“I read about a priest who thought very edifying to sit with his wife on the terrace, drink coffee and watch the lake. How so? How can this be edifying?” – “Father! I said. – But that’s fine! This is spiritual!”. How to live with a sense of God always and everywhere – Archimandrite Andrew (Konnos).
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): How to hear God’s will?
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): what kind of Christ do we believe in?
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): to Achieve good selfishness
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Let’s take attack Paradise!
We must not forget that feeling God, feeling His presence in our heart can change over time. And that’s good. The God in Whom we believe, is One and The same, but well, when the nature of our faith changes. SV. Porphyry remembered that in his youth considered God to be very strict and for this reason are also strictly applied to people. “I thought the Lord – just like that. And when people came to me for confession, I gave the Rudder a book and began to count the days, months, years… Thought, and then voiced a figure: “You can partake in so many years… You through so much…” And so on”.
But when a person truly begins to feel the Living God, the God of Love, Who is mercy and compassion, love and truth, the acceptance of and goodness toward every person they start to look at everything differently. The people around remain the same, events are repeated – but your reaction now is quite different, because you see God looks at everything quite differently.
Some of us came to Church as children and therefore are accustomed to perceive something is quite opinionated, one-sided. God is such and such. And nothing else. So when it seems to me that you don’t “fit” framework in my own head, I push you away. But the Lord, Who is life, comes and shows that it is not so.
And this is not new. The scribes and Pharisees also thought about God a lot, but the Lord told them: “Everything you think is wrong. How you think and talk about God is a mistake, God is not like that. And because I differently refer to these people. Different look at them in another talk – graciously, with love, performing miracles. And you only blame”. In essence, because Christ was crucified by Their words and actions, He fundamentally changed people’s ideas about what God actually is. And instead of an idol, which they worshiped, was available God the God – man. God, Who looks down and understands, is compassionate, down with the man on one level (except sin) and brings us closer to him.
And when you understand this, think: in fifteen, twenty, thirty years – that’s how you perceive God, the same faith in Him as felt?
It is no coincidence that some young people say: “My mother was, and remains, nothing changes”. And about the elder Porphyria remember differently: “We knew him first as a very strict spiritual father, but he grew spiritually! In your faith, your wisdom…” It’s called people have changed. Initially, strict, lenient afterwards. Many people are afraid to be. “It is impossible to consider all this nonsense!” they say. But I do not call for it. I urge you to be merciful and forgiving, to understand other people. Try to understand why a particular person smokes, swears, does drugs, goes to Church… that’s What I try to do, based on my small experience: to understand that the person is doing, and why.
One of my friends the young man flatly refused to go to the temple. And I was trying to figure out exactly that – why doesn’t he want to come to Church.
Why? – I asked it. – Let’s talk!
– Will I be ashamed? he asked.
– No, I will not. I just want to talk to you to understand what specifically in the Church you don’t like.
– I understand, father, ‘ replied the young man, to be honest, the priest is associated with some restrictions. It seems to me that I haven’t asked, the answer is only one “no”. Motorcycle – not football – it is impossible to meet a girl – not in a cafe – not a concert – not…
This teenager wasn’t so bad. He’s just afraid of me. Is it not necessary in such cases to seek to person approach? Isn’t that a Christian is to humbly try to understand what he feels? Closer to his soul to see why he does, why doubts and doesn’t want to chat with me, while the soul aspires to God? But no. We are so identified himself with God, so accustomed to consider himself His “representatives” – and you, the parents, and we, the priests, that think every word is from God. And God says, “You are not my representative. Nothing of the sort. Just different here is impossible – that’s why I “use” you in this situation.”
Unless God deals with people like us? Yes, if we really were like It, would be real, sincere – how many lives we could change! And so when you see us people in a hurry to get to the opposite side of the street. People internally resist us. And it would be a wonderful time for years to start a different feel God in your soul! Maybe the teenager was right. The mindset is changing. I now wonder, if Christ came to the earth now, as if he talked to this young man? What would you say to him? Told on Wednesdays and Fridays to eat a lentil? Herded into loneliness, melancholy, and complexes? Evaluated solely on appearance? Yeah, maybe the boy was right…
Naturalness, sincerity fraught with divinity.
Somehow after the conversation I held, all invited for lunch. And during lunch, one priest stood up and said, “I read about a priest who thought very edifying to sit with his wife on the terrace, drink coffee and watch the lake. How so? How can this be edifying?
It was like an electric shock.
– Father! I said. – But that’s fine! It is spiritually! Remember, as was the Annunciation. Holy mother of God went to the well to fetch water. And while she was packing water – that has made the simple, everyday act – it was the Archangel Gabriel and told that she would become the Mother of God. And the apostles? They were fishermen, and the Lord called them during fishing – a very down-to-earth, absolutely nonspiritual classes. It is unlikely at this moment, they prayed. They worked! And remember David, who tended sheep. And Moses…
In the most ordinary, everyday Affairs can escape the divine. And we forget this, and our family begins to exist completely separately from the Church, as if it were two different things. Going to the temple – click on the button and immediately transformed into spiritual people. Return home – click another button and changing festive clothes at home, return to everyday life.
If we love God, Which is not in our daily lives That does not live among us, then we love not God. Because Christ took the whole human nature, transforming our lives, our reality. And when you walk on the earth, the Lord is in you. And when you communicate with a child, do household chores too.
No need to constantly talk about God. We’re not talking constantly about the air, the oxygen – we live them! As we are sitting now in this room and breathe – but no special feelings not feel, so to speak, and there’s nothing. But if other people will see the God that you live in, fills you, enlivens and enriches, so that your every cell emits light, some will ask: “Tell me, what’s your secret? We want to be like you!”
But we often hear quite the opposite: “Listen, leave me alone! Tired of failing!” There is nothing from God. And I wish that emanated from you was the message of the Divine promise. We know and so much complicated, and thus they forgot how to do simple things. Our children, and we are losing precisely because they are so simple, and we are such complex, entangled…
One person once walked away from the elder Porphyria in a big disappointment: the elder did not answer him on serious questions about God. “I’m sorry, my son, – he said. – I’m talking about God only when we feel that the soul of man is committed to Him and need Him”. Once at Easter, elder Porphyrios did not even pronounced the Easter greeting “Christ is risen”. At the instigation of the divine he knew that the man did not want to hear these words. Will we pray for Divine instigation – that the Lord enlighten us and life was wonderful.
Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”