Fr. Andreas Agathokleous


We all have our problems which might be obvious to others or not,[ and our worries, great or small. We want somebody to share them, not so much as to give us advice. Sharing them, mentioning them, brings relief to the soul. You feel as if you’re not alone, that you have someone, a Simon from Cyrene, to help you bear your cross. ‘I have no-one’ is a tragic realization.

Those who have someone are in a privileged position, be that person a friend, companion, sibling, parent or confessor, to whom they can talk about their difficulty, their predicament and their pain. Then they aren’t bearing the whole burden themselves, and so can tread the path of life more easily, more lightly.

But there are also those who have no-one, no companion on life’s path. The importance of this becomes apparent in the most finely-balanced situations, when the pain of absence is more intense. It may be that the person suffering is not without a share of responsibility for this absence, but then isn’t to time to apportion blame, but the hour for support and understanding.

It’s ‘well-proved’ that there’s more than we know through our senses. [‘There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ (Hamlet)] It’s apparent from the experiences of many people that another world exists, one which transcends the senses. It’s the world of the bodiless powers, the spirits. To this world belong God, our Lady, the angels, the saints and all those who have departed this world.

If you’re in a graveyard, you can tune in to the silence of the departed. There are some of those among them who have ‘crossed from death into life’, made perfect through the suffering of sickness or by the painful manner of their death. They no longer bear the burden of their former self. Free of what was holding them on earth- in the spiritual sense- they look upon the face of God and so are able to entreat him and to present the requests of their loved ones. Is it possible, for a mother, for example, not to be able to pray to God for a child who’s in difficulties? Who can say that she abandoned the child when she abandoned this world of the senses? The same is true of all the departed: because of the manner of their death or the trials they endured and which cleansed them, they can intercede for all those who ask them to do so.

The saints, who lived for God, can intercede more strongly for us, as our brothers and sisters and can accompany us in our sorrows. This is why, if we ask them, in humility, to do so, we’ll feel that we aren’t alone.

So, if we have someone, let’s be glad about it. If we haven’t, let’s find somebody who we feel is passing through the land of the living but with their sights on God. And if we don’t understand this, let’s find our saint, who will intercede for us, provided we humbly and simply tell him or her about our temptation or our difficulty.

Let’s not stay alone.

Let’s not give in to difficulties.

Let’s trust in the God of our fathers and his people. So that our heart will be filled with light, joy and hope, awaiting the great day of Christ, when all things will be filled with the presence of his love.



Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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