January 29, 2021

Rotting Like A Tomato


By Dr. Konstantinos Vardakas

Years ago a friend of mine went to his today well-known Elder, Venerable Ephraim of Katounakia, and asked him a question:

"Elder, it has been suggested to me to get involved in politics. What do you think? Do I have your blessing?"

And the always meek Saint answered him:

"My child, politics also has its difficult circumstances. It is as if, my little child, you take a fresh tomato and put it in a crate with rotten tomatoes, what will happen? Will it not rot as well?"

Of course, our friend did not want to rot like a tomato.

When the opportunity came and the ascetic strugglers of Mount Athos arrived at the time for prayer and watchfulness and they set out to talk about Venerable Ephraim, they described him as the "Father of Fathers", which means he was an unerring guide of many holy souls who were prepared by him to help in their turn many others.

These Fathers like the Saint were lightning rods to the just wrath of Holy God.

This is why today we must be guided like nails to holiness through overwhelming repentance, as the struggle that is being waged at this hour is without equal.

On the one hand we fight with the worst darkness that has historically existed in humanity and on the other hand we fight with our evil selves and passions.

Our sharp turn in holiness in Christ will save not only us but also those around us.

Of course, our friend did not want to rot like a tomato.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.