PASTORATION AND MISSION IN DIASPORA
Alba Iulia
May, 17-18, 2021

The Chalice of hope. The Eucharist as energizer during political storms

In the prologue of his memories from prison (The Diary of Happiness), Father Nicolae Steindhardt considered that in order to escape any concentrationist universe and acquire complete inner freedom there exist only three solutions: (1) abandoning any hope for this world, that is assuming death before dying (Solzhenitsyn), (2) the total non-adaptation to the system (Alexander Zinoviev) and (3) the radical confrontation of the system, against any logical reason (W. Churchill).

And yet, beyond this conclusion, N. Steindhardt builds his Diary of Happiness as a fourth solution – the solution of faith. And maybe having the same reason, another pilgrim in the communist prisons declared:  “I cannot and I do not want to forget the prison. It is there that I experienced the most uplifting spiritual moments in my life. There I was born again and God allowed me to experience numerous miracles, to know His power.” (Fr. Ioan Iovan)

Faith and the Eucharist were for many of those who tasted the bitterness of the communist system the redeeming solution: “I never missed the Liturgy and the Eucharist, not even in prison, where I sewed the Holy Antimension on the back of my undervest , the wine was brought by a doctor in a bottle of tonic wine, and the bread and the water were taken from the food we received…”(Fr. Ioan Iovan).