“I was a bully from a good family, and became a fervent Christian”

In addition to meetings with remarkable men, whose lives testified to our Lord Jesus Christ, in my life there were many other great encounters. First of all, a meeting with books, revealing the secrets of the spiritual world.

The Priest Vladislav Mishin. Photo: zbulvar.ru

  • “To be baptized, we must believe in capital” – poems of the Mezen Pomors and the mystery of death
  • Evangelical comics and the Bible “for one night”
  • “With the filing of Schmemann, I realized how little faith was”
  • “Divorce” Lewis – book for understanding faith
  • “This is a very adult book, not for you” mom said

Among these books were “Ancient Patericon”. The first time the book fell into my hands in 1990 in Optina. Someone from the pilgrims lent it for a few weeks. The book is pocket size, homemade – poor reduced copy in hard, dirty-green cover. But for the unsightly appearance, for subtle muddy letters were hidden treasures of the Holy fathers of the Egyptian desert, hiding their wondrous sayings which absorbed the soul, as the living water.

I remember in the hallway of his native Kaluga school tried to convince classmates that it is the most wonderful book in the world that I’ve ever read. Classmates listened in disbelief. They are generally a bit troubled by the change of the vector of my worldview. Until ninth grade I was a bully from a good family – mom and dad are engineers, the elder brother studied at the Bauman Institute. After a trip to the Optina Hermitage in 1989, my Outlook is beginning to change rapidly. I became a fervent Christian, not always in mind, and it bothered my others.

“Honor, what a wonderful word! – I tried to convince classmates at recess in the school hallway. – The elder said that the soul is a spring. Dig it – clears, will fall asleep – will disappear.”

To remember this saying and always keep it in mind, even coined a special acronym to remember: ROSIE, from the first letters of the verbs used in this verse. Classmates incredulously listened and took the time to share my enthusiastic feelings there is a neophyte.

After a cursory enthusiastic Dating the book had to give. What was my joy when, among the sent from Greece in 1991, books from the monastery of the Paraclete (located in Attica, in Central Greece) from Archimandrite Timothy (Sacasa) the parcels turned out to be a re-release of “Ancient Patericon” in a beautiful dust jacket. The book fell into my hands! For some time it was the Board that open every day. I made a special pink notebook where you wrote those sayings which particularly stayed with me.

The parcels with books, there was a small Easter postcard beautiful handwriting in Russian was written:

“Dear in the Lord Vladislav. Sending you and your friends our publication, and you two share and re-read this spiritual literature. Please, on receipt of the report. Argue in the Orthodox faith and save yourself. The Lord God is with thee. Archimandrite Timothy”.

I pray for father Timothy from the Greek monastery of the Paraclete as his benefactor, napisavshij me a quarter of a century ago spiritual food. The memory of a good man, PowerUser in me and gives me strength to move forward in life.

In the autumn of the current year was like a puzzle, many large and small events, which I will not elaborate. So it was that on 20 September, on the eve of the feast of the Nativity of the blessed virgin, I arrived at the Greek convent of the Paraclete for a personal meeting with Archimandrite Timothy.

I was driven first and foremost a sense of gratitude to the person napisavshego me a quarter of a century ago spiritual food. With that I started our conversation by showing him that the small, miraculously preserved, Easter cards, and personally thanked them for spiritual guidance through books. About an hour we talked, and talked. He showed wonderful, a magnificent monastery, which is the Abbot for forty years.

The priest Vladislav Mishin and Archimandrite Timothy (Sakkas)

Looking back and remembering again the details of this meeting, I understand that it is best to describe one story from the “Ancient Patericon”. In the Chapter “On love” has a wonderful story:

“Three of the fathers were wont every year to go to the blessed Abba Anthony. And two of them asked him about his thoughts and about the salvation of souls, and one is always silent, no questions asked. After a lot of time telling him Abba Anthony: so many time you come here, you never asked me. And answering, said to him: enough for me just to look at you, father.”

Itself to be with a righteous man – a great blessing.

I thank God for what we saw this man and was with him.

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