Seek First the Kingdom: Writings on the Monastic Life (Paffhausen - 2021)

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"Man has forgotten God." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Our culture is paralyzed by a crisis of meaning. People search for meaning for their lives, in what they do, how they occupy their time, and in their relationships. How often that search comes up fruitless. This is because we as a culture have forgotten God, have tried to remove him from our minds and our lives.

The only way out of this is to remember God, to submit to him, and to place Him in the center of our lives, our vision and our relationships.

Monasticism is the way that countless thousands over the past two millennia have pursued God, in a focused and disciplined way. Monastic spirituality is a discipline that cultivates the remembrance of God in every aspect of our lives. It is a means of working out our salvation, of coming to "consciousness of God", which is itself eternal life.

You don't have to be a monk to practice and benefit from monastic spirituality. You need only a desire to seek God. You will find that the meaning we search for is the depths of His love, revealed in Jesus Christ.

God, our loving Father, awaits you with open arms, yearning for you to return.


Metropolitan Jonah is the Abbot of St. Demetrios Orthodox Monastery in Spotsylvania, Virginia, and rector of St Herman of Alaska Church, Stafford, VA, in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He is the former Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. He draws on many years of monastic experience in the Orthodox Church throughout the world.