The Monk and the Bird

bro ephraim mar saba

While we’re at it – here’s a photo of one of the brothers at Mar Saba Monastery in the Judaean Desert. It seems clear that right relationship with God and right relationship with nature are normal. We met this monastic last year when we traveled in the Holy Land. It’s good to know that the stories of St. Seraphim and the bear or St. Francis and various animals are not things of the past.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.





8 responses to “The Monk and the Bird”

  1. mic Avatar

    that is quite a sight!

  2. Vasiliki D. Avatar
    Vasiliki D.

    @mic, the tail of the bird resembles the pony tail of the monk 😉 <– [wink for those not familiar with computer funny faces.]

    Lovely photo.

  3. George Patsourakos Avatar

    The photo of the monk reaching out his arm and having a bird on his open hand can be compared to God reaching out to mankind, in order to portray a loving, harmonious, and spiritual relationship between the two.

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    I have not. But I’ll look at the article.

  5. yeamlak fitur Avatar
    yeamlak fitur

    Steve, thank you for the link.

    By the way Dephar or Defar means Fearless in the Amharic language. The Aba is following the tradition of others who carved churches for centuries on the mountains of Ethiopia. One is St. Lalibela who was a King and did these amazing twelve Lalibela churches by hand in the early 12th century. I have visited these churches and they are unbelievable. St. Lalibela was not the first though 40 years before him his uncle also a King him has done the same.

  6. Steve Avatar

    Thank you Father, I much appreciate that.

    Thank you too Yeamlak. It is perfectly natural that a loving, benevolent and all powerful Father (God) should provide both the context and the narrative for the first-storey resurrection encounters of His children.

    An inconvenient truth will always be pushed to the periphery, particularly if money can’t be made of it.

  7. Fred Avatar

    I am most privileged and blessed that my Spiritual Father is a Traditional Orthodox Monk. On one of our many conversations, I was expressing to him my wonder at the most beautiful account of St.Gerasimos of the Jordan and the Monastic Lion, Jordan. The fact that St.Gerasimos could basically dominate that lion by his direction and not be afraid of him reveals, not only the holiness of the Saint but is also a witness/a vision of how man was truly intended to live; in harmony with nature; a return to the pure state of man in Paradise. Fr.Ephraim above may just be entering into that state …

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