Nowadays when science and technology are flying, when cultures converge and there is a crisis in values, even the word ‘death’ is avoided and anything reminiscent of it is ignored and discarded. Modern man views death as something negative and as a loss; we usually say for the departed: ‘We’ve lost him’. Whoever does not have the proper knowledge about this issue of death, he is trying to ignore it. Thus he lives an essentially neurotic life, drained of its true meaning.
The abbot of the Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, Archimandrite Ephraim, spoke with Elder Sophrony of blessed memory at the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England on 20 September 1992.From this meeting, one is struck by Elder Sophrony’s spirituality and ascetic vision, and can appreciate the value of his contribution to the contemporary life of the Church.
We pray that our All-Good Triune God, who “worketh hitherto,” might ever send forth worthy and holy workers, like the great and tireless Saint Maximos, to His vineyard, for the salvation of all. We also pray that God, through the intercessions of this our holy Father, grant His Grace for the preservation of unity of Faith and bonds of love in our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.
Monasticism is the path of perfection, and therefore we monastics are called to acquire the fullness of grace. Not long ago, one monk came to me and said, "You know, I have no time to read." I said to him, "My child, the monastery is not a place of reading. You have come to the monastery not to read, and not even to pray. You have come to deny yourself and submit yourself to spiritual guidance.