MESSAGE OF HIS EMINENCE, THE BISHOP OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS, Mr. Nektarios, ON THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW YEAR 2020
My dear Fathers and fellow brothers, my dearly beloved children,
A Saint of our times, who was officially recognised, Elder Sophronios of Essex, gives us the oportunity to approach the new year with knowing which life we are meant to live, by reading his spiritual and experiential speech.
So says the Saint: “Allow me, Lord, on this day to live without sin. I have repeatedly mentioned this prayer in the church. The sinless life on Earth opens the gates of Heaven. It is not the abundance of knowledge that saves humans. It is the sinless life that prepares us for life with God in the future. The grace of the Holy Spirit teaches us eternal truths to the extent that we live by the commandments: to worship your God, your Creator, with all you are, and to love your fellow people as much as you love yourself. Yes, follow those commandments always. Keep praying, keep fighting, spend your day without sin. All the rest will be given by God Himself” (On Spirit and Life).
These words come to give us spiritual direction in our time. People set goals, either long term, or for now. These goals usually have to do with our progress, with the acquiring material goods, with the desire to be satisfied, with the pursuit of worldly success, which for the most of us puts God aside! At the same time, we forget about sin, which surrounds us and separates us both from God and from fellow human beings. Our self-centered will leads us to a continuous decline. And as the Saint once again says: “In the world we live in the atmosphere and in the cult of fall. We live in comfort and we are often ashamed to confess our faith, to say that we are Christians” (On Spirit and Life).
So our entrance in the new year gives us the opportunity to understand the value of each day. Let’s fight to defeat sin according to Church’s example. Let’s follow the commandments of God. Let’s get rid of the falling. And let us finally rejoice, with our hope in God, whatever He gives us to our salvation!
Have a nice and blessed year, fellow people! May you have peace and love in your life and in your families!
With paternal wishes and warm in Christ love,
YOUR BISHOP OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS