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Just as at Pentecost, the hymns of the Church express strange sounds and paradoxical words of the Spirit, which surpass the darkened mind of man, yet witness to the awesome reality of God, so the Spirit releases strange echoes of redemption within the heart inhabited by the fire of love for God. The hymns of Pentecost sound strange in the ears of the world, and only the initiated can comprehend them. Similarly, the paradoxical echoes whispered in the ears of the friends of Christ, speak of ineffable mysteries pertaining to the love of God.
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Monasticism is indeed paradoxical in the eyes of the world, whose natural tendency is to throw off the yoke of humility and avoid pain and suffering. Whereas the monk, in his endeavour to remain continuously in the ‘earthquake’ of God’s presence, takes upon himself the yoke of humility and is granted experience of its hidden powers. Each time he humbles himself before his brethren or weeps with self-condemnation before the Lord, he discovers that its burden is light and turns into gladness.
Father Zacharias studied theology at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Saint Sergius in Paris and at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has lived all his monastic life in the monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex where he serves as a spiritual Father and minister of the word of God to his brethren and the people that come to him.