UOC bishop of Metropolitan Amfilohije: We gain a man of prayer in heaven
According to Bishop Victor, the Church gained a man of prayer in heaven in the person of Metropolitan Amfilohije, for he daily strived for holiness all his life.
On October 30, 2020, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis of the UOC, shared his impressions of his meetings with the newly reposed Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
In the opinion of Fr Victor, “today not only the Serbian Orthodox Church and the people of Montenegro but the entire fullness of world Orthodoxy and the entire people of God are feeling the bitterness and pain of irreparable loss”, because “without a doubt, a man who did a lot for the establishment of the faith of Christ in this sin-infested world has passed away".
However, in addition to “the point of view peculiar to each person, according to which death is a loss, there is another point of view – Christian. The Apostle Paul in one of his epistles said: ‘Life for me is Christ, and death is gain’ (Phil. 1; 21)".
“Undoubtedly, Metropolitan Amfilohije gained more today than he lost. Because he – and we sacredly believe in this - now ‘sees God as He is’, and not ‘conjecturally as through a darky glass’. Vladyka reunited with the One whom he had served all his life and whom he had always sought, even on his deathbed. And the Church today, having lost the bishop, has gained a man of fervent prayer in heaven, for he has striven daily for holiness all his life,” stressed Bishop Victor.
Bishop Victor said that the Lord honoured him to meet with Metropolitan Amfilohije several times: "Our last meeting took place in Montenegro, during the visit of a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry to this country to celebrate the day of memory of St. Simeon the Myrrh-Streaming."
“Then, in the eighty-year old man, I once again saw great strength of mind, and most importantly, such faith in God and His Providence, which all the forces of evil of this world cannot break,” the bishop noted.
According to him, Metropolitan Amfilohije, “literally burned in prayer, burned in zeal for God and His Church and knew how to kindle others with this fire. He was not afraid to defend the Truth, he was not afraid of anyone or anything except the One God".
But the main thing, says Bishop Victor, “Vladyka Amfilohije was not just the Metropolitan of the Church of Montenegro, not even just a pastor for the faithful, but the real father of the entire Montenegrin people. And this is precisely his greatest merit”.
“I distinctly remember how he accompanied our delegation at the plane. I remember the expression on his face, which shone with peace and joy from our two days of communication. Then a thought flashed through my head: ‘I wish the Lord would once again bless me to meet with this great spirit-bearing man and bishop!’ The time will come, if God willing, we will meet. But already there – in the life of the next century ...,” writes the Ukrainian bishop.
“Today, together with millions of believers, we grieve and condole with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the people of Montenegro. But at the same time, we are comforted, for we have received another man of prayer for us in heaven.”
May the Lord grant the soul of your servant, Metropolitan Amfilohije, rest where the righteous repose!” resumed Vladyka Victor.