Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Once when I was a child, my mother asked me what was in my opinion the most important limb of the body. At first I thought that I would find the answer easily and I ran to her full of joy. I had just discovered the magic and beauty of the sounds then and told her:
“I think they are the ears we hear with.”
“No”, she corrected me, “since there are so many deaf people in the world who don’t hear a thing.”
While growing I kept on thinking about my mother’s question. When I discovered what a wonderful gift sight is and what great perspectives it opens, I ran to her, very sure of myself this time and said:
“Mother, I think the eyes that see are the most important limb of our body.”
Then mother looked at me lovingly, being glad that I was still thinking about her question and had made a real progress, but she corrected me again:
“No, my child, not the eyes since in our world there are so many blind people.” “Try again.”
I tried some more other times and mother was glad that I was growing and made progress but every time I referred at this subject, I was not able to find the right answer.
Last year my grandfather died. We were all affected by this and cried. Even my father cried. And I’m saying this cause I saw him crying only once in my life. Suddenly I heard my mother asking me:
“My child, do you know what’s the most important limb of our body?”
The question took me by surprise cause I always thought that it was only a joke she made and nothing else. Seeing me puzzled, she drew me near her and told me:
“My child, what I am going to tell you now is very important and I want you to treasure it deeply in your soul. The most important limb of your body is the shoulder. And that’s not because it keeps your hand in its place and it can move but because it can support the head of a beloved one, who suffers a pain and cries. My child, we all shall need a shoulder to lean on when affected by pain, sadness and trouble. May you always have such a shoulder, full of comfort for those who will cry and will need the shoulder of your love as support. When you understand what I have told you now and you will agree with it, that will be the sign that you have matured and you live your life right.