Friday, June 14, 2013
Πώς η εκτεταμένη χρήση του Facebook αυξάνει την πιθανότητα για απιστία, τσακωμούς και ρίξεις στα νέα ζευγάρια .
Το Facebook κάνει καλό στην κοινωνική ζωή, αλλά όχι κατ’ ανάγκη και στην ερωτική. Η υπερβολική χρήση του κοινωνικού δικτύου μπορεί να κάνει σοβαρή -έως ανεπανόρθωτη- ζημιά στις σχέσεις μερικών ζευγαριών, σύμφωνα με μια νέα αμερικανική έρευνα. Η μελέτη δείχνει ότι τα κοινωνικά δίκτυα έχουν μεν φέρει επανάσταση στον τρόπο οι άνθρωποι επικοινωνούν, όμως παράλληλα υπάρχει και η άλλη όψη του νομίσματος, καθώς μπορεί να αποδειχτούν καταστροφικά για μια σχέση ή ένα γάμο.
Οι ερευνητές των πανεπιστημίου του Μισούρι και της Χαβάης, με επικεφαλής τον δρα Ράσελ Κλέιτον, που έκαναν τη σχετική δημοσίευση στο περιοδικό κυβερνο-ψυχολογίας, συμπεριφοράς και κοινωνικής δικτύωσης «Journal of Cuberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking», προσέγγισαν χρήστες του Facebook ηλικίας 18 έως 82 ετών και τους ζήτησαν να αναφέρουν πόσο συχνά χρησιμοποιούν το κοινωνικό δίκτυο και σε ποιό βαθμό προκαλούνται συγκρούσεις με τους νυν ή τους πρώην συντρόφους τους εξαιτίας της ενασχόλησής τους με το Facebook.
Η έρευνα έδειξε ότι όσο υψηλότερη είναι η χρήση του κοινωνικού δικτύου, τόσο μεγαλύτερη είναι η πιθανότητα τριβών, τσακωμών, απιστίας, χωρισμού και διαζυγίου. Όπως είπε ο Κλέιτον, όσο πιο πολύ κάποιος χρησιμοποιεί το Facebook, τόσο συχνότερα μπαίνει στον πειρασμό να παρακολουθεί κρυφά τις ηλεκτρονικές (και λοιπές) δραστηριότητες του/της συντρόφου του στο διαδίκτυο, πράγμα που αυξάνει τον βαθμό ζήλιας. Η ζήλια, με τη σειρά της, ανοίγει το δρόμο για προστριβές στο ζευγάρι.
Επιπλέον, σύμφωνα με τους ερευνητές, οι συχνοί χρήστες του Facebook είναι πιθανότερο να έρχονται σε online επαφές με πρώην συντρόφους τους, γεγονός που διευκολύνει την αναζωογόνηση μιας παλαιότερης ερωτικής σχέσης και την απιστία (συναισθηματική ή και πραγματική) απέναντι στον/στην τωρινό σύντροφο.
Όπως ανέφερε ο Κλέιτον, αυτή η απειλή είναι πιο υπαρκτή για τα νέα ζευγάρια που δεν έχουν ακόμα κλείσει τρία χρόνια σχέσης. «Αυτό δείχνει πως το Facebook είναι δυνητική απειλή για τις σχέσεις που δεν έχουν πλήρως ωριμάσει», τόνισε και συνέστησε στα «φρέσκα» ζευγάρια να μην περνάνε ατελείωτες ώρες στο κοινωνικό δίκτυο (και τους πειρασμούς του). «Ο περιορισμός της χρήσης του Facebook σε λελογισμένα και υγιή επίπεδα μπορεί να μειώσει τις συγκρούσεις ιδίως στα νέα ζευγάρια, όπου ακόμα ο ένας μαθαίνει τον άλλο», πρόσθεσε.
Αν καταλάβει κανείς τα μυστικά της πνευματικής ζωής και τον μυστικό τρόπο με τον οποίο εργάζεται ο Θεός, παύει να στεναχωριέται για ό,τι του συμβαίνει, γιατί δέχεται με χαρά τα πικρά φάρμακα που του δίνει ο Θεός για την υγεία της ψυχής του. Όλα τα θεωρεί αποτελέσματα της προσευχής του, αφού ζητάει συνέχεια από τον Θεό να του λευκάνει την ψυχή.
Όταν όμως οι άνθρωποι αντιμετωπίζουν τις δοκιμασίες κοσμικά, βασανίζονται. Αφού ο Θεός όλους μας παρακολουθεί, πρέπει να παραδίνεται κανείς εν λευκώ σ' Αυτόν. Αλλιώς είναι βάσανο" ζητάει να του έρθουν όλα, όπως εκείνος θέλει, αλλά δεν του έρχονται όλα όπως τα θέλει, και ανάπαυση δε βρίσκει.
Εξαρτάται από το πως αντιμετωπίζει κανείς τις δοκιμασίες. Όσοι δεν έχουν καλή διάθεση, βρίζουν τον Θεό, όταν τους βρίσκουν διάφορες δοκιμασίες. «Γιατί να το πάθω εγώ αυτό; Λένε. Να, ο άλλος έχει τόσα καλά! Θεός είναι αυτός;» Δεν λένε «ήμαρτον», αλλά βασανίζονται.
Ενώ οι φιλότιμοι λένε: «Δόξα τω Θεώ! Αυτή η δοκιμασία με έφερε κοντά στον Θεό. Ο Θεός για το καλό μου το έκανε». Και ενώ μπορεί πρώτα να μην πατούσαν καθόλου στην εκκλησία, μετά αρχίζουν να εκκλησιάζονται, να εξομολογούνται, να κοινωνούν.
Πολλές φορές μάλιστα ο Θεός τους πολύ σκληρούς τους φέρνει κάποια στιγμή με μια δοκιμασία σε τέτοιο φιλότιμο, που μόνοι τους παίρνουν μεγάλη στροφή και εξιλεώνονται με τον πόνο που νιώθουν για όσα έκαναν.
Κάποτε πήγε ένας μοναχός σ` ένα κελί που ήταν καθαρό, περιποιημένο, αρχοντικό επίσημο. Είπε: Όπως είναι η καρδιά του Γέροντα έτσι είναι και το κελί του.
Πήγε σ` ένα άλλο που ήταν ακατάστατο, αραχνιασμένο κι άνω κάτω. Είπε: Ο Γέροντας είναι καλός, ασχολείται συνέχεια με τα πνευματικά, και δεν έχει καθόλου καιρό για τα υλικά.
Ήταν αγαθός ο μοναχός αυτός και τα έβλεπε όλα όμορφα.
Ότι είσαι αυτό βλέπεις, ότι ζητάς αυτό βρίσκεις.
" Κάποτε που βάδιζα με τον άγιο στην πλατεία της πόλεως, βλέπω δεξιά μου έναν άνθρωπο κάτι να ψιθυρίζει. Τον ακολουθούσαν πολλοί φτωχοί ζητώντας του βοήθεια. Κι εκείνος κάνοντας τάχα ότι τους διώχνει, τους έβαζε στο χέρι την ελεημοσύνη του. Έτσι κρυβόταν από τους ανθρώπους. Μόλις το πρόσεξα, σκούντησα τον όσιο και του είπα για την αρετή του ανθρώπου αυτού. Κι εκείνος μού λέει:
- Στα μάτια του Θεού είναι μέγας. Τον ξέρω, γιατί αρκετές φορές βρεθήκαμε μαζί.
Ύστερα από μερικές ημέρες τον ρώτησα σχετικά με αυτή την αρετή και μου διηγήθηκε ένα παράδοξο θαύμα.
- Ήμουνα τότε, μού είπε, μικρό παιδί, δώδεκα χρονών περίπου, και είχα πάει στην εκκλησία του αποστόλου Θωμά να προσευχηθώ. Βρήκα εκεί ένα γέροντα να διδάσκει το λαό. Μεταξύ άλλων, μίλησε και για την ελεημοσύνη. Είπε ότι αυτός που δίνει κάτι στους φτωχούς είναι σαν να το καταθέτει στα χέρια του Κυρίου. Όταν το άκουσα αυτό παραξενεύθηκα και κατέκρινα τον άνθρωπο του Θεού ότι ήταν ψεύτης. Γιατί έλεγα μέσα μου: αφού ο Κύριος είναι στους ουρανούς στα δεξιά του Πατέρα του, πώς θα βρεθεί στη γη, για να πάρει αυτά που δίνουμε στους φτωχούς;
Καθώς όμως βάδιζα και συλλογιζόμουν όσα άκουσα, βλέπω κατά σύμπτωση ένα κουρελιάρη φτωχό που πάνω από το κεφάλι του -τι θαύμα!- στεκόταν η μορφή του Κυρίου ημών Ιησού
Εκεί που προχωρούσε ο φτωχός τον συνάντησε κάποιος ελεήμων και του έδωσε ένα κομμάτι ψωμί. Μόλις λοιπόν άπλωσε το χέρι του ο φιλόπτωχος εκείνος προς το ζητιάνο, άπλωσε και ο Κύριος το χέρι του από την εικόνα, πήρε το ψωμί και τον ευχαρίστησε. Έπειτα το έδωσε στον φτωχό. Ούτε αυτός όμως ούτε κι ο ελεήμων κατάλαβαν τίποτε.
Θαύμασα και πίστεψα. Από τότε ήξερα ότι όποιος δίνει στους αδελφούς ότι έχουν ανάγκη, το βάζει πραγματικά στα χέρια του Χριστού. Αυτή την εικόνα του Χριστού τη βλέπω να στέκεται πάνω από όλους τους φτωχούς και για αυτό με δέος ασκώ όσο μπορώ, την αρετή της ελεημοσύνης που τόσο ευχαριστεί τον Κύριο".
(Άγιος Νήφων Κωνσταντιανής)
St. John the Evangelist also provides us with testimony that Christ never distanced Himself from His homeland.
"Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying,‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?’" (Jn. 7:14-15).
Clearly, the Jews were aware that Christ had never learned how to read. Their amazement is marvelous testimony that Jesus did not distance Himself from His home. Had he been absent from His country for eighteen lengthy years, the Jews would have neither been surprised nor would they have confirmed that
He was illiterate.
The Lord desiring to answer and to release them of their skepticism responded thus:"Jesus answered them, and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself’" (Jn. 7:16-17).
In other words, He was saying to them, "You are surprised and scandalized that I am able to speak and preach without having gone to school and without having received an education? This very fact should make you realize that the things I am saying and preaching are not from this world but from Heaven. If you firmly resolve to keep the commandments of God (of My Father) Who has sent Me to the earth, you will understand that I am speaking the truth, and that all the things I teach and do are from Heaven above."
It can therefore be concluded from the narrative of this Evangelist that Christ never distanced Himself from Nazareth,and that His fellow countrymen as well as His supposed brothers disbelieved and rejected Him because they knew well of His life, upbringing, and lack of education: "For neither did his brethren
believe in Him" (Jn. 7:5).
Behold how all the four Evangelists provide testimony on this "controversial" topic! They who arrogantly maintain that the Gospel remains silent on the life of Christ during the ages of twelve and thirty inadvertently reveal that, in fact, they are ignorant of the Scriptures, their claims are void of sound reasoning, and, deep down inside, they reject the divinity of Christ. Jesus Christ was not only the son of the Virgin Mary, but also the Son of God.
Consequently, He had no need of obtaininghuman wisdom or acquiring magical powers in
Elder Sergei was born in the Netherlands in 1903. Most of his life was spent in France. His is a spiritual Child of Igumen Chariton the last abbot of Valaam before it was closed by the Communists. He spent his life in a country where there were few Orthodox Christians. His views are most helpful as he spent most of his life counseling spiritual children who lived in our secular Western society.
He taught that repentance was the “beginning, middle, and end of spiritual life.” He distinguished between two kinds of repentance: a) for a specific sin, b) for a general sinful state.
The first kind is most vital. he writes:
“There are three stage towards repentance for specific sins. 1) Repenting of the sin in your mind as soon as it is committed. 2) At the end of the day, when you are doing your examination of conscience, recall the sin and ask God for forgiveness again. 3) Confess the sin and repenting of it when you receive the sacrament of Confession.”
The first stage allows us to obtain forgiveness from God when dealing with our lesser sins and impure thoughts. He says,
“If you have wicked thought and repent it by desiring to think and act otherwise, this sin is erased immediately.”
Elder Sergei put great emphasis on the second stage. We need to make sure to set aside the time to concentrate on repentance at the end of each day. At this time we should undertake a spiritual critique of all that we did during the day reviewing both the evil as well as the good we have not done. After this examination of our conscience we then seek forgiveness from God with sincerity and contrition for all the ways we have been unfaithful to Him. He says,
“We must have a sharp conscience, so that every night we can examine ourselves and what we did during the course of the day and see what we did wrong, what good we failed to do, and what we did poorly. then, we should ask God’s forgiveness for all these things.”“Always keep repenting, not because you have necessarily done something, but because our nature is weak. We must repent for what we are. When we repent, we must consider not just what we have cone wrong, but all the good we have failed to do.”
The third stage, confession before God in the front of a priest, is imperative as it “allows us to avoid remaining psychologically and spiritually burdened by the sins we have committed in the past.”
The second kind of repentance involves our ongoing character. There are many sins were are unaware of. They have become part of our nature. In Confession we must ask God: “Forgive me my sins which I do not know, for all my unconscious sins.” He writes:
” We must also repent of all our failures and insufficiencies. We should not allow ourselves any excuses as there are no external circumstances that can justify our weaknesses.”
Repentance is necessary fro everyone as there is no one without sin. Whoever does not think they are sinful is living in delusion. Repentance is an “inner stance” of the fear of God, remembrance of death, and above all, humility. It is “the key to the spiritual life.” He advises:
“God prefers someone who sins and repents for it to someone who think that he never sins and never repents.”
For those who have not repented in a long time they must ask God for forgiveness for their lack of repentance. God knows our sinful struggle, our condition of mortality, and is forgiving with infinite mercy for those who continually repent. Elder Sergei writes:
“Our attitude towards the Kingdom of Heaven should be like that of a traveler who must not become panicked about all the things he has to do once he arrives at his destination, but must continue on, planning for his current journey. We must realize that we do not know when the train will come that will take us to the Kingdom. to be ready when it comes, we should be like the wise virgins and always have oil in our lamps.”“We must never believe that our sinful state is beyond repair. We must be confident that there is always forgiveness for us. All we need to do to be forgiven is to ask.”
According to Elder Sergei, “repentance as a permanent state is the normal state of the Christian, and is the state of all the saints. We must then strive toward this goal with all our might and all our prayer. It will then reveal itself to us as a might force of spiritual progress. He says,
“Repentance is the key to spiritual life. It allows us to have the wedding garment without which we are cast out of he wedding feast.”
Reference: Elder Sergei of Vanves: Life and Teachings, pp 29-34
[Based on the Testimony of the Nun Tatiana -- 1912]
Following the early morning service, at 5:00 a.m., I had scarcely stretched out to rest, when an unusual vision began. I saw myself in St. Petersburg, on Vasiliev Island. I was going to Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. I was wearing my monastic Schema and sitting in a small carriage.
Suddenly I found myself in a dark square. Frightened and overcome by trembling, I ran in different directions, looking for a way out of this terrible situation. Suddenly, I saw hundreds of people coming. They were all laypeople. Their faces were dark, smitten with an everlasting sadness, with faces just like my own face.
“Who are you?” I asked them.
They answered: “ We have suddenly passed over to Eternity, just as you have.”
What I felt at that moment defies description! Fear and trembling permeated my entire being. Just then, a radiant man, whose countenance was veiled by the light he was emitting, came to me and said, “Follow me.” And he took me to the place where the souls of the dead are judged.
He took me past forests, steppes, and buildings. The steppes were endless, and I understood that I had left behind my life on earth and that I had entered into life beyond the grave, but unprepared and unexpectedly.
He then led me into a chamber, where a multitude of laypeople – men and women, adults and children – were assembled. They were all possessed by a perpetual grief. There was a lady sitting at an enormous table in the middle of the chamber, and she said to me: “This place is prepared for you until the Second Coming of the Lord.”
I looked at all of the people there and asked: “What do you do here? Do you pray to God in this place?”
They replied sorrowfully: “In Eternity the Lord will not listen to us, because we have behaved carelessly during our life on earth. We will never have the boldness to call upon the Name of the Lord. When we were living on earth, we were given the task of suffering after ourselves and of praying for our souls. The command of Christ, ‘Pray without ceasing’ (Thessalonians 5:17), was our duty. Although we should have said the Jesus Prayer throughout our lives, with our every breath, we paid no attention to the state of our hearts. But just as one cannot live without air, so also the soul dies without unceasing prayer. We were individuals who conducted ourselves properly; we fulfilled all of our duties – but not the most important one, that of prayer.”
When I heard this, I began to pray and make the sign of the Cross. And what happened? To my horror, I realized that even the sound of my voice was coming back to me! I looked about me and saw a metal ceiling, walls, and a painted wooden floor. I then began to shake with fear from the awareness that I could not run away from that unpleasant situation.
The people around me said: “In Eternity, the Lord will not listen to us. Only those who are alive on earth can remember us before Him.”
And then the lady began speaking to me: “These people were good Christians. They loved the Lord and performed good deeds for their neighbor, but they did not acquire the Lord in their souls. They ended up here, like you, because of their negligent lives, since they thought that everyone lived the same way.”
“Oh!” I said. “Oh, how I am tormented and suffer! It is as if fire is burning me!” I fell down, with the sensation that my body was being separated from my bones.
“What kind of life did you desire?” the lady asked me. I replied, shaking: “I would have liked the kind of life such that, when I died, I would see earthly and heavenly things, the Lord and the Mother of God.”
At this point, the lady smiled and said: “Only the Saints enter Eternity in this way – those who, through the Jesus Prayer, acquired the Lord in their hearts while they were alive. But you are a nun, and yet you did not teach yourself this! By means of this prayer, the Grace of God comes to dwell in you, and when the soul is parted from the body, it is with Christ and does not feel this trembling that you are now experiencing. Paradise is in a man’s soul; where the Lord is present, there Paradise is also. You should speak about your vision to all monastics and to all Christians who live on earth and are going to perdition on account of their negligence. Only do not speak of it to unbelievers and those whose faith is weak. The Almighty is able to raise up a man who has been dead for a hundred years, in order to prove that there is life after death; but a person so raised would not be believed, and they would kill him.”
While the lady was uttering these words, I suddenly felt some hope that I would be returning to earth! All of those who were in the metal chamber pierced me with their glares, saying: “Well, then, do you intend for her to leave this fearful torture chamber?”
The lady continued: “If someone dies while saying the Jesus Prayer, his soul stands in the presence of the Lord, and he will be inseparable from Him for eternity. Likewise, if a man dies while uttering the prayer, ‘Most Holy Theotokos, save me, a sinner,’ then he will be inseparable from the Mother of God. If someone is not able to utter even a single word, then, if he struggled to attain this prayer during his life on earth, his soul will say it for him on his deathbed. The state in which the soul leaves the body is the state in which it abides forever. There will be no change for the better. Only if one is commemorated (on earth) can he alter the state of his soul.”
Then she said: “O monastics, monastics! You call yourselves monks and nuns, saying that you have abandoned worldly things. But just how do you live? You do not entrust all your problems to God and the Mother of God, but you think: ‘I need to have this and that; I cannot live without this thing or the other thing.’ The Mother of God does not look after such monastics, either in this life or in the next. She only looks after those who entrust all of their problems to her, who withstand afflictions, poverty, and illness in the name of the Mother of God and say: ‘These things must be pleasing to the Queen of Heaven; they have all come upon me in accordance with the will of the Most High.”
“Do you want me to show you the negligent monastics?” the lady continued. “Look.”
And I saw nuns coming towards me – those who served in the Altar and stole money, forever holding in their hands the pieces of paper on which were recorded the people whom the money belonged.
There also came others, who failed to preserve their chastity. Among them were chanters, whose faces were grief-stricken, like my own, wounded by an everlasting sorrow.
“Chant a hymn to the Mother of God; I want to hear one!” I said.
And they responded: “We no longer have such boldness, for when we were living in the monastery, we did not serve her with a pure heart.”
I wept bitterly, for on account of our inattentiveness we were deprived of this blessing of chanting hymns to the Lord and His All-Holy Mother.
* * *
After all of these things that I saw and heard, the man who had taken me into the judgment chambers came and told me: “We will now go to the place where your soul is separated from your body.”
I suddenly awoke on my bed. I was afraid to move. I looked all around my cell, tidied it up, made the sign of the Cross, and uttered a prayer: ‘Glory to God, it was only a dream!’ I had barely managed to say these words, when I suddenly found myself back in the next life, and the man who had been guiding me said to me: “Do not think that you were dreaming. You really were in the life beyond the grave!”
I fell on my knees before him: “Woe is me! How miserable I am! I am back here again. Why was I only concerned about the things in my cell and not about running to get away?”
“Follow me,” he told me. “We will visit many places for twenty days, and afterwards we will return to the place that has been prepared for you to abide in until the Second Coming of the Lord.”
I wept and was unable to walk. He turned his face and looked at me with compassion. I asked him: “Are you my Guardian Angel?”
“Yes,” he replied.
I began to implore him: “Pray to the Most High and return my soul, so that I may repent.”
Then my Guardian Angel said; “I will take you back, but under one condition: that you tell of all that you saw and heard here.”
I fell on my knees and promised that I would do all of this. And suddenly, at that very moment, I felt joy in my soul. The Angel said to me: “The Lord is not in your heart, but you have promised to acquire Him. If you are overcome by foolish embarrassment and do not fulfill your promise, then you will return here to your previous place. I will be with you and I will observe how you do all of these things.”
At once I was back on my bed. I sprang up, seeing the man standing beside my bed. I ran to my cell-attendant, saying: “I was in the life after death!” After that, I ran from there to the door, to tell all of the Sisters. The man was still standing on the same spot. I was afraid that something was going to happen to me. I opened the door to tell the Sisters everything, with out embarrassment and without concealing anything. Then I saw that the man had disappeared through the wall. I went again into the corridor in a state of rapture; I summoned the Sisters.
They hastened to surround me and were astonished at the extraordinary change that they saw in me, which had come over me in such a short span of time. They had seen me totally calm twenty minutes earlier at our regular service. I fell on my knees before them and told them that from this moment on I would change completely.
No terror on earth can be compared with that horror that I experienced in the life after death. And to this day, I constantly speak with everyone about what I saw, without any hesitation. Amen!
From the Greek translation, by the Holy Monastery of Ss. Cyprian and Justina in Fili, Greece, of the Russian book, “Orthodox Miracles in the Twentieth Century”, pp. 305-311.