Talk on Monasticism

This is a talk on monasticism (and other things) I gave at St Paul’s Orthodox Church in Lynnwood, WA. Many thanks to Fr James Bernstein and Khouria Martha for having convinced me to go through this ordeal, and for opening their home to everyone for this. Their hospitality and love made all of us feel very comfortable, as if we’d known each other for years. Many thanks to Subdeacon Patrick, as well, for helping me overcome (partially) my horror of the camera.

Please pray for me and the monastery. I’ve got two more weeks of fundraising in the US (one in Phoenix, the other one in Denver), then it’s time to fly back to Britain.

7 responses

  • Greetings Fr. Serafim,
    I wish I had known you were going to be so close. I would have made the 2hr trek to meet and see you in person. May your fundraising continue to be blessed by God and the generousity of His servants.
    Yours always in Christ,

    • Dear Symeon, I’m so sorry we missed each other… I met so many of the people who are supporting the monastery, I wish we could have met, too.
      The problem is that I rarely know where I’m going to more than a week or so before I actually get there, so it’s impossible to announce it beforehand. Besides, this talk was given in Fr James’s home, not in church, and it all happened rather unexpectedly: Khouria Martha came up with the idea only a few days before.
      I’ve learnt that I love talking at these small gatherings – I’ve spent another lovely evening in Goldendale, WA, and another one in Sacramento, CA (addressing a group of wonderful young people). The more intimate the setting, the more comfortable I feel.
      Thank you for your prayers, dear Symeon, and also for your support.

  • I wish I had known that you were going to be so close. I would have made the 2hr trek to meet and see you in person. May God continue to bless your fundraising and may the generosity of his faithful servants overwhelm you.
    Yours always in Christ,

  • Your reflection on your recent travels remind me of these texts:
    –“The beginning of a good way is to do justly; and it is more acceptable with God than to offer sacrifices. He that seeks the Lord shall find knowledge with righteousness: and they that rightly seek him shall find peace.” (Prov. 16. 7-8 LXX)
    –“A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Prov 16.9 RSV)

    • Glory be to God. I’ve discovered that the secret of a good answer is a good question – when people ask me questions simply out of curiosity, most answers I come up with are dead from the very start. However, when they really care, when they are really affected by the question, when it’s personal, then answers seem to come up by themselves, out of nowhere. And since most people feel comfortable in more intimate settings, these personal questions only occur in private, smaller meetings.
      I was blessed to have a few of these meetings during these months; this talk on monasticism was one of them.
      Thank you for your prayers, too, dear Columba. May God bless you for your love.

  • For me, the link opened a homily by Fr James about the Prodigal Son. Really wonderful homily, full of love and very helpful – but it would be good to hear the talk about monasticism too. If you read this, Fr Seraphim, do you happen to have a direct address? Thank you. I am making my way through your past posts and many of them are very helpful and heart-raising.

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