I"m thinking of "Separation from the World" today. What does that look like for an Orthodox Christian?
How does that look in your life?
I don't think I'm nearly as separated as I'd like to imagine that I am (for even in the midst of fasting I have to confess gluttony!). I'm currently reading _The Gulag Archipelago_ by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and there's that famous line about the dividing line between good and evil running straight through the center of every human heart (which I actually came across this morning on page 168!) which gives me pause to ask the question: How possible IS it for a person to truly be "separated" from the world? It seems to me that this "separation" is something internal, which will have external ramifications/manifestations.
Do I not watch movies (which I do too often, by the way) because they are distasteful to me, or because I have some externally imposed rule telling me not to watch movies? This is a "for instance"...
And as Orthodox we have the monastics as models, and we are all aware of the difference between US and THEM (while at the same time also being aware of the similarities). And the verity that the monastic struggle is certainly not an escape, but rather an intensification of the same struggle we all ought to be engaged in.
So in what directions is this "separation" growing in your life?
Perhaps my attempts at an increase in the virtue of self-discipline when it comes to dreaded house work is a beginning.
Perhaps the growing distaste for movies and TV. Perhaps my sudden and inexplicable inability to actually read novels the way I used to.
Perhaps the struggle to pray and the awareness that it IS a struggle is a beginning as well.
Perhaps the clearer hearing of that "still small voice" is a beginning. (Oh, if only I could say honestly that I have yielded to the urge to to stop what I am doing and pray each time I hear that still small voice!)
Where are all these things coming from? "O Heavenly King..." it seems to me that if Solzehnitsyn is correct (and I think he is, see what St. Paul wrote in Romans 5-7), then there's never room for complacency or smugness in our repentance.
Just some thoughts. I'd love for others to weigh in.