With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia and under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, GO Youth Melbourne organised an spiritual talk event, inviting as the keynote speaker the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint George, Yellow Rock, NSW, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Ieronymos Voultsidis.
The event was hosted at the Parish of Saint Catherine, in the suburb of Malvern East, and was attended by a large gathering of youth. Also present for the spiritual talk was His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Melbourne, along with Father Kyriakos from the Church of Saint Catherine and Father Jospeh from the Holy Monastery of Saint George, Yellow Rock.
The topic of the spiritual talk offered by Father Ieronymos was: “What does it mean to be a hero?”. The Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint George explained that many times we are quick to judge our neighbour, but we are slow to listen and understand him. He also presented a story told by Saint Paisios the Hagiorite, about an alcoholic monk who was heavily criticised by the world. This particular monk had been born in Asia Minor, just before the disaster, when the Turks were rounding up all the young boys. His parents would take him with them to the harvest and put some raki in his milk so that he would sleep and not cry. Thus, growing up he became an alcoholic and during his monastic life he strove, with prostrations and prayers, to curb this passion. Saint Paisios revealed to the pilgrims that when the monk fell asleep in the lord, angels went to receive his soul, as he was a true spiritual hero, who struggled silently and with love in his heart.
In conclusion, Father Ieronymos emphasised that only God knows what trials each person goes through and urged the young audience of the event not to succumb to easy criticism, but to see their neighbours with God’s eyes.
Also, the Abbot of Holy Monastery of Saint George shared with those present many other spiritual thoughts and truths, as well as advice on resisting the sin of comparison, dealing with hopelessness, and forgiving others.