It was at the time, and there were five of us. Four had grown up in nonreligious families, and even for the fifth in our group, the son of a clergyman, our preconceptions of the sort of people who go off to join a monastery were utterly Soviet.
Just a year earlier, each of us had firmly believed that the only people who ever entered a monastery nowadays were fanatics or complete failures in life. Losers, in short—or else victims of unrequited love. The youngest in our group was just eighteen, and the oldest was twenty- six. All of us were healthy, strong, and attractive young men.
One had graduated with highest honors from university with a degree in mathematics; another, despite his youth, was already an acclaimed artist in Leningrad. Yet another of our group had lived most of his life in New York, where his father was working, and had joined our monastery after completing his third year of university.
In short, each of us youngsters had enviable worldly careers to look forward to.
So why had we come to the monastery? And why were we planning to stay here for the rest of our lives?
Tikhon's experience as a monk
We knew very well. It was because, for each of us, a new world had suddenly opened up, incomparable in its beauty. And that world had turned out to be boundlessly more attractive than the one in which we had previously lived our young and so-far very happy lives. I have not needed to imagine anything.
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Everyday Saints and Other Stories
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Hall , Hardcover 2. Sabatine , Ringbound, 5th Edition Daniel Liang , Paperback 1.
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