The Shower And The Belt
Reaching the end of the corridor (it was only about a meter wide near our cell) I turned right and knocked on the door with the number 201, loudly saying the appropriate prayer. The “Amen” sounding from within was pronounced by a choir of voices, with the same intonation, reminding me of several cats purring at the end of spring. My smiling companions were lying blissfully on their beds, covered with blankets. Their bodies were fragrant and clean, and their shaved faces were shiny with lotion. My clothes were still streaked with salt, and the odor that I was emitting was far from fresh.
– I take it, the shower works here?
– It looks like everything works here, not just the showers. There is an elevator and everything else you would expect to find in a modern hotel.
– Including the view from the bathroom window! – Igor was delighted.
– Everything is simply amazing here, – Vladimir Georgievich summed up.
– Say no more, brothers. I’m going straight into the shower. I was heading towards the bathroom with a towel over my shoulder and my slippers on, hearing behind my back some jokes about “the great unwashed”.
– God bless these smart men!
It seemed amazing how an ancient monastery had adapted to the needs and infirmities of modern man. Many are lamenting about the achievements of civilization, conquering Athos. Some see them as signs of the approaching time of the anti-Christ. I guess I am not that spiritually mature, and I still find it unnecessary to read with a torch if you have a light bulb. Amidst the signs of the end of times, I hear the footsteps of the approaching Saviour. I am more concerned about the apocalypse in my own soul than the machinations of the Masons. When I minister Communion to people in church, in their eyes I am looking for reflections of Easter. The Savior ascended the cross and resurrected, not in vain. God does no imperfect deeds, which means that people like me also have hope for salvation, as long as we desire it.
I hope that the reader will forgive me for sharing a few thoughts on this matter while the water is running in the shower cabin. I think that anyone who desires to save his soul will be saved with God’s help. By “desire” I don’t mean the way we feel about a cup of coffee after dinner, but the way an exhausted and hungry person feels about bread. He does not wait until a meal finds him, but gets up and undertakes the work of obtaining and preparing food. However, a human soul is not always able to feel this spiritual hunger, or thirst for salvation. What does this ability depend on? Does anyone know?
When I returned to our room, Igor was snoozing, Georgievich was busy looking through the captured footage, and Nicholas was holding my monastic belt in his hands.
– Nice belt. Excellent leather, – With the air of a connoisseur, he was examining my Athos souvenir.
– I like it too, the quality is excellent! I was pleased with myself, imagining how I would put on this belt after returning to my parish. I was certain that it would make any priest look like a spiritual mountain. Perhaps, these were not exactly my thoughts, but they were somewhere in the ballpark.
In case someone wonders about the reason I am writing these things about myself, it is just me trying to be honest, so as no illusions arise on my account.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds