GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART
A Journey from Western Christianity via Hinduism to Orthodoxy
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
Fr. Nikon of New Skete [Mount Athos, Greece] remembers an Englishman who was troubled by his Church and went to India, Calcutta, in search of a genuine spiritual experience. He studied at the Hindu Faculty for four years, but still he did not find what he was looking for…
“And the principal of the Faculty of Theology, of that foreign religion in Calcutta, tells him: ‘If you want something deeper, then go to the Orthodox’. And this was told to him by one of another religion.”
And then he found that the Monastery across the street from his house is actually the Essex Monastery…
“He was excited, he was a catechumen at the time when he told us this, and now he is waiting to be baptized.”
Transcript (adapted after the Romanian version provided by Elena Dinu):
A few years ago I housed in my cell someone who lived next to an Orthodox monastery outside London, famous for its founder and its abbot, Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner in Essex.
An Englishman lived across the street from the monastery. But being troubled by his Mother Church, he wanted something more spiritual, deeper…
He went to India, Calcutta. He studied at this college for four years… When he finished his studies, he wanted to thank the school principal.
“Thank you! I have learned a lot. I wouldn’t believe that your religion has such a spiritual depth…”
… And the man thanked the school principal and the latter asked him: “Are you satisfied? Did you find what you were looking for?”
“To tell you the truth, no, I’m not. I still want something more. I do not know, I have an inner dissatisfaction.”
And the principal of the Faculty of Theology, of that foreign religion in Calcutta, tells him:
“If you want something deeper, then go to” be attentive! “the Orthodox. Not to the Catholics. They are not serious. ”
And this was told to him by one of another religion. And he returns to England, to the monastery in front of his house and he says for the first time, “Let’s go to the monastery and see.”
“For so many years”, the abbot laughed when he said this, “we were across the street from his house. He saw so many people coming in and out of this place.”
He never thought to go across the street… He had to go to Calcutta and from there to send him back across the street of his house, where the monastery was… He was very excited.
“That was what I was looking for,” he said, “and I did not know where it is.”
In a monastery situated in front of him…
He was excited, he was a catechumen at the time when he told us this, and now he is waiting to be baptized.