We at the IRL were privileged to spend 2 days at The Holy Resurrection Monastery in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, a year or so ago. We were also blessed to have Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the 2013 National Meeting. He has some beautiful and profound insights into the gifts that the Eastern Church can offer the West. For me, the Byzantine awareness of this passing life and our approaching final judgement needs to be reawakened our hearts. There is a mysticism, a profound encounter with heavenly realities that is present in the Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy.
On April 9, Abbot Nicholas joined Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, on EWTN to discuss the growth of his new community of Byzantine monks. And they are growing, thanks be to God.
Also, an article by Abbot Nicholas and Benjamin Mann recently appeared in The Catholic World Report. They have this to say about the New Evangelization: To re-evangelize the West, the Church must recover its mystical heritage – but this task requires contact with the living monastic tradition. Monasteries are thus essential to the New Evangelization.
And what is mysticism? Mysticism means relating to God on the deepest level of our being. It means knowing and loving him in a transcendent way, in keeping with His infinite and unfathomable nature. This profound communion with the Triune God is the reason for our existence, the true meaning of our lives.
By encountering our Eastern tradition, Western Christians can reconnect with their own mystical and monastic roots – as they must, in order to evangelize the spiritual seekers in their midst.
The monks welcome pilgrims and retreatants. One piece of advice: do not plug a hair dryer into the shaver outlet. You’ll blow the lights out of a good portion of the monastery!
To those who doubt the value of monasticism for the New Evangelization, we say: “Come and see!” (John 1:39). For the witness of our tradition cannot be conveyed by words alone.