Quotes from OL XIII Plenaries:
Metropolitan Jonah – What is monastic spirituality from an Orthodox perspective … there is the liturgical and sacramental disciplines, community life itself, contemplative prayer, the evangelical virtues of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability. It’s easy to isolate various elements and say they constitute “monastic spirituality,” such as hesychast use of the Jesus Prayer and contemplation, the liturgical cycles of the services and hours, daily confession of thoughts, and frequent communion of the Holy Mysteries, and so forth. But it is a falsification to do so. Monastic spirituality is essentially integrative and holistic. It includes all these elements and it is the synergy of all these things that creates the real context of monastic life.
Metropolitan Kallistos – Saint Basil’s approach to monasticism is that the monk or nun takes seriously the promises that they have made in baptism, and tries to live them out. We should strive to see monasticism as central to life in Christ. If we say “what is life according to the Gospels, then we may think of the basic description that Christ gives: you shall love the Lord your God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself. There is the heart of the Gospel – love for God, love for our fellow humans. So if monasticism is life according to the Gospel, then we may say that monasticism is a sacrament of love.
Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchik – I am calling my presentation today “To Seek God in All Things, To Share God in All Ways by the Power of the Holy Spirit.” For me, this summarizes the Christian life as taught by our Holy Father Basil the Great. His incredibly rich life and ministry was all about integrating and expressing these two realities. So it is on these two concepts that I wish to center – discerning the presence and activity of God in all things through body, mind and spirit, and expressing this love generously and wholeheartedly to others.