Dire Catastrophe averted by MP's Elder Sebastian

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Barbara
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Re: Dire Catastrophe averted by MP's Elder Sebastian

Postby Barbara » Wed 19 April 2017 1:52 am

Tomorrow, April 19, will be the anniversary of the repose of Elder Sebastian once again.

Here is an unusual icon of the Karaganda elder :

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Here is how Elder Sebastian appeared. He had a concentrated gaze, but not such a stern one as he is depicted with in the icon :

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The present MP Bishop of Karaganda and Shakhtinsk [ since 2011 ], Sebastian [Osokin], was named after Elder Sebastian.

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Barbara
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Re: Dire Catastrophe averted by MP's Elder Sebastian

Postby Barbara » Sun 21 May 2017 3:17 am

Here is a thought-provoking account of a minor catastrophe which Elder Sebastian tried to avert. It is related by MP Archpriest Alexander Kiselev [< not related to the former Rocor Protopriest who ended his days in Moscow's Donskoy Monastery October 2, 2001 ] :

Our family lived for the first four years [ in Karaganda ] in a small 2-room dugout. [ Those dugouts were dug by people arriving to Kazakhstan, whether prisoners of the Karlag or other immigrants to the Karaganda region. They were indescribably awful ! ] In 1961, with Fr Sebastian's blessing, we bought a somewhat larger house. When he came to bless it, he stayed the night....

"After the Elder had blessed our home and the people had dispersed, we were sitting with him at evening tea and he said ] to the young Alexander ] " Shura, make shutters for the windows."

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Ornate window with shutters in Irkutsk, Siberia

"I said "Batiushka, there are all sorts of things needed here." I didn't pay much attention to his words, since there was a lot of work to do around the house. And look what happened : two months later, in the evening, some hooligans threw a brick through the window of the room in which my grandfather lived, and it flew past his head and fell in the corner. Then I remembered that I had to make shutters, and my uncle and I quickly fulfilled this blessing.

There were no empty words with Fr Sebastian."


To me, this bodes well as far as Elder Sebastian's having been a true Elder. False elders chatter, talk on amiably, perhaps --- but aimlessly.
Whereas, every syllable a true Elder utters carries tremendous weight ! One must strain to catch such advice when it is mentioned, as it won't be brought up again. It's a test of the spiritual son or daughter.

The young Alexander Kiselev did not understand how to respect an Elder's wise direction. He would have dropped his other projects and not rested until he installed the shutters. Notice how his response was lackadaisical. "Oh there are plenty of things to do here," he replied lazily, as if chatting with just any old person. Alexander should have been alert for instruction. Once given, the future rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin at Karaganda should have picked up on that prescient warning and translated the counsel of the Optina - trained Elder into immediate action.


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