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Father Tychon's Christmas:
A Holy Mountain story of self-restraint and asceticism, as opposed to the holidays' excessive consumerism.
By Monk Paisios the Hagiorite, "Hagiorite Fathers and Hagiorite Themes", a publication of the Sacred Retreat "Evangelist John the Theologian", Souroti, Thessaloniki (p.22)



Mysterious are the days of the Christmas season. Strange. And disappointing. 

We expect them to fill us with joy. And then we discover that they expect the same of us. 

We fill them with gifts and Christmas baubles. With exotic recipes and expensive champagnes.  And yet they - oh so ungratefully - pass us by and give their gifts to totally irrelevant individuals, and in places we least expect. 

Like the cell of father Tychon for example:

"Every Christmas season, the Elder would secure a herring for himself, to consume during the twelve festive days of the Christmas fast, when the consumption of fish is permitted.  But, he would not throw the fishbone away immediately; instead, he would tie it with a thread and hang it on a nail, and whenever it was a major feast-day of the Lord or the Holy Mother and fish could be consumed, he would boil a small amount of water in a tin can, then dip the fishbone two or three times into the boiling water so it would smell of fish a little bit, and then he would add a small quantity of rice to that water.  That way, he felt he was indulging and he would then also scold himself for... enjoying fish soups in the desert!  He would keep hanging up the fishbone on the nail after each use, saving it for the next fish fare days, until it finally turned white, and only then would he throw it away."




Translation:  K.N.

Article published in English on: 24-12-2011.

Last update: 24-12-2011.