[orthodox-synod] Re: Sv: heavy and sorrowful heart!
- Enough. How will such talk save anyone?
Instead of the endless ongoing arguments over who was out of line and how and
when, we would edify each other more were we to strive to post the kinds of
things we wish others would post -- words to hang on to, a beautiful image to
retain in the midst of ones day, something to emmulate, something to strive
for, visions of comfort and mercy. Especially when we're tempted, each post
should be a gift, the best things we can think of phrased in the kindest
words. In that way we can build each other up to withstand the increased
temptations that come with each fasting season.
So here goes, from "A Gathered Radiance."
Anna Vyroubova's description of the Tsarina Martyr's work at the hospital in
...remember then that we were only nurses in training.
Arriving at the hospital shortly after nine in the morning having previously
attended liturgy we went directly to the receiving wards where the men were
brought in after having first-aid treatment in the trenches and field
hospitals. They had traveled far and were usually disgustingly dirty as well
as bloodstained and suffering. Our hands scrubbed in antiseptic solutions we
began the work of washing, cleaning, and bandaging maimed bodies, mangled
faces, blinded eyes, all the indescribable mutilations of what is called
civilized warfare....I have seen the Empress of Russian in the operating room
of a hospital holding ether cones, handling sterilized instruments, assisting
in the most difficult operations, taking from the hands of the busy surgeons
amputated legs and arms, removing bloody and even vermin-infested dressings,
enduring all of the sights and smells and agonies of that most dreadful of
all places, a military hospital in the midst of war. She did her work with
humility and the gentle tirelessness of one dedicated by God to a life of
ministration. [Seventeen year old] Tatiana was almost as skillful and quite
as devoted as her mother, and complained only that on account of her youth
she was spared some of the most trying cases. The Empress was spared nothing,
nor did she wish to be. I think I never saw her happier than on the day, at
the end of our two months intensive training, she marched at the head of the
procession of nurses to receive the red cross and the diploma of a certified
war nurse... From that time on our days were literally devoted to toil. We
rose at seven in the morning and very often it was an hour or two after
midnight before we sought our beds. Sometimes when an unfortunate soldier was
told by the surgeons that he must suffer an amputation or undergo an
operation which might be fatal, he turned in his bed calling out her name in
anguished appeal. "Tsaritsa! Stand near me! Hold my hand that I may have
courage." Were the man an officer or a simple peasant boy she always answered
the appeal. With her arm under his head she would speak words of comfort and
encouragement, praying with him while preparations for the operation were in
progress, with her own hands assisting in the merciful work of administering
anesthesia. The men idolized her, watched for her coming, reached out
bandaged hands to touch her as she passed, smiling as she knelt beside their
beds murmuring last words of prayer and consolation.