Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Jesus Prayer…

“Every Christian can engage in inner prayer. But this prayer is mostly practiced by Orthodox monastics who cry out in their heart, ‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner’ . These few words are the ones that apostle Paul writes about. With that simple but perfect prayer, one can fulfill the commandment – pray without ceasing. How blessed the fruits of this prayer are can be best known by those who practice it, then by those who have company with monks and nuns who practice it, [and then by those who have read the… [lives] of countless other holy fathers and mothers throughout the history of our church.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~Missionary Letters #3


The Search for Stillness…

“…to keep curious people away, I painted a skull and cross bones on the rocks with some green all based paint. What time a German tourist want to come up to the sale. He thought it was a minefield because of the sign, but it looked like she knew about them so he went up to the top watching where he stepped. I was watching him from above. Then I went to the cave of a saint and pulled a thorny bush across the entrance behind me. He looked hard, but he couldn’t find me a went back down the hill.”
Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalms 46:10



One Body, Many Parts…

“I wanted to have Elder Joseph as my Elder and guide, even though I was older. He had brains; I didn’t. He had  theoria and was knowledgeable, whereas I had Praxis. Once upon a time people want to cross the river. One was blind and the other was lame. The blind man carried on his shoulders the lame person who could see, and that is how they managed to cross the river. Elder Joseph had his spiritual eyes open, but he lacked the physical strength I had. I had Praxis – I had legs – but I lacked spiritual eyesight; I was not watchful. I took him on my back and we proceeded. He led me, and we passed the river of this present life.”
(Elder Arsenios  his relationship with Elder Joseph the Hesychast)
~My Elder Joseph

Type and Cost of Prayer…

“Mono-logistical or single word prayer, is the “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” The fewer words we impose upon the nous [soul or spiritual center] the easier it is for then nous to learn and hold onto them. The methods of prayer, however are many. The method depends upon the disposition and the needs of each person. Supplication, Thanksgiving, praise – are all address to the God who is able to save in order to find the consolation and assistance being sought. There are petition, intercession, entreaty, praise, thanksgiving, and at times even a praise worthy brashness by which God’s infinite goodness and boundless love for man been low for one who calls on him with persistence and deep humility.”
Elder Ephraim of Katounakia
~Obedience is Life

“I asked your love to pray hard for me. For I have many souls that seek my help. And believe me for every single soul that receives my help, I experienced the warfare that it has.”
Elder Joseph
~My Elder Joseph the Hesychast


True Religion…

“Judaism, Christianity, Islam.  These three religions lay claim, in fact, to a common origin: as worshipers of the God of Abraham. Thus it is a very widespread opinion that since we all lay claim to the posterity of Abraham the Jews and Moslems according to the flesh and the Christian spiritually, we all have God as the God of Abraham and all three of us worship ‘each in his own way’  the same God. And this same God constitutes in some fashion are part of unity and of mutual understanding and this invites us to a fraternal relation. 

   One might say that in these three religions, passing over the past, one could agree that Jesus Christ is an extraordinary and exceptional being and that He was sent by God. But for us Christians, if Jesus Christ is not God, we cannot consider him either as a prophet or is one sent by God, but only as a great imposter without compare, who proclaimed himself Son of God, making himself thus equal to God.   There would not be the three persons in a single divinity, but a single person, unchanging for some or successively changing masks ‘ father – son – spirit’  for others.”
Father Seraphim Rose
~Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future

Impediments to Prayer…

At the same time, the elder believed that in this life, too, the just God grants spiritual and even material gifts to people who consciously endear injustices, according to the situation.He counseled one monk who was bickering with his fellow disciple as follows,
 “Tell him he’s right. Do you know how many people have gone to hell for being ‘right’? Fairness is wrong for a monk.” 
That is to say a monk is injured spiritually when he seeks to justify himself.

Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos
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“When you’re eager in your obedience during the day and at the same time your lips continuously whisper a prayer, then you feel rested and joy inside you. So much so that you don’t even consider the toil of the day. With all this warming up during the day, the vigil is easy at night: it does not tire you but rather you feel it is a feast.    However, if during the day we have been disobedient, are involved in idle chatter, back talking, part we have had thoughts of pride, jealousy, condemnation and so on, unceasing prayer stops and also the vigil at night passes with toil and pain. But sometimes, this can happen without us having given the right for it to happen.”
Elder Arsenios
~Elder Arsenios the Cave-Dweller

False Religion…

“The opposite of a loving heart that receives revelation from God is cold calculation, getting up you can out of people; in religious life, this produces fakery and charlatanism of all descriptions. If you look at the religious world today, you’ll see that great deal of what is going on: so much fakery, posing, calculation, so much taking advantage of the wins of fashion which bring first one religion or religious attitude into fashion, then another. To find the truth, you have to look deeper.”
Fr. Seraphim Rose
~God’s Revelation to the Human Heart

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men , but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Matthew 23:28


Monastic Calling…

“So he begins with great eagerness to give away all his belongings, whether he has few or many the once he becomes entirely destitute and keeps in part the divine commandments, he is no longer able to hold back his love and yearning for the wilderness, so he runs like a thirsty dear to the wilderness. He forsakes parents, siblings, friends, and the rest of his relatives, seeking and thirsty only for Jesus, and following him with all his strength. And just as a hunter scours the wilderness for animals, he scours the wilderness to see where he might come across the leader and guide of souls he desires, so that be led by him he may reach his goal by thoroughly learning how he can progress and ascend to the spiritual life!”
Elder Joseph the Hesychast
~My Elder Joseph the Hesychast

But seek ye first the kingdom of God , and his righteousness ; and all these things shall be added unto you .
Matthew 6:33


“Blessed are those,” he [Elder Paisios] wrote, “who rejoice when unjustly accused, rather than when they are justly praised for their virtuous life. Here are the signs of holiness…” And so he would rejoice when he heard accusations against himself, anyone said to someone, “Go ahead and badmouth me. Would you, please?”
Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos

“Magnanimous forgiveness of slanderers, and prayer for them, are characteristics of Christian saints. These do not ascribe the slanders against themselves to men, but rather to demons, the main instigators of every slander, as well as every sin in general.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~The Prologue



“Are you afraid of death?” The woodworker answered, “How can I fear that which fears me and which will have to serve me as a bridge to the eternal kingdom.”
The king then asked, “Do you wish to be the king?” The woodworker answered, “How can I wish for that what I already am? My creator has adopted me through Christ, and my creator is the King of Kings. So, I’m already a king.”
Finally the king asked, “How many children do you have?” The young man said, “I have 300. These are the ones who I baptized and gave birth in the spirit. These are my spiritual children who call me their spiritual father.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~ Missionary Letters #3