Today: December 15 2018
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Tags: Religion, Christianity

If it is a matter of helping and sacrificing, it is most likely that they are sacrificed to young children. Because children are sweet, sinless and defenseless. You can make them "hsi-shu" or "bo-bo", pat on the cheek, smile, kiss them in the forehead. It is much harder to regret and pamper the elderly. Helpless, lost power and beauty, sometimes harmful and grouchy, repulsive smell or appearance and then on the list. And it is even harder to regret prisoners, "prisoners" in the Soviet terminology. "Once they sit, it means they are guilty. Why should they be pityed? "The philistine will say and will be partly right. Partly.

In Moscow, once lived Dr. Haas, who found peace at the Vvedensky (German) cemetery of the capital. He was the chief doctor of the Moscow prisons and very sympathetic to the prisoners. "Haas has no refusal," they said in Moscow about the good heart of this Russified German. The doctor tried in every possible way to alleviate the fate of the convicts, in particular the fate of those who were being transported in shackles for long distances. To this end, the doctor petitioned the Moscow Philaret, unhappy with the authorities and metropolitan. The saint once, after hearing from Haas that there might be innocents among the convicts, said: "They are convicted, therefore guilty." Haas exclaimed: "Vladyka, you have forgotten Christ!" And indeed, Christ was condemned, but at the same time completely innocent. Filaret resigned himself and said: "No. He has forgotten me. "

In the prisons, many saints sat. Sat Joseph the Beautiful, maligned by the mistress in an attempt to rape (see: Gen. 40). Jeremiah was sitting. And not so much in prison as in zindan, that is, pit. About such imprisonments can be learned in detail from the chronicles of the Caucasian wars, for such forms of imprisonment are now widely in use. If Joseph sat for chastity, then Jeremiah - for truthful and unpleasant prophecies. Before his death, through the cutting of his head, John the Baptist spent the last few days in prison. And the holy martyrs who suffered a tearful imprisonment for faith and truth in the Christian era, truly there is no number. From the time of Nero and to large-scale repressions in the Land of Soviets, many saints passed through the darkness of the prison for the confession of faith. They ate bald, languished in crowded cells, suffered from the uncertainty of the future, tolerated daily humiliation. So the phrase: "Sits, then, is guilty" - in history is not always justified.

Inclined to extremes, the mind on these words decides to open all the prisons and declare complete freedom to all. Long live, so to speak, complete freedom, along with equality and brotherhood. And this hasty mind, as the classic said, is fundamentally wrong. The Provisional Government in Russia after the February Revolution, in a wave of gentleness and pink illusions about the imminent happiness, opened the prison wide and ... And flooded the country with criminals, criminalized to the extreme everyday life, facilitating the Bolsheviks usurpation of power and the subsequent tightening of nuts. In prisons, after all, not only the saints sit.

Here is an example from history - the case with Empress Catherine. According to the custom of the Russian monarchs, she once visited the places of imprisonment on Easter. In each cell she asked: "What are you sitting for?" In response, I heard: "Mother Queen! They talked (deceived, framed). For other people's sins I sit. Get out! The age of God I will pray for you. " Well, and stuff in the same spirit. Finally, a young man answered the question of the empress: "I'm guilty and I'm sitting for work". "Let him go," said the Empress, having the right to pamper the prisoners on Easter. "Why this?" - Both prisoners and retinue were perplexed. "Well, no one can be guilty of sitting among so many innocent people!" Catherine answered wittily. So repentance and admission of guilt can lead to freedom. Let the case be rare, but accurate.

To the question of innocence ... The Swiss writer Dyurrenmatt spoke (ominously joked) that if any person is forced to put him in jail without announcing guilt, then this person will soon understand for himself. This is about the fact that everything is not without sin and everyone has something to repent of, there is something to suffer for. But in a negative sense, this same thought degenerates into a well-known cannibalistic conviction: "There would be a man, and an article will be found." This is a very working phrase, sadly justifying itself every day. And it is only worth pondering on this topic, how the soul will immediately become sad and uncomfortable.

Speaking of the Last Judgment, Christ lists the good deeds that a person can do to please Him personally, the Savior (see: Matthew 25: 31-46): feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the sick ... This gospel teaching is widely known. There are also words about the prisoners: He was in prison, and you came to Me. Among other things (calling for practical charity) this also means that prisoners in dungeons will be everywhere and always until the end of the century. Similarly, there will be sick, and poor, and deprived of shelter. Beggars will always be among your land (Deuteronomy 15: 11), says the Scripture. And this despite the fact that all blessings to Israel had an emphatically terrestrial, material character. Wealth, many children, longevity - these are the signs of abundant blessings. And yet the poor will always be among your land. In the same measure, there will always be hungry, thirsty, stripped and ... imprisoned. Hence the folk wisdom, which commands soup and prison not to renounce. Hence the demand for pity and compassion for those who are deprived of their liberty.

We know the feeling of hunger, and therefore it is not difficult to understand the hungry. Known cold, fear, lack of money, loneliness, and people in these states, we easily understand. It is necessary only to want. To feel compassion for the prisoners, you do not need to be in bonds. It is enough to have a living mind, a human heart and a little imagination. Remember the prisoners, as if you were in bondage with them, and the suffering ones, as you yourself are in the body (Hebrew 13: 3). And all it takes is to collect a parcel with warm socks, writing materials and long-stored products (dry milk, lard, garlic) at least once in a lifetime. A trifle. But this trifle will fall personally into Christ's hands.

There are many prisons in our country. Lots of. Hundreds of thousands of people are sitting on the "back side of the Moon," and everyone's story can be turned into a book. The reasons for the mass nature of this phenomenon could be attributed to Gulag and similar nightmares, if not for one "but". The largest number of prisoners in proportion to the total number of people is in the US, that is, in the "bastion of freedom and democracy." And upon the release to the will of the local sitters, it is no easier, than ours, to socialize: to create or restore a family, to start working, etc. As well as at us, sitting person everywhere bears a certain stamp of doom. He's tagged. It is difficult for him to integrate into civil life and it is very easy to go on a new round, to the next time. So it's not the Gulag and not democracy. Not in them only.

We no longer believe, as once, that the prison should be re-educated. It is not possible to re-educate a prison, but it is only capable of punishing and (or) crippling. Meeting with her is similar for a person meeting a trembling flesh with a sharp iron. This is not an equal meeting, but a meeting of a soulless and indifferent machine with a small but alive person. The stove does not care what kind of wood it burns. The meat grinder does not care what it is twisted into minced meat - pork or lamb. And the prison does not care for whose back it clangs - behind the back of the accountant, who was framed; or a professor, whom they made a reservation; or a recidivist, who was finally caught. This soullessness and indifference to a particular fate kills, perhaps, more than anything else. It is then easier for a person to become embittered, bristled, hating the system, and even then all life and all people at once. And multiplying the number of embittered, ready for revenge, hiding people - the most dangerous thing that conceals a crowded prison. A network of overcrowded prisons.

Multiplying the number of embittered, ready for revenge people - the most dangerous thing that conceals a crowded prison

A person is not born to speak on a hairdresser, drink chifir and stuff a new tattoo on the body. Look at the young children, whether they have a mom on their hands or on a playground. On those very children, who are so easy and pleasant to do "u-ty-tyu" or to ruffle silk hairs. Which of them you can easily imagine dressed in a robe, thin and coughing, with evil eyes, hiding the hatred of the whole world? Perhaps no one. And after all, children grow up, become uncles and aunts - and sit down. Go out and sit down again. And they get used to prison as to the house, and they do not go out anymore. This is one of the most terrible and widespread troubles, apart from wars, illnesses and everything else that prevents people from living. You can pretend that this does not concern me. In the end it's so natural - to screw up your eyes and turn away from trouble, so as not to hurt your heart again. But the Gospel says: He was in prison, and you came to Me. So, it is necessary, not to fall into the illusion of the establishment of paradise on earth, to think about it. The fact that in the XXI century a person continues to remain selfish and cruel. The fact that there is no complete justice in this world, although it is necessary to strive for it. And that the gospel light must penetrate beyond the prison grid, where only one God will figure out who is right and who is guilty.

Archpriest Andrei Tkachev
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