Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
A child asked his mother:
”Mother, I want to meet Christ and I don’t know where I can find Him.”
His mother, surprised, told him: ”My son, I don’t know.” ”Go and ask your father.”
The child went to his father and asked him: ”Father, tell me please, where can I find Christ?”
His father, even more surprised and unwitting by nature gave him a kind answer, telling him that he didn’t know and sent him to his grandmother to ask her. His grandmother sent him to an old man from the village who sent him to another old man and that one in the end sent him to the abbot of the monastery from the hill.
”Father, I came to tell me: how can I meet Christ?”
”You want to find out how to meet Christ…stay here for a while, take the broom and clean well the place and I shall tell you.”
The child remained in obedience for a month, 6 months…2 years, cleaning the place and waiting for the answer of that monk. Until one day when the child – who has already grown up – after the Holy Liturgy, praying to Christ with great love and seeing Him on the cross and the monks eating in peace, started thinking…
”The monks after the Holy Liturgy go and drink and eat and close the church, and poor Christ remains here on the cross, without any food, without any water, thirsty…I should better go and bring Him some water and prepare some food for Him.
And he went, took water and food and came in the church and brought them to Christ with great love…and then Christ descended from the cross and sat beside him and dined with him.
After a few days the abbot asked him:
”My child, what do you do in the church at night, after we go to bed, with all the candles lit and with the food?
”I meet with Christ, father.”
The monk marveled and made the sign of the cross then asked him:
”How is that?”
”I bring Him food to eat and water to drink and He descends from the cross and sits beside me and dines with me.”
”Cleaning the place” – The Holy Sacrament of Confession
”The child remained in obedience” – obedience towards the confessor and the fulfillment of the canon of repentance
”And he went and took water and food and came to the church and brought them to Christ with great love” – mercy, the path to the salvation of our souls