Many thanks to all those who sponsor and support the Mystagogy Resource Center; your positive feedback and generosity through financial gifts have been encouraging. Without this support, I would not be able to devote the time I need to produce all that you will see moving forward. Since I am now working by the hour and my time is more limited, I need to figure things out how to best use my time for your benefit, and will then give a progress report some time in the spring. Till then, I encourage all those who do not yet financially support this ministry - yet find some benefit from it - to likewise do so in order that it may continue to be helpful to you and countless others. See links at the bottom of this page to submit your contribution.
+ + +
+ + +

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"When I Went to the Cave of Bethlehem, My Heart Broke There" (St. Ephraim of Katounakia)

By Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol

I remember the Elder, Saint Ephraim Katounakiotis, saying:

"I was moved everywhere in the Holy Land, but when I went to the Cave of Bethlehem, my heart broke there! It became a thousand pieces! And I said: how was God born in this place, in this cave, without consolation, cast out, outside of the city? This God, who could have done anything for Himself, and yet silently, away from all worldliness, in one night, the coldest night of the year, the longest night of the year, in a completely despised space, the One who created everything - heaven and earth - He was born in that space!

And when I came back to my cell and I went in and saw blankets (and what blankets did he have?) and I saw what I had, I was ashamed and said: if God was born in this cave, how can I use all these things?"

I saw pots, I saw kettles (of course if I describe his pots, even our dogs would not eat from them! And if I tell you about his bed, we would not put our pigs on there either!). And yet he considered this space, which was his own, as a luxury, an excess.

And since then, sometimes when I said to him: "Elder, your cell is small" he would say to me:

"God was born in a cave! If I think of the cave of God, well, what can I say about myself?"

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
Become a Patreon supporter:

To read more about supporting the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center, either as a monthly supporter or an annual supporter, please visit the DONATE page.

Thank you!