[un]Married. [not]Monastic.

The purpose of human existence is the same for everyone: We are made to know God and become like Him. In a general sense, the way this happens is always the same. The Orthodox spiritual life is demarcated with common and familiar markers, however, the way the experience of God plays out personally is not the same for everyone. For instance, the experience of God is unique for each monk or nun, though there are common features of that experience distributed broadly across monastic life. The same holds for married life. Each couple or family is unique, but also shares a lot with other couples/families. For these two modes of life the contours of the spiritual landscape have been described with some precision and fullness. We know quite a lot about the spiritual quality and experience of these paths, as well as the potential pitfalls that one finds on the way; but there is another group whose spiritual landscape is still a bit of a mystery. Continue reading