Tears of Repentance,
by Athanasios Katigas
Saint Nicodemos Publications, 2015
This priceless pearl offers us life-changing experiences from Athanasios (Thanasi) Katigas, a Greek taxi driver from Thessaloniki in the 21st century. Thanasi shares a few out of his many spiritually edifying encounters and conversations with customers who enter his taxi. He reflects on these and draws upon personal experiences in an attempt to provide advice for others attempting to traverse the narrow road of repentance.
His deep sense of love and compassion for his fellow man encourages us to be the best Christians we can, wherever we are. The chapter, ‘Thanasi, today you were sent to me by Christ’, relates his encounter with a renowned elderly doctor. Thanasi, with the grace of God, initiated a spiritual conversation (possibly aided by the spiritual talk or chanting he often had playing in the background). This doctor had not had much time for church but would kneel and pray when faced with a difficult operation. However, as the conversation continued, the doctor became increasingly defensive. ‘Why do I need to go to confession? I don’t remember having done anything evil…’ Thanasi replies that since the doctor is wiser, he should go home and cross out the word ‘repentance’ in the New Testament so that it is no longer there to reprove. The doctor continues, ‘Why must I go to a physical church? Isn’t the Church of God everywhere?’
Thanasi asks why the doctor was married in a church not on the patio and why his children were baptised in a church and not in a bathtub but now when it’s time for confession, we are quick to say, ‘Why should I go to a priest?’ ‘You have been holding the surgical scalpel in your hand for so many years… however it seems it never occurred to you to make the incision on yourself, to perform your own personal surgery in order to excise your spiritual maladies.’ Thanasi tells us, ‘Run, my brother! Run, my sister! Run to a good confessor in order to start your life of repentance, a life that will finally give meaning to your existence and grant you understanding of what real joy is.’ With God’s grace, this book can help us to shed even one tear for our spiritual state and direct us onto the road to true repentance.
Source: Lychnos October / November 2016