I just read this, and it’s too good not to share. It is from The Light Shineth in the Darkness the Russian Orthodox Philosopher S. L. Frank:

A number of monastic orders have directly set as their practical task the religious and moral action on the world. On the other hand, it is also sufficiently well known, alas, how often monks have brought in their souls the powers of the world even into the monastery and how often they have been imprisoned by these powers in the monastery. And contrarily, Christians who live in the world and are open to all the temptations of the world are compelled—insofar as they are at all Christians—to observe in the depths of their soul the life-in-God detached from the world, i.e., to perform invisibly the function of monks. And if the Christian faith presupposes a universal priesthood, then in this sense it also presupposes a kind of invisible universal monkhood, realized in the depths of souls. Every Christian must in a certain sense be a “monk” in the eternally pagan world.

Just as inconsistent is the widespread identification of the duality under consideration with the distinction between the “religious” life of man and his “worldly” or secular life; or, in the collective plane, the distinction between the church (understood as a union or organization of believers) and the worldly powers of the state politics, secular culture, and so on. From this point of view, a Christian is a Christian only insofar as he prays, fasts, attends church, and so on. Beyond these limits, a man is not a “Christian” but the performer of some secular function, a soldier, bureaucrat, merchant, or scholar; and the Christian church is but one of the entities and powers of the world, like the family, the state, professional associations, trade, industry, science, art, etc.

In reality, however, the “religious” life of a Christian is not some particular sphere of his life and activity, but his very being. (143-144)

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