Ever since the earliest days of the church, people have felt called to dedicate their lives to God in chastity. Some have joined monasteries but many have felt the call to live the solitary monastic life under the auspices of a bishop, and under the guidance of a spiritual father or mother, who may or may not be the bishop. After a period of discernment, aided by the guidance of a bishop and a spiritual father or mother, vows may be taken. Those leading the solitary monastic life need to be financially self-supporting. They live in their own homes and do not give up their money or property, rather choosing to manage their material goods according to gospel values. They are either single, divorced or widowed.
Today some people in the church do not understand the call to the solitary monastic life. Not everybody is able to live in a religious community, and many solitaries cannot even consider this option due to ill health. We need to respond positively to this call and give support and encouragement to those living the solitary monastic life. We need to increase awareness in the church of this call and the blessings that it brings.
If you feel this life may be for you, please contact Abba Seraphim or Father Alexis, a solitary who lives in Lincolnshire, via firstname.lastname@example.org