SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS VIA SKYPE (3)
31 Αυγούστου 2009
I will tell you again about one of my personal experiences. At some point of time Father told me: ‘Connect to Skype.” I did not know whether he was speaking metaphorically, “skaj” as heavens in English, so that I would pay more attention to heavenly things and spiritual way of living, or he was talking about the Skype program. So I asked him and got the answer to connect to Skype program. Then I notice that, for example, my phone bill is much lower. I can see that Father gives me some advices to make my life easier. That is how I got familiar with the Skype, which did not interest me previously; I was more interested in a writing program, and the things that I work on. This is only a small example of how Father helps people by making their spiritual and practical sides of life easier.
Question: In this book Father Gabriel often mentions the virtual family, which connects all people who communicate to him into one, no matter where they are. Therefore, now we could talk about the two aspects that this book reveals. One aspect is the assembly, the collectiveness since many people met thanks to the web-site of the Monastery Lepavina and thanks to the effort of Father Gabriel. Many people virtually met this way, and now many collaborate, comfort each other, and communicate to each other. The second aspect, which we can talk about, would represent the positive characteristics and the mission, if we can call it so, of computers in spiritual life. Father Gabriel once said that young people, who are frightened by computers, do not want to work on computers and are afraid in some way, contact him.
Answer: All this solves the main problem, the problem of humanity. The crisis of humanity, the crisis of empathy, the crisis of socializing are all creating the crisis in today’s world. Patriarch Pavle said so in his Christmas Message. Father simply uses the modern technology, not only to do a missionary work but to also explain the spiritual way of life, and so that people can connect. Something concrete is always happening; those are not hollow conversations, with meaningless words and as Father would say, let’s not philosophize. Therefore, people find each other, they connect, they help each other, they have compassion for each other, and they live the Christian life filled with love. Through Father I met many people who help me in many ways today. So this is a solid Christianity. This is not in any way some scholastic theology, or higher thinking; it is an experimental and practical Christianity which is based on the sacramental ecclesiastical way of living. Father always says that when conversing with people: confess, forgive…..Therefore, the modern technology is useful in a spiritual life too.
We might have a wrong idea that the Church is conservative or it is not innovative. And God is innovative. Those are probably the ideas from some past times, from the time when the Church was still under the pressure of the secular authorities, when it was characterized as a dark institution. Lord has always been with us and when we take the Holy Communion, we feel as renewed. So, the Lord always gives us something new. The Church has always been a predecessor of technological progress, and Father Gabriel is now speeding up the wheel so that we can be in harmony with the function of the church, all of us as a live church. So that we can bond our spiritual lives with something as realistic as technology, science.
Question: One should point out that Father Gabriel, through his own example, testifies about the proper way of living. These conversations are exhausting, and he is ill so he speaks to people about health from his own experience. This is simply one particular subject. Besides the work on a computer, he also conducts everyday duties of an Abbot in the Monastery; he prays. He puts a lot of effort into helping people so that one must wonder where do the strength and love for people come from. In fact, he is a paradigm to all of us.
Answer: That is an example, and, of course, that is his criterion. His rhythm of life is in accordance with the monastery conformation; he is also under a regime of physical exercises due to his health issues; he conducts worship services; many, who come to pray to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, visit him so he prays for them, and he also works via internet. I was there for a month, and when one has that kind of pace of living, one simply feels an incredible mercy; the prayer is always present, and I believe that Father is continuously in Christ’s prayer. Yet somehow, one still sins. Sometimes, when I sin, I feel ashamed, and I ask myself how come that Father endures all that.
Question: I just wanted to ask: when you feel lazy, ill-tempered, or out of spirits, do you remember to ask Father to encourage you?
Answer: The most interesting thing is that, not only I remember it, but Father usually comes to me and he gives me some tasks, he keeps me active; it’s like an explosion. He says to me….common, you could do this or that….and I immediately lift myself up.
Question: I am sure that our listeners will be interested to hear an answer to the question about new documents, ID’s, passports. People have a dilemma; some say that they will not get new credentials because of the code system. Let’s hear about Father Gabriel’s take on this subject.
From the book
Father Gabriel’s Answer: If you do not want to accept it, could you find some jungle to live in, since you are refusing to accept the progress of civilization? If you burden yourself with this, then you only waste your time. Souls will not go to hell because of that; we go to heaven for our good deeds, and our wrong doings will condemn us. No chips, which account for perishable material things, are of any importance. We would not, for example, since the number 666 is mentioned in the Apocalypse, tear out the part of the Bible where this number is mentioned, or tear out only the 666th page because this number is used in some occult teachings. Or, for example, we banish number 13 based on the belief that this number is unlucky; when Fridays happens to be on the 13th day, then we consider the whole day unlucky. Every day is God’s day and it has its purpose; therefore, keep the mind sober and serene, because these days, there a lot of those who puzzle and disturb people with this virus, so that the time, which should be spent in praying, doing good deeds, searching for eternal life and soul saving, is wasted.
Interlocutor: Thank you Father Gabriel. Greetings from spiritual children of God from Prilep in Macedonia.
Source : http://www.manastir-lepavina.org/