Monastery of St. John Day 2


Monastery Bells Call Everyone to Prayer and Meals


Each day at the monastery begins with 20 minutes of silently praying the Jesus Prayer together in the chapel before the liturgical services begin. Not sure how or if it could be brought into parish practice. But it was very nice. After Divine Liturgy the monks and guest have a short break before the bells are rung signaling that the food has been set out for an informal breakfast. All meals are taken in silence but the informal meals are more like a buffet set up. After eating the monks scatter to their work. Administrative duties, candle dipping, soap making, farming, etc. along with prayer keeps everyone busy. But busy in a good way. The day ends with 20 more minutes of Jesus Prayer, evening services and a formal evening meal. Dinner is again eaten in silence with a monk reading aloud from a spiritual work.


Monastery Chapel



Monastery goat was nicer than he looks. Still, he is a goat.



Monastery garden was small enough not to give me that Stephen King feeling I always get near corn.




Filed under Beaches, Canyons, Deserts, Mountains and Monasteries

8 responses to “Monastery of St. John Day 2

  1. Tessa Graff

    So amazing Jim! Keep it coming. I feel like I am watching a documentary!

  2. s-p

    This is a nice mealtime tradition. In parish life it would be hard, but at our Mission during Lent we have a soup and bread meal after presanctified on Wed. and Fridays and we eat in silence while someone reads from a spiritual text. We finish in silence and go home. In family life this can be done easily at certain times too, like during fast days or Lenten seasons.

    • Fr. James Coles

      I like your idea…

      I was actually thinking about how the silent Jesus prayer time could be brought into Saint Ignatius for the community to do together.

      • s-p

        I think the problem with the silent Jesus prayer time is that it is not prescribed liturgically for parish (or monastic) life, so it has to be set aside from the formal service time. I was recently talking to a protestant worship leader who was trying to do “centering prayer” about 10 minutes before his band fired up to get people focused on God. I’d think a parish could do a schedule where the Jesus prayer would begin 15 minutes before vespers or matins, but that would mean the priest and servers would have to get there earlier to get vested, prepare the censer, gifts etc. so there would be no activity during the prayer or between the prayer and the beginning of the service.

  3. Pingback: Are you ready for St. Symeon the New Theologian? « Scholé

  4. kay

    …. “that Steven King feeling I always get near corn,”
    is the best photo comment I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for “keeping it real.” 😉

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