WE MUST ALL GAIN VICTORY
In the last three months we have received four or five e-messages addressed to Bishop Nahum and upon trying to send our replies, we have noticed that the addresses indicated as a direction from where we had received a message and at which we should presumably send our reply—are fictional, phantom. Therefore we will make an attempt now to answer them thus, publicly, truly concerned about the spiritual state of the people who had exposed their dilemmas to us.
1. First, the Bishop forgives you all the insults against him and advises you—you’d better—remember him in your prayers rather than judge and condemn him. There is One Who judges… then, there is no need for you to hide, no one thinks or does any evil to you, especially not him. However, this way of communication of yours is not good and it is not personal, since thus you will say what you have, whereas the other party’s opinion you will not hear. The question arises, are you so much convinced in the verity of how you see things or are forbidden the communication with the other party? Because, the first is rather great delusion—when one thinks that in no way, not even a little he is under delusion, while the second seems like a fear of facing the Truth. Where the Spirit of God is, there is no fear, though.
2. We would like very much the supposed conversation of the Bishop, that according to you was allegedly recorded in Veles, to come to light. So, we would like very much such conversation were recorded, and if it is we demand it to be made public and the Bishop gives his blessing for it. Yet, there are few problematic moments in the alleged recording. First, if there is such a record, it is rather discrediting for the person of him who recorded without the knowledge of his interlocutors. Imagine, you go to someone with trust, and he records your conversation without you knowing it…!? Would not the respect towards the person of such a man in an instant disperse in your eyes from the moment you find out something like this? Such one, whether he had something recorded, or he lies he had, first of all places himself in a much inconvenient position and ruins his credibility. Now, dear, if you have sincere intentions, immediately ask to hear that record so that you see if it exists and if it does indeed and they had correctly related its content to you, then stay with them. But, if there is no such recording, or if it exists, yet the content in it is not in conformity with what they had told you, then leave this questionable company at once.
3. you have nicely noticed that our monasteries are very well “furnished”, as you say. It is indeed thus, after 10 years of effort our monasteries have become quite beautiful and everyone notices this and gives glory to God. We likewise are much grateful to God for this. Still, you do not interpret this fact well. It would be a sign that the Bishop is stealing if the monasteries remained half-ruined, as we have found them, and unsuitable for living, while at the same time he had elsewhere houses, villas or flats as personal property where he would live in luxury. The beauty of the monasteries, property of the MOC, speaks exactly about the fact that the Bishop invests in them all he is given, even his own salary and all he has. About this also speaks the house of his parents in
4. Here is once again what the Bishop has written about Vraniškovski, which makes you feel offended: “the defection to the SOC coincides with the time when the several-months (from November 2001 to May 2002) internal control empowered by the Holy Synod of the MOC was concluding the investigation about his illegal financial and material work. In simple words, caught in the act of theft he got anxious about his high church position (which due to this seemed to him in danger in the MOC) and defected to the SOC in order to preserve it there. At the same time, as to be accepted, he had to offer that Church his services against the MOC”. What was the Bishop supposed to write according to the customary language from your web site—that the man is not normal and so he did that? Would that have been better? For there is no third alternative—the church issue was not solved but complicated instead, and Vraniškovski, if he were normal, should have known in advance there are no any conditions whatsoever to solve it thus outwardly and violently. So there, you have heard the second option as well, that the man is perhaps sick, now you say which one of them is smoother to use onwards? Or perhaps both of them, combined? About the first, that he stole and then defected, the facts speak; and the second, that he is insane, it is inconvenient to say although what he did seems so and most people think exactly that. This is not so in
5. If you thoroughly reread the Bishop’s interview, you will see that nowhere in it does he mention that “the state and the MOC should be eternal” but the message is that we should strive for them to survive “until the end of the age”, that is to say, until the end of the world and history. That is a patriotic and legitimate struggle of all Macedonians, and all until then a current pastoral issue for the Church as well. No one in
6. Nowhere in his texts has the Bishop written he is a hesychast and has the gift of the mind-and-heart prayer. If you draw this as a conclusion from what he has written—that is your problem, but what do you think then about your spiritual fathers from whom you have not heard a single word about the mind-and-heart prayer! How could have you heard, when they had disdained the road of the fathers!? After they had left their spiritual father they did not submit themselves to another one until the moment of receiving this gift from God (as it is the scheme of things), but became themselves prematurely abbots and spiritual guides and shut for good the entry into their hearts. On top of it, they demand from you absolute obedience, till the end of your lives, and keep you in various fears. Yet only this is the point of coming to a monastery: to submit our mind, through obedience, to our spiritual father’s mind until our mind is illumined. Afterwards the monk bearer of this gift is free from submission to people, still not from obedience to God. All else is mere improvisation and false monasticism. What can we do, the word about the Jesus mind-and-heart prayer has always been a stumbling block, because about it one can speak solely from experience, not from what he has read.
7. You have heard well the message the Russian Patriarch had sent to all of us: “The division (between the MOC and the SOC) has lasted for almost 40 years now. In the course of the last year the disagreements have been even more aggravated. A parallel church structure was created, but this did not help heal the division… Therefore we, regardless of all complications, consider it necessary the negotiations of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church in
8. And to conclude with, if you compare your texts with those of the Bishop, you will see that unlike you he does not insult you personally anywhere, except if someone feels offended by Truth being spoken. In his texts, the Bishop always points out the canonical and pastorally possible way of solving the problem, as you have seen in his last interview, too. He does this primarily for the good of the Orthodox Church, and then for the well-being of the MOC and for the salvation of all. If it were for him personally, he has no need of such a struggle. The Bishop personally and also they who are with him celebrate and concelebrate and communicate in several Orthodox local Churches, not merely in one; you know this well. We who are with him have this witness, too, both personal and from photographs, etc. therefore we all had better, each one from his position, contribute to the solution of the problem rather than waste our powers in mutual arguing. There must not be winners or losers among us Orthodox, we must all gain victory. Because we lose or gain our souls. May the Lord bless you!
As soon as you read this, tell us to remove it from the site immediately.