Yelena Cherkasova- The Righteous Soul Enters Heaven -undated
I knew a sixty-year old Cypriot lady who had cancer. She came to the monastery, and told me, “I have cancer. The doctors told me that in six months I shall die.” I said to her, “Androula, then go for the meeting with the Lord, hold on to His word: ‘whether we die or live we are the Lord’s’ (cf. Rom. 14:8), and prepare for this meeting. You have six months. Wonderful! It is the greatest moment of your life.” She was a woman of prayer. I never console people, “Ah, you will live, it will pass.” I say rather, “Prepare for the meeting”, even if they live afterwards. The woman accepted it, and started saying, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord”, all the time. One day she said to me, “I want you to promise me just one thing: when I will not be able to come to the monastery any more, that you will come to see me once in the hospital, before I die.” I agreed, and before she died I went twice.
The first time I went she was in a pretty bad state, but very peaceful, and I asked her how she was. She said, “Thanks to God, I am well”, even though she was not well – she was dying. She kept saying, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord”, and she was saying another prayer that I had asked her to say, “Lord, I am Thine, save me” (Ps. 119:94). “Just surrender to the Lord with this prayer”, I said to her, “you do not need any other prayers.” After a while, I went to see her again. Her situation had worsened. They phoned me, and I left for the hospital taking Holy Communion with me, although I was not sure if she would be able to partake. I arrived and I saw her: her tummy was like a balloon, from the cancer. The only part of her body that was free from cancer was from the throat up.
I asked her, “How are you, Androula?” Her face was pale but luminous. She stared crying. I was thinking, “Oh, my God, I hope she is not fainthearted.” I said, “Why are you crying?” Do you know what she told me? “Am I worthy to be given such a grace to bear this monstrous thing? Who am I? Glory be to the Lord!” She was in such deep humility. She could not thank God worthily for the grace that she had been given to bear that terrible cancer…. And she departed like that, like lightning.
After that, I returned to the monastery, and the next day celebrated the Liturgy. During the Liturgy, these words were sounding in my heart: “She is saved.” “She is saved.” “She is saved.” I was crying and could not control myself. Fr. Symeon, who is the oldest priest of our monastery, asked me, “What is the matter with you today?” I said, “I just cannot control myself.” I had such joy, and the only thing that was sounding in my heart was, “She is saved.” It was such a beautiful liturgy, and I thanked God who informed my heart that she was received as a saint in the kingdom.