Archimandrite Savva (Maruko): it saddens Me that the crap that passes for Orthodox spiritual life

Why preaching today sounds out of tune in the Church culture of debate, why should not be afraid of passion and dedication and how to use them to get to know myself – says Archimandrite Savva (Maruko).

Archimandrite Savva (Maruko). Photo: Yefim, Richman

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I’ll listen to your nonsense, if you have a gray beard

– Why are we afraid to be ordinary people with normal human manifestations, and are all in a row some spiritual meanings?

Simply it is necessary to treat everything. The fact that our spiritual literature sometimes plays with us a bad joke. It’s all texts written by monks and for monks. And the monks of ancient times and the middle ages wrote those books, which reflect their spiritual exercises: they are level and that the Church, the monastic context in which they lived. Not always it is suitable not only laymen, but even the monks of our time, because quite often we even have no idea what it was for spiritual exercises.

Here John of the ladder writes about humility. We read with enthusiasm and gusto, but introduced into it the notion of its value, may even be misguided, wrong, dangerous. And then the complaints: of the ladder in depression introduced. Climacus nothing to do with it. He wrote his book, referring to specific persons, his contemporaries – the Sinai monks. He could not imagine that his book will be read by the laity, especially women with children, or even secular priests. We do not take into account such obvious things and therefore hurting ourselves.

Archimandrite Savva Mazuco. Photo: Facebook

And here a vast field of work for modern commentators and theologians: normal the modern Russian language to discuss those experiences which constitute the very essence of the Christian life. If you want, it is the job of the translator with the medieval Church in the modern language. And in this effort we do find language adequate to talk on these delicate topics. Contemporary Christian writer needs to afford it is a noble service – to create a language of the gospel understandable to the contemporary.

What I write is an attempt to show that spiritual things can speak the modern language. I want to Wake up the authors, who also experiments with language, Ozerkovsky modern language. And do not be afraid of this case.

Speaking of language, I don’t mean only literature, speech, spoken or written. It is also a sign language, communication style, acceptable forms of relationships between Christians, no matter what hierarchical level they occupy. This search is vital for us, because of the commitment to old forms, we lose forever young content. We are robbing themselves!

As they say preaching in a regular Church? Those words and intonations that normal people don’t say: “let us, we will follow the heroism of the martyrs Galaktion and Epistimia, leave all and give thanks…” – we don’t talk like that! Today it sounds extremely out of tune! And if the intonation is false, it means that the content of the speech as perfect and true as it may be, will cause a person with a keen sense of rejection, because people can not stand lying!

Especially young people are sensitive to this. They see in the pulpit strangely dressed man, who bears the pretentious nonsense. And don’t believe. And perceive the priest as a phony subject.

Unfortunately, it is. But we take a strong liking to these forms, and this leads very often to some “spiritual schizophrenia” when you’re here alone, and at home another. Or the manipulations connected with the same forms: I’ll listen to you if you have a long grey beard, and whatever crap you may carrying.

Photo: the St. Nicholas monastery Gomel / Facebook

There is a YouTube channel “raising children. The Orthodox view”. 50 000 views for a religious program, something unheard of! Sitting Barmaley some, myself rukopolozhenie, cowl cap, on the background of the icons and talk shit, that minutes enough to just faint. 50 000 views! But he’s “marketable”: long white beard, he says mysteriously, he’s a hermit, that is a popular brand, touching sensitive heart of the consumer.

I had a recent case. On the street came up to me the woman in the courtyard of the monastery, “Father, I have a question…” and then goes by father Paul Nash, and had a gray beard. And she said, “Oh, sorry! I will ask the priest!” – and then switched to a “real priest”. Fraudsters and impostors very clearly understand the weight of these brand markers, and the exploitation of these forms they drive people crazy. And it is wrong.

How do we in the Church to stop lying to yourself and learn to talk about problems

– You start your book “Holy Orange” with the question of death, why?

– Reflections about death is a spiritual exercise, so it is natural for any believer regularly to practice. This is normal. And treat death correctly, and educate the right attitude – that’s okay too.

Death is nothing to fear. And not to beat the chest and say that once Christ is risen, so now we are not afraid to die. Scary.

I also must pass it close by. Christ tears of blood praying to get past this Cup – not just crucifixion, and death. It’s very scary. This should be ready. But if so many good people died – and I don’t sin.

The fact that the theme of death shall be banished from our modern discourse is very intense. I look, for example, Hollywood cinema, and if in the movie someone died, rarely in the house will be a coffin. Almost never happens, it does not show you all constantly ignore the subject, hide: “No need to think about it”.

Why not? It is an absolutely natural thing. That my mother is a very simple man. We somehow came to the funeral of his grandfather. I Went, “Oh! Uncle today is prettier!” Then she went to the coffin, straightening a pillow, his head moved halo: “Oh, it’s fresh, Vasilache looks”. That’s a healthy attitude! She collects dried flowers with a cross in the pillow – it is necessary that the death pillow was that in the coffin to put. This is absolutely normal.

And those samples, which teach us without words. It is therefore very useful to man, “corrupted” higher education, watch how to live simple people, who, as experience shows, more wisdom and courage than we do, read Kafka and Hegel. But they did not read and I think that Kafka is a kind of gastric diseases.

– You’re not afraid to scare the reader with the topic of death?

If I’m scared, so it’s not my reader. I have, as I understand it, its audience. I don’t claim to be some kind of inclusiveness. There are people who read. They are interested, they in tune? Wonderful! Now a lot of authors, and I’m just glad. Write priests, bishops, laity; each has its own tone, its language, its themes – and, hence, its audience. And we, by various authors, need each other. We complement each other.

Archimandrite Savva (Maruko). Photo: Yefim, Richman

I am very pleased that many priests are now writing. I remember a time when we knew only Kuraev, Osipova and everything, and if a priest wrote on a topic, means I have on this subject not to write. I am for diversity. It is necessary that Christian authors were more interesting, alive and different, and to have more discussions.

In the Church we are still only suited to the formation of a style of conversation about our problems. We have not yet learned to talk about their problems. This is a new undiscovered genre. However, we have mastered the “dialect of triumph”: we have celebration, we have achievements, holidays, saints and the memorial plaque. This is fine and necessary, who can argue? But there are problems, but the problems are only our enemies, that is, we allowed them to do what they do not want to do. Don’t want or can’t do? But then do not be offended by his critics.

And the way out is to stop lying to yourself and learn to talk about problems without anathemas, and without praises, without extremes – honestly, calmly and openly, with respect for the opponent. While we do not know how to do. But we have come to it is a matter of survival, because the degree of lie Church has come to a critical point.

We are very much lying to yourself is dangerous. The Church needs to regain a monopoly on the discussion and solution of their internal problems. It requires courage, creative impulse and, if you will, political will.

Necessary with such honesty and high culture to discuss their problems, to have our critics outside does not work to external criticism just paled in shame and hiding in comparison with our discussions.

– What is lying?

There is a topic that hits home for me, is a crisis of monasticism. “The dialect of triumph” we used to broadcast that we have revived monasticism. But no revival, no, a monk is in critical condition. To be honest, monasticism no, rather, it barely alive, barely survives. And this is something you need to do, otherwise we’ll ruin it – it will disappear completely.

And here is a practical way. I like it, it was said on one of our Belarusian monastic conferences, and after that I stopped inviting. The output is quite simple, canonical.

We thrive only stavropegic monasteries. It seems to me that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. We know about the order system of the Catholics, but because this system is not alien to Eastern monasticism, because in the Orthodox East in the Middle ages every monastery was a separate order. Each monastery has its own Charter and fasting, and worship, and he lived in the interests of the brotherhood were not supposed to serve the diocese should not have been forging shots for the bishops, to raise money for the construction of some churches, that is, the community lived their lives.

But nowadays all the monasteries we have canonically belong to the diocesan bishops, and that it interferes with the normal development of monastic communities. Because the bishops are replaced, the unity of the diocesan policy, and the Bishop, canonically being in the legal field, is the master of the monastery, that is, he controls the finances and the human resource community. He said, “Here, nobody to serve at this parish, father. Go there to serve.”

The well-being of individual monasteries is not based on a canonical device, and the personal qualities, decency of a particular Bishop. Now he favors, but he died – in his place came another man and wanted to enter in your monastery, that such Charter, or wanted to change the Abbot, which inspires all brotherhood. And there’s nothing anybody can do because the Bishop is right. It is, by definition, right, on his side and Canon law, and our internal morale.

This is just one of the problems. There are problems associated with the preparation of the clergy (I speak as a priest), and many other things. There are many such issues. These problems are not critical – they can talk quietly, I do not have anyone to blame.

After my speech one of our Belarusian bishops said, “we abuse you Again, father Sava?”, and accused me that I am an enemy of the episcopate. No I am not the enemy. Just in our Church community have formed the habit to divide the world into black and white. Criticize – then the enemy of the Church and people unreliable. But life is full of nuances. What we will lead this spiritual blindness?

The most urgent task of Church-wide efforts to foster a culture of debate with respect to the opponent. This culture yet. We are in search of. But we’re not going anywhere – we still come to this. Sooner or later we will have to monopolize their problems. And now they are at the mercy of people hostile to the Church.

If suddenly something bad happen, if an episode is some improper, bad in our Church, first the Church should say, not Nevzorov or other critics. We must first talk about it – to take away their monopoly on our issues. And this requires honesty.

– And yet, despite all these challenges, what inspires you to monasticism?

I’m not sure what inspired. I do not think the monk some feat. That day when I decided to become a monk (I was about 14, I guess), I just realized that this is the lifestyle that best suits me. That’s all. And I still feel this comfortable.

I like to live in the monastery. We have a very unique and fun community. It’s small, but it suits me – I don’t want to change anything. I like to live how I live, and the rhythm of monastic life is that we exist. I just got used to it, and I don’t know inspires me. I don’t know – I just live and I like it. I treat this very simple.

Photo: the St. Nicholas monastery Gomel / Facebook

Our relationship with God – is out for the match

– You write a lot and fought a lot with the conversations. And there are some threads that you don’t like or which you don’t would like to speak?

Breast-feeding. This is something that does not inspire me. Once I was asked for the website “Pravmir” write review about breastfeeding. And of course, I took advantage of this opportunity, because for the monk, who twenty-three years he lived in the monastery must be some way out of his long experience in this field.

Of course, I sometimes saddens the shit which pretends to impersonate the Orthodox spiritual life. This, of course, sad, but I treat this with humor. And about that… the fact that I am a man of irrational, so I live just now. Most often I go out to the audience, not knowing what to say. And in that moment, when I see the faces of people, something happens, and I say that itself says; just let it speak through me. Therefore, the topics are unexpected, and I’m very interested to hear what I say.

And now my favorite subject this one, the day will be very different. Everything changes. I just live and love to live. And I’m talking usually about things that concern me at the moment. I read a poem of Ezra pound recently, it moved me, out of my head. In a week, maybe some other text or another appointment will thrill, or some movie.

Archimandrite Savva (Maruko). Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko

Yesterday I talked about the theological meaning of the film “suicide Squad” with Jared Leto and he was surprised that I suddenly about this film spoke. And I think, “Oh, it is even more interesting. We should, perhaps, record?”

We must live now, and I allow myself to do it. And when I communicate with people, just in this moment live – everything, and do not set themselves any goal. I do not claim anything. I am not a certified theologian, or youth leader, or someone else. Just I live. For some reason people decided that I can listen to – okay, fine. If it is still chocolate give – even better.

– What do the monk, if he is an open person, sociable, loves young people, all modern, alternative. And he, for example, is a “head knock” – say, calm down. You don’t have this contradiction?

– We’re back to the fact that there is no monk at all, no man at all. People are always very unique. They are original: some people are more comfortable, this style is for some, it will be disastrous.

I now like to be an adult. I’m 42 years old now, and I Wake up every morning with gratitude: Lord, thank you that I am an adult. And no need to charm, it is not necessary to occupy the niche, to fight for something, someone to prove something.

I just live and thank God even earned some credibility. But up to a certain age I have had a very difficult situation, because none of our late Bishop, nor our late rector, did not share my style, and I found it very hard, painfully hard, and it lasted for years. I even wonder how ever survived in this situation, because with him I can do nothing.

‘ve had a lot of shame, denounced… Our Bishop came to preach, and all the usual looked at each other, because the theme was known: “the Church-wide struggle proud father Sava”.

I am a proud person, but I’ve accepted it. What can you do?

But I understand why they feel this way, I have no resentment. I understand them – they were people of the old school, and I’m not a gift. But, thank God, all is gone, and I am grateful even for the lessons they gave me.

Again, this is the proper setting – before you condemn, you need to justify. That is, if people don’t understand you, they probably have some reason to think so. But you, too, will one day be 50, 60 years and you will think about whether it is possible to understand this youth… I can already afford their own judgment, can afford someone to disagree and that’s fine. I really do not understand adults who lie about their age, or trying to be young, or jealous children. Adults to be healthy!

Photo: the St. Nicholas monastery Gomel / Facebook

– How to divide a situation in which you need to defend your opinion, and where, for example, just need to obey the elder, to accept the situation?

I believe that all life is a battle. The process of cognition is the process of battle. You open Hegel – so you challenge him and, most likely, you will lose; this is normal. The relationship between adult and children is a constant battle. Friendship is a struggle. Love is a battle. And this is perfectly normal. The way of the world.

Our relationship with God – is out for the match, not so accidentally touches one of the deepest stories in Genesis – the Jacob who struggled with Someone at the river, Israel-the Godslayer. But this fight is not hatred, but a healthy passion, as children fighting or a folder with son. This is a healthy able to feel your boundaries, to find “their beach”.

It is natural that your style someone resists. It’s good! It’s good that resists – you have the opportunity to hone their skills, the opportunity to prove it, more to love, more to feel like it is mine, not someone else, because if it’s not yours, it will fall off in the process of this discussion, in the course of battle, battle. But it’s important, that’s fine. Treat it with a healthy excitement. Here you are now, sealed – excellent! – so alive!

Last time on “Pravmir” publish my “spiritual exercises”, and this year it’s some unprecedented torrent of criticism, with which I never experienced before. I was constantly accused: I giocatori, I ecumenist, Obnovlenie, then something else is the continuous flow. And at first I was puzzled, and then I even liked it, because it reveals some interesting facets, including me introduces himself.

Archimandrite Savva (Maruko). Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko

– And criticise essentially?

– Criticism, in fact I faced very rarely. Which is a pity. I wish I was criticized basically because I read their texts and see ten claims, and even more that it would be possible to spin and to show me, but somehow no one notices. Maybe the smart people consider it below their dignity to read such texts, and criticized mainly some stupidity, for example: “Well, as he quotes Nietzsche, not of the Holy fathers? What is it? Where to watch his Confessor?”

– Possible tricky question for last? What to do if you fell in love?

How? It is even useful, I think. I devoted a whole book, it’s called “Love and emptiness”. It was written as a series of essays United by just trying to comprehend this experience. In General, it is useful to get involved. It is a rewarding experience. Any passion and enthusiasm should be happy, even if they are dangerous. Passion makes you feel alive and acquaints you with yourself.

However, we must not forget that any passion carries through on its threats. Passion is dangerous, like all living things. But without risk, without risk you can’t meet yourself. So, of course, sensible people understand that any addictions, Hobbies fraught with danger. No need to look for those risks, do not provoke passion, but if it happened, don’t despair, treat her as a worthy opponent.

But in my experience, I was convinced that falling in love is useful. Better know yourself. Parting with illusions. If you come out of this battle, unbroken, you will become much wiser. Another way to wisdom just yet.

And we are actually looking for it, wisdom. And especially monks, priests forward to this – to the end of the way we could submit some experience of wisdom.

Young people intuitively seek wisdom from older people and hear only talk about the pension increase. Where wisdom, if you were sitting quietly in the Conservatory and no hostile whirlwinds you patted? That’s about the same time as John of the ladder writes that “blessed is the man who, having passed all the pits and bogs, has managed to become a real teacher for another.”

– And this may be a sense in monasticism or is it unacceptable?

– Goethe in love, being an elderly man, a young girl. And Tiutchev, wise man, diplomat and public figure, ran across the street from his wife to the schoolgirl. It struck him quite suddenly. But, on the other hand, can be such as a N.G. Chernyshevsky with his wife that cheated on him, and he loved her wholeheartedly and justify the rest of your life. That is all this very personally. Happened or not happened. I know people who’ve never been in love.

Love is not a program that you run. She overtook you and sealed. And you fell in love. It’s the things you can’t predict.

Archimandrite Savva (Maruko). Photo: Yefim, Richman

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