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Another Excerpt from "Life and Witness of St. Iakovos of Evia" by Dr. Nicholas Baldimtsis



From the recent publication available now from Uncut Mountain Press.




(Taken from Chapter 5: Stories and Visions of Father Iakovos, Page 96)


The Narrow and Difficult Path


One time, when I was reading the Gospel, I read the phrase: “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life.”29 I said, “What is this way?” Then I was taken in a spiritual manner to a place where there was a very narrow path, like a tube, and I had to go into it. I wondered, “How could a person fit through there? They would be squeezed.” Then I tried to go forward with unbearable difficulty, pulling myself forward with my hands and feet until I made it through that fearsome path. Only my elder and I were able to pass through this way. Another time I found myself before a giant abyss, a bottomless chasm. Across this abyss there was a golden-white bridge that was no wider than a finger and I had to pass over this bridge to the other side. I made my way onto the bridge, walking very slowly and carefully, because if I fell into that chasm I surely would be lost. It was truly a struggle to do this; and then, suddenly, the golden bridge started to swing dangerously and to shake, putting me in danger of falling. I turned to see who was rocking the bridge, and what did I see? I saw the faces of some of the other fathers of the monastery rocking the bridge, and I asked them, “Fathers, why are you shaking the bridge? Don’t you see that if I fall into this abyss I will die?” In any case, I had passed over the great length of the bridge and had a only little bit left to get to the other side.



A Sense of Humor


The Elder was most graceful when telling comedic stories, and he would even imitate the voices of the people he was talking about. Here is one:


There was a poor woman that served in a church nearby as a sexton. The poor thing had the bad habit of drinking wine and, little by little, it became a passion. She would drink the wine for the church that was used for Holy Communion. One time she was getting the church ready and there was no more wine in the closet; and the old woman, very upset, went in front of the icon of the Mother of God, begging for help. Not knowing that the priest was standing in the altar, she said:

“My Panagia, please enlighten some good Christian person to bring a little wine so that I have some to drink.”


The priest heard her and stood behind the icon of Panagia in the altar and replied:

“Don’t drink wine! You don’t need to drink wine.”


The old woman, thinking that it was the child Jesus replying from the arms of Panagia, responded,


“Shush, you! Don’t talk; you’re a child. I am talking to your mother. I’m asking your mother for help.”

29. Matthew 7:14.


 

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  • Early access to an exclusive interview between Hieromonk Felipe Balingit and Fr. Peter Heers as they discuss the true purpose of human life: Theosis.

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  • Early access to the Uncut Mountain Press docu-film about the 2022 conference On the Ethos of the Orthodox Church.

  • Access to an exclusive Q&A session with Fr. Peter Heers on the Life and Witness of St. Iakovos of Evia.


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3 Comments


Unknown member
Jun 30, 2023

Yes, I think the sexton of that parish may have misread our Lord’s first miracle at the wedding at Cana - our Holy Mother is not a bartender! 😎

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Unknown member
Jun 30, 2023

😆🙏🙌

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Nikoletta
Nikoletta
Jun 30, 2023

So excited for this book to arrive!

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