Archimandrite-ZachariasAnything that people do in reducing suffering in the service of the other is praiseworthy. But the most praiseworthy activity is that which as we see in the example of our Lord Jesus Christ is that which overcomes death, to transmit the grace of salvation by one way or another to our fellows and to pray for the whole world, to spread upon the whole world the blessing of God so that the world may be preserved. That is the most precious activity.

Saint Silouan says in his simplicity to monks: If you have not the gift of this prayer for the whole world, the gift of the prayer of the heart, then humbly serve the pilgrims that come to the monastery, serve your fellows. But the most excellent service for the other is to be a vessel of incorruptible consolation which is transmitted to the other people.

We read all the time these days [leading up to and following the Presentation of Christ in the Temple] that the Elder Symeon awaited for the consolation of Israel. This is exactly the service of the priest. The priest should be a vessel of incorruptible consolation transmitting to every person that comes in contact with him this consolation that frees the person from all his captivities and enables him to be attached to the living God with a free heart, to run behind Christ with a free heart. That is the most noble service of the priest to his people. To be a vessel of incorruptible consolation so that every contact with the priest should be a liberation from captivity of sin and passions to the faithful.