September 5, 2010

Holy Mount Athos Will Never Perish...

September 5, 2010

Byzantium may have perished and did not survive as a state. Nevertheless, it survives spiritually as a genuine way of life and as a culture.

I would dare say that Byzantium lives on spiritually within the Holy Mount Athos! Our Lady’s garden exhibits resilience beyond time, as well as a unique way of life and a reviving vigor.

The last two years a manic attack has been launched against the Athonite community in relation to the case of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi. A lot of ink has been spent and a lot of brainstorming has taken place during this period against the Monastery and its Abbot Ephraim. In the end, it only served the vital interests and intentions of some people.

There is only one thing that the incitement of such an alleged scandal cannot do: to harm the spirituality of the allegedly involved parties. On the contrary, it tests their virtue.

The attacks launched by the enemy have started bouncing back to them. As our popular wisdom has it: he who digs the other’s grave, falls in it himself.

The Holy Mount Athos pays for the Vatopedi case

An Athens newspaper wrote a few days ago that the Holy Mount Athos is still paying a price for Abbot Ephraim's involvement with the politicians. It cited the government’s rejection of a request by the Holy Community to participate in the European program “Community of Information” and the grant of 20 million Euros, for the electronic classification of the Mountain’s relics.

Let us not kid ourselves. This decision had nothing to do with any Elder Ephraim, but rather the clandestine intervention by those Hagiorites who move by sheer hate, lasting for many years. They release fabricated facts against the Monastery and its Abbot, creating, thus, a negative feeling.

Let us repeat it one more time. Some incredible stories have been woven around the Vatopaidi case, which truly surpass normal imagination.

Elder Moses the Athonite, speaking a few days ago to had stressed: “For the last two years the media have been trying to convince people about the existence of a so-called Vatopaidi scandal.”

“During this furor it was difficult for anyone to express a different opinion since he would be accused that he has been bribed. For two whole years, a Holy Mountain Monastery with over a hundred and ten monks, with a long history and contribution to society has been stoned, insulted, ridiculed, assaulted and very few people managed to defend it, even though no illegality has ever been proven”, he said.

In any case, it is becoming more obvious every day that there is no such scandal, no bribe has ever been given and no suspicious deed has ever been undertaken by the Monastery. The case has been investigated thoroughly by the courts. They did not find any illegal act whatsoever or a conspiracy being committed. This case is simply being preserved for various other reasons.

The Monastery continues its activities which please God

Even though Vatopaidi Monastery has been accused like no other, it continues its activities which please God. The one hundred and ten of its monks continue to struggle to save their souls and are daily serving dozens of visitors, always exhibiting a smile on their faces.

Some time ago, some dark powers have targeted the Holy Mount Athos, because it constitutes one of the highest pillars of Orthodoxy. Let us use a phrase used by an ascetic of our Lady’s garden: “My children, the Holy Mountain will never perish. Thousands of arrows have been targeting it for many years because some people are not pleased with its spiritual revival”.

As for the attacks launched against Abbot Ephraim, let us simply have recourse to the Old Testament and read the story of Joseph, who had been sold by his elder brothers as a slave....