April 9, 2020

Daily Radio Show in This Time of Crisis Hosted by Metr. Athanasios of Limassol

Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, through his Metropolis radio station, is daily communicating with his flock in this time of crisis and human ordeal, where he communicates by telephone with his flock and offers them comforting words as well as answers to callers questions, especially regarding the ordeal we are going through with the pandemic and the issues that surround it.

There have already been ten episodes that you can hear online, and you can hear each new episode uploaded daily here. Be aware however that they are only in Greek. Below are links to the episodes so far:

Below are short excerpts from one broadcast to satisfy those who clicked on this link and do not know Greek:

It is a very painful experience on the night of the Resurrection, on the night where we say Christ is Risen, when we see thousands of people who had just completed singing Christ is Risen, to leave, they just leave. The priest says: "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered," and the people scatter away and go to their homes to eat their soup and offer their best wishes of many years to those in their household. Meanwhile, how many remained in the church? Few. Perhaps we should all take this as a penance because we did not value and appreciate what we had?

In other words, what is more painful, this Pascha in which we are forced by those higher up with authority to do it in our homes through television, or another Pascha in which we are all free and we could just leave whenever we want and we didn't care about staying in church, communing, listening to the Divine Liturgy, and instead had it on our mind to just say Christ is Risen, leave and roast lamb? Which is more pleasing to God?

I think what we will experience this year is more pleasing to God than previously. Previously we had a choice, and we chose to leave; this year we do not have a choice to leave, and with pain we will remain at home. Because I stand in front of all the people, and I behold the people from the podium, what can I say, there is no more painful image than the withdrawal of people holding their lit candles, and it is like a procession of candles leaving as we say: "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him, flee from His face." And as this is said, our Christian brethren are fulfilling this prophecy before our eyes and are distancing themselves from God.

This is why He wants us to stay home and repent on Pascha, and I consider this a lesser evil compared to what has taken place for many years. This is why we have need of repentance. And I may not have left as a bishop and as a clergyman, but I also had a responsibility because my brethren and the children of the Church left, and if I were a good clergyman and a good bishop I would help people not to leave, so my own negligence and my own carelessness and my own incompetence and my own inadequacy brought this ignorance to the world and we sinned by staying away from God at the time of the Resurrection. So let's take it as a penance to repent and be disciplined.

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Surely we can be infected by this virus, not through Divine Communion, but from entering and exiting from our fellowship and our work and by associating with people who have this virus. We priests and bishops and people of the Church can also get sick from this virus. Recently a Metropolitan in Serbia reposed because of this virus, but surely we will not acquire this virus from Divine Communion and the Holy Mysteries. Yet, as people who associate with other people and move around at different levels in our daily lives just as everybody else, we are in danger.

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Let us obey the Church and not worry. Obedience to the Church is a sure way of salvation.

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Now that we are not going to church, we must devote this time that we went to church to prayer, and during this time we should watch the Divine Liturgy since we have a means today by which we can do so, and we must pray and dedicate ourselves to Christ. We should not devote this time to other things, but we should dedicate it to prayer and spiritual meditation.

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Let us not complain to God as to why He put this penance on us, because we did this to ourselves, and we ourselves unfortunately turned our backs and fled far from Divine Communion on the night of the Resurrection. This is why we must repent of our mistakes and value what we once had and now have lost.