Saturday, September 08, 2007

Christ is in our Midst XXXIX(letter 59)

" 59
20 January 1952

They say that your husband drinks. What should you do? Do not grieve, and do not condemn him. Everyone has his weaknesses and inadequacies, you know. He too is not without weaknesses and not without inadequacies. So learn from each other, bear each other's burdens and thus fulfil the law of Christ. The Lord give you wisdom.

How fast the time flies! The Nativity of Christ, the Epiphany and the New Year were awaited and all of that has gone. Now Easter is on its way. Of course, first we must look to the Great Fast, as the way of preparation, in order to celebrate the Bright Feast of Christ more perfectly.

Here is something I have noticed: as old age advances, time flies faster, it feels as if everything was already at an end. The time of passing into eternity is approaching, and somehow even all interests have gone. But open the minds of young people and you will see how fantasy plays in them: they are happy, they will get good suitors, they will be rich, their family life will go well, and a great deal more along this line. These pictures will pass through their heads, and again they will be alone.

Life in our monastery still glimmers gently, but our brotherhood ha,s grown old. It is just like an almshouse, each one older than the next. If I live to February, I will be seventy-nine - a respectable age, and I am already ripe for passing on into eternity. I thank God that I have reached such an age and that it was granted to me, a sinner, to spend my whole life in a monastery. I have not known the vanity of the world, filled with cunning, vain-glory, hypocrisy, falsehood and arrogance. Can anybody in the midst of these vices ever feel peace and tenderness in his soul? I suspect not.

What do you and your husband feel when you come home after the theatre and masquerades? Of course you get some kind of impression there, and you will be looking forward to when you can go to the same places again and again, if only sickness does not interfere. That is the way the worldly life of vanities goes. But when a person is lying on his deathbed or in sickness - and that is when he is confronted with unexpected experiences such that all his past life passes before him with the events which he lived - then only will he realize that this world is a fraud.

I ask God's blessing on all your family. "


I too have noticed the seeming increase in the speed of life.
When I was a boy each day was so enchanted and filled with eternity. The hue of the summer green still imprints itself on the periphery of my mind enmeshed with that beautiful blue of the sky.

These days live on in me. They will never die. The faces of my Mother and Father, my brothers Costa and John, as they were back then, sunlit always- and smiling. The same way our holy icons have that unearthly gold in them, so do all those people from then, my dear long ago friends and family.

Where are you all now? Where have you all gone? Why are we not together now like we were then? So young. so alive. Why did you all leave me? Why did you go Yia Yia Andronike? And where was the hurry for you,Pappou Sophocle, to go when you did? Why the hasty exit Pappou Kosta?

And why, dear Mom and Dad, Costa and John, did you leave there?

Old Mill School on Addison Road, where have you gone? All your memories, they live, they live.

David Craig, Tracy Deidrichs, and all my other friends, I love you all.

But I advance towards my expiration. Things that happen to me now no longer seem so new, so eternal. I have grown used to the taste of ice cream. I no longer drink soda only on Sundays as you, Mom and Dad, had us as a family do then. My perception of all things also decays and becomes corrupt along with this body of mine.

Santa, why? I miss you.

Will I live forever, dear Lord? Will I see them all again? Brownie, my beautiful dog? I have some amends to make with you, Brownie.

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