April 17, 2020
Having entered the fourth week of quarantine, and in view of the coming of the Holy days of Pascha, being pressured by the stress and fear that is being imposed on us; with the pressure developing from trying to govern the monastery under such circumstances and with deep sadness filling my heart from the pain and sadness of the people around us, due to their lack of certain basic necessities but mainly due to the deprivation of the consolation and strength offered by the church attendance and the strongest medicine, Holy Communion, brought me to seclusion and prayer. I implored and I continually implore God to send His ineffable mercy to the world, to heal the sick to strengthen them, to comfort the elderly and those that are struck by loneliness and are living difficult situations.
I was somehow feeling guilty because we at the Monastery, at these times are comforted by the sacramental life, where on the contrary our brethren are lacking this, and I was looking for a way to comfort them. Then I heard a voice telling me; “Remember what you used to do?” Then, as if my mind opened, I saw and believe me, I relived (in feeling) those unique moments.
When I first entered the Monastery in 1975 (forty five years ago), it was at a time that the Holy Monastery of Philotheou on Mount Athos did not number many monks and there were very few priests. Therefore there were not enough priests to serve the Metochia. Our Monastery was a Metochi (dependence) of the Monastery of Philotheou, so for many years we did not have a priest to serve our needs. Someone would come, (very rarely), throughout the year, but never on Great Feasts: i.e. the Nativity of Christ, Pascha, Annunciation, Pentecost…, we were always left on these holy days with no priest.
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