Monthly Archives: December 2014

Modern Demonic Delusion…

“The true experience of heaven is accompanied by a feeling of such awe and fear before the greatness of God and a feeling that such unworthiness to be beholding it as is seldom found among Orthodox Christians today let alone those outside the Church of Christ…Those who have seen “paradise” in the ‘aerial realm’ today are pleased, happy, satisfied – seldom anything more; if they behold Christ in some form it is only to indulge in the familiar dialogues with him that characterize experiences in the “charismatic” movement. The element of the Divine and of man’s awe before it, the fear of God, are absent in such experiences.”
Fr Seraphim Rose
~The Soul After Death



“Usually Geronda would not tell us about his own spiritual state. For example if he had just seen a vision he wouldn’t mention it. Only later when we were overwhelmed by some difficulty and needed consolation would he bring it up and say: “Don’t despair; we have a great God Who watches over us and it is through afflictions that we approach Him. It was after the Cross that God arose and ascended into heaven in the flesh. After afflictions follow consolation, visions and revelations, to the suffering soul. They don’t come during times of happiness but when the soul is being strangled by bitter afflictions and attacks of infernal darkness.” And he would tell us one or two visions to illustrate his point and fortify us.”
Elder Joseph
~My Elder Joseph


Saturated with Prayer

“At other times the mine contracts or expands. It returns again to its natural state when it contracts. When you get a sponge in a perfume pot and ring it out the fragrance remains strong and can’t be removed. It’s the same with the mind…You may be doing handiwork during the day, you may be in the garden or in the brick work. However, because the mind has been soaked in the sweetness of divine myrrh effortlessly praise without ceasing. Many a time tears flow with only the remembrance of Christ or our Panagia.”
Elder Haralambos
~Elder Haralambos Dionysiastis


Patience in Prayer…

“I would like to comment on what Elder Ephraim the spiritual professor has taught on the subject of prayer. Those things he described from his own personal experience do not always happen to everyone because all do not have the same personal character. The elder has said that when one is saying the Prayer, he feels Divine Grace, tears come any general godly zeal awakens. The beginning stages are indeed the same but if the results are not as described this does not mean that some mistake or failure has occurred. Our part is to persevere; Grace will act in each person according to his character and intent. The tears are certainly of Grace but not always the same way since usually the weeping is born of pain and affliction welling up from man’s shame.”
Elder Joseph of Vatopedi
~Obedience is Life



“Christ recommends not an earthly but a heavenly example of love to His own, “If you keep My commandments you shall abide in my love; even as I have My Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” All of His commandments are summed up in one – to love. All the other commandments such as those concerning prayer, mercy, humility, purity, long-suffering, sacrifice, courage, carefulness, forgiveness, vigilance, joy, etc. are only individual beams of love. He requires the queen of all virtues will acquire all the Queens maidens as well.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich
~Missionary Letter #2


Battle with Passions…

“I wept, I fasted to excess, I awoke for even longer but the situation did not change. The attack would quiet and down for a little while but it would start up again with… I would beat myself with sticks until I was black and blue from the waist down but the war continued twice is fierce. My only consolation was tears and prayer but I could see that the passion lived on and did not subside at all. Whenever Grace shows its presence, everything is bearable. But sometimes for reasons that are purely providential it withholds its presence and man loses hope; his fervor decreases and even his faith is dulled. These are the hardest moments in spiritual life because if God does not hold onto him here man cannot endure.”
Elder Joseph
~Elder Joseph the Hesychast


To a Hindu Convert…

“Using his gift of clairvoyance the elder related various facts about the man’s own life to him and he advised him to get a job even if he didn’t need one…the work would do him good. Impressed by the elder’s spiritual gifts the man asked him about meditation and other spiritual techniques. “Techniques don’t matter at all. You’re trying but for yo’ure digging bears no gold; there’s just the devil. The gold is Christ.””
Elder Paisios
~Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos


Wrong Way to Do the Right Thing…

“My Elder wanted to remain with the zealots but I pressed him. “If you don’t do this I’ll leave.” The elder was forced to give in. When we return to our cell he said bitterly and remorselessly, “Why, boy, did you pressure me to do this thing? When I had died you could have done what ever you wanted afterwards.” The result? Grace departed for me and I remain dry without sensation or consolation. For two years I experienced abandonment and trials as a penance from God I came to understand out of the significance of dependency and obedience.”
Elder Ephraim of Katounakia
~Obedience is Life


Beginning Difficulties…

“I tried to pray with whatever little understanding I had about noetic prayer by didn’t accomplish anything. I was making a good effort but my nous was wandering here and there. After little while had passed he asked: “Do you experience anything? Did you feel the grace of God?” “No, my dear father.” “Get out! After all this time you didn’t experience anything? Every time I say the prayer is as sweet as eating a loukoumi. My heart became so luminous and joyful and you felt nothing? Are you an ox? What are you doing?” “I have no idea what I am doing.” He was so simple and holy! He felt the just anyone could attain his state instantly. But he was unequaled. His unshakable faith and his obedience to Elder Joseph had filled him with spiritual gifts.”
Elder Epraim’s experience with Elder Arsenios
~My Elder Joseph


Wisdom in Debates…

“In debates if you say a few words about religion you will prevail. Let the person who has a different opinion give free reign to his thoughts and speak as much as he likes…LKet him sense that he is addressing himself to a calm and uncontentious person. Influence him to your graciousness and prayer and speak briefly. It will achieve nothing if you speak heatedly… Show indifference outwardly but be praying inwardly. Be prepared, know what you are talking about and speak boldly to the point but with saintliness, meekness and prayer. But in order to be able to do this you must become saints.”
Elder Prophyrios
~Wounded by Love