Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Looking for Solitude and Silence

Me in our little chapel. 24th of March, 2016.
On that day, I was tired but happy. Photo by Anya.

Lately, I've been very active in the local Orthodox Christian association. Last February, we rented a little room, and now it's our chapel – a place of fellowship, prayer and worship. Little by little, we have furnished the room. There are furnitures and beautiful cloths, and also many icons on the wall.

This is a big step for us, because we are minority church in Finland. There are only about 70.000 Orthodox Christians in Finland. In my city, we have no own church nor 'chasovnya'. Not yet, but we are hopeful that one day we will have it. Actually, a biggest dream of our association is to build a chasovnya or Orthodox church on this city. Our little chapel is the beginning.

I've been the chairman in this association since 2014. My tasks are to lead this little community, writing emails and letters round, manage the public relations (PR), and so on. Since last February, I've been also a moderator on our Facebook site. Please click here to see it (available only in Finnish, but you can use the Google translator). Sometimes, I can also deliver the Evening Service (a layman's service) in our chapel. Usually, I'm just "the Reader", and our cantor Lily delivers the Service. The priest visits only a few times a year, because he lives so far.

For me, Orthodox Christianity is the most important thing. It's a way of life, the base of my life, not only "one of the hobby". Just recently, I am tired with too much sociability and busy life. I hate to be busy and stressed. I need to spend enough time in solitude and silence, otherwise I don't feel very well. I need time to read, it is a hobby that requires solitude. So I decided to make some changes in my life. "The most important things first..."

"Seek solitude and silence." Thus teaches the ancient mystics of the Church. In modern times, it is more challenging. But when I'm calm and when I feel mentally well, I live in solitude and silence with pleasure, and my home is like a monk's cell.

In recent months, our Christian community has been the only area in my life, where the things are going well. Perhaps I should completely devote to spirituality, because it seems God will not allow me to enjoy the worldly happiness or family happiness. (I won't say I'm gonna do that, just sometimes I think perhaps I should.)

Sometimes I'd like to be a true ascetic, but maybe it's too demanding for me. So I think I can be a half-ascetic or something, or just as good as I can. Haha. Anyway, spirituality is the most important thing for me. Just yesterday, I realized something. It was like a little enlightenment. In the near future, I'm going to make some changes in my life... Слава Богу за всё – thank God for everything. Guide me, O Lord.

These are my recent and most important news in brief. Blessings and all the best to all my friends!


Our cantor Lily (left) and the secretary of our Orthodox Christian association,
Anya, in the chapel during the Evening Service. Photo by Teisuka.

 "The Inexhaustible Cup". Икона Божией Матери "Неупиваемая Чаша".
Size: 41 cm x 34 cm, price: 25 euros. This is a Russian Marian icon which
is considered miracle-making. The Russian Orthodox Church claims
the icon (and the Mother of God herself) help those who suffer from
alcoholism and drug addiction. I bought this icon on 15 April 2016.