An Exhortation to Newly-Tonsured Monks

On the night of April 5th, 2019 (o.s.), the eve of the 40th day of the Great Fast, the abbot of Hoy Trin­i­ty Monastery Bish­op Luke of Syra­cuse ton­sured three monks into the less­er schema. Fol­low­ing the ton­sures, Bp Luke greet­ed the new monks with this short exhor­ta­tion:

The three newly tonsured monks with Bishop Luke.

The three new­ly-ton­sured monks Cass­ian, Paisios, and Theodore, with his grace, Bish­op Luke, abbot of Holy Trin­i­ty Monastery (Jor­danville, New York).

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Our dear new­ly-ton­sured fathers, dear broth­ers and sis­ters:

Over one hun­dred fifty years ago, our father among the saints Ignatius (Bri­an­chani­nov) and oth­er fathers said that monas­ti­cism is over. Such was the state of affairs in Rus­sia, so weak were the monks in their striv­ings that they could not envi­sion a con­tin­u­a­tion of the monas­tic life. How­ev­er, this evening, by a mir­a­cle of God we here have cel­e­brat­ed the mys­tery of a monas­tic ton­sure a cen­tu­ry and a half removed from these sor­row­ful expec­ta­tions of our fathers.

Three tonsure candidates

The three can­di­dates before ton­sure to the less­er schema.

This is tru­ly a mir­a­cle, for how many peo­ple among the human race today, men and women, desire to ded­i­cate them­selves with their whole heart to the ser­vice of our Lord and Sav­iour and to His Holy Church? But this mir­a­cle places on us today a great respon­si­bil­i­ty to make use of the mer­cy of God and the grace of this event, of this Mys­tery. You have cho­sen the monas­tic life. How does this dif­fer from a world­ly lifestyle? In many ways, and in one way espe­cial­ly; that is, you have been freed from many world­ly cares. Because you are free from these cares you must be more dili­gent and focused on your ascetic strug­gle and  atten­tive to your­selves, to your thoughts, to your prayer life, to your sal­va­tion in gen­er­al, to the call of our Lord and Sav­iour Jesus Christ and the keep­ing of all His com­mand­ments. All Ortho­dox Chris­tians are called to to ful­fill the Gospel com­mand­ments, but espe­cial­ly we monas­tics, who find our­selves in the most con­ducive sur­round­ings to this aim.

Always turn to our Lord and Sav­iour, to his Most Holy Moth­er, and to your own heav­en­ly patrons — St John Cass­ian, St Paisios the new­ly-Glo­ri­fied of the Holy Moun­tain, and St Theodore the Stu­dite, pray­ing to them to strength­en you through the grace of the Holy Spir­it, the prayers of the Most Holy Moth­er of God and of all the saints. Pray for your­selves and also pray for all of us here today cel­e­brat­ing this great mir­a­cle. The most impor­tant thing for you must be the atten­dance of ser­vices, the rev­e­la­tion of thoughts, Con­fes­sion, and Com­mu­nion of Christ’s Holy Mys­ter­ies! This is your safe­guard; it will pro­tect you from our com­mon ene­mies: the Dev­il, the world, and our own sin­ful­ness.

Amen!

 

The above text was tran­scribed from audio and light­ly edit­ed for read­abil­i­ty and to fit our edi­to­r­i­al style.

 


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Cor­rec­tion: An ear­li­er ver­sion of this arti­cle list­ed the date of the ton­sure as April 3rd (o.s.). We apol­o­gize for the error.

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