TEXTS – ORTHODOXY
How to preserve a relationship?
Fr. Andrew Konanos, Greece
Your life has become a routine. You feel that a person close to you has become boring. You have studied him or her for so many years. You are used to them, but you are tired of them. This is what you think. What is this person really like? You know them well for sure. Just as usual, they reveal something new to you. Something that you did not know, some beautiful part of their soul. If you understand this, you will see they have many more capabilities. Then your interest in them will be awakened in the depths of your soul. Your relationship will become new and fresh again. Any relationship can be pleasant: with your spouse, your children, and your co-workers.
As holy fathers suggested, it is enough for everyone to look at oneself philosophically. That is, to examine oneself, wonder, if Christ reflects in one, then say: «Why was Jesus like that, and I am completely different? What do I have? What do I lack? Why am I so fussy? Why is everyone around me to blame? Why are my wings broken? After all, I am still so young! Future is ahead! I cannot go on like this!”
So, find your calling. Search. Pay attention to your charisma. Listen closely to your heart’s desires and profound wishes. I pray that you awaken, that a spark ignites within your soul and turns into a flaming aspiration that will change your days and weeks, that you find an incentive to live.
I wish you this: some kind of change, an inspiration. By the prayers of all our saints. With the blessing of the Most Pure Theotokos, Her maternal love. I wish your heart to always beat, carrying the living Blood of Christ. The Life-Giving Blood, as we said earlier. So that you would live and rejoice, not being stagnate and not wasting your days pointlessly, spending them without happiness and joy. You are worthy of happiness. Joy suits you. Your soul yearns for Christ. All this I wish you. And I pray for the realization of all this. You can do it all!
Your power is in prayer. I think the greatest mystery of all the saints of our Church and all those mighty souls, who managed to overcome great problems, trials, inconveniences and hardships, was in prayer. Prayer… We claim that we pray, but is it truly so? Judging by myself and some people who trust me, I have no idea if we actually pray or if it is just empty talk.
In Greek, the word “prayer” (προσευχή) has a preposition προς, indicating the direction of prayer. The question is, where is it actually directed? Maybe to ourselves? Perhaps through ourselves we talk to our own selves? Or is there really a way from our “self” to God? Maybe through prayer, we personally contact with God? If we actually had this contact, much would be different… How important it is to say, “I am in contact with God”, that is, with Him, Who is the truth, light, bliss, power, glory, hope, joy, health and wealth.
From the book “There are difficulties in marriage…” by Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos)
Translated by Kirill Nikolaev
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD