Monday, March 21, 2005

The latter part of the twentieth century was remarkable for the new flowering of Orthodox monasticism. As much as I appreciate the restoration of the great monasteries on Athos and the introduction of traditional monasticism to America and around the world, I have a special affection for those in the monastic life who follow a less conventional path, usually alone, without great fame or prestige. One such person was Mother Gavrilia, or to more properly anglicize the name, Mother Gabriel. I will not attempt to summarize her life, but instead will refer you to an excellent article at the Orthodox Peace Fellowship web site. There is also a good page at the web site of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery. For a selection of her sayings, go here. Since I still owe Gideon Strauss an answer to his questions, I will quote one that he may appreciate:

Someone said that a Christian is he who purifies love and sanctifies work.