Archimandrite Andrew Conano: “If the Lord will enter into hell, hell will become a Paradise”

Even a believer can blame God that He left it in the days when the severity of all problems became unbearable. But Christ will never leave man helpless. Be aware of this and believing truly, trust Him in all things, reminds Archimandrite Andrei (Konnos).

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God lead us to surprises

Archimandrite Andrew (Konnos)

If a small child wants something, what does he do? Crying, screaming, calling my mother, “I want to Eat!” And of course, the mother will figure out what to give him.

So if you need something, call upon God, pray to Him, even to himself. God will hear. Say: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! Have mercy on me, o Lord, give me what I want, become Who I need. First of all, Lord, give me Your love and become the most my first need that I couldn’t live without You. To You alone I wanted, and then everything else will come by itself because You, Lord, give everything.”

Don’t blame God for anything – you don’t know what else He has planned for you. There are surprises. I am sure that, when we begin to grumble, God speaks in our heart (though we don’t hear): “You put false accusations at Me, My child, thinking about Me is wrong. I don’t like this. You say I’m unfair, that I forgot about you, you do not attach importance; that I am cruel. What about Me not said…” Lord, when I was talking about You bad? I have a problem – isn’t it? “You have a problem, but your life is not over, there will be other years. I have My own plans for you, and I want to give you what you ask for”. But when? When I decide to. Trust Me.

And that’s when I’m starting to worry, I try to remember this and say, “Lord, I want to understand what You lead me through this.” That is, I have faith, trust, I know that God will not leave me with the problem, illness, misfortune, and in this despair.

He is sure gonna do something. Now of course, I don’t see what’s beyond the horizon, but You, o Lord, do something, give me hope that I could at least imagine how things will change – because it’s so tragic and hopeless.

And Christ says: “Who makes you look at life as if there is only the present moment? Now without Me tragically, and a future without Me tragically, and past without Me tragically. Let Me into your life, and then not only the present – all will change.” If the Lord will enter hell, then hell will become heaven. Everything changes with the Lord, for Him there is no problem. There is no problem when you live with God in heart. Something’s going to happen. Wait, the time will come and you will remember these words. No, not my words but the Lord, because He said so. “I will never leave you,” He says, ” I will never leave you alone, helpless. If even the birds of heaven, I care who is here today and gone tomorrow, did I leave you? Calm down, learn to trust Me.” I believe You. I believe in one God the Father. Believe it or not the mind and learn to trust Me, believe with confidence, not panic, uncertainty and fear. The Lord is. Only need love and trust to Him. And when the Lord asked: “do you Want to?..” – as He asked relaxed: “will thou be made whole?” (Jn.5:6), you answer Him: “Yes, Lord, but do not have the person who helped me.” “I’m the Man,’ you will tell Lord. – Now you know.” And heal you.

The power of a Word

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The Lord gave an unusual order to the paralytic: “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Just stand up! One word. And remember, the centurion asked Him to heal the servant? “Just say the word and will be healed” (LK. 7:7). Say the word. And God said: let there be light. And there was light (Gen. 1:3). One word, Lord, and everything will change. Tell me, o Lord, and let my heart settle joy, may the joy will visit that person, the couple, may they again be together – and they will. Tell me, o Lord, and let my child leave the temptation! Touch its head and it will leave it. Tell me to come to him enlightenment and wisdom – and so be it.

This means that you believe if God will say at least one word; if the wind that touched Christ will touch you, you will change. The main thing – to believe in Christ, ask Him to say it. Because we repeat: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!” This is our request for one word. And if the Lord will hear us, He will say: “since you so badly want, well, I’ll spare you. It’s important to me that you love Me; you know I love you; and that I am the One Who can create miracles. Because without asking, you will not know that I healed you. And if I don’t make you shout loudly in the sky, then, after reaching the desired, you’re going to think that you pulled yourself up, and say, “I did it myself, without assistance, he has achieved. And when it is that bad, when all your resources are exhausted – that’s when the miracle happens”. Then? Yes, then I will perform a miracle, and you will understand what I did, because you have at the moment had no strength. And say: “Lord, now I understand that You did it, because I myself needed help. I suffered years of back and forth, side to side, raising money, running around to doctors, hospitals, swallowed drugs – and anything”. Nothing? Now it’s My time. When you’re desperate, when I lost all hope I came, the Great Hope, the Only Hope to which I come, quite desperate.

Blessed are those who so suffered in this life, he knows that nothing can really help except for Christ in this life.

The world has an expiration date

The world has an expiration date. It is the reign of death, corruption, deceit and self-deception, and this help, there is nowhere to wait. But when the Lord comes to us, everything changes. Relaxed and healed: he gets up, takes his bed and begins to walk.

When the Lord comes, there is no “probably” and “maybe.” No: “You will have to undergo treatment, take medications, and then maybe you’ll get well, medicine doesn’t exclude it”. God has no “probably”, He immediately. In the first years of Christianity it was made the miracles of the apostles. If we now had such power for such miracles and not just words… That is, the apostles were anointed with the oil, and the patient was cured.

Somehow, still a layman, I assisted the priest during the sacrament of Holy unction – read the Apostolic Epistles. Was anointed a sick boy. And after the Holy unction no sudden healing didn’t happen. Yes, the soul of the patient feel better (the priest and said to him: “See, our prayer bring you comfort”), but in the days of the apostles the extreme unction was done quite differently is a mystery possessed great strength, because he was a huge faith, Holiness and grace. Then God wanted to show the power of this sacrament. Extreme unction in those days meant that the man was immediately healed. For example, he had a terrible headache. And the people fled to the Church, to the saints, prayers which were such miracles. Because in our time have resorted to the relics, miraculous icons, from which there are amazing miracles.

If we could become such a source of grace, of touching God, and not relying on our own strength! See the relaxation He immediately heals Himself, by His Word, the great Word of the Creator, the Almighty. We know that in some cases, the Lord just pray, but here He shows Himself the Source of strength Who does not need to resort to other force for a person to be healed, got up and went.

Why do we only see Saturday?

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And it happened on Saturday.

Oh, this Saturday! The eternal bump. Every time I read about any gospel miracle, and I see the words “it was Saturday”, I say: “my Lord! Why again on Saturday? You know these people!..”

However, why should “these people”? Us! You know us, then why do miracles on the Sabbath? If You know that we are strange – so that we do not see the main and only secondary… See not healed, only the formal side of things.

It happens often, and very often in the Church environment.

Yes, I know people that are characterized akrivia – rigor in relation to itself and to every detail in their life. It is worthy of respect. For example, a person wants to eat cookies in the post, takes it carefully and looks up. And if there is a drop of vegetable oil, he will not eat that cookie. Well, it has the right. Such strictness in spiritual life, akrivia worthy of respect.

But when you’re seeing that people are getting better – thanks to the wonders that God Himself drew near, and sends him as a reproachful comment: “Today is Saturday!” it is a completely different matter. What are you looking at? What do you think? About some minor things, ignoring the. Saturday brings a different spirit, a different meaning – that the Lord has made, is precisely the veneration of the Sabbath.

“I saw it yesterday, the oil was eaten, and partake of today!” Oil is all you saw? And the eyes of the person you have not seen? His eyes, when he met with God after a week of struggle, weeks of despair foaming at the mouth – have you seen this? Or seen one oil?

Of course you are right that lead a strict life, persist in spiritual warfare – but learn to see and that the Lord, the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath. The Lord over the Sabbath, and He changes the laws of nature when he wants to. And this law He may change as he wants, according to the slave He reason.

The main thing – not where you think. And the Lord comes and performs a miracle – here, not paying attention to what others will say. I’m not interested, I’m above your opinions, indignation, and these are My words: “Woe to him by whom temptation comes.” Yes, Woe to those who are confused and outraged, but in this case – someone who was confused? If confused, those who constantly need a reason for that, well, such it is impossible “to please” and not to embarrass.

There are people for whom indignation is a way of life, they are constantly looking for an excuse, always complain, never happy, all of them annoying.

Many were irritated even at the sight of the Crucifixion, when Christ hung on the Cross. What was He to do – not to grovel? “No, how can this be – that God were? Is this the greatness, dignity, nobility? The crucified God, bleeding to death on Calvary?”

Yes, God. God Almighty. In this God we trust.

And the Jews went to healed the paralytic and said to him: “Today is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed” (Jn.5:10). You know, what will happen? Stoning, death! By law, the one who walks with such a great burden on this day, probivaetsya stones! It is forbidden!

Relaxed and said, “he Who healed me, He said to me, take up thy bed and walk” (Jn.5:11). The one Who healed me. Is it not weird you out? I’m fine – really it didn’t impressed you, not surprised? I listened, took up his bed and went. Do you not rejoice with me? Are you not surprised that thirty-eight years I was paralyzed, and now go? Thirty-eight years I waited for this day, and you tell me: “Today is Saturday!” How do you, after what you saw, remember what today is?

The reason that comes quietly

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I saw people filled with the divine joy and incredible happiness, forget about everything. Forget which day and hour, because they are in parallel space. And those who turned to the paralytic, nothing forgotten: “Today, Saturday, we remember!” Yes, you remember. But if you remember the Lord, the True God, if you loved Him, you’d forget what day and hour, he would forget about everything and marveled at this great mercy, great love, mercy, kindness; you would have bowed to Christ, and said that it was the Kingdom of God, where there are no days, no hours, no history, only endless joy, peace and goodwill! But you don’t pay any attention to it, you cling to Saturday.

“He was asked: who is the Man Who said to thee, take up thy bed, and walk? Healed did not know who He was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place” (Jn.5:12-13).

We do not see Christ, because He is humble, discreet and modest. He likes to play “hide and seek” – when He, being the center of everything, the Root cause of the benefits, does everything so that Its not visible. His presence in our lives invisible. And much that God has provided for us, we don’t realize it’s from Him, because He immediately disappears. He sends us health, love, comfort, healing, relieves you from temptations and waits to we started to look for Him, ljubicaste, with all my heart asking, “Who healed me?”

I remember the night before you had a headache? You then read a short prayer, it went away. But did you realize that the Lord has healed you? Or said: “Well, of course that all went – I drank the aspirin!” What are you talking about?

It is good to ask God for help, but do you believe that He heals you? We do not understand that God gives us we ask – so where we really see His invisible blessings!

About now thank Thee all, and only begotten Son and Your Holy spirit, o all, ihzhe vemy and ihzhe not vemy (i.e., about whom we know and don’t know – approx. translation.), revealed and paulenich blagodiyniy former us – we pray in the divine Liturgy.

You know, how many miracles the Lord has done in our lives? How many times have we been saved from accidents, diseases, dangers, trials… And didn’t even realize it – because the Lord hath shown us, He enters our lives quietly, humbly, without heralds, without solemn meetings and ceremonies lush with cries of “hurrah.” He stands unnoticed in the crowd. When you come to a market where a lot of people, you don’t examine closely each one? And so Lord we do not notice. And as the market you are currently not having any idea about those around, and from the Lord receive, for example, health – but do not overlook, do not understand this. However, you need to learn to understand it, to learn to direct your mind at least a little in the direction of ljubicaste. And wonder: “Who healed me?” Know how much we don’t know? How much does for us in Christ, and we don’t understand. Not sure Who made life so beautiful, Who changed it. Don’t understand how many owe to Christ.

“I was always in your life”

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One European scholar once went to Africa and met a representative of the tribe which in the past was widespread cannibalism. Now it is Christians who know how to read and write.

Now, the Africans have invited the scientist to his hut, and he saw the gospel. He was an atheist, did not believe in God and therefore said to the African:

– Yes you that, what the New Testament? We in Europe are progressing, and you are going backwards in time! Not only that, Africa, and degradation. It’s out of date. The civilized world has gone far ahead. Do you believe in God?

The African replied:

Then, what are you laughing at, is the reason we’re not slaughtered and ate you. If you’re here for years, decades, centuries before – would have been eaten because we were cannibals. And now, thanks to Someone you do not know and despise, of Whom scoff – thanks to Him you’re alive, you exist. This book taught me how to respect you and not to tear to pieces. You know?

We have in Greece, almost all hospitals (where treated and atheists!) named in honor of the saints. And the main Athens hospital in Evangelismos. These institutions were built by people who loved God, honored the saints. And now there comes a lot of atheists who do not understand what the Lord inspired in its time for someone to build this hospital that you were treated here – are you saying, “I don’t believe in anything, no God.” However, God changed the world so much that people have become kinder, more humble and more compassionate for each other. And we still know little.

In life eternal, saith the Lord, revealed to us all His blessings, and we praise Him without ceasing. God will say to us then: “this is the event in such and such a day was not accidental. It was I, I did so-and-so.” “So You thought about me then?” you can ask. “I thought about you constantly. And constantly present in your life every day, in every problem”. There are no coincidences. Nothing is accidental.

The healed paralytic did not know Who healed him, the Lord rushed to escape, so He began to praise or, on the contrary, envy. He didn’t want neither one nor the other, because all this is unwholesome for the human soul. The Lord did not need earthly glory, He humbly went into the crowd, quietly helping, and then disappearing. But in the case of relaxed He reasoned thus: “Heal his body, heal and soul. I’ll go find him.” Healed was in the Temple – the Lord knew it was there.

Please note: the person who received healing and went to the Temple. He could go anywhere, e.g. home, relatives or to have fun… As one person said to me: “I’m so hurt for a long time! Hundred years was not at the football. I wish to get better and go to football!” He said: “if I could go to Church!”

And relaxed, heal, went to the Temple to thank God.

God needs our thanks – He wants this, He loves to hear us thank Him. And having come to the Temple, you find Him there.

So, “Jesus found him in the temple and said to him: behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest something worse with thee” (Jn.5:14).

Think about the way we live

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The sinfulness inherent in all of us, every soul. And not always it is manifested in some actions. There are bad thoughts, sinful desires and fantasies, selfishness, hatred, envy… All these harm our body and destroy it as destroying and soul. Therefore, the Lord said to the paralytic: “sin No more, lest something worse with thee”.

The secret of health in a pure, Holy life. For example, if a person is envious, or jealous, or hate – it corrodes it from the inside, corrodes the soul, and then the inside, and it starts to hurt – both the soul and body. In other words, many diseases start with sin. I read that, for example, anxiety and inner tension are often the cause of high blood pressure, and also can cause certain types of cancer. “But is it a sin?” you can ask. Yes. “Why sin? I do so many things, I can’t help but worry!”

Yes, but it speaks of disbelief. If a person is constantly tense internally – so he had no trust in God. This is his sin.

So, it turns out, you push God out of their lives, say they want freedom – freedom from Him, on Whom you can rely. You say you don’t believe in God – and thereby admit that you have no one else to confide in, to talk about the challenges; one Who will hug and caress you, because in this case people also can’t comfort you really, it you don’t trust. And all this makes you feel such uncertainty in everything, the soul begins to ache. A disease of the soul transferred to the body – and so you begin to smoke, drink, use drugs, to find something, actually not something, but Someone. You dream to find our Lord Jesus Christ, which is able to penetrate you and take your problems, to clean your soul so that you calm down and your life is changed.

“The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus healed” (Jn.5:15).

To admit that you had been healed by Christ, to speak of it would be to always stay awake, to remain cautious and to successfully fight that affects both soul and body. Many doctors say that a speedy recovery best contributes to mental balance and peace. A constant fear, stress, tension, stimulate hormones filling your body with toxins which in turn cause disease. Remember the apostles: being in prison, they sang a prayer and the next day went to the torture and interrogation calmly, with tranquility. So now one person calm, and you sent his tranquility; and the other lives in constant fear because of no faith and is a sin. The biggest sin that starts all other sins – when we push God out of our lives, changing It for worldly pleasure where it has no place.

Think about the way we live because it affects both the soul and body. One affects the other. Understand this. And when you’re healthy, you say, “the Lord did it.”

The Lord heals, puts on his feet; but even if you’re sick, the paralyzed, the same Lord, Jesus Christ, gives you strength. All we owe Him.

You have a beautiful family, good children is the Lord made you as large families, He gave you a blessing, give forces for a large family, gave a profession, thanks to which you can provide.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Source and Root of all happiness in life. And the important factor of the spiritual life – when people praise you and say with admiration: “How do you do that? You’re incredibly talented! A talented athlete, businessman, poet, singer, etc.” – in response to always be ready to say, not with effort, and quite naturally: “It’s all because of Christ.” All the Lord did it, not me.

And believe. To believe that the Lord is the Source of true life, to Whom we owe everything.

Source

Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”

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