November 17, 2014

The Value of Contemporary Elders

By Archimandrite Paul Englezakis

Where is the value in our contemporary Elders, such as Fr. Sophrony, Fr. Porphyrios, Fr. Paisios and others?

These are people who prove that Christianity is the truth and that it can be experienced.

It is necessary that we the faithful understand this, because we usually only perceive that those around us and even we ourselves are having difficulty experiencing Christianity. And in times of distress or great struggle a person may question: Is it possible to apply the words of Christ?

These people then, such as Fr. Sophrony, Fr. Porphyrios and others demonstrate beyond doubt that the Gospel can be experienced and that, since they achieved this, we all can achieve this, we are able to achieve this.

What do people seek from the Church? For years I worked in Cyprus and other places, within the Church. People do not so much seek for philanthropy or other means of assistance from the Church that was offered to people in the Middle Ages and the Turkish occupation.

What contemporary man seeks is spirituality: how to pray, how to communicate with God. They want answers to the question if God exists, how does He exist, if anybody has experienced what is spoken of in the Gospels, if anyone knows God personally, directly.

Therefore, the testimony of these great Elders is irreplaceable, because such a life cannot be replaced.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.