Friday, June 4, 2021

"The Church Fathers have always been environmentalists."

"The Church Fathers have always been environmentalists."An Athos monk - about nature and love for pets.

All living nature in this world, just like man himself, is the creation of God. Therefore, people should take good care of their planet, preserving all types of plants and animals created by the Lord. Archimandrite Gregory, abbot of the Dochiariou monastery on Mount Athos, spoke about the attitude of the Athonite elders to wildlife and how a believing Christian should behave with pets.

An Athos monk says that love and respect for nature is, first of all, a manifestation of respect for the creatures of the Creator.

“A person should love even the ground on which he stands, even the stone on which he steps with his foot,” says Father Gregory. Recently, the movement of ecologists who are fighting for the preservation of nature has become more and more popular in the world. The Church Fathers have always been environmentalists, they just didn’t show it. ”

Living according to the commandments of the Holy Scripture, every Christian should take care of this world. The Archimandrite calls the Athonite monks the first ecologists, since by their behavior they have always been an example of how a person should relate to nature.

“Once I walked with Elder Amphilochius along a very narrow forest path. And we met an anthill on the way. And the elder Amphilochius, despite the fact that it was hard enough for him to walk, went around this anthill, because he did not want to step on it. We asked the elder why he did this, because when he walked through the bushes, he almost fell. Father Amphilochius replied: “The ants worked so hard to create their own house, to build it, to collect food. How can I destroy all this in one moment? "

Remembering the Fathers of the Church, Abbot Dohiara tells how the elders always shared their piece of bread with the domestic animals that live on the Holy Mountain - cats and dogs.

“Elder Amphilochius always drank coffee and ate crackers at three o'clock in the afternoon. He had diabetes, so he ate little by little, and what was left of this crouton, he gave for the animals that lived with him. I asked him: "Elder, how can it be, all the cats ate all your croutons?" And Father Amphilochius replied: "I also tasted mine."
Father Gregory says that pets bring us joy, therefore, both in the world and on the Holy Mountain, cats and dogs live with people.

“Today there are animals next to me too. They trust me, and when I eat my lunch, I also give them my bread - this is how we have lunch together. On our way, we meet many sorrows and difficulties, but animals bring us small joys - when they play with each other, when they show their devotional attitude and their love, ”says the Athos monk.

However, with all the love for pets, a person should not cross the line and make a cat or dog an object of adoration.

“We must not forget the words of the prophet Isaiah that only before the Lord we must bow our knees, not creating idols and idols for ourselves. A person must love all the creations of God. But we don't have to serve them. It is godless when we serve the creation, and do not serve the Creator”teaches Archimandrite Gregory.

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