The late Abuna Yusuf Sağ, who was retired Vice Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church of Istanbul was a veteran spiritual figure well-known in the Syriac community.
On 3 May 2022, the dear Doctor Evgin Beğtaş and I paid a visit of courtesy to the venerable Abuna on the occasion of Easter Holiday. I took this opportunity to present my newly-published book titled "Syriac Mysticism".
Though he could not hide the discomforts of his old age which he did not complain about, we had a very pleasant conversation framed with different reminiscences with Abuna, who still very much retained his old solemn bearing. We were in communion. We delighted in his ancient wisdom and life experience. We gained new experience. This fruitful conversation reminded me once more that every success is the natural result of effort, tenacity, and great labor.
There is a proverb: "All the flowers of the future are inside the seeds of today." Therefore, we should be very mindful of the intellectual seeds which we plant and will plant in our area of responsibility. When the good seeds, deeds, sayings, and writings cast into the future, though lacking, are sincere, they are certain to have an impact. There is no other way to avoid falling into a pit of sorrow, or if already there, to climb out of it. There is no other way to find the compassionate sincerity and moral consistency of our spirit.
In The Alchemist, writer of universal renown Paulo Coelho writes, "There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth."
Therefore, I believe that everyone should come up with their own unique motivational quote in their area of responsibility so that life may become easier and more prosperous. With the sincere awareness of this quote, knowing what one knows and what one doesn't, knowing one's place and rights, they must support and contribute to the future... They must contribute to the newly planted seeds. To the new understandings... They must uplift and sanctify human dignity... They must be mindful of their spiritual speech...!
It should not be forgotten that those who are sensitive in this regard, act responsibly, are not spoiled by abundance and puzzled at poverty or lost in the face of hardship are each a blessing in all parts of the world. They are each a unique addition to life.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the venerable Abuna for welcoming us with a warm embrace. I pay him my respects and wish him good health.
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
President of the Syriac Association of Language, Culture and Literature
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