23 November 2023 года

A conversation with new initiates

On the eve of the Nativity fast, Nun Nikolaya (Borisova), the superior of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, held mentor talks with new sisters, the candidates to nuns and novices.

Admittance to a monastery involves the period full of temptations, a probationary period. Upon its completion, a decision is made whether to admit the candidate to sisterhood or not. During the period of candidacy, the sister is tested on different kinds of obedience, gets accustomed with the daily routine, learns to use the prayer rule and observe fasts, and to attend services. This is when she is confirmed in her intent to stay in the monastery.

Mother Nicholaya drew the candidates’ attention in particular to the discipline, as the outward discipline results in inner discipline: “Your way of life has no minute details. If you don’t listen or do what you are told, or you skip the general prayer rule, the services, or reading in the refectory, it leads to spiritual slack. Discipline is key, because the monastery is a spiritual army.”

The general conversation was held in the Pilgrim Center of the monastery, where Nun Angelina (Lavrik), one of the first nuns of the Diveyevo monastery, spoke to the new sisters. She spoke of her thirty-year experience of life in the monastery, her labors at the cowshed in Rozhnovo, the Trinity skete and in Kanerga.

In particular, Mother Angelina noted how they should value their time in the Fourth lot of the Most Holy Mother of God that doesn’t take just anyone in. It is necessary to strive to retain reverence and zeal for spiritual life, eagerness to obediences and prayers, and never allow yourself to habitually treat the shrines.