"Word of Primate": The one who struggles with oneself is aware of falls

His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. Photo: UOC news.church.ua.

In the 75th issue of the new cycle of the programme "Word of Primate", His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry speaks about the feat of monasticism.

The one who has fought with oneself knows that in this struggle there are always falls, said the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine in a new issue of the weekly programme "Word of Primate" aired on the “Inter” TV channel on October 3, 2020.

His Beatitude Onuphry reminded that there are many paths in earthly life that lead a man to God: “One follows the path of learning, and the other follows the path of simplicity, some choose the path of married life, others – monastic life, some live in wealth, others in poverty. And all paths lead a person to God, and on each of them there are their own trials."
The shortest path leading to God is the path of monastic life, the Primate said.

"Monasticism is serving God by fasting and prayer, it is fulfilling God's commandments, it is bringing yourself into the order of humility, which makes the man open to God's grace," he added.

As an example of how high a monastic feat is, Metropolitan Onuphry told the story of an old man who was the son of an idol priest. When he was asked how he became a monk, the elder said that his father often took him along to the heathen temple where he made sacrifices, and one day, as a young child, he saw there a vision – Satan, to which demons approached and reported on what they had done.

"One demon said that over 30 days he had started a war between peoples, and a lot of blood was shed there. Another said that over 20 days he had raised a storm on the sea and destroyed many ships together with people. The third said that over 10 days he made a discord among the guests at the wedding, people began to kill each other and even killed the groom. Satan was angry at all these demons for having done so little for so many days and ordered to beat them with sticks. Then the fourth, very tired demon approached him and told that he was in the desert, where a monk lived, with whom he had been fighting for 40 years, and that night he finally managed to tempt him and he committed the sin of adultery. Satan took off his crown and put on this demon: "You have done a great deed," said the Archpastor.

After this vision, the boy ran out of the temple with the thought that monasticism is a really great and glorious thing. After that, he was baptized and later took monastic vows, and spent all his life in the monastery, concluded the story His Beatitude Onuphry.

According to the Primate, monks always struggle with themselves, but "we do not see this struggle, but more often we see a fall”.

"Those who have fought with themselves know that there is no such thing that you always win in all – there are sure to be falls, a person somewhere stumbles, falls, then gets up and struggle again," he stressed. “All monks, some more, some less, struggle with themselves, otherwise a man cannot live in a monastery. And all the monks, more or less, pray for the whole world and for us, sinners that God sends blessing to all of us. And we must try to be a little like the monks who pray, who fight, who struggle with themselves, then God will be with us, and God's blessing will protect us," resumed the Primate.

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