Archimandrite Vasileios (Gontikakis) of Iveron Monastery
Recently on the Holy Mountain a simple monk fell asleep. He was illiterate. He could not even sign his name. He came to the Holy Mountain when he was young. We did not consider him an “important” monk. He got sick with cancer. For a year he endured great sufferings from his stomach and liver. And he surprised us all by his behavior: it was like taking a piece of incense and putting it on the charcoal in the censer, causing the whole area to become fragrant. He considered himself just an animal and that is what we had considered him. Even though he helped us all during the time of his illness, he didn’t have any big ideas about himself. In a conversation that we had, he a simple monk said that God helps everybody, the good and the bad, but our problem is that we are ungrateful.
When you say, “Glory be to God for all things,” then all things become holy.
Giving thanks for all, everything becomes holy, sanctified. Whereas if we complain—we’re murmuring, we’re grumbling—then things change. One who lives in Christ and breathes in Christ—even if you put him in Hell he would rejoice. One who complains and never says “thank you”—even if you put him in Paradise, he would consider it Hell. Therefore it is greatly important to have trust in the love of Christ.
And I think this is what the Church teaches us. When you realize that whatever Christ does He does out of love, then you accept everything.
Whoever is patient, suffers afflictions and says internally “God’s will be done,” the grace of God visits him, and all within him becomes a doxology to God.
The one who is in spiritual health is the one who has no complaints about any
person or any problem or situation in his life. So if we suffer from certain situations or certain people, we say “Glory to God.”
We actually say “Glory to God” even more for those people who hurt us and those situations which can cause us suffering, because we understand, after the fact, what the Lord says: “I am the vine, you are the branches, and my Father is the vine-dresser” (cf. John 15:1-5).
We will live well when we feel and understand that there is one who almightily loves and understands us.In a single moment one can find eternity.
“Thy will be done” is a voluntary offering of ourselves to the one who is love. When you say truly, “Thy will be done,” you have found rest: all problems have been solved.
And the problems of life are not solved by our own logic, but by entrusting
everything to Christ God—that which we say so often in church: “Commemorating our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life unto Christ our God.”
Therefore, we need to have a realization of our own powerlessness and the power of him who loves us, so that we can be calm and at peace, even though everything around us is in turmoil and threatening us, because there is one who orders everything invisibly and guides all to the way he desires them to be.
Let Moses, the first among the prophets, be praised, for he was the first to converse openly with God, face to face, not in indistinct images, but beholding Him as in the guise of the flesh.
Matins Canon, Ode 1, September 4
Hymn of the Prophets. Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy
Prophets Moses and Aaron,
O Lord, through them we beseech Thee
to save our souls.