How Long Shall a Priest Hold Your Hand as If You Were a Baby?

A person who helps you to get closer to God is a bridge. His role is indispensable! Nevertheless, you can’t stand on the bridge forever because it isn’t your final destination. We shouldn’t spend our entire lives on bridges. We should cross the bridge and get to the other shore where God is waiting for us. And here you go. The person who accompanies you, holds your hand so that you wouldn’t slip and fall because you lost your balance and felt dizzy. I get it. How long will it be that way, though? How long shall I, a priest, hold you by your hand like a little child? You must be able to walk by now.

You can! You deserve it. You will be happy, indeed. Strangely enough, when you do it, I won’t lose you! You will come to love me even more because you will feel that our relationship is not based on dependence or assimilation. You will see that I didn’t encumber you with my ego and I didn’t make you stick to myself without much thinking. You’ve found God with me. That’s our common goal. I show you where God is but you are sometimes mistaken because you’re staring at my finger. You seem to like it. You say, “It’s great that your finger points at God!” Right, I reveal Him to you. Sadly, if you don’t go where my finger points to, you won’t achieve anything. If you like a signboard that says, Paradisos (Greek, Paradise), and don’t go there, it won’t do you any good!

I live in an upscale district Paradisos in a Greek town Marousi. The name of the neighborhood was one of the reasons why I chose to live there. Paradisos means ‘paradise’. I was looking for a new house a couple of years ago and saw an ad in a newspaper, “House in Paradisos for sale.” I bought that house. I said to myself, “I’ll drive to Paradisos and buy that house. I want to have a house in the paradise here on earth. I hope I’ll like Paradisos while still on earth, and then get to the paradise when I die.” If I grab that sign and exclaim, “Wow! It shows the road to the paradise! It will help me get there!” without making any effort to follow it, I’ll remain in my hell forever… I suppose you know why I’m saying it. Often, you expect me to come up with clear-cut decisions, “Father, tell me what I should do about this or that?” This kind of attitude is puerile and demonstrates that you’re still a child in the spiritual sense. I don’t blame you. Childhood has its rightful place and time in our lives. We all go through childhood, including spiritual childhood. However, it must remain a mere stage in our lives – a step to further spiritual advancement.

From a book by Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos) Marriage and Its Problems…

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

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