Clerical Articles

Elder Sophrony : How and why are happening all these ?

  • December 1, 2016

Because the women of nowadays have lost this high conscience, they’ve started to give birth to babies after the flesh.

Our children have become incapable of faith. Most often they find it difficult to believe they are the image of the eternal God. The greatest sin of these days consists in the fact that the people sank into despair and don’t believe anymore in Resurrection. They consider the death of man as his ultimate end, as annihilation, while it should be considered as the moment of change of our existence, as the day of our rebirth to the highest form of life, to the plenitude of life which belongs to God.

The Gospel says righteously: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life. (John 3, 36) Very truly I tell you: whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.(John 5, 24) Very truly I tell you: whoever obeys my word will never see death. (John 8, 51) And we could mention many more other expressions of this kind.

I hear very often from people: How and why are all these happening?

Why most of the men have lost their capability to believe? Isn’t it this new faithlessness a consequence of a broad culture, while what the Gospel says becomes a tale, an unattainable dream?

Faith, the capability to believe does not depend on the man’s degree of education. We see indeed that nowadays culture is widely spread and faith is weakened, while it should happen quite the opposite. Meaning that the wider is the human knowledge, the more are the reasons for acknowledging the great wisdom of the creation of the world. Therefore what is the root of the unbelief? Above all we should say that this issue is firstly a duty appertaining to father and mothers. If the parents behave responsibly in what regards the birth of the new baby, being aware that the new born baby may be indeed a ”son of man” in the image of the Son of Man, who is Christ, then they prepare for this event in a special way, not as it usually happens.

Here is a wonderful example: Zacharias and Elisabeth had been praying for a long time to get a child. But what happened?

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid,Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,  for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.  He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. (Luke, 1, 11-16)

Then we see further that John, while still being in his mother’s womb, acknowledged the visit of the Holy Mother of God and rejoiced and his joy was felt by his mother. And she was filled with prophesy spirit.

Another example is that of prophetess Anna.

In the same way now, if the fathers and mothers would beget children being aware of the great importance of this fact, then their children would be filled by the Holy Spirit from the time they would still be in their mother’s womb and faith in God, the Creator of everything, as towards their Father, would come to them naturally and no science could shake this faith, because who is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Thus the existence of God and His approachment to us is an obvious fact for such a soul. And the unbelief of the litterate and illiterate will be in the eyes of these sons of God as a mere proof that these men haven’t been born yet from above and that is why they don’t believe in God, because they are born only in flesh.

But what represents a real problem for the Church and for its role is how to convince the people that they are true sons and daughters of the eternal Father, how to show the people the possibility of an afterlife, resembling with the life of Christ or with that of the prophets and saints.

The Church has the duty to bring into the world the faith in Resurrection and also the assurance for it. Then any claim for any other kind of moralist teaching would be useless.

Excerpts from: Archimandrite Sophrony, The mystery of the Christian life, The Holy Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex, 2010