His holiness Hierotheos Vlachos
A young girl came and told me she wanted to talk with me. And she started to speak and she went on speaking for hours. Do you know how many things she told me? She spoke on and on for nine hours! At that time I was a young priest and had no other business so I stayed with her for nine hours. And after that she told me:
“Now I’ve finished.” “What shall I do?” And I spoke for one minute only. I said:
“From now on go to the church on every Sunday.” “And pray every morning.” “And go to listen to preaches, to the spiritual words.”
And the girl who had spoken to me for nine hours and didn’t hear me saying anything, left and said to everyone: “He is the best confessor!” “The best confessor!” But I didn’t say anything to her. The only thing I did was to listen to her very patiently.
You know the men of nowadays need so much to find some people to listen to them. They don’t need any preachers, but people to listen to their pain. And the spiritual confessor should have the charisma of listening, not of speaking. We speak in the church, we preach, but at the confession we listen and we pray in the same time. Meaning that we give them a shower, we throw over him the water of prayer and love.
I’ve spoken from my own experience, from what I am trying to do. Ultimately the people don’t belong to us, they belong to God. We do what we can by our word, by our silence, by our love for people, by our prayer – and above all these let God’s will prevail! Because God has more love than we do.
Excerpt from the conference The Apostleship of the Youth in the Church Today – Iasi 09/2/2010 The Orthodox Family no.3 Hierotheos Vlachos