Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The priest is not the representative of God on earth, he is the servant of God!

During his traditional pilgrimage to Mount Athos on his birthday, Metropolitan Kyiv Onuphre met the abbott of Dochiariou, Archimandrite Gregory (Zoumis), in his monastery. He is one of the most respected Athonite fathers, known largely beyond Mount Athos. 
Archimandrite Gregory said, "We pastors are poor and the people are obedient! Thank you [i.e. Metropolitan Onuphre] because, by your simplicity, your humble clothes, you show the way of God. We, those who wear the cassock, must be attentive. The cassock is a cross. It is the standard of Christ. Christ left no other standard, except the cassock. Love it, monks, priests and bishops! It's not fair that the bishop wears cufflinks, while people are poor, they save on bread. And never those who wear the cassock believe that they are the representatives of God on the earth! The pope believed he was the representative of God on earth - and the West drowned. 
Many times I have heard the priests say, "I am the representative of God on earth! You are not the representative, but the servant of God here on earth. Each time, when you ordain priests, say: from this day on, you are not the representative of God on earth, but His servant. 
How horrible, when priests consider themselves the representatives of God on earth! Would I be a representative of God on earth? My face, my presence, do they agree with that? Of course not ! I am a servant, a bad servant, a bad worker of His vineyard. 
The old Amphiloque of Patmos said: "Every night, think: today, I may have scandalized someone! Perhaps, my life has made someone leave the Church! That's the control we have to do all of us wearing the cassock. Let us spiritually fight as confessors and not as holders of power.