Saturday, May 31, 2008

Random Musings on St.Paul Footsteps (3)

The Meteora is situated in the northwest Plain of Thessaly and is made up of numerous giant rocks amidst a flat plain. Often called a stone forest, these rocks became a wonderful place for ascetic monks to be so that they may be close to God. By the late 11th century, there were records of monasteries being built in Meteora.

Meteora means ‘in the air’ because it seems to be suspended between heaven and earth. During the peak of monasticism during the 16th century, there were many monasteries. Today there are only six living monasteries left in Meteroa. They are called living monasteries because there are still monks and nuns living and praying in them. These monasteries are open to the public are the Great Meteoron or of the Transfiguration, Varlaam, St. Stephen, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholaos Anapafsa and Roussano. We visited the Great Meteoron and St. Stephen monasteries.

Monastery of Varlaam

Monastery of Saint Nicholaos Anapalsas

Monastery of Roussanou

Monastery of Holy Trinity (where a James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, has a scene there)

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Monastery of Aghia Triada

Monastery of Saint Stephen

I have never ceased to be amazed by the devotion and dedication of the men and women who devoted themselves to God. It must be very costly to build these monasteries in terms of time, effort and of the cost to physical and mental health. Yet these ascetics left behind everything they had, or relate to in the world so that they can spend their days and nights praying, lectio divina, and trying to be close to God. Their life must have been brutally and uncomfortable and harsh. I am told their lifespans were very short.
Immediately after my return to Malaysia, I have to prepare a sermon for the Sunday service, and also have to conduct a funeral service for a church member. Again I am reminded of how precious life is and how it important it is for us to make the right choice of what we do with our lives.

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Amazing images.. and James Bond to boot.. I am jealous :)

8:04 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi bob,

This is really cool. After arriving home, I watched the Bond movie again :)

8:19 PM  

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