“Christianity in practice, and monasticism above all, is a matter of staying in one place and struggling with all one’s heart for the Kingdom of Heaven. One may be called to do the work of God elsewhere, or may be moved about by unavoidable circumstances; but without the basic and profound desire to endure everything for God in one place without running away, one will scarcely be able to put down the roots required in order to bring forth spiritual fruits. Unfortunately, with the ease of modern communications one may even sit in one spot and still concern oneself with everything but the one thing needful—with everyone else’s business, with all the church gossip, and not with the concentrated labor needed to save one’s soul in this evil world.
“In a famous passage of the Institutes, St. Cassian warns the monks of his time to ‘flee women and bishops. . . .’ Women, of course, tempt by means of the flesh, and bishops by means of ordination to the priesthood and in general by the vainglory of acquaintance with those in high positions. Today this warning remains timely, but for the monks of the twentieth century one can add a further warning: Flee from telephones, traveling, and gossip—for they will cool your ardor and make you, even in your monastic cell, the plaything of worldly desires and influences.”
–Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, p. 459