I came across this interview with Father Gabriel Bunge, which includes a discussion of his experiences since becoming Orthodox, yesterday and thought that it might be appreciated by a wider audience. I have long appreciated his writings and was particularly moved when he was received into the Church about a week before I was. This interview has lots of resonances for me, particularly the difference between knowing the Church from the outside and knowing it from the inside, and also his sense of having been drawn to the Benedictines because they were simply the original monastic tradition in the West. I might quibble a little with the broad strokes with which he paints monastic renewal in the West – I don’t think that the first Cistercians set out to impose anything from above, although reform movements later became institutionalised – but in general his points are well taken. He also has some very perceptive comments on the relationship between monasticism and bishops and the importance of episcopal discernment. Highly recommended.

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