On March 26, 2022 (o.s.), the eve of the feast of the Laudation of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Fifth Saturday of Great Lent, the abbot of Hoy Trinity Monastery Bishop Luke of Syracuse tonsured two monastics into the lesser schema. A full report of the occasion may be found at the monastery’s website. Following the tonsures, Bishop Luke greeted the new monks with this brief exhortation:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
Dear Brothers in Christ, I congratulate you on your inclusion in the glorious ranks of warriors for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His kingdom! We, together with you, are in the kingdom of darkness in this world. It is of the utmost significance and importance to gather more and more of those like you, who give these promises, who are willing to struggle in the very battlement, the army of Christ Himself, against the spirits of the air, the evil spirits, the lures of this world, and the temptations of the flesh.
It is of no little significance that two of you have come today to be tonsured into the lesser schema and to begin a life of prayer, fasting, and obedience. For every one on this planet that fulfills these rules, these obediences, these vows that you have given tonight, and hopefully with God’s help will continue to fulfill them, every one, no matter how small our number is in this world, has a great significance in the outcome of every day of our lives.
We know from the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures that the prayers of even one righteous man can save the entire planet. So therefore, with no exaggeration, we greet you with great joy and hope that, as you stand here dressed in black, the invisible — though visible to some — radiance of the Holy Spirit shines around you and by your prayers, by your works will go out throughout the world, first for the salvation of your own souls, and as much as is possible to uplift the world and the people around us given in obedience, whatever that might be, in order to further the Kingdom of heaven and to push further from us the kingdom of darkness.
God strengthen you and help you. Remember always to be humble and meek, even though the calling is very great, exceedingly great. Yet, our Lord identifies Himself as meek and humble of heart, though He holds all of creation in His hand. Remember this! God strengthen you in your struggles, beginning tonight, and may He crown you at the end of your life with the crown of glory in His eternal Kingdom.
Congratulations, fathers, and God bless you.
The above text was transcribed from audio and lightly edited for readability and to fit our editorial style.
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