped to welcome week-long guests?
Thanks in part to this site, I now know that joining an EP-affiliated cloister would be a bad idea. But as you might know, Serbia is just a few hundred miles south of Budapest, and Serbian cloisters would be natural places of interest for me, as historically they were significant and their ties to Mt. Athos is well known. So Novo Stjenik is the one place you recommend?
Vladimir Moss is a highly controversial and quite high profile figure: what are the chances of him receiving a random pilgrim like me?

Barbara wrote:Now, are you saying that you believe it to be prelest to want to NOT associate with seculars ?

Yes, basically. I have guilt issues stemming from this notion. Most seculars bore me, tire me and don't interest me. They're easily amused by trivial, shallow things. (Full disclosure: I've had more than 20 girlfriends in my 20's and 30's, so I'm speaking from hard experience.) But that may be my pride (or Orthodox elitism) speaking, and hence prelest. And it certainly leads me to a bad place within the world now, leads me gasping for air in a secular environment. What I've experienced in Calvinist circles is that most of them share many secular traits in this regard. This contributed to my eventual turning towards Eastern Christianity. And now I seem to be drawn to "middle-ground" or skete-based monasticism.
What is your stance on associating with seculars?

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Re: An ex-Calvinist outsider strongly drawn to Palamism

Postby Barbara » Thu 4 September 2014 3:23 am

Answering the questions in backward order, first, I avoid secular people as much as possible.
I do NOT feel a shred of guilt about it, as it's my life to live and why to waste it catering to those who will never
understand the religious perspective ? For, I see it that one has to cater to a secular person if one wants to interact with that person. One has to keep back one's Orthodox religion entirely and instead make empty statements about nothing of any relevance.

Now, the only time I don't follow that idea is when I have to deal with people on a work basis. Then I can chat about
world events or such things. But it's not the same having FRIENDS who are seculars. If one has friends or members of family who are "militantly" secular, it's difficult to have any useful communication with them.
One doesn't expect it from work-related people. But one assumes friends or relatives will mostly share one's deep ideas and
religious perspective. Hence, the lack of rapport with seculars makes one feel downcast and isolated.
Therefore, it's therapeutic to steer clear of them.

Not to mention their propensity to be unrefined in their behavior ; all that makes one want to avoid them ! So I do,
wherever I can.

Speaking of work I understand about your deadline, but just maybe think about not feeling guilt about this and choosing the company you really feel comfortable with - and ditch the rest without a qualm !

About Serbian monasteries, actually, I didn't remember that the monasteries would be that near Budapest. I went by train when a student in Europe from Budapest south to Belgrade, thence to Skopje and onto Greece & islands from there.
I am glad you reminded me. Well, why not write to Novo Stjenik to ask for a blessing to stay a week ? Maybe that would not be too difficult for the STOC. That is, as of yet, the only STOC monastery. It is a fairly new jurisdiction, hence full of vigor and fervent desire for Truth. I have no doubt there will be many monastic institutions of STOC's in the future as people hear about it and sift through the lies and disinformation perpetrated by World Orthodox competitors, who are jealous no doubt.
If you have a girlfriend now, [I assume you don't, as none of them would be interested in your inclination toward Eastern Orthodoxy, sadly !], she can go stay at the women's convent nearby.

As for Vladimir Moss, oftentimes when one meets someone who is somewhat well known, he finds that the personage is much more approachable than anyone would expect. For such people usually want to educate and assist others, hence they are
more available for questions and discussions than would seem likely. Even the busiest academics will take time out and chat with a sincere seeker of information or wisdom.

After all, even the famous like to be needed and appreciated much more than might be expected and will spend their time generously. I have always found that to be the case.
Don't hesitate, therefore, to at least ASK this expert or any clergy for help. Even Bishop Akakije, for example.

You should ask, though, whether any person in STOC speaks Hungarian. If so, that is easier for you. I know, of course
that the Magyar language is completely different in derivation from Slavic ones. Seems to me it came from nomadic invaders from Turkic or other tribes ?

Quiz : there was a famous traveler, a Hungarian> Can you guess his name ?!

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Re: An ex-Calvinist outsider strongly drawn to Palamism

Postby Dcn.Ephrem » Fri 5 September 2014 7:44 pm

Note: Novi Stjenik is a women's monastery. There are at least two men's monastery under Bishop Akakije, though I do not remember their names. If you are interested in visiting one of the monasteries, consider contacting Fr. Stefan Nikolic:
Fr. Deacon Ephrem Cummings
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC)

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