To be so hungry for God one renounces the world is one testament of spiritual love: St. Nektarios of Greece
A purity so pure it's threatening. Film Review: Man of God
February 6, 2023
To be so hungry for God one renounces the world is one testament of spiritual love. BAP Production's Man of God tells the historical story of St. Nektarios of Greece, a saint canonized for not just his miracles but his unparalleled humility. His devotion to asceticism moves with a purity so pure it threatens the monks he works alongside with. Under the spirit of envy, they plot to defame him, coming up with heinous allegations which cannot be corroborated by any evidence of truth.
Their plots work. Netkarios is exiled. Everywhere he finds himself seeking work, accusations and derisions follow him. With a strong ego (emphasis on strong and not big), he goes to God in prayer instead of defending himself against the unfounded indictments. The level of peace he embodies in the midst of violent attacks on his character is otherworldly.
After a tenacious venture in seeking work, he eventually finds a monastery in Athens willing to employ him. He works as a preacher, and his path is not without perils. A particularly moving scene is when a nun who suffers blindness approaches him, speaking of the light she feels off of his essence. After sharing her desire to have a convent opened for her and her sisters in faith, Nektarios allies with this mission.
He ventures to the island of Aegina to help them build a monastery. The craving for God these women were led by reverberated with qualities of the priestess archetype. Despite the slander thrown at him by men who don't understand his heart, he refuses to abandon the ladies and their project. Unjustly yet not altogether unsurprisingly, he becomes victim to a nun's mother's remonstrations that he is sleeping with the nuns.
An uncomfortable scene follows where three men stand around the daughter and inspect her virginity status. The one doctor in the crowd of three speaks for her and affirms she is one. People had a hard time believing Nektarios could be as holy as he actually was.
Exploitation in cults, spiritual communities, and religious institutions is not as rare as one would hope. This makes the story of St. Nektarios all the more compelling. With spiritual seekers at his behest, he lets the power of God move him rather than carnality.
The fortitude with which he engages the vision of the nuns is exemplary. In this modern era where such an archetypal dynamic runs rampant, rhyming with the extraordinary character of St. Nektarios does not. If more humans hungered for God with the genuineness of this saint, the world might resound with louder echoes of the heavens.