From Wednesday May 18th to Thursday the 19th, Elder Pavlos of Mt. Sinai came to visit Cal Poly.
He is on a tour of colleges in California with a message to the college students of America.
He is scheduled to speak at about 11 or 12 campuses.
We greatly enjoyed his trip to Cal Poly.
Elder Pavlos is the abbot of St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai. He is the most senior monk at the oldest Christian monastery in the world. Mt. Sinai is the location of the burning bush as well as where God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses. It is where St. John Climacus lived, who wrote the incredibly enlightening Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is the home of the second most significant collection of Christian manuscripts in the world and the home of the most significant collection of icons.
Elder Pavlos and Sister Joanna, the nun who travels with him and is his translator, stayed at the house of two of our OCF members, Matthew and Philip (the president of our chapter). All parties involved said it was a great experience.
Elder Pavlos spoke to the community last night at St. Andrew's Orthodox Church. the sanctuary was filled with people waiting to hear what he had to say. He spoke at night with no lighting save the light of three candles. It was truly reminiscent of the 4th century, when people sat around their old wise man and asked him questions.
Today, Elder Pavlos journeyed to the Cal Poly campus and spoke with the students. He answered their questions and gave some background on the monastery.
His message was a message of love, of simplicity, and of humility. He stressed the importance of non-judgement and the great care and vigilance we should practice to make this possible. He also said that we should become children in our soul and become very simple people. What surprised me is when he said that he encountered a great deal of simplicity in the people he met in America. This is a great inspiration that it IS in fact possible to live with a godly spirit in a secular world. He also spoke of the worldly cares that so consume our lives. He encouraged us to let some of these things go. In his words, "If getting to the top of the class leaves you mentally and spiritually broken, what's the point?" He inspired me to live a more simple life focusing more on the state of my soul than the state of my transcript.
Elder Pavlos's message was simple and beautiful. To love. I think I speak for most when I say that his joyous smiles and radiant joy inspired those he spoke with. He left all of us at OCF with a sense of clear and precious peace in our hearts.
Glory to God for all things!
May 19, 2011 12:55 PM