"The bedridden monk Sophronios, suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, states: "Christ is Everything"
The bedridden monk Sophronios, who suffers from terminal Motor Neuron Disease, gave a shocking interview in 2018 at ΚΡΗΤΗ TV with the help of optical typing system.
A story starring a man who abandoned his glorious course in America after studying at top universities to devote himself to God. And all this just before a rare disease knocked on his door and left him stranded in a bed in less than five years.
When asked about the great issue of euthanasia, the answer of the monk from the bed shocks them with its straightforwardness, prudence and simplicity. "Life is a gift from God to us all. I understand this better than ever now that I'm in bed."
QS: They say pain completes existence. Do you experience this and how?
AN: Pain is a great school and teaches self-knowledge which leads to brotherhood and eventually divinity. Pain humbles you and with humility, our hearts softens and opens to God and fellow man. I reach out to people all over the world who suffer from physical or mental illness. With God's help, with my experience in the bed of pain, I understand them, even a little to tell them a comforting word, a word of our Christ. Today, there is so much loneliness in the world and turmoil and fear. We Christians who have God's gift of knowing Christ must share with our fellow man the joy, peace, and love that is Christ. Isn't this the goal of our existence, to all be saved?
QS: What would you say to someone who wants to be euthanized?
AN: Life is a gift from God to us all. I understand this more than ever now that I’m in bed. None of us came to this life by will. So how can you end your life when it essentially doesn't belong to you? This in my opinion is the problem of our time, it cultivates modern man a self centered lifestyle, cut off from society, from family, neighborhood, homeland etc. Etc. resulting in thinking that we are independent, self-driving in this world. I think it's the wrong view of life that leads the people of our time from "suicide" to suicide. I understand that the patient does not want to become a burden to others or does not want his loved ones to see him suffer. This is very humbling - I know all too well. But the humble have the kingdom of God not the selfish.
QS: Do you think that if you didn't have faith you would have the same attitude towards pain?
AN: Without Christ I would be a mess. There is another pain that is more painful than the pain we talk about. And this is the pain the soul feels when it misses the presence of God, who enlivens everything and gives meaning to this human pain. The absence of God from the life of man today, is the most painful and unbearable pain.
QS: In the bed of pain do there come moments that make you question God and your faith?
AN: On the contrary, it connects me to God and I feel His Love and presence more intense. But it doesn't mean that moments of human weakness don't come, too. The Christian needs faith, courage, and courage. God never leaves us
QS: How can pain become a blessing? What can "life" mean when you're stuck in the bed of pain?
AN: Pain and difficulties are sometimes unbearable for man. In these moments I feel the presence and comfort of God more intensely. I think the answer to both of these questions can be given by Him that I also receive it in my difficult times, when I focus on the passionate and crucified Christ. He was the first to turn His own pain into a blessing. And His own life on the Cross was glorified and remained in history as the King of Glory. It is the model and at the same time the comfort of every injured person.
QS: What are the difficulties of your illness?
AN: I have ALS/MND - Stephen Hawking's disease There is no cure. I'm paralyzed, I only move my eyelids and lips. I'm not swallowing, I'm feeding from a gastrointestinal tract. I'm not breathing on my own, except with the support of a ventilator. I can tell you details, but suffice it to say I can't do anything without the help of someone taking care of me. As a folklore I was very independent to an extent very selfish. Now that I can't even do the slightest without someone else, see why Christ taught us to be united in one body. We need each other, to be in one community with our fellow human beings.
QS: How many years have you been in bed and how do you communicate?
AN: I've been permanently in bed for 6 years. I communicate with a computer system that allows me to write with my eyes. thank god ! See what the good God saves!
QS: What do you consider you have gained as the most positive of your disease?
AN: Without a doubt, the most positive thing is my connection with God, which I feel His love fill my heart.
QS: How is your relationship with your brothers in the Holy Monastery Guvernetou after the disease now?
AN: I feel very blessed in Holy Monastery Guvernetou. It is a holy place under the protection of Virgin Mary. We experience the strong presence of St. John the Hermit and other martyrs - it is filled with grace. By the Grace of Divine Economy I have a blessed leader, the elder Eirinaio, a man of God, full of love. There is the bond of Love in the Brotherhood and we have humble fathers, who are fighting the good fight every day. They treat me with sacrificial love. I will give you an example of the love that exists there: I found out as a cadet, about my disease and I knew back then that it was incurable. So when I learned what it will be happening to me I told my elder that I don't want to be a burden to the fraternity and I won't become a Monk. But the elder and all the fathers said that they want me just the way I am. Such is the Love of Christ.
QS: What would you like to say to the viewers watching you right now, patients and not?
AN: Life without Christ is not Life at All.
Translated from Source: http://aegeanews.gr