Integral Part of The Faith
Historically, monasteries were considered the core of Orthodox Faith and the Defenders of the Faith, and for good reason. As a haven against the allurements and cares of the world, they provide a quiet and safe place from the pull of secular that is inevitable in parish life. As one author says, “Parish life provides filtered tap water, which is eminently suitable to drink, but the monasteries provide water directly from a fresh mountain spring.”
On that note, given that there are near continuous prayers and services being preformed alongside the resting places of the saints and ascetics, which would be impossible elsewhere, then it is no wonder that there is an extra and special grace allotted to these monasteries that can be felt as soon as one enters their walls.
Deeper Spiritual Guidance
Many times there are monks and nuns who having given their whole life to prayer receive grace from God to give a deeper spiritual guidance than would be possible without that prayer. That being said, should you desire this guidance it is important to let the monks or nuns know beforehand as they are usually busy and tend not to bother people.
More Opportunities to Pray
It goes without saying that there are many more services served at a monastery than would be possible at a parish church. Many of these services are long but hauntingly beautiful and spiritually rewarding. Just like at the Olympics though there is both physical and spiritual training that is required beforehand; making the services a lesson both in humility and zeal to constantly strive towards a more spiritual life.
Energizing Towards the Spiritual Life
The combination of the extra grace, more guidance, and the spiritual benefit of the services leaves one feeling more refreshed and energized to fight the good fight anew. After the monastery visiting often there is a feeling of having stepped forward in the spiritual life and through the experience grown closer to God.
Great Resource for Reading Materials
Monasteries often have small shops and bookstores where, among other things, the monks and nuns will sell selections of good and spiritually beneficial books. In addition, if asked the monks or nuns may have personal recommendations of books that they found profitable.
Revealing of Hidden Sins
When out in the world surrounded by sin it is easy to forget that some of our actions are sinful and should be corrected; however, this is not the case inside the monastery walls. Surrounded by striking examples of people who are devoting their whole life to acquire the virtues, it becomes increasingly clear where we fall short and where we must grow.
Easier to Shed Tears of Repentance
With the special grace surrounding it, often in a monastery there is a feeling of closeness to God that makes it easier to pray and shed tears of repentance.
Our Eyes and Ears will Behold the Workings of God
Not even mentioning the lives of the monastics, all the pilgrims flowing through the monastery will have their own personal stories of God's grace and the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Small miracles, big miracles, healings, prophecies, one hears of many of these modern day real life stories of God's Love for mankind. Eventually if one looks for it, we may have our own small miracles to tell of God's Love for us too.
We Learn Obedience
Finally, by watching the monks and nuns in the monastery one learns the importance and beauty of obedience. Following God's Will in obedience they receive a bountiful salvific grace, and one is encouraged to follow God's Will more fully.
Source: Patristic Faith