Discover the rich spirituality of monastic life on Mount Athos
a place like no other on earth.
Twenty-five years ago, M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, was the first Western monk to live on Mount Athos for more than the usually permitted overnight visit. The Monks of Mount Athos chronicles his extraordinary stay, his experiences of the East, and lively conversations with his hosts about theological differences and unfamiliar spiritual practices.
Listen in as Abbot Basil wrestles with historical differences between Christianitys East and West, learns the Orthodox practice of the prayer of the heart, and explores the landscape, the monastic communities, and the food of Athosa monastic republic like no other place on earth. New to this edition, Archimandrite Dionysios, a monk from the Holy Mountain, reflects on the ecumenical openness fostered as a result of, and since, Abbot Basils stay.
The abbots experiences on Mount Athos motivated him to re-examine his role as a monk and his relationship to God. His inspiring meditations will help you to explore your own relationship to God and to others.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
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About the Author
Father M. Basil Pennington, OCSO was a monk for more than fifty years. He lived at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts and was the author of many modern spiritual classics, including Lectio Divina; Centering Prayer.
The Very Reverend Archimandrite Dionysios: Monk at Great Meteoron, tonsured by his Elder, Archimandrite Aemilianos. Confessor at Simonos Petras Monastery, Mt. Athos. Unanimously elected Abbot of Pantocrator Monastery, Mt. Athos. Abbot of Holy Cross Monastery, Confessor and Headmaster of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Founder of Exaltation of the Holy Cross Monastery, Thebes, Greece, where he now serves. Author of The Priest as Confessee and Confessor and many lectures and letters to his spiritual children.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Archimandrite Dionysios
Preface to the Jubilee Edition
Before: An Introduction
1. First Days
2. Simonos Petras
4. Aghios Panteleimonos
5. Back at Simonos Petras
6. The Feast
8. The Light of Tabor
9. Around the Mountain
10. Last Days on the Mountain
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An entry by Father +Basil on 2 July, while visiting Gregoriou Monastery on the Holy Mountain, discloses the author's humility and candor. These qualities are difficult to sustain throughout a single text. However, Father Basil nurtures less resistance within himself toward the Lord Christ and risks importune rejections by monks on the Holy Mountain thanks to his sober view. On July 2, Father Basil records his embarrassment over offending monks of Gregoriou Monastery.Just one day prior he had reached Gregoriou, which is proximal to Simonas Petras Monastery to the south along the western coastline of the Holy Mountain. There he had met with the Hegumen (abbot of the Monastery), Father Georgias, from whom Father Basil learned of resistance among the Monastery's Elders to a non-Orthodox man visiting them. The details concerning resistance from the Elders provide sufficient information about their point of view without belaboring the historical events of the prior three centuries of Jesuit and Dominican incursions in Greece.It is clear, in my opinion, that Father Basil provides details of this brief visit to Gregoriou according to how he actually witnessed his place in Christ's Church. He "slipped away" from Gregoriou to cross the coastal range and return northward to Simonas Petras after he "...assisted at Orthros from the porch." He writes that he did not want "...to cause any further embarrssment to my host," which is a reference both to the pleasant Hegumen and all monks of Gregoriou Monastery.While historical details of Latin abuses are noteworthy by way of absence in Father Basil's journal entries of 01 and 02 July, the author reports a poignant summary of the Hegumen's recommendation when Father Basil asked on 01 July to remain at Gregoriou for a week. One or more of the Elders had noted to the Hegumen that Father Basil looked Orthodox on the surface, and wondered why Father Basil was not Orthodox inwardly as well.Trust among Father Basil and Gregoriou monks was impaired by bias, which the generous Hegumen disclosed on 01 July. Acknowledged disparity between Christ's priestly prayer of John's Gospel and such bias as the author encountered at Gregoriou -- disparity strikes author and his reader as less than "the fullness of love" in Christ.How does a man of 45 years age (at the time of the visit) muster acceptance as this? Father Basil recounted a succinct part of St. Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth: "Love is kind, patient, bears all things." Indeed, Love cannot be counted in the age of one, but rather in the multitude of theosis at work.Filled by Christ is how this work of Love from Father Basil of blessed memory transports penitent to Pascha. There dawns an eternal Pascha in this book. And all are invited.
This was an interesting journey especially for those of us of the Orthodox and Catholic traditions of the faith.