I feel my heart is broken when I tell my younger brothers to whom I feel life is bursting in their chest:
`Come good man at least for ten minutes to the Liturgy. Not ten, five. At least enter the church and then leave. You say `good day, God` and then go. Saint Maximus the Confessor has a booklet of about thirty pages Mystagogy where he writes that the angels write you in the Book of Life when you enter the church.
They answer to me :
`Forgive me father. I am too young. I want to live my youth then there comes the time to withdraw to the depot (church)
In the morning I confessed a 75 years old woman, with a bag full of medicine to take and who can`t walk.
The bed is her company and the pain her sister. She cries uncontrollably:
`How I miss the church, father. How I long to see your robes, the beautiful icons and listen to the chants. I can`t bear it anymore. I wish I be there but now it is too late.
I sit on the edge of her bed and I feel my eyes wet. In tese moments I can only think about Solomon`s words:
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—
2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;
5 when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring and the wheel broken at the well,
7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher “Everything is meaningless!”
(Ecclesiastes, chapter 12)