Nina D. had Starets Anatolij as her confessor. Quite some time after his demise, she moved to the Briansk region, where the last great starets of Optina was already living in exile. It happened that an acquaintance of hers saw in her sleep a monastic elder who, with tears in his eyes told her: ‘Come and see me’.
From the woman’s description, Nina recognized the elder and offered to accompany her on her visit. On the day they left, the elder didn’t eat: ‘I’m going to have visitors today and we have to feed them’, he said.
When they arrived, a nun went to announce them, without having first learned their names. Yet she returned from the starets and said: ‘Is your name Nina? The Elder told me “Nina D.’s arrived. I’ve been expecting her for some time’”. When the two women entered the room, he turned to Nina and said: ‘Starets Anatolij entrusted you to me. I’ve been waiting and praying for three years and now you’ve consented to visit me!’.
In the meantime, as soon as Nina’s acquaintance saw him she started to shout: ‘It’s you, batiushka. You came in my sleep and invited me. Well, here I am’.
But the Elder wanted to suppress the miraculous event and hurried away to shut himself in his room.
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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