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Monks who spend hours on Facebook all day

RobS

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What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:


But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
 

Orthodox_Slav

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I am entirely on your side RobS how can a monk act like that.
 

Briven

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RobS said:
What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:


But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
Good movie, by the way.
 

hecma925

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I have never heard of the monastic path being the most difficult task in the world, even from monk's lips.
 

RobS

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Briven said:
Good movie, by the way.
Really? I thought it was sensationalistic garbage.
 

Schultz

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Briven said:
hecma925 said:
I have never heard of the monastic path being the most difficult task in the world, even from monk's lips.
Many people think it is. Monks would probably disagree.
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."

 

RobS

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Schultz said:
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."
I've romanticized monasticism like that as well, I'm drawn to its simplicity without any of the worries of the world.
 

Schultz

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RobS said:
Schultz said:
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."
I've romanticized monasticism like that as well, I'm drawn to its simplicity without any of the worries of the world.
Father Schmemann's general advice to people interested in the monastic life is a good start for people drawn to that simplicity, IMHO.

 

Rubricnigel

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Briven said:
RobS said:
What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:


But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
Good movie, by the way.
Whats the movie?
 

Volnutt

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Rubricnigel said:
Briven said:
RobS said:
What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:


But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
Good movie, by the way.
Whats the movie?
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851577/
 

hecma925

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RobS said:
Schultz said:
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."
I've romanticized monasticism like that as well, I'm drawn to its simplicity without any of the worries of the world.
It just sounds like you just want a life without worries.
 

RobS

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Schultz said:
Father Schmemann's general advice to people interested in the monastic life is a good start for people drawn to that simplicity, IMHO.
That Fr. Schmemann post is exactly what I've been following the past few years. I'm not at the 10 year mark yet though.

hecma925 said:
RobS said:
Schultz said:
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."
I've romanticized monasticism like that as well, I'm drawn to its simplicity without any of the worries of the world.
It just sounds like you just want a life without worries.
Yeah and who doesn't?
 

hecma925

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hecma925 said:
RobS said:
Schultz said:
Probably apocryphal story I heard about someone asking a monk if his life was was as hard as was thought.  The monk replied something like, "You live out in the world. That's so much harder than the simple life I live."
I've romanticized monasticism like that as well, I'm drawn to its simplicity without any of the worries of the world.
It just sounds like you just want a life without worries.
Yeah and who doesn't?
[/quote]

Once you accept there are always worries, things get even easier.  Most people can't accept that.
 

RobS

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hecma925 said:
Once you accept there are always worries, things get even easier.  Most people can't accept that.
Depends on the worries. My biggest worry right now is if my local supermarket has my favorite ice cream in stock.
 

Crucifer

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Back in the day, I used to IM chat w/ various folks who identified them selves as monastics. Now looking back I wonder why monastics would up in the middle of the night chatting w/ folks online. Wonder if they really were vowed religious or just wannabes.
 

hecma925

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RobS said:
hecma925 said:
Once you accept there are always worries, things get even easier.  Most people can't accept that.
Depends on the worries. My biggest worry right now is if my local supermarket has my favorite ice cream in stock.
That is critical.  I know that pain.  My local area dosn't have my favorite brand.
 

LizaSymonenko

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I am Facebook friends with a good number of monks.  Some post much more often than others.

Often, they are spiritually edifying posts, quotes of Church Fathers, icons, etc.... Sometimes there are cute cat pictures, or some fluff....

One lives on Mt. Athos.... and I find it edifying to read his daily posts....the photos are stunning of their daily services, the monastery, the island, etc.  It's really a privilege that he allows us to "see" his and the lives of the other monks.  His priests are aware, and if they had an issue, I am certain they would tell him to stop.

More than anything, I thank the monks for their prayers, and for dedicating themselves to God.  It's not for me to judge if they surf the Web too much.  I know that I am guilty of the same,... far be for me to condemn someone else.
 

Agabus

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As far as I am concerned, the best social media presence for a clergyman is to have a FB page where he can make church announcements and his wife can tag him in photos from their vacation that make everyone scratch their heads because they don't recognize him in civilian clothes, and not much else.

Of course, I've also friended a number of clergymen specifically because their political views rub the right people the wrong way, so who am I to criticize?
 

RaphaCam

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Agabus said:
As far as I am concerned, the best social media presence for a clergyman is to have a FB page where he can make church announcements and his wife can tag him in photos from their vacation that make everyone scratch their heads because they don't recognize him in civilian clothes, and not much else.
LOL, so true
 

Iconodule

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I have yet to see a monastic facebook page that was performing some special or indispensable ministry that couldn't be done by laymen. Maybe there's something out there, but inspirational quotes + cat pictures is not it. I think as a rule monks should not be on social media unless it is in some purely informational capacity under obedience to an abbot. Monks who spend a lot of time chatting on facebook are monks in name only. They give the vocation the appearance of just another mode of worldly living, and a fairly comfortable one at that. It might even be a way of making oneself a celebrity.

Now if someone wants to bring up the example of someone like St Maria Skobtsova as an example of an orthodox monasticism with a clear social engagement- that's great. We definitely need people like that.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Well... a layperson wouldn't be sharing an All-Night Vigil being celebrated on Mt. Athos.

 

Ainnir

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Iconodule said:
Now if someone wants to bring up the example of someone like St Maria Skobtsova as an example of an orthodox monasticism with a clear social engagement- that's great. We definitely need people like that.
+1 One of my favorites.
 

Volnutt

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LizaSymonenko said:
Well... a layperson wouldn't be sharing an All-Night Vigil being celebrated on Mt. Athos.
If he's a pilgrim, he might.
 

Volnutt

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LizaSymonenko said:
Volnutt said:
LizaSymonenko said:
Well... a layperson wouldn't be sharing an All-Night Vigil being celebrated on Mt. Athos.
If he's a pilgrim, he might.
Not if he is a she, she won't.  ;)
And neither will a nun with a Facebook account :p
 

Asteriktos

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RobS said:
What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:

But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
I mean, we're all called to a standard we don't achieve. But by all means brings things like this up--no sarcasm/snark there, it can serve a purpose. On the other hand, I can't help but remember this passage from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers:

It was said of Abba Arsenius that once when he was ill at Scetis, the priest came to take him to church and put him on a bed with a small pillow under his head. Now behold an old man who was coming to see him, saw him lying on a bed with a little pillow under his head and he was shocked and said, 'Is this really Abba Arsenius, this man lying down like this?' Then the priest took him aside and said to him, 'In the village where you lived, what was your trade?' 'I was a shepherd,' he replied. 'And how did you live?' 'I had a very hard life.' Then the priest said, 'And how do you live in your cell now?' The other replied, 'I am more comfortable.' Then he said to him, 'Do you see this Abba Arsenius? When he was in the world he was the father of the emperor, surrounded by thousands of slaves with golden girdles, all wearing collars of gold and garments of silk. Beneath him were spread rich coverings. While you were in the world as a shepherd you did not enjoy even the comforts you now have but he no longer enjoys the delicate life he led in the world. So you are comforted while he is afflicted.' At these words the old man was filled with compunction and prostrated himself saying, 'Father, forgive me, for I have sinned. Truly the way this man follows is the way of truth, for it leads to humility, while mine leads to comfort.' So the old man withdrew, edified.

-- Abba Arsenius 36
I don't think that, if this was transferred to the modern age, the writer would give a complete ok to internet surfing, yada yada, but I do think it gives a good reminder that we'll be judged based on the work we're doing and progress we're making, not necessarily the ideal saintly heights described in spiritual literature* or not having mastered the things we consider important for or indicative of piety.


*and no, the irony of quoting spiritual literature to make my point isn't lost on me, lol
 

Alpha60

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On another site, I encountered a “monk”, whose status was, by his own admission, self-proclaimed; he lived with another monk, both self proclaimed Rassaphores, and the two lived in relative poverty in the Southwest, allegedly Melkite monks, but no official record of them exists.  This self-proclaimed monk had a disturbing tendency to get in debates with other Catholics and with Orthodox and other traditional Christians attacking the various churches for adhering to a traditional stance on homosexuality.  I spoke with him on the phone once, which was a mistake; he bashed heavily Elder Ephrem for allegedly having denied a Melkite bishop access to St. Anthony’s (if a Melkite bishop turned up unannounced and without appropriate ecumenical discussion, I think an Orthodox hegumen would be in their rights to deny them entry; monastic hospitality does not extend to people outside the church).  I don’t doubt that the two monks had some kind of sense of vocation, but I doubt their status was remotely canonical, and the whole situation was odd, particularly the heated debates this monk would get himself in against traditional positions.

On the other hand, I very much like the blog on AFR of Abbot Tryphon.  I would love to meet him and see his monastery. 

I have also encountered a blog by an Anglican Benedictine from a monastery that is rebuilding after being wiped out by fire which struck me as a very nice, humble blog, which communicated the day to day of their monastic experience in a non-polemical and edifying manner.

Of all of these however the crown jewell is surely Abbot Tryphon.

My suspicion is that many of the most vocal and vitriolic “monastics” posting online, Orthodox or otherwise, are either illegitimate or are acting without their superiors clearly understanding the implications of their actions, and thus obtained a “blessing” for trolling by means of representation.
 

Rubricnigel

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Volnutt said:
Rubricnigel said:
Briven said:
RobS said:
What gives?

I see Orthodox monks take FB quizzes or share dumb cat pictures or get involved in political debates all day on FB. I thought a monastic vocation was supposed to be the most difficult task in the world?

I'm not saying they have to be like this guy:


But its hard to take seriously those who preach how hard monasticism is, its seriousness, while spending hours goofing around online daily.
Good movie, by the way.
Whats the movie?
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851577/
Ill check it out, thanks for info
 
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