The Church is the natural space of love and peace, and it is wonderful when this House of God is experienced thus, and only thus. It is this God who willingly humbled himself so as to leave this unique legacy on the Wood of the Cross, admitting first into His heavenly Kingdom neither a prophet, nor anyone renowned or well-esteemed by the society where He lived and preached, but the bottom-most thief, who was badly hung on His right. This thief, however, was His companion in that final moment, when the circle of the soteriological work was coming to an end, and soon the great day would rise and would bring to the world the unknown until then law of the Spirit, which would encapsulate all prophets and the word of the Old Testament. How could this Truth really be perceived by the human mind? Here there is no room for “enemies”. There is only room for brothers, and whoever loves this Truth, let them try to experience it in the place where those seeking Truth may enter without discrimination. “What is the Truth?”
…I remember sitting at this beautiful parish in the evenings alone with the little children of the makeshift church which we managed to build despite numerous temptations and which really made history for the Mission here in Tulear and in our hearts since it was associated with the most emotional memories from this land. Then I remember the children joyfully falling into my bosom, as if somebody sent them to give you what you never had in your loneliness. I was athirst for those moments sitting close to the fishermen who so gracefully dropped their pirogues into the cyan Indian Ocean. A stunning painting of the memories of this land is unfolding before me, when like a dream I hear your voice that so lovingly permeates my heart and soul together with the late afternoon southern wind. Let’s go, my brother, the night has come. And another voice in you: “Love. This is the Truth.”
…Wait a minute, you say. Here are the creatures I love above all. And at this very moment Ι see ten dirty, shabbily dressed half-naked children with their hands stretched out. Little shepherds, parched and sunburnt, of the Masikoro tribe, one of the two tribes I loved the most on this land. But aren’t these kids the same ones who stopped you yesterday and stretched their hands to you? Now along with yours, one more hand is stretched towards these kids and a voice telling you: “see, you are not alone. Do you hear me? I am with you to show you what you went without in your struggle for many years. Love. This is the Truth.”
…We go to the hospital. The kid is suffering, you say. He cannot breathe or cope with his pain, which is unbearable. Now your hands are blessing it. “It will not live long.” After two days, our kid went away, Father. Our hands together bless it for the last journey. “We now have an angel in Heaven to pray for us.” Your last words, the farewell kiss of the Bishop to our new sprout that has just departed. I have to translate but I cannot do it anymore. Memories are unwinding like a movie before my eyes, although images keep coming blurry. I am in the sanctuary. Our 16-year-old boy, Chrysanthos, has left us, but I can still hear his voice greet me in the churchyard. “Father, I am leaving”, he is telling you now. “I’ m leaving, but don’t cry, I’ll be with you. And forget not, you are no longer alone. And sorrow is ended. For you have Love by your side. This is the Truth.”
How strange is this union of death and life in our faith!
Finally, you cannot find the Truth anywhere, my brother, you say, but in the Love of Christ alone.
We are together in this struggle. You must doubt no more. It is in Love that you start gaining an understanding of Truth. And this is really the fullness of Truth.
Evenings are wonderful by the sea of Tulear. This sea of ours is peacefully preparing to receive her all-bright companion that has already been dressed in its carmine tunic so as to meet her yet another time under the charming starry sky. The children beside you and in the bosom of the respectable Father and Bishop of the land fill you with sand with their endless games, while the pirogues enter the sea once more in charming and haughty pride, at full sail, in order to feed by the grace and blessing of God these wonderful creatures, who may be poorly educated, but every day they can teach you the principle of every virtue and basis of every philosophy and every good in this world. Love and joy in it.
Your hand is gently tapping me on my back; however, I don’t feel the heavy and graceless hand of a “despot”, but the hand of a real father encouraging me and saying: Love above all. For in it lies every Truth.
For this is the Truth in this world.
Fr. Polycarpos of Hagia Anna