Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Orthodoxy - Psychotherapy


About building churches

by the Elder Sophrony Sakharov




A contemporary Elder - and the founder of the Sacred Monastery of the Precious Forerunner in Essex, England - Archmandrite Sophrony Sakharov of Russian descent, had made the following comment to one of his spiritual children as they watched the construction of a church that was being built within the grounds of the Monastery:
"It is a difficult thing nowadays to build a temple. It will rouse all the demons."
He then continued with an anecdote that he had heard in Russia:
"There once was a person who had gone to Hell, but who wanted a church there so that he could pray.  In spite of his sinfulness, he loved God and wanted to pray.  So he began to measure a spot where he intended to lay its foundations.
A devil came up to him and asked him what he was doing. He replied: 'I want to build a sacred temple here, so that I can pray.'
This upset the devil, because it was not possible for a church to be built in Hell.  So he tried to hinder him.  He was unsuccessful, so he called over some other devils, but they couldn't stop him either.  Then they called for their leader. After that, a swarm of devils gathered there and they threw him out of Hell, so that he wouldn't build the church."
The Elder then concluded:
"We likewise build churches in order to convert Hell into Paradise; but, if we don't succeed, we will (at least) have succeeded in not being accepted into Hell by the devil."


Translation:  K.N.

Article published in English on: 10-11-2011.

Last update: 10-11-2011.