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Some young girls and women in middle age try to be attractive, young, and beautiful, and they always think about their appearance. There is a whole industry that increases this kind of stuff—botox, plastic surgery to changes lips and noses, etc.

No wonder! We can’t walk to the city without seeing all these commercials—faces, bodies, and beauty. It’s just ridiculous, but people don’t understand that. I’ll tell you a funny story. I was giving a talk in Canada to a gathering of young professionals. The ones who ran the program were TV commentators; they did news, and are very well known in Canada. There were film people, actors and actresses, rich people. And there was a young man in good shape; he is a football star in his country. He had a girlfriend with him. He was about twenty-seven and she was about twenty-one. The girl was wearing a very short dress, her arms exposed; but it was a dress, as I understood later. She was told that this is not appropriate for church, but she said, “They told me not to wear paints and to wear a dress, so I’m wearing a dress!” It was funny, because she was so obscene and didn’t see it. She didn’t see how inappropriate it was to come to the church like this, she was coming to display herself and be noticed. And there were other women with makeup all over their faces. Everyone looked at them, but they didn’t get that they were ridiculous at that moment. It’s a big problem—people afraid of death. But there is no reason to be afraid of death because they don’t have life now, they don’t have connection to life, which is Christ; no relationship with God and with other people. So they panic: “I have nothing to give, I’m physically old, I’m dying— and then what?”

How must we react to the situation in Syria, where we can see numerous murders, tortures, kidnappings of Christians, destruction of holy shrines? It’s a huge, painful wound on Christian hearts all over the globe.

It’s a huge problem, and it’s politics. It’s a sign of society’s illness. I have very strong feelings on nationalism and war. I think nationalism is not a good thing. Today, whether we like it or not, we live in a global reality. How much you are paid at work, whether or not you have electricity in your house, whether or not you’re going to eat or drink today or tomorrow—all depends on the economy across the world. Not just in Russia. Russia doesn’t control the world, it doesn’t control itself—we all are part of it. And therefore we live in a world of reality, but we don’t think about it. The reason that Syria is under attack now is because of money, the economy, and power. It’s because one group wants to control oil and people to get what they want. It’s not about religion or God. These people don’t even know who God is. We put ourselves in that situation by playing control games.

Christians must always feel joy in their souls, always be joyful. But there are so many problems, sorrows, grief in the world and in our personal lives.

Absolutely—we always must be joyful and grateful. God’s presence is joy. The main sign of Christianity is joy. Why would you not be overjoyed if you are connected to God?

So, we must always keep strong hope in our hearts?

Hope is the understanding of the promise that God will come. God promised, and if you do what He says, if you love others, you’ll have eternal life. And then you will realize that hope in your life.

 

Christina Polyakova spoke with Archimandrite Joachim Parr
Edited by OrthoChristian.com

 

03 / 02 / 2014

 
 

КОММЕНТАРИИ ЧИТАТЕЛЕЙ
2014-02-07
11:45

Sorin:
Is there any way to contact father Joachim through e-mail or mail? I’m from Romania and I don’t see any posibility to meet him. There are some questions I want to ask him.
 
2014-02-05
20:39

sebas:
“…and love your neighbor as yourself,” but nothing about love of yourself!”

Love your neighbor as yourself, that’s pretty much commandment to love yourself too, you can’t love others as yourself if you don’t love yourself in the first place.

 

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