Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Elder Iosef's Rules for Hermits

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Elder Iosef's Rules for Hermits

Article excerpt

Wake at four o'clock, Byzantine time.

Attend to yourselves.

Recall that all is vanity.

Say together Matins.

At the First Hour, lift the sun

with open palms.

Water now may slake your thirst.

Remain here close enough to be seen

but far enough apart to be unheard.

As is our custom, the Third Hour.

You often will have obligations.

Handicrafts.

With my blessing you may exchange

them for food at the monasteries.

Return at once, for there are luxuries

there that we have renounced.

Cease labors at the Sixth Hour.

We now enter the period

of stillness and watchfulness.

We seek only the company of grace.

Cradle silence like the Holy Infant.

Hear what is being said

in the spaces between words. …

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