Monasticism without Monasteries
Is it possible to be a monk, but still live "in the world"?
There have been a variety of Orthodox answers.
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
- In the early days of Roman monasticism, many monastics
were aristocrats whose "cells" were their own mansions
Epistle 58: To Paulinus.
Paulinus had sent Jerome a copy of his book in defence of the Emperor
Theodosius and a letter asking for advice on the ascetic life.
St. Jerome: Epistle 117:
To a Mother and Daughter Living in Gaul.
Both widowed mother and single daughter
are trying to live as nuns, but through some disagreement
live apart. Moreover, both have invited male monastics
to live with them as "chaste protectors". Jerome
addresses some of the problems of
monasticism" and "monasticism in the world".
He also paints an extremely vivid portrait of an upper-class
Roman dinner-party -- not particularly decadent, but
still an inappropriate place for nuns.
Return to St Pachomius Library.