October 28 1940
Comparison – Catharsis – Progress
By Metropolitan Sotirios
No one can doubt that every Greek of 1940 proved himself to be magnificent: from the King and Prime Minister to the very last Greek. Do Greeks always show this magnificence, though? That is, do they always prevail and surpass all other peoples in their accomplishments? Does every Greek excel, perhaps, when facing dangers? The truth is that every person has his ups and downs.
The Greek race has proven its magnificence throughout history. Before all other peoples, it showed its supremacy through philosophy, poetry, democracy, art, and culture. This is true, not only in its ancient history, but also throughout its history.
It seems that the Greek of today has sunk to the lowest level that is possible. This can be seen in the problems that are present today in our beloved country of Greece. The worst part is not the problems themselves, but the way in which these problems are dealt with by the majority of Greeks. What should happen? Should we tear each other apart? Should we quarrel with one another? Obviously, this is not an option.
Let us stand well; let us stand with respect; let us not be disillusioned; let us not panic; let us not run away from our problems and the present state of affairs, but face them and deal with them correctly.
Today's Greeks need to have sobriety and composure in their lives. They should immerse themselves in studying the history of their own people and nation: from ancient times until today. They should rejoice in their successes. They should recognize their failures and pitfalls in the past. Today's modern Greek should compare himself with the successful Greek of old; the Ancient Greek; the Byzantine Greek; the Greek of the Revolution of 1821; the Greek of the Epic War of 1940. When one makes this comparison, let him, in turn, judge himself. The ancient Greek would examine himself every night. "What good did I do? What did I do wrong? What should I have done but did not do?" This is how today's Greek should also evaluate himself, for in this way, he can achieve catharsis and ultimately purification.
Catharsis and purification are the best means to use for anyone to begin his ascent, his advancement and his progress. The Greek was created for glorious things. When he uses his gifts, he rises and can remain at great heights. When he forgets his abilities and his destination, he falls down and causes himself to be humiliated.
As we celebrate the historic NO (ΟΧΙ) of October 28th, 1940 I call upon every Greek to stand before his history with utmost respect; to respectfully stand in awe before the legacy of the superb ancient Greek; to stand in respect before every hero of every age; to compare himself with the superb Greek of the past - every single day of his life, so that self-catharsis may take place. Let us confront today's problems supporting each other and standing together - especially in dealing with the financial crisis that is plaguing Greece today. Let us confront it with magnanimity, and with courage. When we are prudent and united, no problem is unsolvable and the Gordian knot can be severed. The financial problem is merely a small dark cloud which shall soon pass. No one should despair or try to escape from his responsibilities. All together, let us stand together to defend our values and our homeland, so that success will be ours.
Long Live October 28th 1940! Long Live Freedom!
With fatherly love and blessings,
Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)