Wednesday, November 12, 2014

St. John the Forerunner performs miracles ( part 3 )

I have never told you, my brother Lazarus, [says monk Leontios] what happened to me several years ago, when I was young and had just been newly tonsured, which has to do with the subject of obedience.

I do not remember exactly, but it was either during 1916 or 1917 when my Elder of blessed memory advised me to make a prostration and to go serve at the mill located at Mariana as an attendant. Unfortunately, because I did not particularly like this dependency, I foolishly started to make excuses, arguing that I could not go because, supposedly, it was too cold, I did not have enough
clothing, perhaps I would get sick, and other such reasons. Additionally, there were many thieves wandering in that region, and I was afraid.

My Elder of blessed memory made the same recommendation to me again and again, assuring me that he would provide me with the all the necessary clothing and provisions. I distinctly remember him saying to me,
"Go ahead, my child. May you have the blessing of the Honorable Forerunner. Do obedience and go, because the manager is there all alone and needs help. Go my child..." I, however,
continued to retort with my usual obstinacy.

Finally, my Elder got fed up and tired with me, and vexed he left the matter in St. John's hands. This is how I left from the Elder's quarters and went to my room to retire for the evening.
But alas! Every time I think about what followed, my brother, I am always overcome with trembling with fear. About 8 or 9 o'clock that same evening, I saw a fearsome, towering man appear in my bedroom with a whip in his hand.

As I was lying down, I jumped out of bed horrified. No sooner had I stood on my feet when he started to lash me. "What type of a monk are you? Why don't you do obedience?" he remarked, and simultaneously he whacked from one direction ... he whacked me from the direction. I started to cry and begged him to stop hitting me, promising that I would henceforth be obedient.

Immediately, he vanished from sight. I was a nervous wreck as I ran that very moment to the Abbot's quarters. I woke up the Elder, and with tears and lamentation I fell at his feet and asked him to read me a prayer of absolution, I related to him what had taken place, and promised to never again disobey any of his orders. Thus my Elder
was appeased, he read me the prayer of absolution, I took courage, and I returned to my cell and rested peacefully. The next morning, as soon as I woke up, I packed my bags and set out for Mariana.

from the book
Narrations from Dionysiou Monastery