Monthly Archives: December 2014

Patient Endurance…

“The elder underwent the most difficult trials in obedience and blindly obeying Elder John who as was previously mentioned assigned him difficult jobs and strictly censured him without the Abbot’s knowledge. Father Paisios as a good, obedient monk endured all of this silently and with self-reproach. He never criticized Elder John not even in his thoughts and he believed that everything that happened…on account of his own sins. Finally he started hemorrhaging and ended up in the monastery infirmary. From there he gave thanks and prayed for Elder John because he had benefited him. “He beat me like an octopus but he got the ink out of me.””
Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos


Demonic Deceptions…

“… The peace and pleasantness of the out of body experience may be considered real and not a deception. Deception enters in, however, the instant one begins to interpret these natural feelings as something spiritual – as though this peace was the true peace and reconciliation with God and the pleasantness where the true spiritual pleasure of heaven. This is in fact how many people interpret their out of body and after death experiences, because of their lack of true spiritual experience and awareness. That this is a mistake may be seen from the fact that even the crudest unbelievers have the same experience of pleasantness when they “die””
Fr Seraphim Rose
~The Soul After Death


Modern Attitudes…

“At the time of the iconoclasts ten Christians who stoutly defended the icon of Christ at the Bronze Door of the palace in Constantinople were martyred for it. Now Christ’s person is being blasphemed and we must not be indifferent. If knowledgeable and discerning people like us lived at that time they would have said to the ten martyrs, “That’s not how to be spiritual. So the Emperor’s soldiers are coming to destroy the icon – never mind. When things change we will put another icon there and it’ll even be more Byzantine.” We try to make our downfall, our cowardice, are self-serving attitude appear to be something exalted. It makes me shudder.”
Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos


Pre-Conditions of Grace…

“There are however preconditions for divine grace to come and dwell in a person. Only a person who has humility receives these gifts from God; he attributes them to God and uses them for His glory. The good, humble, devout man who loves God, the man who possesses virtue is not by the grace of God deluded or led astray. He feels in his heart that he is truly unworthy and that all those things are given to him so that he may become good and for that reason he makes his ascetic struggle.”
Elder Prophyrios
~Wounded by Love



“Although he was very strict with himself when he heard a monk say “Spiritual Father I can’t do my prayer rule,” he found alternative solutions for the monk. You can’t do 150 prostrations? Do 100 – but I can’t even do that many. – Well then add to your prayer rule another four lots of 300 prayer ropes with the sign of the cross instead of the prostrations. – I still have difficulty, Elder. – Well then leave it and I will do it for you until you are strengthened. Only don’t leave obedience and the services. Usually this method worked with many and the good thing was that most times he won. The brothers sense of honor was eventually pierced with the thought, “My spiritual father, an old man, is doing the prostrations for me. I should be ashamed.”
Elder Haralambos
~Elder Haralambos Dionysiastis


The Kingdom…

“No matter what the many fates of humans are on earth, no matter what schemes and obstacles Satan and the godless prepare and no matter how great the apostasy will be in the last times from the love of Christ, the kingdom of Christ will be filled unconditionally. Or did He who told us to calculate whether we can finish a tower before we start building it, did He not calculate how He would fulfill his kingdom? The Church is His body. What would anybody be like without all of its parts, even the smallest parts and the tiniest cells? This is why the Lord will also cleanse and restore many repentant sinners so that they may be worthily called His brides. But repentance is only the beginning of one’s labor in acquiring God’s grace.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~Missionary Letter #2



“Elder Ephraim placed great importance on the Mystery of Confession and on obedience to the confessor, even for laymen. Particularly we remember that he told us, “For whoever kneels even just once under the stole of the priest Divine Providence will arrange things in such a way that Christ will finally gain him.””
Elder Ephraim of Katounakia
~Obedience is Life



“Those who desire and crave to belong to Christ and who abandon themselves to the will of God become worthy. It’s a great thing, all important, to have no will. The slave has no will of his own. And it is possible for us to have no will of our own in a very simple manner: through the love of Christ and the keeping of His commandments. We have to wrestle with the roaring lion. We cannot allow the devious enemy to prevail in the struggle. This presupposes tears, repentance, prayer, almsgiving and entreaties in conjunction with trust in Christ and not being of little faith. Only Christ can free us from the shackles of solitude. Prayer, repentance and almsgiving: give at least a glass of water if you don’t have money. And you may note that the more you are sanctified…for your prayers are heard.”
Elder Prophyrios
~Wounded by Love


The New Man…

“Until one hates his old dress he cannot desire a new one. How will we become “a new creation in Christ”, “a new man”, “sons of light” if we don’t hate our former sinful soul which has in its slavery to the body become more flesh than spirit? The old man is in total fear of God. There is the beginning and its end. In the new man fear is the beginning but love is the end. Death for the love of Christ is a guarantee of eternal life.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~Missionary Letter #2


Finding God’s Will…

“Those who ask spiritual people in order to discover the divine will should be aware of this point: the will of God is not revealed magically nor does it hold a position of relativity since it is not contained within the narrow confines of human reason. In His consummate goodness God condescends to human weakness and gives man sure knowledge. But man must first believe absolutely and secondly humble himself by thirsting ardently for this assurance and by being disposed to carry it out. This is why he receives with faith and gratitude the first word of the spiritual father who is advising him.”
Elder Joseph
~Elder Joseph the Hesychast