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Πέμπτη, 29 Ιουλίου 2021

Nobody here sleeps in a bed.




 

“Elder Aimilianos never told anyone what to do. Never gave orders. He told us many times when the community was all together: “I can’t really tell you what to do, all I can do is strive to be an example.” He used to say, “In the Christian life, there is no ‘must’. If you tell people they ‘must do this and must do that’, something in their spirit rebels. It’s unnatural for us to be enslaved in that way, to have orders and commands imposed upon us. …

 

… When a certain novice arrived at Simonopetra, the cells were under construction so he was put in a guest room. It all looked normal: shelf, books, bed. He was working in the library, and one of the monks got up and said, “Ooh my back, my back: it’s killing me. I have back troubles.” “Is your bed too soft?” the novice asked. “You sleep in a bed?” “Yeah: don’t you?” “No, nobody here sleeps in a bed,” and laughed with the other monks saying, “Hey, come here. He sleeps in a bed!” When the novice was with the Abbot a couple days later, the Abbot asked, “You have a bed in your room? At some point, we’ll have to get that out of there.” The novice was terrified: he had a long history of chronic lower back problems. He had the idea: “If they take my bed away, I’ll be a cripple the rest of my life!” Every time he heard a knock on the door, he feared they were coming for it. Yet no one ever came for the bed. One day the Novice saw the cell of the Abbot. The Abbot didn’t have a bed! “This man carries the weight of the whole monastery on his shoulders, works so hard for everybody here, deals with all our nonsense, our infantile behaviour prays for us, and he doesn’t sleep in a bed. And I’m going to have a bed? I can’t do that.” He went back to his room and got rid of the bed. Had they taken it, and he had back problems, he would have cursed them forever! The Abbot taught by example.”

 

Source: A priest of the Orthodox Church

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