[Christ Pantocrator Sinai]
[Orthodox Cross]
Fellowship of St. Silas
An Eastern Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
Testimony - George - September
Time and Life in Prison
by George who is blind

[Fellowship of St. Silas] Time seems to change its nature in prison. The present hardly exists; for there is an absence of feeling and sensation which might separate it from the dead past: even news of the active, living, and dying world outside of prison has a certain dream-like reality ... and immobility and unchangeable of the past. The outer objective: time ceases to be! The inner and subjective sense remains but at a lower level, except when thought pulls it out of the present and experiences a kind of reality in the past or in the future.

Someone once said, "We live as dead men lives encased in our pasts; but this is especially in prison where we try to find some sustenance for our starved and locked up emotions in memory of the past ... or fancies of the future. There is a stillness and everlastingness about the past. It changes not, and has a sense of eternity, life in icon of sorts, written in oils on palette, unaffected by the storms and upheaval of the present, it maintains its dignity and repose and tempts the troubled spirit and the tortured mind to seek solace solely with that prayer life through Jesus Christ accompanied by the communion with the Saints. There is peace, joy, security and hope far greater than anything which, certainly, the state religion of secular humanism could ever broach.

Life in prison without a proactive living desire to passionately follow The Way given to us by Jesus, can best be some form of madness without that passion to follow, closely follow, Jesus, there is a gradual oozing out of hope of vitality; spiraling downward into the abyss of non-existence becoming prisoners of some past.

Wanderings of the mind becomes easy for the non-believer in prison. They become slave to the routine of prison life.

Yet the past is always with us ... all that we are and all that we have evolves from the past. We are its products and we live immersed in it.

If we do not understand and feel the past as something living within us, we can never understand the present. To combine the past with the present and extend the past to the future, and to break from it where it cannot be united, to make all of this the pulsating material for thought and action requires Jesus Christ. That is life! Life anywhere. Including life in prison!

Beyond description is my gratitude to the Church for underwriting (and for Father's willingness) to travel 110 miles each month to bring to me the Sacred Mysteries of Confession, Holy Eucharist, Anointing with the Holy Oils, and blessed fellowship in Christ.

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