Saturday, 14 June 2014

π. Ανδρέας Κονάνος: Μάθε να περιμένεις..

Είδες τι μου’πες; “Θέλω ν’ αλλάξει το παιδί μου. Να το δω, κι ας πεθάνω”. Δεν ξέρω αν θα το δεις αλλαγμένο πριν πεθάνεις. Μπορεί να το δεις αφού πεθάνεις. Μπορεί ο Θεός να θέλει να κάνεις τόση υπομονή, που να μην προλάβεις να το δεις αλλαγμένο όπως το θες εσύ. Αλλά θα το δει ο Κύριος και θα το δεις κι εσύ από κει που θα ‘σαι, στην αιώνια ζωή. Θέλει όμως πολλή υπομονή. Να περιμένεις την απάντηση στην προσευχή που μόλις χθες έκανες. Έκανες χθες προσευχή; Θα περιμένεις. Πότε; Μην ανησυχείς. Όταν το βέλος της προσευχής σου φτάσει την καρδιά τού Θεού και την τρυπήσει και τη ματώσει από αγάπη, τότε θα δεις το αποτέλεσμα. Πότε έριξες το βέλος τής προσευχής; Χτες; Τότε περίμενε. Ταξιδεύει. Καμιά προσευχή δεν πάει χαμένη. Καμία προσευχή δεν μένει αναπάντητη. Θέλει όμως υπομονή. Να περιμένεις.

Περιμένουν μερικοί να δουν αποτέλεσμα την ίδια ώρα. Κάνεις προσευχή τώρα, θέλεις αύριο να δεις αποτέλεσμα. Μπορεί να γίνει κι αυτό. Αλλά όταν πιάσεις το κομποσκοίνι στο χέρι σου μην περιμένεις κι αμέσως τους καρπούς. Πολλοί πάνε στο άγιο Όρος μ’ ένα κομποσκοίνι στο χέρι και θέλουν να δουν το Θεό με μια αγρυπνία που θα κάνουν. Θέλουν να δουν το άκτιστο φως με μιας νύχτας προσευχή. Δεν γίνεται έτσι. Θέλει πολλή υπομονή, θέλει πολλή απαντοχή και να λες “Κύριε, όποτε θες εσύ. Εγώ θα περιμένω. πομένων, πέμεινα τν Κύριον κα προσέσχε μοι κα εσήκουσε τς δεήσεώς μου”. Με πρόσεξε ο Κύριος, με κοίταξε, με άκουσε, αλλά πρώτα πρέπει να περιμένω. Είναι ωραία να περιμένεις το Θεό και να κάνεις υπομονή στα θέματα αυτά τα θεϊκά.

The Orthodox Christian Marriage

by Priest Alexey Young 

Orthodox Christianity is a way of life, not merely something we do on Sunday mornings and quickly forget when we leave church. A way of life is a whole coming together of habits and attitudes, ideas and actions: a style of life, a way to live. For us Orthodox, Christianity is our daily bread. Like a fish in water, we must swim in our Faith. As followers of Christ, we take our whole direction from Christ and His Church, and not from the standards of today's world. This seems clearest when we visit a monastery, where the environment, the atmosphere, the focus of life - everything is clearly and deliberately Orthodox. 

Most of us Orthodox Christians do not live in monasteries; we are married; we have homes, children, jobs. Among many married Orthodox there exists the mistaken idea that their following Christ does not require the same dedication required of the Orthodox monastic. But of course all Christians, whether monastic or not, are equally called by Christ to repentance and eternal salvation. There are no "classes" of Orthodox Christians - all are equal and all are expected to be followers of Christ, regardless of their position in the Church. 

It is, however, very difficult for us non-monastic Christians to live an Orthodox life-style from day to day and year to year because we are constantly exposed to and live within a society that is not only not Christian but even at times, and increasingly, hostile to Orthodox Christian beliefs.  But this should not discourage us, for Christ Himself understood this situation when He said: Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matt. 10:16). 

A tremendous bastion of strength for Orthodox lay people in our circumstances is marriage and family life, a state that has been blessed by God for the salvation of each individual member of the family. In order fully to understand this, we must look at the doctrinal foundations of marriage found in Scripture and Sacred Tradition - which are the on-going conscience of the Church. 

The Old Testament and the New Testament Views of Marriage 

Saint Silouan The Athonite- On the Will of God and Freedom

It is a great good to give oneself up to the will of God.  Then the Lord alone is in the soul.  No other thought can enter in, and the soul feels God's love, even though the body be suffering.
When the soul is entirely given over to the will of God, the Lord Himself takes her in hand and the soul learns directly from God.   Whereas, before, she turned to teachers and to the Scriptures for instruction. But it rarely happens that the soul's teacher is the Lord Himself through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and few there are that know of this, save only those who live according to God's will.

The proud man does not want to live according to God's will: he likes to be his own master and does not see that man has not wisdom enough to guide himself without God.  And I, when I lived in the world, knew not the Lord and His Holy Spirit, nor how the Lord loves us-I relied on my own understanding; but when by the Holy Spirit I came to know our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, my soul submitted to God, and now I accept every affliction that befalls me, and say: "The Lord looks down on me. What is there to fear?" But before, I could not live in this manner.
Life is much easier for the man who is given over to the will of God, since in illness, in poverty, in persecution he reflects thus: "Such is God's pleasure, and I must endure on account of my sins."
Thus for many years have I suffered violent headaches, which are hard to bear but salutary because the soul is humbled through sickness.  My soul longs to pray and keep vigil, but sickness hinders me because of my body's demand for rest and quiet; and I besought the Lord to heal me, and the Lord hearkened not unto me.  So, therefore, it would not have been salutary for me to have been cured.
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