Monthly Archives: January 2015

Valuable Reading…

“Among spiritual writings you should read especially those addressed to people living in the world, or which give the ABCs of spiritual life—such as St. John of Kronstadt’s ‘My Life
in Christ’, St. Nikodemos’ ‘Unseen Warfare’, the Lives of Saints in general, and Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov’s ‘The Arena’ (this book, while addressed to novices, is suitable for
laymen insofar as it gives in general the ABCs of spiritual life as applied to modern times). To help your spiritual growth and remind you of spiritual truths, it would be good to keep a journal (the hardbound record books sold in stationery stores are good), which would include excerpts from the writings of spiritual books which you find especially valuable or applicable to you, and perhaps comments of your own inspired by reading and reflection, including brief comments on your own shortcomings which you need to correct. St. John of Kronstadt found this especially valuable…”
Fr. Seraphim Rose

185873_t 185852_t

Divine Protecton…

“For sorcery to work one must give the devil rights over oneself. In other words one must provide some serious occasion and be personally unprepared through repentance and Confession. One who goes regularly to Confession is immune to sorcery even if it’s piled on him by the shovelful. For when someone has confessed and his heart is pure the sorcerers cannot cooperate with the devil to do him harm.”
Elder Paisios
~Spiritual Struggle


Timeless Heart…

“Guard your heart!” These words were spoken in the past by experienced ascetics. Father John of Kronstadt says the same thing in our days: “The heart is refined, spiritual and heavenly by nature. Guard it. Do not overburden it; do not make it earthly; be temperate to the utmost in food and drink, and in bodily pleasures in general. The heart is the temple of God. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy (I Corinthians 3:17).” Spiritual experience in ancient times and spiritual experience in our time is identical, under the condition that the confession of faith is identical. The heavenly knowledge to which the ascetics of old attained does not differ from the heavenly knowledge to which the ascetics of today attain. For, as Christ is the same today and tomorrow, so it is with human nature. The main thing is: the human heart is the same; its thirst and its hunger are the same; and nothing is able to satisfy it but the glory, power and riches of God.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
~Prologue of Ohrid reflection


Nothing is Hidden from God…

“Man cannot escape God’s eye even as regards the smallest things, even in the most secret places for God is present everywhere. He cannot lie to God without God knowing that he is lying. So when a person confesses he must tell the confessor the full truth about his deeds, thoughts, and feelings, hiding nothing. Such confession is essential for one’s spiritual health and progress. It is a most important means of inner purification.”
Elder Joseph
~ My Elder Joseph the Hesychast


Divine Light…

“Turn your mind towards Him continually. Learn to love prayer, familiar converse with the Lord. What counts above all is love, passionate love with the Lord for Christ the Bridegroom. Become worthy of Christ’s love. In order not to live in darkness turn on the switch of prayer to the divine light and flood your soul. Christ will appear in the depths of your being. They are in the deepest and most inward part is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is within you. Prayer is made only with the Holy Spirit. It teaches the soul how to pray.”
Elder Porphyrios
~Wounded by Love


Repent to Reach Heaven…

“The Old Testament says: “My spirit will not remain with man because they are flesh.” This applies today. Sodom burned just like a nuclear bomb. Christ does not tolerate such sins. Everywhere the sins of the flesh are worshipped. There is no repentance. The Venerable Mary of Egypt repented… We must think about what Christ has prepared for us, in the good good Paradise, after the Second Coming. Now we go to the narthex of Paradise, but it cannot enter the mind of man what the good good Paradise is like. All light! All fragrance! Joy unspeakable! Blessedness! Nothing will grow old! Christ wants everything new in His Kingdom. Nothing odd. My mother died at 95 years old and I see her in Paradise at thirty years old.”
(Elder Ephraim of Arizona
~2014 Interview


Joy of Being Wronged…

“In the spiritual life things are in reverse: when you’re left holding the short end of the stick you feel good; and when you give it to someone else you feel badly. When you accept an injustice and are prepared to justify your neighbor you accept Christ himself into your heart Who was often wrong and maligned. It is then that Christ cannot be evicted from your heart and fills you with peace and gladness. Try it my children and experience this great joy! Learn to be happy with this spiritual joy not with the wordly one and every day it will be Easter.”
Elder Paisios
~Spiritual Struggle


Holy Order…

“We were a blessed brotherhood centered around are illuminated Elder full of experience who guided our souls straight to Christ. We were like a small cenobium. Geronda highly praised the cenobictic way of life but didn’t criticize the other monasteries. He even told us about a few contemporary cenobia that were renowned for their spiritual life. He held their orderliness in high regard because when a cenobictic monk has his work cut out for him, his food ready, the church services set, all his needs taken care of and submits to the rules with obedience, his salvation is easy. The same applied to us because we simply obeyed Geronda and didn’t have to worry about anything else.”
Elder Joseph
~ My Elder Joseph the Hesychast


Power of the Jesus Prayer…

“In the area of Katounakia a possessed man became the disciples to two Elders. Through the obedience he did he was healed. He himself related that he would see the demon across from him. When he said the Jesus Prayer one time the demon became agitated. With the second repetition of the prayer he started to tremble. With the third he vanished.”
Elder Ephraim of Katounokia
~Obedience is Life


Modern Weakness…

“Everywhere today the disease of disbelief has entered deeply into the minds, and most of all the hearts, of men. Our Orthodoxy, even when it is outwardly still correct, is the poorest, the feeblest Christianity there has ever been And still the voice of the Northern Thebaid calls us—not, it may be, to go to the desert but at least to keep alive the fragrance of the desert in our hearts: to dwell in mind and heart with these angel-like men and women and have them as our truest friends, conversing with them in prayer; to be always aloof from the attachments and passions of this life, even when they center about some institution or leader of the church organization; to be first of all a citizen of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City on high towards which all our Christian labors are directed, and only secondarily a member of this world below which perishes.”
Fr. Seraphim Rose