In the discussion which followed last night’s post on the New Monastics, I offered relay the advice St. John Climacus had in the first step of the Ladder for the laity:

Some people living carelessly in the world put a question to me: “How can we who are married and living amid public cares aspire to the monastic life?”

I answered, “Do whatever good you may. Speak evil of no one. Rob no one. Despise no one and carry not hate. Do not separate yourself from church assemblies. Show compassion to the needy. Do not be a scandal to anyone. Stay away from the bed of another, and be satisfied with what your own wives can provide you. If you do all of this, you will not be far from the kingdom of heaven.”

In class, Fr. Elijah offered that general Orthodox belief that for everyone, not just the unmarried, celibacy is ultimately where we end up. For the married couple, celibacy and the celibate calling arises as one gets older.

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