“I Entered The Church Hoping to Find an Ideal. Instead, I Found … People”

Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos) spoke about faith and self-knowledge.

Once in a monastery I saw two quarreling monks who could not decide on which baking sheets to wash vegetables. Monks are people too. There are times when they have arguments like all of us. They, of course, do not argue about football, fashion or politics. They have other topics. But still they … quarrel! Just like some people shout and offend each other at stadiums. 

As Christians, we expose our passions in a different way. More exquisitely and delicately. If you hear the truth about yourself and admit it, you will feel depressed at first. But by starting self-knowledge together with Christ, you love more. First you love yourself. You become more friendly, warmhearted and forgiving to the closest person: to yourself.

You make peace with yourself and start to accept and embrace who you are. If you take the path of self-discovery and reconciliation, then you will love your child kindlier. Then you will become more merciful because you will think like this: “Like father like son.” We often argue with our children and say that they are spoiled. But we are spoiled too. Everything seems to be going wrong and you don’t know what to do next. However, we, the elders, hide everything, and many things become imperceptible.

The one who enters the Church, gradually learns new things and discovers that all people are mostly the same. We are talking about many common features, my friend! If you understand that everywhere people have the same traits, you will treat everyone with indulgence. A friend of mine who works at a bank told me: “I came to the Church and thought I would find an ideal there. But I found… people. Father, there are quarrels, accusations, diplomatic relations and intrigues both at the bank and in the neighboring church!”

There is a lady who lives abroad. Every time she feels desperate, she texts me, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m losing faith. I am shocked by all that I see. How can this happen in my congregation?” Why does all of this happen? Because we are people. People are basically the same everywhere around the world. Wherever you go. We are people with our problems and weaknesses. But every time we recognize this truth, we become very good people. Our character softens. We accept the truth of our existence and are ready to say,: “You are my brother and I’m yours. I love you. Forgive me, and I forgive you too.”

From the book “On Certain Difficulties in Marriage” by Father Andrew (Konanos)

Translated by pravmir.com

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