Some of the Father Sofian’s disciples still remeber fondly their spiritual father and the advices he used to gave. In few pages we will try to share with our readers some exhortations of the great spiritual confessor of Bucharest.
He always said to us to do charity. He said: “Give all you can, but give! Because charity is a great thing before God, erases many sins ! “. And sometimes he said to us: “Hey man, the charity lifts you up to heaven and God listens to your prayer”.
Father always asked us to give. This he loved: to be merciful. He said to us: “If you receive, give away. Even a small thing. If someone gives you a pretzel, and next to you sits someone just like you, a poor man, a brother of yours, break a piece of pretzel and give it to him. Because God is great and can fed you both from that piece.”
He also said: “When you give, do not feel sorry. Give joyfully because next to you is your guardian angel which writes your name in the book with good deeds. And if you are sorry he cannot write your name because you doubt in your heart. And God doesn’t like the doubts. God is right and good and wants all to be like Him.”
Father Sofian became very sad when he was hearing about women throwing away their children. He had tears in his voice and said: “You must be fasting every Wednesday and Friday with no drop of water, because you killed a human soul.”. He was so good that I cannot tell.
Father Sofian said: “During fasting is very important to forgive one another. You can die of hunger, it has no meaning your fasting, until you don’t reconcile with each other. Some do not speak for years. But they fast whenever it is said to. Oh, woe their fasting!”
Father told us many beautiful things about the Holy Communion. He always learned us something. He said to us that after the Holy Communion we must not speak, not get angry, not argue with no one, because the Holy Spirit is clean and good and He doesn’t stay in you if you cannot keep Him”.
Once we asked him: “Father, how long we must wait before receiving again the Holy Communion in order for the Holy Spirit to come to us?”, and he told us: “You must not hurry to receive the Holy Communion. Some come after 40 days, some after one month, some sooner. But I tell that the Holy Spirit remains within you as long as you don’t banish him. You don’t have to calculate the days, you must try to have a clean and good heart. And then the Holy Spirit is within you. “
Father was also funny. Once I asked him: “Father, do you want some coffee?”, but he told me: “What good is a coffee when my tooth hurts?” He knew to cheer you up and make you forget about all your worries.
Nobody, nobody, nobody left from him sad. He did not wound you; he does not make you angry. Sometimes we were standing on his had to listen to him until 11 o’clock in the night. And he said to us: “You must leave, you don’t have trams anymore!”, but we said: “Father we don’t want to leave!” “Well. Where do you want to sleep?” “Here on the ground of the Church”. And he didn’t get sad: “Well ok! But only this time!” And this happened many times and we all stayed.
He got upset on some people who made the charity to be seen by all people. he asked us not to be seen by anyone when we give, not to expect praises or beautiful words from those that we help. He took care of me all my life. I had many troubles, my mother was ill; the aliments were not really to be found. And he cried after me: “Ekaterina!” “Yes, father” “Stay a little bit more”. He had many people around him, putting questions to him….. He could not give me anything. But he kept his hands at his back, with full bags. He gave me when there was nobody around him. And what he didn’t put me? Oil, sugar, and so many things…and so I was leaving from there.
I was once in the kitchen, it was 11 o’clock in the night and I told him: “Father, come because the soup cools”, but he said to me gently: “Why do I need soup? What, do I live with soup?”.
He liked to fast. He was praying, reading and he painting icons. But he was eating only in the evening, a little piece of something. He was painting and he praying all day long. He didn’t like fashion. He was saying to women: “Don’t come to Church dressed like this so that others will turn the head at you. Don’t dress with brightly clothes! Don’t put make-up on you, don’t use lipstick, and don’t paint your hair. Because that means that you don’t believe that God made you beautiful, that He made a mistake which you want to correct. “
He was always saying: “Let go of fashion! Come to Church for praying!”.
Once a boy came to him and told him: “Father, I came to Church to find a wife” , and he answered to him: “I thought that you came to Church for praying, not for marrying. Come on, let it go! Pray and afterwards we will see what God wants with you.”. Also when we argued with fashion, he told us: “Let go of clothes that give birth to envy! You must come to the Church with clean and simple clothes!”
Father liked very much to teach us. We were sitting in the Church, he was removing from the Altar a chair and we, around him, on ground. Father loved canons. They were the ones from what he learned us and also from what he argued us.
“Father had the gift of miracle making. But I cannot tell about this. He saw. And he was speaking to you in the way God inspired him. He asked me once: “Are you a miss?” and I told him the truth. I lived for one month in sin. He told me: “Now no more with what it was before! From now on stay here and love the Church!” I didn’t need a man anymore and look, for 60 years I am only with the Church. And I wasn’t alone. The Mother of God gave me everything, and the father took care about me. This was his gift which made miracles. He used to change completely your life.”