Orthodox Abbess Gives Straight Talk on Life: 5 Minutes That Can Awaken Your Soul to God (VIDEO, Transcript)

Originally appeared at: UNITED ORTHODOXY

Late Mother Ilaria, Orthodox Abbes (+2003) talks about monastic life, the sin in the world and about that we are the Church.



I will speak about life. All people, married or not, or in monasteries, are burdened by this hard life. Because of the soul! And because of non-fulfillment of God's law. Laws are not being fulfilled. That is why monks and nuns are to pray to God day and night: for people, for themselves, for country, for rain, for world's peace, for the Patriarch's life, for those who rule, for mothers who are giving birth, for children who study, for the incompetent, for everything living - even for the deer that is separating from it's baby, we pray for her to God too.

Monastic life is so wonderful, it is even called "Angelic" life. Today, only few are left of us. Because for 50 years we were being swallowed by that dragon (Communism). But we were not swallowed. For 1000 times it was chewing us. But it did not eat us. For 1000 times it had bitten us. But it did not poison us. We have remained firm in the Orthodox Faith. And without Orthodox faith, no man can save himself... no man! We have no right to judge people or to force them, but love is love. And love forces a mother to love her child; love is to marry; love makes people; traders, painters, all professions. But the monastic is the painful soul that cries day and night to the Lord.

Prophet David says: "Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help". He also says: "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked [...] They are like chaff that the wind blows away". If not yesterday, then today, if not today, then tomorrow. Centuries are before us, so as days and years. We survive these years, and when the time comes to go to the Lord, then the new ones come to replace us monastics. Monastic means the non-married. Those who are alone. We live here without children, without brother, without husband, without sister, and yet everyone is our brother and sister. But our main wisdom is that we can never be sure in our life. Even in our cells, we must be careful, devil could confuse our thoughts. If he corrupts my prayer with just one thought, my prayer will be ruined, just like the drop of gas ruins milk, and it spoils it.

Monastic life is beautiful: beautiful when we fast, when we pray, when we are alone. Monastic is most beautiful when he sheds tears for himself and the entire world. Holy Fathers teach us, when someone close to us dies, the relatives cry, they talk how good he was, but if he is going to hell, then Christ cries. He took with himself the image of Christ, the beauty that God have him. Because he did not want to abstain from:fornication, drinking, money, theft, politics, yelling, fraud, everything. All that has befallen on us. When Adam and Eve came to cry over their son, Adam said to Eve: "God said to me in the Garden, 'From dust you came, and to dust you shall return!'" People who lean towards drinking, fornication, specially these debauchery girls and boys, they are to be told to protect their souls. They will be eaten by worms, but not eaten - all that should be believed. 

Our severe sins force us nuns to pray for everyone, and for those who do wrong. Our duty must be fulfilled. As long the laws of God are not fulfilled, we must fast on Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday Christ was betrayed for 30 silvers, on Friday He was crucified, and that is our first lent. About that treason, prophet Jeremiah spoke 800 years before Christ, that He will be betrayed, killed and that His garments will be torn apart. All what prophets wrote, God told them. What apostles preached, people of today too have received. Bishops, priests, monastics and there are laity Christians who know well the law of God - those who have received are the Church of God.

You too are the Church of God. You too have the Spirit of God in you. You too are the servants of God and try your best to do for yourself in God. When you do for yourself in God,  you will do it for your neighbors.

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