Archimandrite Christodoulos -Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology [M.A. '86, M.Div. '07] Fr Christodoulos was born and raised in the Church by pious and faithful parents in Denver, Colorado; he has interests ranging from sports, music, theater and graphic arts to theology and history, and he has used his God-given talents in multiple ways: graphic designer for Walt Disney Studios ('81-'83), then studies at Holy Cross ('84-'86, '06-'07), then having been awarded the Taylor Scholarship he lived at Moni Vlatadon in Thessaloniki for six months, after that he was parish youth director at St Anthony's in Pasadena, Ca ('87-'88); then after a three year novitiate (beginning in '88) he took monastic vows ('91) at picturesque "THARRI" - the Holy Monastery of Archangel Michael of Rhodes under the revered mission-minded tutelage of the present Metropolitan of New Zealand (+Archb. Amphilochios); he was ordained ('92) and granted the "ofikion" of Pnevmatikos ('94), made periodic mission trips back to the Archdiocese of America and to Canada, to India and to Albania; in 1999 he was sent to the Metropolis of Denver where, while serving as a supply-priest, he founded the Brotherhood of Saint George; an urban oasis of peace and prayer (hermitage/shrine); he then served in the Metropolis of New Zealand (Chancellor, '08-'11) assisting his former Abbot; also with the opening of the St Paraskevi Sacred-Mission Center on the Island of Fiji; and since September 2012 he has been assisting Metropolitan Alexios for our Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta as IEROKYRIX (traveling Preacher/Confessor).
…a poetic rendering (of the original Greek) by Christodoulos, priest-monk
Where, O where are the blessed good old days,
when life was simpler, happier …and not such a maze?
What happened to the gatherings at yiayia’s after Church?
Now getting everyone together is like an all outright search!
Where have the days gone when what mattered most
was love and laughter … and when people didn’t boast?
Friendship was a magnet and just “dropping by” was the way.
Now, in order to visit her own kids, even mom needs an “okay.”
Times have changed and “for shame!”…they have changed quite a lot.
We hardly ever eat together; grandparents to tots.
Yes, now the only times that it seems we’re together
is when the Church calls – but even then …we skip; ‘cuz of the weather!
Just take a look – it wasn’t that long ago when being with family
was the best way to go.
Now, like rabbits gone wild, it seems we’re all scattered.
One’s on a tight schedule and the other? Well, he’s all tattered.
Eating together? Come on get real!
Seems much more is important than sharing a meal!
Some like the wrapped veggies, others like fast-food that’s hot.
We have no more use it seems for the stove and one pot.
Everything’s mechanical and one thing we still lack – a mechanism
(don’t fret, it’s coming) that will feed us a snack!
Where are the days gone when true love was not a “fall?”
But a responsible step to be taken with faith – that’s all!
Remember when marriage was holy and sublime?
Now it seems that’s only true in a nursery rhyme.
The “stefana”* were placed above the bed of the couple
showing their union both in good times …and in times of trouble.
It seems gone are the days when we said, “till death do us part.”
Now because of our pride, we’re whipped from the start!
Where are those days when for joy and for grace
our babies were baptized and made strong for The race!?
And who could forget the grateful look on the face
…of yiayia or pappou – when their names took first place?**
That was another time – something now that seems like outer space.
Now for things like tradition, honor and respect …there’s hardly a trace.
Our hearts have grown cold, things have gotten “out of whack.”
We’ve given in to selfish passions – so don’t look surprised;
Now, modesty and shyness are almost even despised!
Where, O where are the blessed good old days?
Those sparkling days of sharing and caring?
Is there still a chance? Is there anyone daring?
The competition is great and there’s not lots of room –
for people with morals who can innocently gaze at the moon.
Passing one’s neighbor is the game we’re now in.
We’ve fallen – …and what’s worse, we don’t call it sin!
Co-suffering and self-sacrifice are things of the past.
Now we all run! run! run! Just to buy things that don’t last!
Be gracious O Master, from heaven above
and send us a voice like the one once told of;
crying out from the desert, the Baptizer, John.
It’s restoration we seek – help us to see what is wrong!
Opportunity was given when “Repent!” said he.
Let’s hope for the best! May holy matrimony again just be!
Come teach us O Savior, so again we might see,
it’s all well within reach, You did if first – it’s called “humility.”
*”stefana”- Wedding crowns used during the wedding service to represent the unity of marriage and a crown of martyrdom to one another.
**”…of yiayia or pappou – when their names took first place?” refers to the Greek tradition that children are named in honor of their grandparents. Yiayia – Grandmother. Pappou- Grandfather.
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