A friend sent me this note concerned about prophecies that are being made by some monastics and asked that I comment on them. He wrote
I'm sure you are aware of the "prophecies" that some Elders like to quote and opinionate around, such as the liberation of Constantinople, the re-takeover of the Greeks, the Russians helping the Greeks fight off the Turks in a 3 day war, the re-establishment of monarchy and the elevation the new king/emperor of the East.I responded,
My only thought is that God is love. And if we focus on loving God as well as our neighbors we will stay on the right course. What good do any of the prophecies do anyway other than raise fear. Orthodoxy is not about fear but about joining with God in Love. Its not right to come to God out of any kind of fear other than awe. To seek union with Him demands our love.Having said this we must have respect for the elders who live the life of prayer and experience union with God. They are given in many case special powers, some of which I have head of second hand and are well documented. We also must remember that their prophecies were given in a context for spiritual guidance to an individual and not meant for general publication. I think the insight that are give is to see the reality of the current conditions and relate them to the teachings of our Lord and then given affirmation of their views in prayer or visions from God in a way that is meant to nurture our spiritual growth.
We also know we cannot know the time of the end times and Scripture is very clear on this so anyone who gives a spefic timing to any prophecy is definitely to be discounted. But the warnings about the situations we find in society leading to the end times is probably an isight shared by many in monasteries. They do see the Church under tremendous attack from the devil. The best course in hearing thiese prophecies of modern times is to let them be a reminder that we can face death at any time and need to be ready for entering the next life with God. Nothing else matters. We know eventually what we know of this world will be destroyed and there will be a transformation and a new creation. If we have a direct relationship with God we can have hope that we will be with Him at this time and joyfully united with Him in His kingdom.
The benefit of most publicized prophecies is to promote the writings themselves. Be cautious is my advice. The political activities of this world are here only to assist us in our purpose to be united with God as one. Our primary concern should be about preparing for eternal life in the heavenly kingdom recognizing the temporary nature of our life in this earthly kingdom.