"Hours of mystery and love. Hours of sincerity and reconciliation with God. Hours of enlightenment and cleansing, peace and freedom!...."
A True Event
Jails of men.....! Saturday morning.....! In
the Holy Church of Saint Eleftherios, the Divine Liturgy concluded. Such warm
prayer to the Saviour took place again today, for the jail irons to open, to
break the irons of the passions, for the greatly longed for, freedom to those
detained...! Do not tardy, Lord..... From the speakers of the reformatory it is
announced: "The Preachers have arrived. Who ever detainee wishes, let him come
down to the Church...."
Soon the preachers receive with great love, like every other Saturday, all those who long to hear the Word of God. Those who through the suffocation of their detention, wish to breathe, to relax, to be enlightened, to once more hope again, to be taken by the love of God. For they need it greatly. It is their only consoling exit...... for relief..... for dreams, for a true life....!. One, two, three,...... twenty minutes! They worship with piety the holy icons and return to their places.....
To day's lesson refers to the persons of Golgotha. To the persons who surrounded the Crucified Godman in His most tragic hours, with total silence and moving devout concentration they follow and absorb..... At the end with great simplicity they express their impressions, their queries, their puzzlements, they discuss.....!
It has made a great impression to me, said sharply a sturdy man, a robber! "He suits me" I like it very much! He was hopelessly happy.....!
You see, in life we also can be inspired even by the negative types, even by robbers, who however found the true road, the road of God......
-Please explain to us why you admired so
much the robber?
-Because with one of his expressions, forgive me my God, "remember me, Lord" he was saved, all his sins were blotted out, he won Paradise and was the first one who entered it. It is not comprehensible for me how much He felt for him and how much Christ understood him!
I had loved this robber. I want to imitate him, to have his luck.....!
-May it be so, may it be so, I wish it to you with all my heart. Since you wish it so much, let it be done. With one precondition: to resemble the robber not only in his deep repentance but in something else he did:
What was it?
-To resemble him in his acknowledgment. What did we say he acknowledged? That Christ is the King and that himself was a sinner! "We are justly punished and we received justly for what we did.....!" Acknowledgment leads to confession and then to Salvation. This acknowledgment we call it differently, Confession. Christ taught His disciples how to be true confessors. He, Himself did the same upon the Cross. The robber confessed and Christ forgave him....!
-This I did not know it this way, I had not understood it.
-Have you ever thought of confessing? Have you ever felt the need? Do you wish to confess, to acknowledge to Him everything with contrition, humility and sincerity? Do you wish to be saved?
-Yes! I wish it! I wish it and soon! However you'll bring me an ORIGINAL priest. Not those of the jails. I do not trust them. I am afraid that perhaps..... You understand.....
-They are excellent the Priest confessors of the jails. However because I understand you I shall bring you an ORIGINAL, as you asked.....
-I shall be waiting for him with interest and longing
It was done
-Do you perhaps wish that someone else
confess? Perhaps someone wishes to take the place of Dionisios, who also asked
for an ORIGINAL confessor, but did not manage because he was suddenly
transferred to another jail?
I! I want to confess!
-You? Asked abruptly and incredulously the
Chief Warden, who was always on guard duty at the Church at this time. You
truly wish to confess?
Yes! I wish and in fact a great deal! I have decided! And you know why? I had it in me, I thought of it continuously, I felt the need to relieve my burden but I never got the chance. Every Saturday in the morning I work in the kitchen. Today for the first time, strangely they exempted me. Well, it was not by chance! It was not by chance! Do you understand Chief Warden? I want to confess....!
-Congratulations to both of you, for taking such a heroic decision. Good preparation.....
The gathering ended. The ORIGINAL Confessor came at the appointed day, and was very eager. The confession of the two detainees lasted for hours. Hours of the mystery and love. Hours of sincerity and reconciliation with God. Hours of enlightenment and cleansing, peace and freedom!
Exiting from the ORIGINAL confession one of them full of tears, said: "From this day I can smile!' From this moment I feel free.....! Happiness emanated from his face.
Glory to You, Lord!....
Bless those ORIGINAL who confessed and the ORIGINAL Confessors.....
The first of the two detainees, when he received permission, went to the Holy Mountain and met the Elder with whom he had talked in his pure youth. When he (the Elder) saw him, he recognized him, talked with him, took off his cap, stood up and told him before seeing him off. "I waited for you for 25 years. Now I can die peacefully!'
Source: "I Drasis Mas" (Our Action)
February 2009, Issue #466.
*ORIGINAL : Every man seeks the authentic, the real and this has special value when we talk about spiritual matters. Christians, even if sinners and distant from the Will of God, long for their spiritual fathers, the clerics, to be sincere, to be the first ones who do what they preach to others. They want them "original". This is not an unreasonable expectation but deep spiritual need which in essence demonstrates the recognition of the superiority of their apostolic high office.