The sense of Monasticism
Today monastic vows seem obscure to many people. Monasticism, as well as family life blessed by the Church, is a way to Christ, a way to find eternal life in Christ. The word 'monk' in Greek means 'solitary', 'hermit', the Russian word for it is 'inok', that is 'different'. He who wants to become a monk passes a certain trial and then takes vows of chastity (celibacy, refusal of property) and ecclesiastical obedience. With their labour (representing their active love) monks created an image of Paradise on Earth, today's Valaam being one of the brightest examples even after the half-a-century devastation period. But this is not the main goal of a monk. The cause of a monk is prayer: for those who are close and those who are far away, for those who hate and those who love, for the whole world corrupted by sin, the world which probably is still alive only thanks to the prayers of the righteous men. Having purified their hearts with prayer, many monks could help people, healing spiritual and corporeal illness.