Saturday, 11 October 2014

"Τά δάκρυα" Ἁγίου Ἰγνατίου Μπριαντσανίνωφ

«Ἕνας ἀδελφός ρώτησε τόν ἀββά Ποιμένα:
 Τί νά κάνω μέ τίς ἁμαρτίες μου;
 Τοῦ λέει ὁ Γέροντας:
Ὅποιος θέλει νά λυτρωθεῖ ἀπό ἁμαρτίες, μέ τόν κλαυθμό λυτρώνεται ἀπ᾿ αὐτές. Καί ὅποιος θέλει ν᾿ ἀποκτήσει ἀρετές, μέ τόν κλαυθμό τίς ἀποκτᾶ. Γιατί τό κλάμα εἶναι ὁ δρόμος πού μᾶς παρέδωσαν ἡ Γραφή καί οἱ Πατέρες μας, λέγοντας: “Κλάψτε! Γιατί ἄλλος δρόμος, ἐκτός ἀπ᾿ αὐτόν, δέν ὑπάρχει”».

Τά δάκρυα εἶναι φυσικό ἀποτέλεσμα τῆς πεσμένης ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως. Πρίν ἀπό τήν προπατορική πτώση, ἡ φύση μας δέν γνώριζε τά δάκρυα. Γνώριζε μόνο τήν ὁλοκάθαρη ἀπόλαυση τῆς παραδείσιας μακαριότητας. Ἀλλά τήν ἔχασε αὐτή τή μακαριότητα. Καί τῆς ἔμειναν τά δάκρυα ὡς ἔκφραση τοῦ πόθου της γιά τή μακαριότητα, ὡς μαρτυρία τῆς πτώσεώς της, ὡς ἀπόδειξη τῆς παραδόσεώς της στήν ὀργή τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλά καί ὡς ἐλπίδα τῆς μελλοντικῆς ἐπιστροφῆς της στήν μακαριότητα. Ἀξιόπιστη εἶναι αὐτή ἡ ἐλπίδα, ἀφοῦ τό αἴσθημα τῆς συμπάθειας πρός τόν πλησίον δέν χάθηκε ἀπό τή φύση μας.

Ἀξιόπιστη εἶναι αὐτή ἡ ἐλπίδα, ἐπειδή τή θλίψη γιά τήν ἀπώλεια τῆς οὐράνιας μακαριότητας δέν μπορεῖ νά τήν ἀποδιώξει καμιά πρόσκαιρη ἀπόλαυση. Παραμένοντας ἀνικανοποίητη ἡ φύση μας, προσμένει ἱκανοποίηση. Στά δάκρυά της ζεῖ μυστικά ἡ παρηγοριά καί τό πένθος της ἡ χαρά. Ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ὅποιαν ἐπίγεια εὐημερία κι ἄν ἀπολαμβάνει, σ᾿ ὅποια ὕψη δόξας κι ἄν βρίσκεται, σ᾿ ὅποιαν εὐτυχία κι ἄν κολυμπᾶ, συναντᾶ καί βιώνει στιγμές, ὧρες καί μέρες τέτοιες, πού μή βρίσκοντας ἀνακούφιση σέ καμιάν ἄλλη παρηγοριά, καταφεύγει σ᾿ αὐτήν πού τοῦ προσφέρουν τά δάκρυα.

The Life of Holy Saint Pelagia The Nun

The Eighth Day
of the Month of October
The Life of Our Holy Mother Pelagia
the Nun, Who Was Once a Harlot,
Written by James, a Deacon of the Church of Heliopolis
From The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints, Volume 2: October,
compiled by St. Demetrius of Rostov

We ought ever to offer abundant thanks to our Lord, Who desires not the death of sinners but patiently awaits their return to life through repentance. Therefore I, James the sinner, write to you, holy brethren, of a wondrous thing which has come to pass in our day, that hearing or reading of it, you may be much edified.

Once, the most pious Archbishop of Antioch summoned eight bishops from the surrounding cities to confer with him concerning certain matters pertaining to the Church. Among them was my own Bishop, the holy man of God Nonnus, who came from Heliopolis, taking me with him. He was a very great man, a perfect monk, who, by reason of his virtuous life, was taken from his Monastery of Tabenna and made a bishop. When the bishops had assembled in the Church of the Holy Martyr Julian, they wished to hear a word of edification from Nonnus, and all sat down before the doors of the church. Nonnus began to speak of such things as would serve for the benefit and salvation of his hearers, and all marveled at his holy teaching. And lo, a woman, an unbeliever, who was the most notorious harlot in all of Antioch, passed before the doors of the church. She was very haughty and was adorned in costly robes and gold, precious stones, and pearls, and she was accompanied by a multitude of youths and maidens, splendidly clad, who wore necklaces of gold. Such was the beauty of her face, that carnal men could not grow weary of the sight of it. As she passed by us, the air was entirely filled with fragrance, and seeing that her head was uncovered and her shoulders naked, the bishops lowered their eyes and sighed, turning away their faces as if from great sin. But the blessed Nonnus stared at her long and intently until she passed out of sight. Then he turned toward the bishops and said, "Did not the wonderful beauty of that woman delight you?"

But they did not answer him. And Nonnus lowered his head and wept, and his tears fell upon his handkerchief and his breast. He sighed from the depths of his heart and again asked the bishops, "Did not her beauty delight you?"
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