A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing some of my friends from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, WV. They were vendors at our Parish Life Conference, offering books, handmade soaps and lotions, candles and other worship items and gifts. I was aware of the Holy Cross’ recent DVD production titled, from the Little Mountain: Reflections on Orthodox Christian Monasticism and was glad to see portions of it playing on a television in their booth. While paying for my items ( a small book of quotes and my favorite Goat’s Milk and Honey hand cream!), Fr. Sergius surprised me by gifting me with a copy of their new DVD which takes the viewer through a year at the Hermitage. Not only is the scenery brilliant, but the atmosphere of the monastery is captured so well. It’s a place of peace and this documentary does a fine job in illustrating the essence of monastic life in the hills of wonderful West Virginia.
The insights given by one of the senior monks are especially helpful to people like myself who are curious about the lives of monks, why they choose this life and what their daily routine is like. I once thought monks sought to recede from the world and us wretched sinners so that they could become sanctified for their own gain. But this is incorrect for monks touch thousands of lives unseen. They are disciplined prayer warriors who seek the salvation of the world. St. Seraphim said it best: “Acquire the Holy Spirit, and a thousand around you will be saved.”
As they work out their own salvation and draw nearer to God, so they become beacons for Christ in their community and around the globe. I feel blessed to have the Hermitage of the Holy Cross so near to home. To my friends there, thank you for your generosity and may God bless you and keep you in the mighty palm of His hand.
*If you may be interested in purchasing this 32 minute DVD, or any of their fine handcrafted products, check out: The Hermitage of the Holy Cross