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MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE #268637
12/14/07 03:04 PM
12/14/07 03:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,902
USA
Alice Offline OP
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Alice  Offline OP
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Dear Friends in Christ,

I receive an annual card from the Monastery of St. Nektarios in Roscoe, NY (Fr. Anthony has graciously posted photos of the monastery in that forum). Each year, the sermon or story provided is just as profound a message as the year before. I decided to type it up and share this gift, this blessing with you, for your edification. Because it is a gift of 'faith and worship', I decided to post it here rather than let it get lost with all the worldly topics of 'Town Hall'.


At the turn of the past century, there lived in Athens, a person named Nicholas: a humble and pious man of prayer, a soul full of compassion and alms for the poor.

When he became 35 years old, he decided to get married. Even though it would have been natural for him to search for a spouse similar to himself-modest, pious, and succesful--what did this blessed and compassionate young man decide to do? With the ease of a true saint, he went to a house of sin and said to the first lady he came across: "Get up and come with me. I have pledged to God to deliver one soul from the mud. I want you to be my wife!"
The young lady was stunned, but how else could she react to this unexpected opportunity? She followed him...He convinced her to go to confession, and after serving her penance, they both communed on a Saturday and were married the following Sunday.

The former dissolute woman was now prudent and quiet by Nicholas' side like a pure flower, vibrant and shimmering with her youthful appearance. Much time passed....Unfortunately, sin is powerful and does not easily let go of people once enslaved to it. Nicholas' wife thus suddenly slipped into her old sins and became an adulterous. After catching her in the act one day, Nicholas said: "Fine. You can stay here. I'm not going to hold this against you. I'm leaving. I will go to Mt. Athos to become a monk..." And he left...When Nicholas arrived on Mount Athos, he inquired and learned about the renowned, holy confessor Savas, whom he went to see. Having heard his story, the spiritual father gave him a stern look and said: "You have no business here now. You are sinning with what you are thinking. You pledged to save your wife. God back and take her into your home again." Nicholas was taken aback and saddened. The spiritual father's directive seemed difficult; however, Nicholas realized that he was right. He returned home, opened his arms, and took her in again. She, in turn, appeared to repent. She humbled herself, confessed, and remorseful for her mistakes, made a new beginning....

Nicholas' wife, however, fell again. She fell repeatedly. This time, though, her husband did not lose heart. He patiently waited, kept vigil for hours, kneeled in prayer for her, and kept silence. She, on the other hand, annoyed by his tolerance, added her bad attitude to his shame. She would yell at him, curse him, and hurt him daily with her vicious manners. Truly, how much could this saintly, guileless man endure? The years rolled by and the cross became more and more unbearable. He could not persevere and began to weaken. It was the morning before Christmas Eve. It seemed that he could not withstand any longer; he knelt before God's silence, who seemed not to care for His creation. He fell before the icons sobbing and pleading with tears: "My God, either enlighten her or take me. I can no longer bear this torture." His wife, who had just entered the door, was standing behind him and heard this prayer. That was it. Struck by Divine Enlightenment, she fell at his feet and cried out: "Forgive me Nicholas. Forgive me the harlot. I am worthless. I promise that I will never hurt you again." God's time had come just before His servant would have broken from the weight of the the trial.

From then on, and for all the ensuing years, they lived together with genuine love--as one soul and one body. Later they adopted a young girl Angelica, who brought even more blessings to their home. And when the time came for Nicholas to depart from this life, he left with divine signs due to his holy, God-pleasing life.

Beloved brethren:

We pray that the Grace of our Newborn Christ deems us worthy of His Heavenly Kingdom, "redeeming the present time": by following the example of Nicholas' God-pleasing life. May you have a blessed and holy Christmas Season.




Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Alice] #268689
12/14/07 09:25 PM
12/14/07 09:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,902
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Alice Offline OP
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Alice  Offline OP
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Are there any comments about this true story?

I think it is a message of hope for all the weary who visit the holy monastery of St. Nektarios, weighed down and tired by the trials and tribulations of their earthly life--

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Alice] #268695
12/14/07 11:06 PM
12/14/07 11:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 618
UNDER THE PANTOCRATOR
I
InCogNeat3's Offline
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InCogNeat3's  Offline
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UNDER THE PANTOCRATOR
Wow! Thank you!

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Alice] #268701
12/15/07 01:01 AM
12/15/07 01:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,963
Takoma Park, MD
T
Two Lungs Offline
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Two Lungs  Offline
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It is much like the story of Job.

A serious trial of faith and devotion.



It is much better than it would be had I been in the story.



I would probably buy a shotgun.

A shotgun divorce would occur.

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Two Lungs] #268733
12/15/07 11:44 AM
12/15/07 11:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
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Alice Offline OP
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Yes, but you see that the interesting thing is that he vowed to God that he would save a soul. He chose the particular situation, so he could not just forget and walk out on that vow when the going got tough..

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Alice] #268947
12/17/07 11:38 AM
12/17/07 11:38 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 212
New York, U.S.A.
Doubting Thomas Offline
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A true story? Wow! It is amazing and undeniably uplifting. Thanks for posting this, Alice. God bless you and the the monks of Saint Nektarios monastery.

God bless and keep you....

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Alice] #268950
12/17/07 11:48 AM
12/17/07 11:48 AM
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Posts: 6,326
Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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ALICE:

Truly an edifying story. It gives much food for thought for those whose marriages are difficult, even if not as difficult as the one Blessed Nicholas endured.

Thank God for this example and thank God for your generosity in posting.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: theophan] #270698
12/30/07 07:20 PM
12/30/07 07:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 94
wichita, ks
kansassummer Offline
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very good story of hope Alice.

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: kansassummer] #270702
12/30/07 07:48 PM
12/30/07 07:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,180
California
Elizabeth Maria Offline
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Elizabeth Maria  Offline
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Is this person being proposed for canonization?

I have also heard this, but there is more to the story.
When he tried to take his wife out of the brothel, after she had fallen into sin, he was threatened by death. He risked beatings and death itself to save his wife. His life was truly heroic.

Re: MONASTERY'S MESSAGE OF HOPE [Re: Elizabeth Maria] #270705
12/30/07 08:06 PM
12/30/07 08:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
Eparchy of Van Nuys
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A Simple Sinner Offline
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One more soul is always welcome.


Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

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