Diocesan Hermit

Discussion in 'Sacraments and Holy Orders' started by CFLawrence, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. CFLawrence

    CFLawrence Active Member

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    I am 50 years old and single and essentially retired. Never in my life did I EVER feel a calling to be a priest or deacon, but as a young man I so wanted to be a Carthusian monk. Now that I am firmly planted in TEC, or at least soon to be, I feel a calling to be a diocesan hermit, either canonically recognized or not.

    The time spent discerning this vocation is 5 to 8 years at least and I haven't even brought it up with my priest yet. and out of the two priests at my parish I'm not sure which should be my confessor!!

    Little coincidences keep happening in my life these days though, thing that would be impediments to this sort of vocation keep dropping away, one by one. Of course, I don't believe in coincidences.

    So how do you Anglican folk view Religious, Hermits, Anchorites and all assorted and sundry things?

    CF Lawrence
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    In high esteem.
     
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  3. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    You are not alone. I have been contemplating holy orders for 5-6 years. I wanted to be Benedictine Monk, then a Starlet or Orthodox Hermit.

    I only recently learned of Anglican Monastic Life and intend to do more research into it as I consider vocation in a Reformed Prism.

    What is a diocesan hermit?
     
  4. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I strongly support monastics and ascetics. And hermits, when properly called. But before you commit to the Solitary life, you should read the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, the Philokalia, the Conferences of St. John Cassian, the Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius, and the more recent 19th century monastic manual, The Arena, by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov. Because hermitage is a dangerous vocation; if you are attacked by the devil, you lack the brethren to back you up (one advantage of the semi-hermetic Carthusian system is protection against that), and there is a strong recommendation to prepare for hermitage in a cenobitic monastery or a semi-hermitic environment, like a Carthusian charter house or an idiorythmic skete with three or five brothers, of the sort you can find on Mount Athos. Being attacked by the devil can range from dangerous delusions to Wagnerian attacks with physical aspects, which happened to St. Anthony, or indeed, to Fr. Lazarus el Antony, an Australian atheist who converted to the Coptic church and became a hermit tasked with maintaining the Cave of St. Anthony and serving a midnight liturgy there; one night on the way back to his own cave, he saw what looked like an attacking bear, lost his footing, and fell ten feet into the rocks below; a monk found him in the morning and he was airlifted to Cairo; he has since recovered fully.

    You might well look up videos relating to Fr. Lazarus on YouTube, including Part III of Extreme Pilgrim where the Church of England vicar Fr. Peter Owen-Jones tried a 40 day stay in his cave, and in the middle was clearly struggling a bit. He also failed to take up Fr. Lazarus’s suggestion to immerse himself in manual labour by step-making with a pickaxe, which may have increased the pressure on him. But it is the advice which Fr. Lazarus provides which is most valuable.

    I don’t think you could meaningfully practice the solitary life while continuing to have any contact with society and living in normal accommodation; one advantage of approaching it via a cenobitic monastery for preparation is these places have hermitages.
     
  5. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    I like it since I am a very introverted type who enjoys reading and other activities over social gatherings. I like things generally that are passive and quiet rather than loud or busy.

    The Imitation of Christ is a great manual for the monastic life.
     
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  6. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    How do I feel about it? For myself, I hold it in great esteem.

    I am personally, slowly, going through the process of trying to decide about applying to become an Associate (lay member) of the Anglican Order of the Holy Cross. It is a Benedictine order associated with the Episcopal church (which admittedly gives me pause), but I haven't (YET) found anything to speak against the order.

    For the record, the two saints outside my master bedroom are Saints Scholastica and Benedict, courtesy of my Byzantine Rite Catholic wife, who is a Catholic high school educator.
     
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  7. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    I am a former Catholic but am now an Anglican. As a Catholic I was a nun for several years and then I was a hermit and even spent time with a laura of hermits (not a contradiction, really) but now I am discerning a vocation as an Anglican priest (or if not that, then perhaps a Deacon). To become a consecrated diocesan hermit in the Catholic Church you need the approval of your Bishop, and not all bishops are open to this type of consecration because they are responsible for spiritual direction of the hermit within their diocese - not all of them feel up to this. So do develop a relationship with you bishop to find out their views. The eremitic life is a very challenging one but also rewarding in many ways. It doesn't suit everyone and a person should preferably be very spiritually mature to attempt it.