Orthodox Christendom celebrated Easter this weekend.
Georgia celebrates Easter - Patriarch reveals his Easter Epistle
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 3
As happens annually, Catholics Patriarch of whole Georgia Ilia II voiced his Easter epistle, where he focused on the current problems in Georgia, such as unemployment issues, relations between parents and children, the fate of children living and working on the streets, and the disastrous nature of sin.
The Patriarch said a Christian man’s life was full of happiness and not sorrows.
He said the rules of Christian life aims to overcome serious problems: encountering troubles, envy, hardship and defamation among them.
According to him, human beings were created to be happy and to aspire to happiness even when he is possessed by passions.
‘When we say we should reject temporary comfort in order to gain eternal life, it does not mean one should spend his life in sorrow. No, he has to combat sins or other kind of evil by means of praying and trusting in God. Therefore they say that paradise begins on earth,’ the epistle says.
‘Those who like being surrounded by sins and find pleasure in this way cannot realise the happiness and joy that Jesus Christ offers us,’ reads the epistle.
According to Ilia II, we can only pray for such people as this is the only way to help them.
Speaking about the relations between parents and children, the Patriarch said the number of suicides amongst teenagers had increased.
He said that many parents have to work the whole day and have no time to spend with their children, speak with them and be in friendly attitudes.
Ilia II said both parents had an equal responsibility to care about their children and appealed to parents to spend more time with their children, be their friends, listen to their problems and help them to cope with any and all difficulties.
The Patriarch also said that many children over 18 were forced to leave state-financed shelters even though they are not prepared to face a range of problems of independent life.
Ilia II said the Patriarchate has worked on the issue for many years with the Government and the civil sector.
“We have allocated a territory as well as a building through cooperation with the Health Ministry, NGOs and Tbilisi City Hall. We plan to open a vocational institute where 18-year-old boys and girls will live until till they become 23 years old. They will learn some trades here and be prepared for an independent life,” the Patriarch says.
In his epistle, Ilia II discussed ways of solving the social problems the country is facing. According to him, enamel, gold and silver treatment should be encouraged as well as using solar and wind energy, water export, construction of small power plants, tourism, etc.
According to the epistle, a lot of problems will be solved if the population is employed and small business and agriculture are developed.
“Unfortunately, 80% of agricultural products are imported in the country, while Georgia has the possibility to satisfy its population with its own product and even think of exporting it,” reads the epistle.
According to the Patriarch, families that work actively in the agricultural field should become stronger and private initiatives should be encouraged.
The Patriarch also spoke about some modern tendencies that make people become a part of a faceless crowd and not a free individual.
The Patriarch said such tendencies changed very often and appealed to people to think more about such permanent approaches that served independent, analytical thinking, as well as honouring and respecting others.
The Patriarch also touched on the nature of sin and its negative and mortal influence on humans and reminded people that regret, confession and communion would save their souls.