Tears of Repentance
Saint Nicodemos Publications, 2015
The book ‘Tears of Repentance’ was written by Athansios (Thanasi) Katigas, a taxi driver in Thessaloniki, Greece. It contains a compilation of a few of Thanasi’s life-changing experiences through his spiritually rewarding conversations and interactions with passengers. These events were initially hidden by Thanasi, however in obedience to his spiritual father he has since humbly written the book to glorify Christ and to benefit many.
Throughout his book Thanasi stresses the importance of repentance, confession and Holy Communion, the “boarding pass” to heaven. The chapter ‘My New Birthday’ expresses these points. Through God’s providence Thanasi found himself in a deadend street where he picked up an elderly gentleman on his way to Thessaloniki. Whilst the passenger conversed about politics Thanasi politely interrupted him and stated that in order for Greece’s politics to change for the better “each of us must personally seek change and cultivate it inside himself first”, starting by studying the New Testament. The man agreed, stating that he was a religious person who had been to Jerusalem and communed during major feasts.
Thanasi then asked him if he had ever gone to confession and sincerely repented. The man responded that he hadn’t. Thanasi responded, “Then believe me, you have done absolutely nothing, it is difficult opening our hearts to admit our faults and our sins so all the collected debris can come out, but only then, with a clean conscience and properly prepared, can we partake of the body of Christ.”
Like many other passengers at the end of their conversations, the elderly man was in tears and promised Thanasi that he would go straight to confession and celebrate this day as his ‘Real Birthday’. This book has many other stories which reveal Thanasi’s deep love for God and those he encounters. They are of benefit to us and epitomise the true Christian spirit which we should aspire to have.
Source: Lychnos December 2018 / January 2019