Orthodox Christianity has always fascinated me. The continuity of beautiful liturgy and iconography makes for a unique expression of the Christian faith.
Nowhere is this continuity more evident than in Mount Athos in Greece. The holy peninsula reaches some 31 miles out into the Aegean Sea, and it is here that for over a thousand years vibrant communities of monks have lived out their vocations. With no access to radio, television or newspapers, the monks live detached from the modern world; it is this detachment that allows them to commune more closely with God. Theirs is a life of silence, prayer, chanting, reading and physical work and takes place in the Island’s 20 monasteries; each monk follows a unique path dependent on their talents and spiritual needs.
CBS recently produced a short documentary on the life of the Mount Athos monks which will give you a feel for this holy place. It’s certainly worth watching: