One thing that touched me very deeply many years ago when I met the sisters at our local monastery is their conscious choice of words. Whenever the Abbess would answer the phone she would say “evlogiete” which is a way of saying hello in the form of “blessings”. Other times she would answer the phone with “amen” as her greeting. To say amen is to say so be it. In other words I am present.
Also, whenever we visit and ask “how are you” the sisters reply is never “I’m fine” or “good” but rather “thank God“.
Whether I am fine or good or having a terrible day, “thank God” Who is the very source of my breath and my life.
This simple choice of words speaks not only to a beautiful component of the Greek language which over 2000 years has grown around Christ and the Orthodox Faith but also of kindness, hospitality and their monastic tradition.
It is the sisters way of elevating and “offering” their daily words and disposition to the Lord.
Like many things which reorient the heart, is a little way, and it is also a good way. It is a way of making room for God. It is eukharistia.
It sets a good sound to interactions, sanctifies words and creates spaciousness in the conversation.
It is a choice and a joy and one that by knowing them I have come to love.