Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Orthodox Christian Youth and Suicide (St. Ephraim of Katounakia)

By Professor George Kroustalakis

Question: Elder, I would like you to tell us a little bit about the suicide, which you mentioned earlier, of young people in particular, which is often seen nowadays. We see that some young people, when faced with certain difficulties in life, usually "failures", are led to despair and eventually, without even struggling, sometimes end their lives violently.

Answer: These young people are distant from the Church. The Patriarch Abraham went a hundred years until Isaac was born. And Sarah was ninety. He never despaired! No.

No matter how great the problem, no matter how great the sorrow, no matter how great the tribulation, the believer never throws down their arms, thinking God has left them.

No! God helps people.

As long as people do not leave God.

When they leave the Church, the next thing is for them to be struck with the wave of sadness and not be able to endure it, because they are not equipped with Holy Communion from within and then they easily fall into suicide. They fall easily. If you take everyone, even those who have a civil marriage, those who take drugs, those who have abortions, they are far from the Church; they do not go to the Church. That is why they are discouraged even for the slightest reasons.

It is indeed sad that we are ignorant of the great treasure that we received in Holy Baptism, that is, adoption, and that we possess it, according to the Apostle, "in earthen vessels" (2 Cor. 4:7).

And that's why we easily gossip, we are easily indifferent, we easily despise, and in a word, we easily fall. Blessed are they who received Grace and died with it. More blessed are they who lived it, nurtured it, raised it and then reposed.

Unfortunately, we lost the "living soul" and only "soul" remained. With repentance, with baptism, the soul is revived.

Source: From the book "Elder Ephraim Katounakiotis: The Theologian and Educator of the Desert", 2016. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.