July 12, 2009

Video of Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi with Translation (1)

[I found this video a bit difficult to understand, so I offer the basic message below which hopefully will help someone with better skills than me to offer a more accurate translation. -J.S.]

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi
Subject: Admonition to Monks

1st minute -- The Elder is speaking of the Theotokos. He magnifies the fact that she gave birth to God the Logos who is the glory of the Father. He magnifies her ever-virginity and her perfection which allowed Him who is perfect to regenerate His entire creation. Her paternal affection is not limited to this. She has given us other blessings such as her most holy clothing [Vatopaidi Monastery is in possession of the belt or zoni of the Theotokos and there are other such articles of clothing throughout the world] which held the most holy infant and which by her allowance was given to us out of paternal affection for these to exist as both timeless and living for the sanctification of christians and of all people. And as the Epistle reading of the day says...

2nd minute -- ...these things were written about in the Old Testament as a shadow. All these shadows in the Old Testament about the divine economy spoke of her - the golden vessel holding the manna, the entrance to the Holy Place, and so many other things which my memory won't allow me to remember. All these symbols symbolized her and they foresaw back then by the power of the Holy Spirit the mystery of this daughter. And the Holy Spirit showed us through the type, the shadow of the law, that she, the ever-virgin daughter will become the tool through which the world is regenerated.

3rd minute -- The Elder goes on to speak how the Theotokos protects us through the power of the Holy Spirit which resides in her clothing that have been given to the monastery and resides in their midst as a living witness. She is in our midst in this center of the universe of her motherly compassion throughout the Holy Mountain and here at our monastery which has its foundations since ancient times and which has offered so much to christendom.

4th minute -- She has made us worthy to have her form and icon [the miraculous Panagia Pantanassa icon resides in the Monastery of Vatopaidi] to receive her sympathy and affection abundantly. When she confessed with her own mouth, the Queen of heaven and earth, that she is named Pantanassa and a resident of Vatopaidi...When the Queen of heaven and earth...is not in the heavens or with the God of gods but resides at Vatopaidi, how much consolation, how joy, how much help,...

5th minute -- ...how much of a sure hope of our purpose should we have since she lives here with us with maternal affection. All these things, my beloved brothers, should be alive in our memory to shadow us when the dark cloud of perversions and violations confuse us and mix us up. Let us not lose our courage. But with sure hope and faith that the mother of mercy, the mother of God the Logos, the mother of all of christendom and humanity is with us and is the mother of Vatopaidi. How much courage do we have now! How much hope!

6th minute -- How much joy should we feel! And with how much force will we battle against the words of perversion which the devil and his armies propose. We will not be separated, for God is with us. God will judge in righteousness. It has been promised to us that God will not leave us as orphans, but will be with us until He calls us to Himself. He does not want us to be alone, but wants us to be with Him.

7th minute -- The synthesis with divinity makes us saints of God and brothers of Christ and we receive gifts which the angels long for. The illumined angels which behold divinity are jealous because they are not worthy to receive what we have received because we have become brothers of Christ and sons of the Father, though they are only servants. Do not forget these things my brothers because these will be our greatest weapons against words of perversion.