What Monasticism Presupposes (Geronda Ephraim Xeropotamou)

Monasticism involves a special inclination (κλίση) which God himself plants, as well as a calling. This calling (κλήσις) occurs from the Lord of all, but He himself tells us that “All men cannot receive this saying” (Matt. 19:11). So the call is directed to everyone, but “those who are able to receive it” respond.  And this is the one who becomes a monk … Of course, the consistency in a spiritual program is what really counts in life of a monk and in the life of a Christian lay person. The consistency in this program constitutes a struggle against the world, the devil, and the flesh. These enemies succeed in tripping us up, because (and when) they find us unprepared. That is, they find us in negligence and thus we have a heap of falls. The falls are not confronted, nor avoided except with vigilance and commitment to a program of spiritual life. The spiritual life is a battle and you cannot give up the weapon in battle without the risk of death. You need the weapon always at hand to deal with enemies. This occurs in the life of the monks: They continually have the weapon in hand, never board shoulder. Prayer plays a big role in this thing …

Taken from A Discussion with Elder Ephraim of Xeropotamou († 21-11-1984)

Geronda Ephraim walking in Xeropotamou Monastery holding his abbot staff.
Geronda Ephraim walking in Xeropotamou Monastery holding his abbot staff.

ger.Efrem-xiropotaminos-2

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