Today: December 14 2018
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Marriage is a cross-road

Marriage is a cross-road

Tags: Religion, Christianity

Do not make a mistake, do not try to correct someone. This is a huge mistake in marriage. As in monasticism. When you come to the monastery, you are not allowed to correct the monastery, it is impermissible, you can not correct the elder or the brotherhood. In the monastery you are correcting, and not you are correcting someone or the whole monastery. From the very moment you think: "And you know, this elder and brothers should become more polite, kind, courteous!" - you have already lost everything and one day you will leave. And from the very moment when you want to marry someone else the way you want, one of two things will happen: either you eat it, if it's too kind, weak-willed and just soft-it will be crushed by you, that's all, you he was "eaten"; or, if he is not, you will have conflicts every day.

In a marriage they correct themselves and only themselves. Here is what the fathers say: you will be right to another, and if the other does not change, you will change. You yourself will find how to treat another, if he can not understand what must change. As our elder taught, when I told him:

- My parents do not understand me! I do not find a common language with them.

If someone you do not understand, then you understand them, and the problem will be solved

He said:

"It's okay, child, and you take it and understand it!" If they do not understand you, then you understand them, and the question will be settled.

And really, if you understand another person, then you will not want him to understand you.

We read the lives of saints - ancient and modern; we read the life of the Elder Ephraim Katunaksky - and he lived 42 with such an old man who was a real tyrant, the most real tyrant that other fathers could not bear for more than 15-20 minutes. Our elder said: "I endured it for 30 minutes, and then we left." No one could get along with him, this old man was such a difficult man. And he was not even the original eldest father of Ephraim: Father Ephraim started with his eldest son, but the latter died a year later, and this one remained, who became an old man after him, and he was a despot, mentally ill, and his energy was simply demonic. Father Ephraim was 20 years old, when his elder rested, and 42 he obediently obeyed the new old man - this heavy man, very hard, I can not even tell you how heavy he was, not to shock you.

Many times Father Ephraim tried to get away from him, unable to stand it, but as soon as he decides to leave, the grace of God left him immediately. And after all, Father Ephraim was a God-bearer - he had such boldness with God that he spoke with Him as the other speaks to his friend, but still nothing - God was inexorable and let him torment there for as many as 42 years.

At the end, Father Nicephorus, his elder, completely lost his mind. So passed three or four years, and it was a huge torment. And when Father Nikifor slept and was buried, before putting his body in the grave (I do not know if the body of the deceased is kissed in the world, but on the Holy Mountain, when the elder dies before putting him in the grave, all the novices approach, to take his last blessing and forgiveness from him), Father Ephraim approached and bowed to his corrupt remains. And at the very moment when he bowed to him, God immediately informed him inwardly that what God had done (that is, what remained with the old man) was God's will. And the old man answered God:

- 43 year I prayed and asked you what your will is, but you did not tell me! And you say it now, after 43 year? What should I do now, when did the elder go to bed? And if I left it and left earlier?

"If you did, you would have killed yourself!" He heard the answer in his heart.

You see, sanctification and salvation came to this man not in the midst of a happy life, but through a difficult life, through a lot of work, for, unfortunately, things are exactly like this. Only through the Cross does the Resurrection come. Only the Cross can save man, this our fallen and sick nature, fermented on the fall. To be able to reject the illness of this fall, she must ascend the Cross. One should follow Christ's footsteps. Otherwise, if we do not want to go this way - of course, we are free to do it - then do not wait for us to become disciples of the crucified Christ.

Because if Christ voluntarily ascended to the Cross and the Cross came joy to the whole world, it means that everyone who wants to be saved must voluntarily ascend to his cross, and through the cross he will find great joy. But that he did not look at his spouse as Diocletian or Nero and did not say: "What happiness, my wife is my executioner, and she will sanctify me!" Not so, but with good intent and on the right reason that we marry to fight, to cut off your passions, overcome yourself, "that I die so that another lives."

Once a mother came to me, who wanted to divorce, because she no longer loved her husband and he did not like her. And she told me:

"I can not live with a man I do not love!"

"Okay, but what about your children?"

- Come on, with the kids! With me that's what will happen? How will I live in such a marriage?

I answered her:

"But who told you that you should live in a marriage?"

In marriage you do not come to live, but to die. Marriage is your grave, in marriage you must die to live. As when you become a monk, you go to a monastery not to live, but to die. And when we are baptized, then we all sing: "Those who were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into his death": Do not you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? So we were buried with Him baptism into death, so that as Christ rose from the dead by the glory of the Father, so should we walk in the newness of life (Rom., 6: 3-4).

Christian life means the cross and death. Therefore, all our way, as Christians, lies through the death of the old man, so that a new person comes to life, and when this happens, then we will see that everything is good enough.

And no man before us is not to blame, even demons. You see that the saints did not want to offend even demons. Elder Paisius did not call demon devil, so as not to offend him. I remember when we called the devil a devil, he told us:

"Do not call him that, it's an insult to him!" Do not call him that, sorry for him!

- And how do we call it?

"Let's call him a tangalache." Like a little bear ...

"He eats us alive, and we should call him a tangalashka?"

The elder, however, did not want to call him a devil. Because he believed that we insult him that way, and he said:

- And you like it if I tell you that you are a devil?

Well, he's the devil! But the elder never said this and did not consider any man to be evil.

When a person cleanses himself, he improves and becomes perfect in Christ, then everything around him changes, and his marriage, however difficult, really becomes the place where God reveals His Kingdom. Therefore, in the ritual of the wedding, we sing troparia to the martyrs: "The Holy Martyrs ..." etc., we place the "martyr" crowns on the heads of the newlyweds, and all this shows that we are talking about the martyrdom through death (dilapidated person) in the marriage leading to the Kingdom of God.

Many people are saved in marriage. Well, maybe there is no recorded life of such saints, but in reality there are married people, even surpassing modern monks. And we all know such examples.

It can be said that Father Ephraim lived with an old tyrant, but Father Ephraim had God's grace, he prayed, and the elder Joseph Hesychast was nearby. And the woman who lives with her tyrant husband, who is worse than Nikifor's father, is not 42 years old, but 60 years old, and this is not with some old man, but day and night with her husband who can beat and even kill her, this woman who endures all this for the sake of love of Christ, has she not come to the measure of Father Ephraim, or maybe even higher?

It may not be written down, and we may not know this, but, no doubt, there are so many sorrows and crosses in people in the world! How many parents grow up children with serious illnesses, and how many wives are offended by their spouses! There is a lot of things in the world that we hear and see every day. Yes, such people are unknown, because there was not one who would write about them. To monks other monks record lives. And who will write about a simple person?

But I do not think that more monks are saved than married people. First, there are fewer monks. How many monks are there now in Cyprus, a man of 100? And the laity 700 000. What does it mean? What will save only 100 monks? They will not be saved alone. There are so many other fleeing people!

Marriage as such is overcoming oneself, even the happiest marriage

Indeed, marriage as such is overcoming oneself, even the happiest marriage. If it persists, then you overcome yourself. When the father climbs literally from the skin every day, he tears himself up in the sun, if he, for example, a builder or smith and earns 50 lira a day, and the children come and ask him: one 10 lira, another 20, and the third 30 and take away him all the money for which he was killed and became all black as pitch - does not this person prevail over himself, does not give his blood [1], giving away that money which he extracted with his own blood so that children can go and buy themselves those toys, which sound like this? This is self-sacrifice.


- Why does the life of non-Christians seem more rosy, and Christians should be tormented by it?

- And why does the life of church people seem more difficult for you ?! On the contrary, it is easier, because they can rely on Christ in their difficulties, and a man who does not have hope, what should he rely on? What will happen at a difficult moment if one does not know how to pray, who does not know that there is another life, one in whose life there is no Christ presence? How can he withstand injustice, a blow when there is no counterweight - Christ? Therefore, you look at such a person: they will start to scold him - and he scolds, or rushes to kill another, or he deprives himself of life and ruins everything. A man can not stand it alone. I will give you an example.

When young and mourning parents are buried - believers, there is really manifested faith. Two years ago we were buried in Limassol by a young man who barely got married, went with his wife on a honeymoon and died there in 25 days. And they brought him to the same temple where he was married, and was buried in a wedding suit. A newlyweds who barely managed to become a husband. His parents were church people. And people looked at these suffering, grief-stricken people, but having hope, a solid counterbalance in the soul.

Then we had another funeral, and again a young man, but his unfortunate parents did not have such a connection with the Church, and it's better not to tell you what happened there. We were nearly beaten. That is, the mother was kept away from attacking us because she believed that it was only our fault that her child died. She, of course, was not herself, poor thing, from this pain, but it is obvious that a person who does not have hope does not know what to do, whereas he who has hope is also hurt, but he is walking somewhere, he has hope.

A church man has the nobility - to face difficulties, to face them directly

As if, for example, someone now comes and says:

"You know, you, unfortunately, have cancer, and in three months you will die!"

Well, I, as a person, will be shocked, get upset for a moment, but then I will rise to my feet and say: "Christ exists, the Kingdom of God exists, I will prepare, I will pray!" If I had no hope, what would I did? I would have beaten my head against the wall and said: "Do you know what this means that I will die in three months? What will happen to my life then? What will happen to all that I wanted to do and did not do, but I had such dreams? "

Therefore, I do not think that church people seemed more unhappy, it's just that the church man has the nobility - to face his difficulties, to look them straight in the eye and act right with them. If someone closes his eyes, this does not mean that they no longer exist. That is, both some and others have the same difficulties, if the unbelievers are not worse.

[1] Here we have in mind the patristic saying: "Give blood, receive the Spirit."

Metropolitan of Limassol, Athanasius. Has translated from the Bulgarian Stanka Kosova
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