I go on hoping

Monk Moses the Athonite

Saint Paisios the Athonite said that we should rather talk more about Christ than about antichrist. Not many can interpret the Apocalypse considering that neither the great Holy Father could. We won’t establish ourselves when comes the end of the world. We shouldn’t scare the people fixing dates about the end of the world and the beginning of wars. They have been talking for decades about wars but these didn’t take place. There are some who are upset they did not happen.

The situation of the Greek economy is manipulated. A spiritual crisis has preceded it and this still exists being manifested through the denial of the holy customs and traditions. And because of  this a threatening eschatology, a dreadful antichristology and an intense demonology are developing.

Much heed and discernment are required. We should neither embolden ourselves, whistle carelessly and consider that everything is fine and there is no danger nor fall into despondency and depression.

A true Christian cannot stop being optimistic and hopeful. We should have more faith in God. The liturgical life should become more conscious. The life of prayer should be more fervent. The vigil should be increased. We should unite ourselves more with God rather than with people. Sincere repentance may bring better days. Mistakes may be straightened if we truly want that.

The trust in God, the unshakeable faith in the words give it to us today, the deification of man will make him steady, peaceful, serene, brave and hopeful.

The famous unknown representatives of the so called `enlightened`powers which are rather darkened, made us be worshipers of super consumerism, of selfdemonism, slaves of individualism, free but lacking real freedom, captive of addictive desires. From persons we became blokes, from names numbers, a crowd that cannot have different views. The opposition cannot be made with fanatic, hysterical, maniac people, with accusations and suspicions, but with argumentative knowledge, moderate opposition and especially with obedience towards the Church. No one is above the Church. We shall obey the Church. We cannot obey the Church selectively. We cannot stop hoping, because despair is brought and activated by demons.

The crisis reminds us the pure ascetic cogitation of the Church, the blessed temperance, the rejection of the overplus, of satiety, greed and avarice.

The enlargement of the barns for the coming fortune, the panting for a continuous increase of the incomes, the more intense stress for obtaining increased gains, the agonizing planning of future acquisitions…Modesty, abstinence, the contentment with less were all forgotten and everyone endeavours to get more and better. There are professionals, merchants of hopes, fortune tellers, wizards, mediums, futurists who exploit the pain of others or their thirst to have fast and plentiful gainings.

However the believer has only one way he walks. This is less rising, narrow and troublesome, but it is enlightened and at its end someone awaits him with crowns. Whoever travels on it is always hopeful.

No one says that matters are easy. But no problem can be solved by fatalism, grumbling and chattering full of the same discontents. Let us strive harder, let us pray more to God. Let us ask Him to give us patience, perseverance and hope to face this trial as much as possible without pain. He knows the weight of the cross we can lift. He knows well that we cannot lift the great stone from His tomb. After Crucifixion there is always a Resurrection.

The apostasy, the lack of piety, the uncertainty and insecurity, the unjustice, the unrest and commotion of these times should make us return to our roots. The wars, the disasters, the wickedness and deprivation should make us be more genuine, more responsible, wiser, humbler Christians. Our death may come earlier than antichrist. Therefore we should speak more about Christ and less about antichrist, saint Paisios the Athonite said.

Not many can interpret the Apocalypse considering that neither the great Holy Father could. We won’t establish ourselves when comes the end of the world. We shouldn’t scare the people fixing dates about the end of the world and the beginning of wars. They have been talking for decades about wars but these didn’t take place. There are some who are upset they did not happen.

Let us concern about not losing the card of access to the Kingdom of Heaven. We should never lose our hope. Despair means the victory of the evil against us, it is a demonic influence. Only within the Church of Christ we can have a real comfort and a powerful hope. My humility goes on hoping for a change and for resurrection, for repentance and salvation.

I want with Him…

One year ago my daughter who was five then paid attention for the first time to the crucifix from the church. Seeing the image of Christ crucified she started to ask me questions which I answered, though not as I wished. Now after almost a year I think I know how I could help her make the choice she has already made without my help.

`Mummy, look, blood!`

My daughter points towards the Crucifixion. In her eyes are shown many emotions: lack of understanding, compassion and fear…She tries to hide behind my back as if she was frightened by her discovery.

`This is Christ `– I explain, trying to keep my voice at the right tonality for wining her confidence. `He died so that we could live`…

I kiss the feet of the Savior suggesting with this gesture to my daughter that she should have done the same thing, but she remained in place, irresolute. The expression from her face and her gaze obviously tell that her fear is replaced by curiosity. She watches Christ the Savior carefully.

`If He died does it mean He doesn’t exist anymore?`

She speaks softly almost inaudible. Her fear disappeared completely but now  her words express her bewilderment.

`God always exists` – I answer being surprised that even for me it is not quite clear everything, but my daughter seems happy. `God died then was resurrected.` `He is always with us and helps us when we ask Him.`

Her mistrust disappears.

`And we will be resurrected too after we die?`

She doesn’t speak in a whisper anymore but not too loud either. On her lips and in her eyes it’s shown a vague smile.

`If we love God, He will resurrect us.`

Her expression becomes again serious and musing. She points towards the blood from Christ’s wounds.

`They didn’t love God?`

`They.` Interesting. What can she imagine when saying this `they`?

`Maybe they were afraid of Him` – I try to speak confidently. Although it is even harder to go on answering to her questions.

`They could have just asked Him and He would have driven away from them any fear!`

My girl says these words with an expression like that of Newton when discovering the law of gravity.

`He taught them.` `He taught them to love.` `But it’s not that easy to love`…

The girl stood still. She muses at the words she has just heard. Probably the thought that to love is harder than to crucify cannot be comprehended by her. I stand still too.

Involuntarily in my mind appears a prayer: `Lord, help me understand and accept what I have just explained to my daughter.` `God, help me learn to love and not to crucify.`

My daughter turns her gaze towards me. Her eyes are wide open. I remain silent. She looks again at the Savior’s face and raises her hand as if she wanted to touch the Crucifixion. We keep on being silent for a few minutes. She takes my hand. Her fingers tremble and her eyes are brimming with tears.

`I don’t want like them` – she says in a whisper – `I want with Him`…

We stood a little like that while I was trying hard to put my thoughts in order. But all I could do was to pray to God to help us. Not for something particular, just to help us for ever… To help us in what He considered it was necessary. I had no idea what my daughter was thinking about but I know that her thoughts were not that of a child in those moments.

Of course after this incident she has not become more obedient or less prankish, she remained the same five years old girl. But from that moment on I have many times noticed  that my daughter prayed in a whisper and I saw her inexpressible joy when she realized that her prayers were heard. And her sincere and unconditioned faith support me in moments of despondency.

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