“Orthodox monasticism is a life, an intense life, of prayer and asceticism removed from the world. In order that we ourselves grow in a deeper relationship with God. In order to serve our fellowman better. We believe that if we grow spiritually, if we deepen our spiritual relationship with God, if we deny ourselves, then we follow Christ’s example of sacrifice for the world. In this way Orthodox monastics sacrifice themselves for the whole world.
“What makes a good monastic is one who can bear in one’s heart the joys and sorrows of the world. Is one who has reached that level of identifying with the pain and suffering of the world, with the needs of every Christian who lives in the world. And because monastic communities are somewhat removed from the world, from the noise of the world, from the activities of the everyday world, then it provides a place also for pilgrims to come and find rest and peace, a word of counsel and of comfort.”
-Mother Gabriella, Abbess of the Holy Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God (Rives Junction, Michigan)