Geronta Pavlos of Sinai falls asleep in the Lord
I received the following email this morning from Sister Joanna, the nun who accompanied the Elder on his visit to our monastery, back in May of 2012:
We rejoice in the knowledge that holy Geronta Pavlos of Sinai, having reposed in the Lord, now enjoys the reward of the enormous martyrdom he underwent during the past three years of severe illness without so much as a sign of protest.
May we have his blessing by keeping his counsels, following Christ with our lives as he wished. The great Spiritual Father who devoted himself to the Mystery of Confession entered into genuine Life, shortly before dawn, on the Sunday of Forgiveness.
This photograph of Elder Pavlo that is in our library, was taken by me in our monastery’s courtyard during his visit. I remember apologizing to him during my private time with him in our library, after one of my monks ask him, “How does one know if he is in the right monastery?” His reply to this monk, who left without a blessing, was, “you are in the right place if this is the place of your tonsure”.
I proceeded to tell Elder Pavlos that I was a poor excuse for a spiritual father, and that we were not the monastery that we should be. His reply surprised me, but also uplifted and encouraged me. He said, “Oh no, I sense the love of the Sinai here”.
I later heard from Sister Joanna, that he told people in Southern California, that our monastery was the favorite place he’d visited during his trip to America. To this day, I am comforted by the memory of those words, and uplifted by the knowledge that we now have a new heavenly intercessor.
As I am with the memory of my own late spiritual father, Blessed Dimitry of Santa Rosa, I am gratified that the Lord has seen fit to visit me, in my unworthiness, with such illumined monastic saints as Geronta Pavlos of Sinai, and Gerontissa Markella of Life Giving Spring Monastery in Dunlap, CA. By their holy prayers and example, I may actually become a holy monk myself, one day.
The Elder Pavlos of Sinai, who spent a Saturday afternoon with us, recounted something about my own late Spiritual Father, Blessed Dimitry of Santa Rosa, that I’d forgotten. Archimandrite Dimitry, who had escaped from Communist Russia, having suffered beatings and imprisonment, never spoke against them, nor ever uttered a word in judgement regarding his former tormentors. In fact, Elder Dimitry never spoke a word in judgement against anyone.
This demonstration of holiness is within the realm of possibility of us all, for it simply requires commitment on our part, and a willingness to never allow ourselves to utter a word of judgement against anyone. If we do this, we will learn we can love everyone, for when we decide to judge no one, love can enter our heart, and everyone will be the recipient of our love, and kindness, and mercy.
With love in Christ,
Tuesday March 3, 2020 / February 19, 2020
First Week of the Great Lent. Tone four.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Apostles Archippus and Philemon of the Seventy, and Martyr Apphia (1st c.).
St. Theodore of Sanaxar Monastery (1791).
New Martyr Demetrius(1942).
Martyrs Maximus, Theodotus, Hesychius, and Asclepiodotus of Adrianopolis (305-311).
Venerables Eugene and Macarius, presbyters, confessors at Antioch (363).
Venerable Dositheus of Palestine (6th c.), disciple of St. Abba Dorotheus.
Venerable Rabulas of Samosata (530).
Venerable Conon, abbot in Palestine (555).
New Hieromartyr Nicetas of Epirus (1809).
Venerable Philothea, nun-martyr, of Athens (1589) (Greek).
St. Mesrop the Translator of Armenia (439).
The Scripture Readings
19 If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
The Degenerate City
21 How the faithful city has become a harlot!
It was full of justice;
Righteousness lodged in it,
But now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross,
Your wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebellious,
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord says,
The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel,
“Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,
And take vengeance on My enemies.
25 I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
26 I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.
28 The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together,
And those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees
Which you have desired;
And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens
Which you have chosen.
30 For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades,
And as a garden that has no water.
31 The strong shall be as tinder,
And the work of it as a spark;
Both will burn together,
And no one shall quench them.
The Future House of God
2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
The Call of Wisdom
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”