Today many children are suffering because of the unfaithfulness and hard-heartedness of their parents. I remember in Athens there was a husband and wife who once invited an elder monk, who had the Grace of God (he had made someone else well) to their home to see their three-year-old paralyzed child. Upon arriving at their home, the elder monk walked himself into the dining room, ignoring the parents, who told him that the child was in the bedroom and not in the dining room. They were sitting in the dining room and the elder monk asked the father:
– When was the last time you went to church?
– Since my grandmother used to take me, the father replied.
– How many times a day do you blaspheme the name of the Virgin Mary? the elder asked him again. The father kept silent in shame.
– How many have you wronged, and why did you put your brother in the madhouse to take his property?
The father was stunned! He made a series of other revelations that should have driven the father crazy … The elder then turned to the mother and asked her:
– Is this your first husband?
– Yes, she replied.
The elder, knowing that she was lying, he said nothing to her, to not offend her.
– When was the last time you confessed?
– I don’t remember… it’s been many years! she answered.
– How many abortions have you had?
– Four, she could barely be heard whispering out of her mouth.
– Who is now paralyzed? The child with the pure soul or you? I see that you are the paralytic and not the child, so I did not go to the child’s room and came straight to your room. If you want your child to get well, you must become well first! Go and confess all your sins and if your priest allows you, take communion.
That’s what the elder told them and left. The words of the elder woke up the parents from their slumber and the next day they went and confessed. Their priest also let them take Communion. It was the day of the Transfiguration of our Savior, they went to Church and
received Communion. And when they came back home, their child was out of the bed, opening the door to them!
Dimitrios Panagopoulos Preacher (1916 – 1982)
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou