Elder Ephraim of Arizona †
Geronda loved the sea and trees. That is Geronda why, when I went to Hawaii to hear confessions in 1987, I saw him in a vision in the midst of orange trees. Those orange trees were tall and loaded with oranges and apples. Up on top was Geronda, and next to him was Gero-Arsenios. (He had passed away in 1983.) He was enjoying the view from up there. Geronda was delighted to see me. As soon as I saw him, I did a prostration to him and said, “Geronda, will you give me an orange?”
“Only one? They’re all yours, my child.” So I draped the end of my cassock over my arms, and he filled it with fruit.
Gero-Arsenios said to me, “Koutsiko, we’ll plant more trees, too!”
The reason why they were together was because they had made a solemn pact that they would evenly share the rewards for their spiritual struggle so that they would be in the same place after death. This goes to show how deep their love and trust was for each other, since not only the positives but also any negatives would be shared. I wanted to make the same pact with Papa-Haralambos, but Geronda didn’t let us.
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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