St. Phanourios is not only a Saint
who has become a
friend in suffering,
but helps one find their way
through the darkness.
His candle reminds me of the light of Christ
and the Lord really uses His Saints to
help give us light.
I've just published my second essay on St. Phanourios
on just this...
It begins like this....
As it is for many, we often spiritually grow through suffering. Elder Sophrony, when writing to his sister Maria, writes about what suffering can give us:
Do you really think that my in my years of monastic life I have escaped periods when the vision of my ruin was so petrifying that it is not permitted to speak of it? But, strangely, when these visions were transformed into an opening up of NEW horizons, into manifestation of the INFINITE LIGHT of another world, could not find words to express my gratitude to God for my experience of hellish torments, because these spiritual events occurred in a sequence such that precisely these intense sufferings were an indispensable condition for the development of the very capacity to receive eternity.
I would never claim to have the level of suffering and consolation that God granted to Elder Sophrony. But I did go through a period of suffering in my thirties that was incredibly pivotal in my life. I began to see how St. Phanourios’ prayers and presence were part of what God used to save me.
You can read the rest here,