Heaven on earth, a look at Mt. Athos…

… In case you missed it, 60 Minutes had a wonderful piece Christmas evening on Mt. Athos. If you follow THIS LINK can read the show’s transcripts or watch the entire episode. Also, follow THIS LINK to view behind the scenes footage.

My son was particularly taken with the idea that these holy men pray all day without ceasing. Is that even possible, he asked, but you could clearly see their lips moving in prayer as they pick fruit, paint icons, and sweep the floors. Over and over, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Not only do they go about their day in a constant state of prayer but they chant entire liturgies 8 hours a day. It’s a life I can not imagine living but my son was quick to note that it sounded a lot like stories he had heard about Heaven. Quite right. I’ve also heard Heaven was a place of perpetual adoration, prayer and praise. I once joked with a friend that it actually sounded kind of boring. In my version of Heaven I imagined rivers of beer and St. Brigid manning the taps, something along these lines.

Since women aren’t allowed on Mt. Athos my son said he would go one day and tell me all about it. He said it’s just something he has to see with his own eyes. Me, I guess I’ll have to wait till I’m dead and pray for the best.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Mark Richer

    Pray for strength. Hope for the best.

  • tj.nelson

    I watched it too – I was edified. I hope your son does visit there.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Thank you so much for directing me to this. All I can say is wow. I was mesmorized. I’ve said it before. If i could not be a Roman Catholic, I would without hesitation be an Orthodox.

    • Patricia

      Manny,
      If you feel drawn to this, I encourage you to attend the beautiful Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at an Eastern (also referred to as Byzantine) Catholic parish.

  • Seraphic

    Time to read J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zoey”! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franny_and_Zooey


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