A small wooden Church located on the Pechersk hills. He hid around the corner on the Staronavodnytska. Above it hang the towers, and next door is the so-called Tsarskoe Selo. The temple is not like a regular Church – instead of white or painted walls with gold and coloured domes of a small wooden building with a roof in the shape of a Church spire. Inside the wooden beams, there is a huge Golden iconostasis. The altar separates the wrought iron design on the sides of the icon on the right side of the room is decorated with children’s furniture. Here and tables for kids where they can draw, and mats on which to spill the designer and play. For the very little ones there is a changing table, and for mothers – the couch where they can sit. The temple of light on the background of wooden walls in the design of many white people. Another feature of the “Dome” – candles for free, scrapbook too. The rector of the Church – father Oleg Melnychuk. He is an unusual man. When you talk to him, it seems that he is not angry and not angry. It comes from the goodness, the light, the clarity of mind. At the same time, the priest lucidly and clearly explains complicated things about God, life, faith. Service, father Oleg is always a lot of people with children. Some families were created directly in the temple were married here, children baptized, and now they can be seen every Sunday in the service. The friendly smiles, the laughter of children – such an atmosphere to worship in “the Dome”. To learn more about how people find happiness in the Church, come to God, we spoke with father Oleg.
The spiritual father – not “controller”. This loving father
The spiritual father is who: family psychologist, “parent”, which strictly controls you, or counselor?
– The person who loves and gives himself fully, doing everything for the happiness of another person, his family – it is the spiritual father. He is the one who is able to preserve the individuality of each, aiming to the source of happiness – to God.
– But it also happens that a spiritual father begins to control every step of the parishioner, and the person is “lost” between the instructions and their own desires. Where are the boundaries of personal freedom and spiritual mentoring?
– No, this is wrong, and it should not be. The spiritual father – not “controller”. It is a loving father who only suggests, but does not prevail. If he’s asking for advice, he may immediately respond, maybe not immediately. Can pray and ask God. And sometimes the dialogue with God that lasts a very long time to give people the right advice, especially when his life comes the crucial, strategic point. The spiritual father helps to find a way to put spiritual navigation for the right to place “traffic signs” on the road called “Life”. We can not abide these rules, but the Confessor will tell you how to do so to reach destination.
– What if it all begins total control? I know the story, when a very strict behaviour on the part of spiritual mentor led to depression in girl, and she was terrified to do something wrong…
– This is not love, is completely alien to love. It is not spiritual mentoring is “feeding the pride”. A real “spiritual cohabitation” between a spiritual father and a spiritual child, a parishioner – I mean not “sahajanand” of the Church, and the true worshiper leads to true happiness. But happiness is impossible without freedom. There are instances when whole families go a certain way. But their choice of path not correct from the point of view of their family happiness, it leads to destruction. Not asking the question I did not answer. I was silent. And they had to live for two years, runs into a dead end, then they asked me this question. Two years you had to wait, to pray. And the only way. I do not impose my opinion. There is no happiness without love and no love without freedom.
– But after all, people often fall in situation where their freedom is limited. All the teachings of Christianity about restrictions and punishment. How to understand where the acceptable face of freedom?
Reference is Christ. He did not force anyone – He just spoke softly, in a whisper. Then the number of His disciples increased. Those who were able to keep the commandments of happiness, the Beatitudes, and he went after Him. And he was happy.
The doctor – he’s not taking pills and strength don’t put them in the mouth of the patient. He gives the recipe, and the person can take the cure or refuse.
About the boundaries of freedom. Christ shows us, where freedom, where is the outrage. Where there is good, and where sin. This two worlds with a very thin face. This is what Christ, the Bible and spiritual mentor. Even if man is spiritually fallen, it returns to its state before the sin. And God the father, through the spiritual father, takes the fallen man. And hugs. And likewise love. Continue to go forward together.
Then there should be no condemnation of the misconduct?
Depending on the moral level of a person. After all, when we are spiritually fallen, then back to confession, spiritual conversations, to the desire to become closer to God. Here in no event it is impossible to destroy you. The Apostle Paul was very clear in his Epistles writes about freedom, about the law, about grace. After all, we can only give what we have. The main resource of priest grace, and by it he needs to fill every person. Comes family or person in need of faith – you give him faith. The family that needs love, the priest must give love. People in need of the knowledge of the will of God, the priest needs to show it.
Love should be reciprocal. Because unrequited love is doomed
– How can a man find his spiritual father? As this contact occurs?
– First, he must pray. Secondly. Each person has his own world, his own worldview. It is deep individually. Coming to Church, don’t get too zealous in this matter, to travel around the world… God sees you, sees your need. Will be worthy of the spiritual guide is for you. After all, the Confessor must be close to you in spirit. Because the spiritual father and priest, and psychologist, and consultant, and doctor. In the third. For the relations, must necessarily be trust. This is the basis of spiritual connection. If there is no trust, no reciprocity, no prospects in similar ways.
Reciprocity, which was the apostles with Christ and Christ with the apostles, especially with the “beloved”. The altitude of reciprocity to the apostles and to us in the likeness of Christ is His resurrection, His promise to send the Holy spirit. The height or depth of reciprocity on the part of the disciples is that they remain faithful to and during the crucifixion and in the resurrection. And after the resurrection and ascension. No love is one-sided. Love should be reciprocal. Because unrequited love is doomed.
– On suffering?
– You are absolutely right. It is unpromising. Important point. The world today is in a certain predpochitaesh total of the disease. One important argument: 20 years ago in higher education the biggest competitions was at legal and economic faculties. We have constructed a state of law? Or built a strong economy? No. And now a lot of competition for faculty of psychology – many people want to become psychologists. Just like now on every corner there are entertainment centres, as well “on every corner” will be the offices of psychologists. Everyone will “understand soul, heal her.” This will lead to painful, in the clinical sense of the word, the state of society. Moreover, this religious, in Ukraine.
– I spoke with different psychologists. Some movements felt something in common with Christian values, in some, on the contrary, too much selfishness. That is, on the one hand, you have to believe in yourself, then there is pride. Where is the line between self-confidence and pride, vanity?
– The priest is only partly a psychologist, because the science of the soul – psychology. But in the medical work of the priest is Christ, there are ordinances with their gracious power. In the work of the psychologist is a set of techniques…
– And where is the man?
– For a man is built different trajectory. If we believe in Christ, then we believe not only in Him but in themselves. But this belief is another belief in their weakness and faith as trust in God. And then comes the responsibility, because God gave the resource, which is not exchangeable: this time. And the man, realizing that time is not subject to exchange, begins this resource is used efficiently. And then it starts to work, knowing Christ told the parable of the talents. If people don’t multiply, so he “buries” himself for lack of self-realization. No faith in itself – no self-realization. And from the point of view of the gospel, if you have not used this resource, then you are the enemy of God. Not only do you diminish God will not only destroy his gift – you destroy yourself.
– How to understand what is given to you by God? Sometimes people come up with talents that sometimes don’t see them. How to get the answer, what is your purpose and where your destiny?
– The eternal question. I always say that the most important prayer is “Lord, teach me to do thy will”. Look, God created man initially to bliss, to happiness. The nature of the will of God to Adam and eve and to us in the twenty-first century has changed. She is love. We lost contact with God, starting to look at themselves. We have the right to put the question to God – “Lord, teach me to do thy will”. And in order to get it, you need to get rid of many limiting factors. The pure in heart, as the Apostle Paul, and a clean mind to understand Christ, to understand God.
– What factors are you talking about? For example?
– These factors are called sins of passion. And to get rid of this, the Church is given the sacrament. Life itself in the Church – not near the candlestick and some formal action and life in the Church, where there is a deep understanding of the uniqueness of the Church as God established the body. I am very sorry for those people who “know everything” about the Church, but its nature did not know, did not know its essence. They whole life passed in the Church, put candles but did not know God. They were, as the Apostle Paul writes, infants in the faith, but trying to be elders.
– That is, the point is not the formal manifestation is to go to the Sunday service, light a candle, to submit notes, and quite different?
– Very often there is a conflict of formal and informal, internal and external, of law and grace. In the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans said, where is the place of law, grace, freedom. If a person asks such questions, then, the formal relation to God is evidence only that the person is in the condition of the infant in the faith. It’s the same when we are trying to give the babies milk or soft food, and meat. This happens very often. Better to let the baby stay in the faith longer on the milk than give it just a piece of meat that he cannot eat.
God created the Church not as a place of imprisonment. The Church is not a prison. The Church is a place of happiness
– Then where should begin this way? The problem is that we have no such schools for adults? How to extract knowledge?
Is the problem of history, Communist ideology – it made itself felt. Here, for example, in Cambridge University there are about thirty kollegov and each of them has its own Church or chapel. And it is very prestigious to carry out their obedience in the Church, sing in the choir. View today at any University in Ukraine. This is evidenced by many things. And what about those people who ask questions where to find God? The answer is to look for that Church family, the Church cell community, where it will build an individual path to God through the sacraments, dialogue with God, yourself, and a priest.
– Our churches often difficult to accept people because of strict limits: women can’t wear trousers, you can’t be in makeup. There is no feeling of lightness and light. Does the Church have to change and be transformed?
– God created the Church not as a place of imprisonment. The Church is not a prison. The Church is a place of happiness on earth. Later, due to historical factors, events, we have established the image of the Church as a place of fear and strictness. But the question is whether to change the Church? One question – no! We have all changed. And, thank God that doesn’t change the Church. Because if we start more and to change it, then it will be the end of the world, the end of all that exists. God is unchanging and the Church should not change. But what is the Church? I mean by Church is the bearer of the grace of God, and others look at the Church as a place where “grandma” banish those who are not dressed. Everyone is looking for their. To me many times felt like “grandma’s”, but they are in our Church family didn’t catch on because I as a priest was not allowed “to lead” and to make comments.
I had a case. One woman asked to sleep in the Church – she moved from the East of Ukraine, when the war began. She had always went to Church. We took her in, she lived in the temple. I look – she’s different views. Say: “it is wrong to make comments. Not a formal approach. If people came to Church, he has accomplished the feat. Why are you a strict view of people shun me?”. I tried to “re-educate”. Then I said, “Natasha, next time you see that you behave the way you behave all the “grandmothers” in the churches – not rose, not made it – I can no longer trust you to be a helper in the Church.” I gave her one last chance. I have a parishioner who is five years goes to Church, but he has tattoos. Once heard a scream. And then he runs out and shouts: “father, Father, I never you had ever seen. I’m more here will not go. She did not give me quietly to pray.” He was in shorts, sneakers, t-shirt. They have Natasha was a conflict. He ran away, she was crying. I asked her what happened: “so and so”. Say: “You know Natasha, this man goes to Church in shorts for five years. Already many of his friends came to us. He expresses his love. Why did you do that?” She berated me. What happened? The following happened. This young man – let’s call him George – was the idea of Church as a place of meeting with God. Natasha likewise had their idea of the Church. But it was exacerbated by the formal – ceremonial part, the outer, and he focused on the internal. Who is wrong? On the one hand, of course, wrong Natalia that she gave him a reason to leave the Church. On the other hand, was wrong himself Jura. Because if you go to Church for five years, you have to take the existing temple rules. Dressing themselves. You’re going to have a conversation with God. This man has a lot of conversations were we drank tea. We have come many of his friends, his brother. That is, everyone is looking for that Church, the parish, the Church family who are close to him.
– Many women now wear the pants. And it’s not so much form, how much comfort. How to be, when imposed, that the woman should not go to Church in trousers, only in a skirt and all?
– It is easier to make a comment about something external, clothes than to show love, to show Christ on the inside. The Apostle Paul writes that the woman is ashamed to walk in men’s clothes. But the Apostle Paul similarly wrote that fornicators, thieves and so on will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven. If we accept one part, we must accept all. And some congregations take one piece and elevate it to the rank of religion, and the other is not accepted. It’s not fair.
Shared today all the companies, people, hearts, minds. On this play, those who aspire to power
– Now our society is somewhat divided – someone only goes to Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, someone Kyiv, anyone in the sect. There is no unity, people begin to get lost. What should happen to this feud? God is still one.
– God is one and God is a unifying force. The devil operates on the principle of “Divide and conquer”. He does all this in order to dominate the territory where he got his power. Shared today all the companies, people, hearts, minds. On this play, those who aspire to power. I talk with many people, and they understand and speak about what the most effective modern technology is separation technology. But this technology is from the devil.
Yesterday at your place sat a man who said that he had never in his life “will not go to the Moscow Patriarchate”. She said nothing and smiled, because I know him for about three years. I believe that the task of the parish – not to show on canonical membership, and to testify of the love of Christ.