From Archimandrite Andrew’s (Konanos) memories.
Once I happened to see Saint Porphyry. Without telling him anything about my marital status or my parents, I asked the elder: “Father, tell me what should I do with my family?” Geronda answered me with his eyes closed: “You fight with your father, do not tell him anything more about confession. Awake first, feel the presence of Christ in your heart. Show patience and obedience, pray and keep silence. And in two, three, five, or six years you will see a miracle. As for now, listen to your parents and pray for them. Repeat what I’ve told you”. Then Father Porphyry pushed me slightly. Puzzled, I replied: “I am told to show silence, obedience, and pray.” “Yes, but first you must wake up, only then you will see a miracle,” Geronda repeated once more. He did not even mention my mother, since she went to confession, only my father did not go.
After talking with the elder, my father noticed that I did not touch him, did not argue with him, did not disturb him, and once told me: “What happened? Has the sermon stopped?” I answered: “You are an adult person and you know what to do”. Easter passed; the father did not go to confession. Summer passed – the same thing. One year passed, I tried to keep silence and not to object to my father, to listen more to my parents and, of course, to pray; also, I tried to change myself.
After a while, my father suddenly said to me: “You know many priests, advise me one, I want to confess”. I advised one priest to him, and my father confessed to him. It happened in 1996 – exactly six years after the day of my conversation with Saint Porphyry.
The elder knew that some things in our life happen not when we want it, but when the appropriate time comes for each of us. Therefore, it is very important for us to awaken spiritually. The Lord will not ask us why have not our parents, friends, or children – all those around us – changed, but He will certainly ask why have not you changed. If you are transforming from within, doing inner work on yourself, it will bear fruits.
Ripe melon can be easily recognized by its smell. Same here. Do not force anyone to do anything. Only you need inner work. Saint Porphyry taught me such a lesson in 1990; I carried these words through my whole life.
Nothing changes magically in our life. Some may even see Christ, but this does not mean that they will change anything in their lives. Others say: “I want to see a living saint”. If you really need it, the Lord will send the right person to you so that you can benefit from the conversation with him. It is enough for you to be ready to work on yourself – and a spiritual mentor will appear who will give the appropriate advice for you. After all, what Geronda told for me, he did not tell for you.
Therefore, our lives are improved thanks to our small changes. Thus, when Christ enters our soul, His grace quietly and gently radiates everywhere and to everyone. And that is how our world is changing.
May God help us in our daily affairs through the prayers of His saint Porphyry.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds