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That's All, Folks! Or So I Thought...


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Hi everyone! I just popped in to see how everyone is, and thought I'd let you know that I decided to stay at the community and am officially a novice. Unfortunately that means paperwork, so I'm out of

By your prayers, I have a paperwork interview on Christmas Eve, and 1-2 weeks after that, I should be free to go home to the monastery.

Just wanted to say thanks to you guys on VS for being such a great ongoing part of my life. I'm logging out at the end of this weekend, and going back to the monastery during the coming week, and hope

It's been a really good weekend with my family. My sister and I have been talking about the fact that my dad isn't getting any younger, and we had the idea to sit him down in front of her camera and record his life memories. We just finished the first session, which was his early childhood. It took a good two hours and included an unexpected amount of crying from all of us. I feel so happy and fulfilled when I'm doing stuff like this. Our family has always been very 'hands-on' and it's difficult to feel that I'm ever away from them in spirit, even when I've been travelling and living elsewhere. When I was younger, I hoped to be able to break those bonds so that I could be free for Christ alone. Now I am not so sure that it's something for me to solve. I try to let Christ decide what he wants to bring out of the situation. It's not easy living in that tension between the pull of natural family, and the pull of monastic family, but I know that if one of them has to be sacrificed, it can't be me making the choice. I've tried and failed too many times.

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For those interested in the recent conversation about life vows for Orthodox and Eastern Catholics.... Yesterday a friend emailed me a link to this documentary and I've just watched it. On the whole I found it quite intense and moving. It follows a young lady in the lead-up to her tonsure, the service itself, and immediately afterwards. There are some qualifications that I'd like to make, after a bit of thought, but it won my heart just for the tonsure service alone. It's so precious and meaningful to me. I lost it at that point! :cry3: 

So here you go: Theodora the Sinner.

https://vimeo.com/108579595

Edited by marigold
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50 minutes ago, marigold said:

For those interested in the recent conversation about life vows for Orthodox and Eastern Catholics.... Yesterday a friend emailed me a link to this documentary and I've just watched it. On the whole I found it quite intense and moving. It follows a young lady in the lead-up to her tonsure, the service itself, and immediately afterwards. There are some qualifications that I'd like to make, after a bit of thought, but it won my heart just for the tonsure service alone. It's so precious and meaningful to me. I lost it at that point! :cry3: 

So here you go: Theodora the Sinner.

https://vimeo.com/108579595

She chose such a humble name! I can't watch it on my phone but it sounds really neat. I haven't really watched videos on Eastern monasticism. As I understand she is Romanian? Out of curiosity is she Catholic or Orthodox? I'd like to learn more about the tonsure. I'm actually Eastern Catholic but my rite doesn't even exist in my country... But I like learning about it. If I ever join a Latin community I'd need permission to do it. But the East has a beautiful tradition of monasticism too and something I'd like to consider. I'm sure the tonsure must have been moving for you to watch!

Edited by MarysLittleFlower
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2 hours ago, MarysLittleFlower said:

She chose such a humble name! I can't watch it on my phone but it sounds really neat. I haven't really watched videos on Eastern monasticism. As I understand she is Romanian? Out of curiosity is she Catholic or Orthodox? I'd like to learn more about the tonsure. I'm actually Eastern Catholic but my rite doesn't even exist in my country... But I like learning about it. If I ever join a Latin community I'd need permission to do it. But the East has a beautiful tradition of monasticism too and something I'd like to consider. I'm sure the tonsure must have been moving for you to watch!

Yes, very moving! And yes, it's Orthodox. Sister Theodora is a member of the largest monastery in Romania, with 450 nuns, which inevitably influences the way the tonsure happens (e.g. the 'little mother' she is assigned to help her through the tonsure is a sister she doesn't know very well at first). One of the other things that stood out for me was the very spousal and almost sensual (hesitating to use that word) focus which this community has on the tonsure of its nuns; interesting and moving, but not something I'd encountered before. And I've never heard of the hair being cut in a separate ceremony after the tonsure; this is definitely a 'Latinism' whether one views that positively or negatively. I did actually think of you while I was watching it, precisely because it's so romantic, and intensely, almost stiflingly focused on this moment of dedication forever to Christ. I knew you were Eastern Catholic but wasn't sure how much you knew about it / had ever practiced? I think you might enjoy it :) 

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Interesting! Wow I can't imagine a monastery with 450 nuns! Im almost surprised about the spousal element of it because I'm so used to it with Latin orders but not really in the East in general, as a way to describe ones relationship with Christ. I wonder how this community came to have this. Regarding Eastern Catholicism, I've been to Divine Liturgy but in a different rite than mine. I think my rite tends to be very Byzantine in style, that would be interesting to see. I also read about the Eastern Catholic community of Christ the Bridegroom because they are more well known in North America. I am somewhat familiar with the Liturgy but not too much with monasticism. 

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Marigold, can you give me the name of the monastery ? We're planning a trip in Eastern Europe with a friend, and I very much want to go to Romania, it would be interesting to see the office in this monastery (if we can of course). And thank you for posting. It was very moving. :) 

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3 hours ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

Marigold, can you give me the name of the monastery ? We're planning a trip in Eastern Europe with a friend, and I very much want to go to Romania, it would be interesting to see the office in this monastery (if we can of course). And thank you for posting. It was very moving. :) 

Varatec! And it's my pleasure!

4 hours ago, MarysLittleFlower said:

Interesting! Wow I can't imagine a monastery with 450 nuns! Im almost surprised about the spousal element of it because I'm so used to it with Latin orders but not really in the East in general, as a way to describe ones relationship with Christ. I wonder how this community came to have this. Regarding Eastern Catholicism, I've been to Divine Liturgy but in a different rite than mine. I think my rite tends to be very Byzantine in style, that would be interesting to see. I also read about the Eastern Catholic community of Christ the Bridegroom because they are more well known in North America. I am somewhat familiar with the Liturgy but not too much with monasticism. 

Oh, if you're near the 'Bridegroomers' you must visit them! They are so lovely! And they are growing into quite the little army - not 450 of them yet, but doubled since I last saw them ;) 

group2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
A Yearning Heart

I haven't been on the Phorum for a good while and just came across your posts. A beautiful journey.

The post above on the pull between family and monastic life really resonated deeply (I am so there), and now here you are going back home to the monastery! I'm really happy that everything resolved for you and will keep you in my prayers for the next part of your journey. If you can spare a candle and prayer, I'd be grateful :)

God bless!

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