Monasteries – centers of the spiritual life

The Pochayiv Lavra hosted a congress of abbots and abbesses of monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In his welcoming speech, our Primate noted one important thing – in modern conditions “it is the monks who must testify to people that they must build their lives on the commandments of God, which are written in the Holy Gospel and according to which our pious predecessors lived.”

Monasteries have always been centers of the spiritual and even the intellectual life. Ordinary laymen have always aspired to monastic abodes “like a deer aspires to a source of water” (Ps. 41: 2). It was the monasteries that shaped the spiritual vector of development of both society and the individual. And today, during the development of technology, during the transformation of spiritual paradigms, monasteries must definitely preserve this function. As the ancients said: “Monks take an example from angels, and ordinary believers – from monks.” In other words, if there is no monasticism, who will the believers look up to?

And looking at those monks and nuns who were brought up by our Church, and with whom I personally have the joy and honor to communicate, we can confidently assert that there really is someone to take an example from. Inhabitants of monasteries of the UOC, in their overwhelming majority, are humble, prayerful ascetics who are looking for only one thing on earth – to be with God. And as long as this search continues, it will be possible to say that the Church breathes the Holy Spirit and blossoms with monasticism!

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba)

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