The Lord gave us a testament this day. First, He washed the feet of His disciples, then broke bread, blessed the wine, and said, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me (Lk. 22:19). This is the highest form of thanksgiving of man to God, because, what can tiny man, a practically helpless creature, do to thank the Almighty God? Nothing—only try to fulfill His will and try to do that which He has asked of us. Therefore, the participation of concrete people, living on this round earth, in the Mystery of the Eucharist is the fulfillment of His Divine will.
“The work of a psychologist with this category of women is the work of eroding growing doubt. A woman has come to register for an abortion; she’s already made a choice, a decision, but she always has remaining doubts—something on the other side of the scale. The work of a psychologist is to uncover these doubts, ‘to give them’ Which way the balance is tipped we cannot know, because the woman has made a decision. But, all the same, you can try to ‘shatter’ a woman’s bad confidence.”
Fr. Pavel had different relationships with different people. He wrote letters individually, addressing every individual person. And his words always reached people’s hearts. Nobody had even a slightest thought of disobeying him.
Something that Orthodox people from various countries often experience when visiting Russia is a problem stemming from their own name. A Serb named Milorad, a Bulgarian named Lilia, or an American named Donald might piously approach the holy chalice to receive Communion, but when they pronounce their names, heads turn and stare in suspicion. Who is this person’s patron saint?
Because the essence of Christian teaching gets through to a person with great difficulty, it is much easier to follow the route of strict instructions. This is an everyday problem for clergy and laity alike. Afraid of all kinds of responsibility and continually in doubt, a human being seeks some kind of concrete, clear instructions—what is permitted and what is forbidden.