The Alcoholic Monk

Once on Mount Athos there was a monk who lived in Karyes. He drank and got drunk every day and was the cause of scandal to the pilgrims. Eventually he died and this relieved some of the faithful who went on to tell Elder Paisios that they were delighted that this huge problem was finally solved.

Father Paisios answered them that he knew about the death of the monk, after seeing the entire battalion of angels who came to collect his soul. The pilgrims were amazed and some protested and tried to explain to the Elder of whom they were talking about, thinking that the Elder did not understand.

Elder Paisios explained to them: “This particular monk was born in Asia Minor, shortly before the destruction by the Turks when they gathered all the boys. So as not to take him from their parents, they would take him with them to the reaping, and so he wouldn’t cry, they just put raki* into his milk in order for him to sleep. Therefore he grew up as an alcoholic. There he found an elder and said to him that he was an alcoholic. The elder told him to do prostrations and prayers every night and beg the Panagia to help him to reduce by one the glasses he drank.

After a year he managed with struggle and repentance to make the 20 glasses he drank into 19 glasses. The struggle continued over the years and he reached 2-3 glasses, with which he would still get drunk.”

The world for years saw an alcoholic monk who scandalized the pilgrims, but God saw a fighter who fought a long struggle to reduce his passion.

Without knowing what each one is trying to do what he wants to do, what right do we have to judge his effort?

* Raki is a Turkish unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey, Greece, Albania, Serbia, and other Balkan countries as an apéritif.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos

HTFr Milovan Katanic

 

‘Peter and Paul Not Only Shine in the Sky of Rome, But in the Heart of All Believers’

Pope Benedict XVI on a universal and ecumenical feast:

(Vatican Radio) In reflections before the midday Angelus prayer, marking the feast of Saints Peter and Paul this Friday, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted the universal and ecumenical value of the liturgical feast. From the window of his study high above a sun drenched St. Peter’s Square the Pope drew the attention of the thousands of pilgrims and visitors to the statues of the two great Saints, who are also Protectors of Rome. Emer McCarthy reports:

Rome, he said “bears inscriptions in its history of the life and glorious death of the humble fisherman of Galilee and the Apostle to the Gentiles, whom she has rightly chosen as her Protectors. Recalling their luminous witness, we remember the venerable beginnings of the Church that in Rome that believes, prays and proclaims, Christ the Redeemer”.

But he continued “the Saints Peter and Paul not only shine in the sky of Rome, but in the heart of all believers who, enlightened by their teaching and by their example, all over the world walk the path of faith, hope and charity. On this road to salvation the Christian community, supported by the presence of the Spirit of the living God, feels encouraged to continue strong and serene on the path of fidelity to Christ and proclamation of his Gospel to men of all time”.

Taking part in Friday’s celebrations, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and an Anglican choir from Westminster Abbey, who joined the Sistine Chapel choir in Mass Friday morning during which the Pope bestowed the pallium on 40 new Metropolitan Archbishops from across the universal Church…

And the Westminster Abbey Choir with the Sistine Chapel Choir at St Peter’s:

 

Recovered: Priest’s $6,000 Stolen Chalice

But in so many ways, it’s not something you can put a price on.

Details, from the St. Louis Review:

When he was ordained to the priesthood four years ago, Father Noah Waldman took some of the money he had saved over the years and bought himself his first chalice. The handmade vessel was commissioned by Church supplier Adrian Hamers of New York and modeled after a chalice [shown on the left] used by St. Philip Neri, a 16th century Italian priest and Father Waldman’s personal patron saint.

He paid about $6,000 for the silver- and gold-plated chalice, depleting half of his savings. And earlier this month, right before he was to leave for a new parish assignment, Father Waldman’s chalice was stolen from the sacristy of Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish in St. Charles, where he had served as an associate pastor since his 2008 ordination

The chalice, which today is valued at a little under $10,000, is one of several items that were stolen from the parish in mid-June. Several offertory boxes, containing an unknown amount of money, were burglarized, along with other items from the parish.

As the Review went to press June 27, Father Waldman confirmed that the chalice was returned to him. St. Peters Police arrested 20-year-old Sean McDonald of St. Charles County. The chalice turned up at a St. Charles jewelry store. The store owner contacted police after seeing a news report about the stolen chalice. McDonald turned himself in after learning he was a suspect in the theft.

Father Waldman explained that while he considers the theft unjust, he believes that in some way it was just simply part of God’s providence. He added that as a priest, he has a special devotion to his paten and chalice — the sacred vessels used in consecrating the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ — because of his eucharistic spirituality.

“The Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ not only touch these vessels, they are created in them,” he said. “This is the center of the eucharistic action. It’s very traditional in eucharistic devotion for a priest to have a special love for the sacred vessels, his chalice especially.”

The Officer.com has additional details:

Waldman, a convert from Judaism, said that traditionally a priest’s first chalice is a present from his parents.

But because his father had died and his mother didn’t understand the tradition, he bought the $6,000 chalice with his own savings. It is sterling silver and covered in gold and is inscribed with his name and the 2008 date of his ordination.

“That’s where the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Christ,” he explained. “It is a sacred object to us. It has a lot of sentimental and devotional value.”

Waldman said parishioners had been praying for the chalice’s return, but in the meantime, he made plans to buy a new one.

Then on Wednesday morning, Sean M. McDonald, of the 900 block of Cottontail Lane in St. Charles County, turned himself in at a Cottleville fire station after realizing he was a suspect.

The firefighters called police. McDonald admitted stealing from church donation boxes and taking the chalice, police said. He knew the entry code to get into the church because a family member is a parishioner and he had gone into the church many times himself, authorities said.

He took it to a St. Charles jeweler who paid him $100 for it. The jeweler hadn’t realized the chalice was stolen and contacted police after seeing news reports about it, police said.

McDonald was charged Wednesday with burglary and theft.