The beggar monk

Some time ago, I’ve been told that I’m basically a beggar – which is definitely true, of course. The thought remained with me, and evolved from slight horror (after all, I’m not a saint, so my pride is still kicking), to pure delight. I’ve realised again how beautiful and exciting one’s life becomes once you place it all in Christ’s hands. Without Christ, I couldn’t have met all the wonderful-beyond-reason people I’ve talked to this last year; without Christ, I could never have seen and prayed in so many holy places. Most importantly, without Christ and without having abandoned my life to Him, I would have missed all the great gifts He’s blessed me with ever since. Everything changed; all boundaries to love have fallen. I know now that Christ is present everywhere and in everyone. I know now, with a different sort of knowledge, that the Church is the Mother of all creation. I know now that Christ is not restricted to the material walls of my monastery and my cell, nor to the immaterial walls of a set of rules and regulations. There is so much beauty in this world, there is so much holiness in each person – I had forgotten that, and Christ reminded me of it.

Home, in the Celtic isles.
Home, in the Celtic isles.

I am a beggar indeed. I am Christ’s beggar, and I’m very proud of it! If anything, this is the only thing I take pride in: I belong to Christ, and I am His beggar. Funnily enough, I’m not alone in this: I belong to a long and great tradition of beggars, going all the way back to the Lord’s Apostles.

I am also a very similar to a snail; I carry my home on my back. I carry my home, my life, my Christ on my back all the time, from one place to another. I have no home, and yet I’m at home everywhere. I’ve never felt so exposed and fragile, so unsafe and so open to hurt. And yet, I’ve never been happier, more at peace or more loved as I have since I’ve placed everything in Christ’s hands and I’ve become His beggar.

May it all be blessed. May it be that, as I work for this monastery, I also find my salvation. And may we all look back one day (from this life or the next) and rejoice seeing all the people who are working their own salvation in this monastery we are founding together: step by step, little by little, soul by soul.

3 Responses

  • Dear Fr. Seraphim,

    It was truly a blessing to have you come to our parish in Washington (St. Paul Orthodox Church). I had an idea to help you get some support.

    If you register the monastery (or the American parish helping you) with Amazon Smile, then a person can list the monastery as their chosen charity, and Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price of the items bought by that person to your monastery.

    I know it’s a small amount, but if enough people do it, it could all add up. I’m about to purchase a $60 item, and I would prefer that the donation go to you. Here is the website that describes how to do it. http://org.amazon.com

    I hope that you find this information helpful.

    in Christ,
    Tanya Keenan

    • Dear Tanya,

      I’d love to do this – it sounds like a very good idea, and you are the second person who suggested it. It’s now on my ‘to do’ list (very high up) and shall look into it properly after I get back to the UK. I simply don’t have the time and the internet access I need to do it now. As for receiving small amounts, that is all right, as well – with very few exceptions (may God bless them for their willingness to sacrifice), most donations we receive are small. God has His time for every thing; when the time is right, He will send our way those people who can sacrifice more.

      Once I start working on this (probably mid-December) I may have to write back to you, asking for more advice – I hope you won’t mind. In the meantime, please keep me and the monastery in your prayers. May God bless all of us.

      • Dear Fr. Seraphim,

        I’m so grateful that you found my suggestion helpful. I don’t know what else I can offer, but I would be happy to help in whatever way I can.

        I will pray for you, and for the monastery. May God keep you safe in your travels, and may He bless your efforts, Fr. Seraphim. Thank you so much for all of your sacrifice and hard work. I want to thank you also, for your deep wisdom that you’ve shared with us on your blog. I especially found the post “Killer Prayer” very helpful.

        I look forward to hearing how it all develops, and how God blesses your wonderful work. Please pray for me. I remain

        Your servant in Christ,
        Tanya

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