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Fr. Rafail, a disciple of Fr. Sophrony, talks about how Fr. Sophrony used to give candies to children… he had his own style…

This video is part of the speech of Fr. Rafail Noica given at the International Colloquium “Meeting with the spiritual father”, November 13-15, 2016, Iasi, Romania.

Fr. Rafail (transcript):

He [Fr. Sophrony Sakharov] used to say: “I’m afraid of children.” What was this fear? “The fear lest I should hurt the child in his fragility, being still in formation…” And as His Grace Hierotheos recounted, he [Fr. Sophrony] used to give chocolate and candies to children. He had his own style: he liked to lift the candy up and determine the child to jump for it… When the child got used with this game, he asked him: “how do you want it, down or up?” And the child said: “up, up!” And then he gave it in that way… And after the child had jumped 2 or 3 times, he let it down, to make it appear like the child actually won it. He used to say two things: if a priest gives a candy to a child, this is a theology lesson, the beginning of the theological formation of that child. Second: it is good to perform tricks like this, so the child knows that if he wants something, he needs to do an effort. Yes, an effort… But the child liked it… When he asked him: “how do you want it, down or up?” The child said: “up, up!” And this led the child not only to make an effort, but actually to love this effort…

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