The elder, who just celebrated his 85th birthday in 2017, almost never speaks about himself, but he made an exception for the sake of the feast. This is a story about Nativity in a long and arduous, but joyful life, through which shines the 2,000-year history of this truly central event in human life…
Schema-Archimandrite Iliy (Nozdrin), spiritual father of His Holiness, ascetically struggled on Mt. Athos for more than ten years in one of the sketes of St. Panteleimon Monastery—the Old Russikon. Namely there, at the mill just a few decades earlier Venerable Silouan the Athonite carried out his obedience. In 1967 the book of his life and teachings became a spiritual guide for the now-revered elder, then novice Alexei of the Pskov Caves Monastery
You asked about the family. Family is a cell, a small part of our community. The condition and strength of the family determines the condition of society. The weakening of the family threatens dire consequences. It's all the loss of morality, the loss of the conscience, the loss of awareness, the loss of an orientation, of that which is important in life.
What is prayer? Prayer is conversation with God. We nourish ourselves every day. We maintain our own physical existence until the last minute of our lives. But true spiritual life is beyond the scope of this world—it is our relationship with God, and it happens through prayer.
An indifferent relationship to our neighbor, indifference to another’s problems, apathy as an ordinary state of the soul… This has become almost the norm. Why is indifference so widespread today? What should a Christian do if he feels a deadness of soul? How can a pastor avoid looking like the priest from parable of the Good Samaritan? And how can we combine responsiveness of soul and its ability to share in others’ sorrows and joys with an indifferent attitude towards the good things of this world and the world itself? To answer these questions we went to see the experienced elder, Schema-Archimandrite Iliy (Nozdrin) of Optina Monastery.