March 20, 2014

Elder Ambrose: Compline is Like an Umbrella

Once he [Elder Ambrose of Dadiou] went with a certain spiritual child of his to hear a talk of a known clerical preacher, somewhere in Athens. Afterwards there was a discussion and a young man in the audience asked the priest the following question:

"Father, I cannot read Compline or the Six Psalms, nor can I follow the Divine Liturgy. The only thing I can do is to say the 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me'. Will I be saved?"

The priest did not give a clear answer. At that moment, however, the Elder turned to the spiritual child that accompanied him and whispered:

"He should have told him: Yes, you will be saved."

He would say that Compline is like an umbrella that opens and covers the entire family from evil spirits that exist at night, even repelling thieves and God shields you in your own home. Indeed, he insisted to a woman not only to do her morning prayers, after she had rested, but also at night, despite the fatigue of the day that passed. He stressed to her:

"Try to say Compline every night with your children. And one of you should only always read, while the others accompany, and all will be involved in the end somehow. Or, if this is not possible, then let the whole family be together and let one person read."

He was sympathetic towards others. So when the same woman asked him what she should do with her children, since because of their age or level of education they could not participate, he said:

"The let each person do it on their own, lest it not be done at all. And if you cannot do all of Compline, then say the 50th Psalm of David ('Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy')."

Source: From the book Ο πνευματικός της Μονής Δαδίου (The Spiritual Father of Dadiou Monastery). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.