We should struggle for every word we hear during the church service. We might face here the following problem: being quite familiar with the service itself, we struggle for this word of God, we hear it during the service but it does not penetrate to our heart.
This word used to change me, it used to make me think. Now I hear it with my ears and I understand its importance with my mind, of course not all of it. But it does not change me inside. I think about this word but there is no response. It used to be very hard for me even to stay in the church till the end of the service. I had to struggle even for that. One sister helped me there. She would just stand right next to me and explain what was going on during the service. I got so interested that for several years, I could not live without it.
It was something very profound, something out of reach. It was very dear to my heart.
But the years go by and I am used to it now. I try to struggle for this feeling. To look at icons or listen about saints’ lives was my way to struggle. But sadly, the more I learnt, the less sensitivity I felt within myself. Monks lived in a different way. They had this faith within themselves. Why do I not have such faith? Why do I not feel this firmness or liveliness? I can feel it only for one moment when God lets me touch something which is beyond this world.
I know that I should not live the way I do. I know that I should love my neighbour. I know that I should struggle for the unity. Yes, I know. But that is it. It does not go any further than ‘I know’. But it should be more than that. We should struggle for the living word of God.
Nun Irina (Helma)
In the final part of the interview Mother Superior of St. Elisabeth Convent discusses the ways and means of maintaining the unity of the monastic family.