On Sunday afternoon, March 11, 2018, his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios did the fourth Dignified Vesper in the Holy Church of Saint Spyridon the Wonderworker.
Archimandrite father Sevastianos Topalis, Prelatic Warden of Amyntaion of the Holy Metropolis of Florina was the main speaker and talked on the following topic: “the coexistence of virtues with passions.”
His Eminence welcomed father Sevastianos, a spiritual man, who speaks to the hearts of men and awakens consciences.
Mr. Nektarios also stressed that the root of all passions is the vainglory. When falling victim to it, humans become victims of the other temptations that lead them to the abyss and the interruption of the loving relationship with God.
In his closing, the Metropolitan of Corfu asked the faithful Christians to turn their hearts and minds to the Cross of the Lord, which stands in the middle of the temple, reminding us of our mission as Christians, that is to move along with Christ through the narrow and crushed path, the redeemer to Salvation and Resurrection.
Father Sevastianos thanked his Eminence and then analyzed the speeches of both Saint John the Chrysostomos and Saint John of Klimaka, who calls the vainglory as the mother of pride. The demon of vainglory is constantly affecting the struggling Christian in order to cancel his/her spiritual work. Along with the vainglory comes a Phariseeism, a self-love and the condemnation of the fellow people. The spiritual struggle of the faithful Christian resembles a cultivated field. Among the fruits grow weeds, these are the passions.
It is easier for a human to be in vainglory when they do not have a spirit of humbleness, a sleepless eye of the heart and above all distinction. In such a human, God artificially creates the so-called “God’s abandonment”, a test in which humans find again themselves and become seekers of the mercy of the Father in the Sky. Examples of “God’s abandonment” are many in the Bible, such as Prophet Elias, Moses, Apostle Peter, Apostle Paul and so on so forth.
Moreover, father Sevastianos pointed out the ways in which passions can be fought and these are, the indifference to the Devil’s attacks and the attachment of heart and mind to the face of Christ, the wholehearted prayer, the humbleness and finally, the frequent Communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Thus, humans become Christ-bearers and are armed with the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
In his closing, father Sevastianos asked his Eminence to wish for the spiritual advancement of all, for the Bishop’s only pride is the removal of the cross of his spiritual children, the souls of those whom Jesus Christ have trusted him with.