Throughout the 13 weeks spent in Great Britain (a place where, whether I’m ever going to settle for good or not, I’ll probably always feel at home :-) at the beginning of this 2008, two of the most wonderful gifts that the Lord has granted me were:
1) having met some extraordinary brothers in Christ in such a secular country, within a distance of over 996 km (619 miles), as that between Brighton and Inverness (although I even travelled some 20-30 miles north of this city)
2) having entered the amazing world of blogging, with this personal project of mine, MunteanUK, yet cared after with some form of professional dedication (or is it mere addiction?! :-)
Now, days before Holy Pascha, I am using the current blog post as an opportunity to offer my thanks for all of God’s gifts to me during the whole action movie that my life looked like between Sept 2nd, 2007, to April 13th, 2008.
I know that few people in this world ever had been given the bliss to travel, for a: (lenghtier) study or touristic journeys, and (shorter) professional trips or b: mere stopovers (between 50 minutes to 10 hours), as much as I did in a little less than eight months [Romania-Netherlands-Portugal-Netherlands-Romania-Netherlands-USA (DC-CA-CO-IA-IL-VA-NY)-Netherlands-Romania-Belgium-Romania-Germany-Portugal-Germany-Romania-Germany-Spain-Italy-Romania-England-Scotland-England-Belgium-France-Belgium-England-Scotland-England-Romania], nor to meet all the interesting people I met.
Apart from a considerable dose of vainglory, the main reason why I started this blog was to share bits of the things seen, and experienced in the UK. If only at least a few of the words that I spilled from my heart here would be useful to anyone! However, in case this wasn’t obvious in the previous 99 blog posts, I am also bearing witness of Him, the One Truth of Whom I am so unworthy of.
No matter what I did, no matter what I saw, no matter what charmed me or disgusted me, nowhere I came across anything that has more meaning, and should count more than our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor have I encountered a more comprehensive and purer faith in Him than in His only One true Orthodox Church!
In order to thank them for their hospitality, I offer my humble translation of the parable bellow (click here for the Romanian version) primarily to my Orthodox brothers in the UK. But it could serve as my little present to all the (old or new) readers of this blog:
- native or non-native speakers of English;
- Orthodox or heterodox;
- religious or irreligious;
- to those looking for a meaning of life;
- and to those wasting their lives through workoholism or always looking for entertaining (?!) themselves beer after beer, cigarette after cigarette;
- to those who have been kind to me;
- as well as to those who made me sad;
- to those who opened their hearts to me;
- and to those who closed theirs;
- to those to whom God blessed me with bringing joy to them;
- and to those whom I have offended and hurt…
May the Lord bless all those He has brought into my life, including the author of the little story below to whom I’d give the due credit if I knew who that person is!
I am also thanking Him for the wonderful people I met due to blogging, reckoning that I might have never noticed this story, had I not met in the blogosphere, this wonderful woman's blog. Then, since this is Great Holy Week, I am recommending the English version of this interview about Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ (click here for the Romanian version), from another Orthodox blog that’s worth checking every day. So here’s something we should all meditate about…
+ Once upon a time there was a king who had four wives. He mostly loved the fourth wife, whom he dressed in most expensive garments and offered her the finest of delicacies. He always gave her the best. He also loved his third wife, of whom he was most proud of, and used to boast himself with her in front other kings. However, he lived in constant fear that this wife would one day desert him for someone else.
++ The king also loved his second wife. He could confide in her, as she was always kind, patient, and understood him. Any time the king had a problem, he could trust that the second wife will help him get over the times of trouble. The first wife of the king was loyal, and had a great contribution in maintaining the kingdom. Nevertheless, the king did not love her. Although she truly loved him, he barely noticed her!
+++ One day, the king felt that the end of his life was drawing near. He thought of his full life, and said to himself: “I have four wives, but when I die, I’ll be alone.” He called after the fourth one, asking her: “I loved you the most, I gave you the most beautiful clothes, and showed you my greatest care. Now, I’m going to die. Will you come and join me?”
++++ “No way,” the fourth wife said, and vanished without saying any other word. Her answer poked a knife into the king’s heart. But he also asked the third one: “I loved you all my life. Now, that I am dying, will you keep me company?” “No, life is too good. When you die, I will marry again.” Then he asked the second wife: “I always found understanding and help with you, and you were always by my side. When I die, will you come with me also?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you this time. I can only bury you, and come to your grave.” This answer also broke the king’s heart.
+++++ Then a voice was heard: “I’ll follow you wherever you go.” The king looked around, and saw that the one who whispered those words was his first wife. She was very thin and frail, as she had suffered because of hunger and her husband’s neglect. With a sorrowful sigh, the king said: “I should have taken better care of you when I could…”
++++++ In reality, each of us has four wives. The fourth wife is OUR BODY. No matter how much time and effort we put in taking care of it, the moment we die, it will leave us. The third wife is OUR WEALTH. When we die, it passes to others. The second wife is OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Irrespective of how close they were to us during our lifetime, they can only come to our tomb after we die.
+++++++ However, the first wife, OUR SOUL, is the only one that will follow us wherever we go. Therefore, we should cultivate it, strengthen it, and please it now, for it is the only bit of us that will follow us, and will be with us forevermore.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! [To check out how this truth of utmost importance for everyone’s soul is spelled in 250 languages – click here]
[For all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]