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Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Mother of God never abandons her garden I guess!

Two nuns for Greece visited the seminary today and sat in on the high school Sunday school class. I talked about this article and other works I've read where we can see that monks aren't just isolated, uneducated people who can't get along in the modern world. They told us the monastery of Simonopetra is one where this is seen especially. Here's the story they gave about it:

After World War II, the Holy Mountain had considerably shrunk. Because of constant war in Greece, monks were getting older and no new monks were being tonsured. One monk at Simonopetra was concerned, and so came to the Theotokos, the guardian of Mt. Athos, and asked her, "Why are you letting your mountain die? We don't have the monks to keep this place going! Don't you understand that all of this will end?" And she replied, "I will send you monks soon." The monk was satisfied and told the brothers at Simonopetra that more monks would come soon, and not to worry.

A few years later, however, there still were no new monks. The same monk went back to the Mother of God. "There are still no new monks here, and we continue to get older. Why have you been waiting so long, Mother of God?" She replied, "Because they were only just born a short time ago. Now I have to raise them, send them to university to get degrees, and then they will become monks." Again satisfied, the monk left.

In the 70s, this same monk was in charge of Simonopetra. At that time, the monks of Meteora in Greece were made up of university graduates, a position which in that time only 6% of applicants were able to achieve (and graduating was the equivalent of having a doctorate in the US). Some were former rocket scientists, scholars, physicists, worked for NASA even. Seeing the decay of Mt. Athos, a large group of the monks at Meteora moved to Simonopetra. The elder then saw that the Theotokos was true to her promise.

The Mother of God never abandons her garden I guess! 

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