Joining the Holy Mountain

$2,230 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 28 months
This campaign was originally entitled "Joining the Holy Mountain", and I did want to go to the Holy Mountain. I did in fact reach there, was sent back for a technical reason, and found I'd dodged a bullet. I do not wish in any way to speak ill of the capital of Holy Orthodoxy, but the Holy Mountain is, and needs to be, very remote. I have special needs that could possibly be met at many other monasteries, but I wouldn't have knowingly come if I knew what my needs would ask of the Holy Mountain. So I am seeking the second option offered me.

A draft for a Toastmasters "Icebreakers" for the "Skilled Public Communication" track  is as follows:


The story is told of ancient Greece, where a man was asked what he was, and was asked if he was "wise" ("sophos")? He shied back, saying only that he was a "lover (or seeker) of wisdom" ("philosophia"). The term "philosophy" spread: not only in Greece, but it is still in use millenia later, and one of the most prestigious departments at universities today is heralded by the term, "Department of Philosophy".

"Virtue is its own reward:" we say in a Calvin and Hobbes strip, even if we no longer have any clue what it means. For humility to be its own reward means that the reward for humility is not that people are impressed with you and are impressed with how humble you are. The reward is an abundant spiritual health, and G.K. Chesterton said, "It takes humility to enjoy even pride." If there is a reward for people who still have enough of a fragment of humility to enjoy pride, what is to be said to those who, without apostasy, have tasted humility and thirst so far they can never drink enough from the chalice of humility to slake their thirst?

St. Constantine, great among princes, told one monastic in a dream that if he had known what monks enjoy in Heaven, he would have instantly traded his crown and royal purple for a monk's humble black robes. I believe humility has much to do with what that robe stands for, even if humility is a very catholic treasure intended to be available to all faithful, at all places, at all times.

One friend, before I became Orthodox, told me not exactly "Don't become Orthodox," but did say that Orthodoxy had proven "a slow road of pain and loss," and I wouldn't have it any other way. The Gospels have a Vinedresser: "He cuts off every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes that it may bear even more fruit." These words are profound. I may still have my abilities; they just don't loom quite so large, or at least not to me.

I'll end with a story from a book that a friend lent me in college. I thought I would hate it. I loved it. In one of the stories, the speaker says he felt so comfortable that he found himself raising his hand. "Father, could you tell me something about yourself?" He leaned back. "Myself?" he mused.
"My name . . . used to be . . . Me . . .
"But now . . . it's you."


That is a bit about me and what I seek now. I seek to enter monasticism and enter repentance for the rest of my life. Any donations would be appreciated.

C.J.S. Hayward  (Amazon Bookshelf)
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I have another practical request, in the interests of heading off another emergency room visit and/or hospitalization because if I'm below a certain amount of medicine, I don't fall asleep even if I need sleep badly.

I've lost a prescription, and my provider is not willing to reissue it. So I am trying to stretch and see what I can get outside of a prescription.

One tool essentially fell into my lap after, visiting a dentist, I was given amber goggles to wear (see, and I noticed later that I was more relaxed after the goggles essentially cut out almost all blue light. I just got the goggles today, and I think they may prove important to me in sleep hygeine.

The other major non-pharmaceutical treatment I think would help is aromatherapy, in which I am just a beginner. The cheapest entry point is around $7.50, with up to $50 bringing added value (meaning that additional donation beyond $50 would be appreciated, but is not needed).

Thank you for any generosity; I'm praying for you!
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I'm preparing '"St. Clive:" An Eastern Orthodox Author Looks Back at C.S. Lewis.' Right now it's slated for release on Ascension, June 6. I've sent books to members of the Wade Center, the Midwest Book Review, Library Journal, and the C.S. Lewis Society of California. I have three more review copies, ready to send. I would love to have an Orthodox reviewer look over it, and post to an ecclesiastical venue.

Prayers are welcome. I spent around $50-60 to get books printed and shipped; any reimbursement would be appreciated.

I am hoping for this book to have a wide reach, and it is written both for Orthodox and C.S. Lewis fans, inviting visitors to the living Dance in the Church.
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Yesterday, this past Sunday, a respected bishop who takes monasticism very seriously came to visit. I came to him and our own archbishop, in the traditional gesture of laity asking a blessing from a priest or bishop.

There was some conversation, and I had come in the hope of quietly asking for a small cupful of Grace. The two bishops answered me with quite an overflowing bucket.

Besides giving me some general fatherly advice about monasticism, my archbishop invited me and blessed me to at least visit the fledgling Monastery of Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam, which he is trying to build up. From what he'd said, it sounds like a place where I would receive good help on a journey of repentance, and a place where I could use many skills to the edification of the Church.

I have contacted the monastery, and am waiting for a response.
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$2,230 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 28 months
Created October 30, 2016
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Kimberly Montesinos
9 months ago

Many Blessings to your Christos, It has been a pleasure getting to know your better.

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