January 14, 2012

Former Journalist Now An Ascetic On Mount Athos

In a cave of "horrific" Karoulia on Mount Athos rests the Serbian monk Fr. Seraphim in the summertime. Because the winters here are particularly harsh, the rest of the year he lives in a wooden house outside of a cave which fits only one person at a time. Four boards and a rug are enough for him to sleep, as he told us.

Fr. Seraphim, the father of a 16-year-old girl, studied economics and worked as a media television journalist. "The things I believed in my religion had nothing to do with what I was doing as a journalist - two opposing roads with different values", he said.

"Here I pray for my daughter and my wife; I have not abandoned them. Noetically I am with them. I fell in love with our Triune God. In this way we will all benefit", he noted characteristically.

Fr. Seraphim is very tall and imposing. He lives by himself at a steep point of Karoulia. However he says: "I do not live alone here, I have many companions", he told me. And when he was asked "Who?", he responded to me: "The thousands of angels which you see only when you labor for the soul and not only the body. The body we sustain with some goods which are offered by the All-Good One."

"One day I had nothing to eat, and behold the miracle: I saw an eagle coming at a very high speed towards my cave and I said to myself what will he take with him...I had a bad thought. But as he was approaching I noticed that he was holding something. It was a fresh fish! Well, with this I passed the day," related Fr. Seraphim.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos