On 15 July, the Russian actor Piotr Mamonov departed to God at seventy years of age. As a tribute to this outstanding actor, we publish a selection of his most prominent quotes with thoughts about himself, God and the human condition.
You ask me who I am? I am not sure. I cannot answer as eloquently as I used to.
As I watch my interviews, performances and songs from my younger years, I ask myself, ‘Is it me?’ It certainly looks like me, but in fact, it is a different person.
If I become corrupted, the Church, the Body of Christ, becomes corrupted through me. I cry over it, but my tears look insincere, as I am still leaving behind some easy escape routes. The Lord sees it all.
I, Piotr Mamonov, have questions to which I badly need answers. What should I do with my life? How do I overcome my sinful nature permeated by vice? These questions are of the essence to me.
It is a true blessing when other people laugh at you. A clown is an honourable title. For who is a clown? Someone who is not of this world! I am not interested in living by the ambitions of this world. Simply put, they have stopped turning me on.
Sadly, my friend, art does not improve human nature. Do not doubt it for a minute. If it did, we would all be living in heaven. Look at all the great authors – Shakespeare, Pushkin, Byron and Gogol. Look at all the masterpieces they wrote. But the human condition is still the same. Alas!
The most unfortunate thing that can happen to you is having a calm conscience. You lull yourself to sleep by saying to yourself, “I am doing fine.’ Do not deceive yourself. The first sign that you are on the right track is when you can recognise your transgressions.
If I have lived a day without doing anything good for anybody else, I have wasted my day.
Throughout my whole life, I have sought more than happiness or pleasure. I wanted to become exalted and ecstatic. While in heaven, Adam and Eve were talking directly to God, like we would talk over dinner. They must have been exalted. The desire for exaltation is in everybody’s genes. When we consume heroin or alcohol, we are not seeking happiness but exaltation. I have tried both and found that they do not bring any. But it must be there somewhere! – At that point, I discovered God and experienced living in faith. I asked and I received.
Man is a ray, starting at an initial point and proceeding indefinitely.
I used to say to myself, “if you can allow yourself a hundred grams of vodka in the company of friends, go ahead and have some vodka. But you cannot, and you know it.” – Today, I can have 100 grams of red dry wine. To me, it is like any other food or drink, and no longer an object of desire. What happened? God made a change in me.
The final judgement is between you and the Lord. There will be no furnaces or frying pans there. You will stand before Christ the way you were at your death.
Every person should aim to be a saint. Sainthood is a realistic goal for all who want it. The Lord is not driving His flock before Him with a whip in His hand. He calls His faithful, and the people follow Him if they want to.
My daughter-in-law said to me: “Did you know that you can make free calls to any part of the world over Skype?” To that, I could have responded “Did you know that you do not need Skype to pray to our Creator, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner?” I did not, because I did not want to upset her. Prayer is the most awesome thing in the world. It is sublime. It can do wonders!
It is not God who needs our good actions. We need them to teach our hearts how to love.
Wisdom teaches us not to cast pearls before swine. Now we might think that we are the pears and others are swine. We are wrong. A swine does not need a necklace of pearls – it would be too uncomfortable wearing one. The proverb is about the distance between people. It tells us, among all else, that it is not worth discussing faith with people who are far from it.
God has no boundaries. He knows no limits or ceilings. That is what impressed and excited me the most in Him. His grace can grow in you indefinitely; overfilling you with His light.
I am a creation of God.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds