He did not leave us…

12th of July 1994 – 12th of July 2016 (22 years from the repose of the pious and God-bearer elder Paisios the Athonite)

The starets had never stopped helping people, not even after his repose.  He helped people performing miracles not only when he was on earth but also after his repose, for he did not leave us and has even more care for us. Now after the starets got rid of the mortal body, subdued by passions, he can more easily run to the aid of those who call him faithfully. Sometimes elder Paisios helps even those who have never heard anything about him or who are indifferent towards faith.

People look for protection from him and pray to him, cause they believe in his holiness. That’s why his tomb became a place of pilgrimage for the Ortodox people from all over the world. There the grieved ones receive blessing and grace. There the believers receive blessing and grace. There, at that holy font of Siloam sick people are healed and miracles take place. Not only his tomb became a place of veneration, but also his cell from the Holy Mountain. Every day worshipers stop by the place to thank him for the aid they got or others because they want to see where he lived.

Hieromonk Isaac – The life of elder Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing House

 

Saint Paisios’visit to the cell of starets Moses

The monk Moses the Athonite

One morning, at the break of dawn after we had finished the early Liturgy, we heard a light knock on the door. While I was going to open it, I wondered who could come so early. When I opened, I saw starets Paisios standing in the door slightly hunched.

”How did you manage, blessed man?” he asked.

Skinny, short, in scant attire, he was standing before me smilingly. I was so glad for his unexpected visit. He entered unobtrusively, climbed the stairs to worship in the small church, then descended in the big room from downstairs. At that time it was almost empty. Just two chairs and a table. I offered him some refreshment.

”Have patience!” he told me.

He spoke to me about the old elders of that cell. They were hard working, fond of church services, virtuous.

”This morning I had two experiences”, he said. ”A middle aged man came to me to accept him as a disciple.” ”I asked him if he had a family and he said that he had one and he had two children in primary school.” ”Then I told him: After they would graduate primary, secondary and high school and college and you would marry them, you could come back to tell you where to go to became a monk, cause I don’t keep monks here.” ”This is what some men do, make children, then leave them and go to become monks…”

”The second case is worse than the first one.” ”Another one came and told me: Gheronda, I found a woman who is of a much higher spiritual level than my wife and I came to you to ask for your blessing…” ”The world has gone crazy.” ”They speak nonsense.” ”I came to see how you are.”

He didn’t stay long, but I was so glad. He brought me blessing, joy, peace. Like then, at the monastery Simonos Petras, when he stayed for two days and nights near my cell and gave me his knitted yarmulke, before I had the time to ask him for it as a blessing, when I went to his cell. On the second night my cell was disturbed by an unexpected visit. He came in the middle of the night and knocked on my door supposedly to ask me what time it was, after how long the service would start, to comfort me.

The next day he told me why he had come. Tangalaki didn’t sleep. I always remember about the synaxis that tells us about God’s elders, seers of the uncreated light, about the charismatic monks, about long and painful struggles, tears and vigilias, icons, holy relics and miracles. Nobody reached God without effort, as abba Isaac says. We must eliminate the wordly spirit from monachism. Sweat is the monk’s bath and chrism…Prayer is his basic work, above the missionary work and philanthropy. Prayer confers eternal rest to the departed. Let us pray more for our reposed ones. May their memory be eternal! The righteous one will be eternally remembered. Hallelujah!

From the book: ~Athonite Midnight Office~

Tips about trust in God

Pious Paisios the Athonite

  • Great thing is when someone abandons himself in the hands of God! Men make plans and try to accomplish them, but without harking, without listening to the will of God and without complying with it.
  • We should trustfully abandon ourselves in God’s care so that He would take control of things and we should do our duty with magnanimity of soul.
  • If someone does not have trust in God, so that to entrust himself completely into His hands, he would be tormented.
  • Faith in God is not enough, trust in Him is required as well. Trust in God draws His aid. Men usually look for human comfort and after being disappointed by people they run to God. But if we don’t want to be tormented, let us look for the divine comfort, cause this is the only true comfort.
  • The Christian has trust in God and entrusts himself to God until death and he clearly sees how the hand of God saves him.
  • As apostle Paul says, faith means to believe in the unseen as well, not only in what’s seen. When we entrust our future to Christ, we urge Him to help us.
  • Complete entrusting of ourselves in the hands of God has faith as its mother by means of which man can secretly pray and can receive the fruits of hope.
  • This is an unceasing prayer and brings divine help in the moment when it’s needed.

 

TIPS ABOUT PRAYER

St.Paisios the Athonite

”Pray without ceasing.”(1 Thessalonians 5,17)

”And when you stand praying forgive anything you hold against anyone.” (Mark 11, 25)

  • We should pray faithfully for any demand and have patience and God will speak. Because when man prays faithfully he somehow urges God to fulfill his request for his faith.
  • That’s why when we ask something from God we should not doubt and we shall be heard. Have faith without doubting, God said. God knows when He has to give us what we ask, so that we would not hurt ourselves spiritually.
  • Sometimes we ask something from God but we don’t have patience and worry. If we did not have an almighty God, then we should worry. But because we have an almighty God, who has such a great love for us that he even feeds us with his own blood, we have no reason to worry.
  • The key to success (in prayer) is that the one who prays should feel pain. If he does not feel pain, he could stand for hours with his rosary in his hand and his prayer wouldn’t bring any result.
  • The true prayer starts from pain, it is not pleasure or nirvana. But what kind of pain is that? Man suffers in the good way. He feels pain, moans, suffers for the other one.
  • Do you know what means to suffer? Yes, he suffers, because he participates in the general pain of the world or of a certain man.
  • This participation, this pain is rewarded by God with divine rejoicing. Of course the man doesn’t ask for this divine rejoicing. It comes as a consequence of his participation in the pain of the other one.

Antonaki

There were a lot of games on the way. A child his father was holding by the  hand was sobbing without cease although he had just bought him a game before. It was obvious that he wanted something more. He was crying and sobbing and pulling his father to the place where he wanted to go. But his father, keeping calm was whispering softly, soothingly: ”Calm down, Antonaki! Don’t get angry, Antonaki! Control yourself, Antonaki!”

The lady who was coming behind them was almost indignant seeing the behavior of that spoiled child. And she marveled at the father’s composure. That’s why she wanted to congratulate him for this :

”Dear sir, I’d like to congratulate you for your mildness.” ” If it were my child, I wouldn’t have been able to control myself.” ”I would have slapped his ass twice or thrice so that he would have remembered it.”

Then she turned to the child and said: ”Good children don’t behave the way you do, Antonaki.” ”They don’t cry in the street and don’t upset their father.”

The child stopped for a while from crying and looking wonderingly at the woman, told her: ”My name is not Antonaki, but Iannis.” ”My father’s name is Antonaki”…

 

The faithless father accepts his child’s wish

The following dialogue took place once between a father and his son:

”Father, am I allowed to go to the church?” the child said to his father.

”No”, the faithless father answered. ”The church is not for you.” ”It’s for the old people.”

”But father, at school I learnt that the fourth commandment of God says we should go to the church on every Sunday in order to worship Him: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”

”This is nonsense”, his father said.

”But daddy, if it is nonsense to observe the fourth commandment, then it’s same if we keep the fifth which says: Honor your father and mother so that it may be well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

These words fell like lightning in his father’s ears, who accepted in the end his child’s wish. Because God teaches us even by means of small children…Therefore, let us consider what we teach our children!

 

 

Listen to me (part II)

The day when we were to go home finally came. I thought that maybe now things would change. When I got in the house, my eyes looked around. Mmm, we had a pretty home! Let’s see my room. How could it be? But I didn’t have any room of my own. She took me to her room where it was my crib. She put me in, covered me and left.

I didn’t cry at all. I wanted to know the place. After I examined it enough, I got tired and fell asleep. When I woke up I cried so that my mummy would hear me. But there was no answer…I went on screaming and crying.

At a certain moment she came in annoyed. She took me in her arms and put her teat into my mouth. I was eating and looking closely at her. I was waiting for a smile from her. But in vain. After I ate, she held me in her arms for a while so that I would burp then she put me back in my bed and left. I didn’t like that at all, but I didn’t shed a tear. I simply felt a sharp pain in my heart cause of the lack of her love.

This happened every day. Many times she smelled of cigarette smoke and I could hardly breathe. Day by day we estranged more and more of each other. I tried to show her with my eyes that she didn’t love me, that I felt more and more coldness, loneliness, unsafety, but she couldn’t understand me. I wonder if all the grown-ups are like this? I started to be afraid. As for my father, I didn’t see him, cause when he came I was asleep. But the woman who gave birth to me was incapable to understand me.

Why did she give birth to me if she doesn’t want me? Why did she give birth to me if I am an obstacle in her life?

When I was looking for her and started to cry so that she would hold me softly in her arms, I heard her saying to my dad: Let her cry and she would stop in the end. They had no disposition to care about me and to see how much I suffered cause they left me look for their love.

How wrong you are, my sweet mummy! When I cry I have my own reasons. I don’t cry to annoy you. I cry cause it hurts me, or I am hungry or I am trying to see your face, hoping you would hold me in your arms and smile to me and stick my little face on your cheek, so that I would feel your breath. Then surely full of your love I would stop crying.

When you let me cry under the guise that I would get a bad habit if being in your arms, the only thing you manage to do is to make me recede after getting tired of looking for you.

You, mummy, have any idea what means that I recede? If not, I would explain it to you. I recede means that I stop looking for your love, I stop looking for your embrace, for your caress, for your warm gaze. And that’s cause you don’t want to love me! Cause you see me as an obstacle in your life, in your career. You simply gave birth to me cause you are afraid that when you’d grow old, you’d be alone, abandoned by everyone. Did you understand, mummy? You gave birth to me out of your fear, but you don’t think that just as you gave birth to me, without your love, I won’t be beside you when you’d be old but will send you to a care home instead, meaning that I will give you what you deserve. Do you understand, mummy?

And that’s because your mother didn’t love you either, she didn’t take you in her arms, she didn’t warm you with her breath. That’s why you didn’t love her. Did you really miss her embrace? Did you really miss her soft caress? Did you miss the words – I love you, my child? If you missed all these, why do you deprive me of them too? Why do you give me the same pain you had? Why, mummy dear?

Mummy, everything you give me, you’ll get it back in the same way. For this reason give me your love, so that you could be sure I won’t ever hurt you, I won’t ever betray you, you won’t ever be ashamed of your child. On the contrary, I will make you praise me. But what a pity, mummy! What you did was to estrange us. If you’d ever be ready to get to know and love each other I am ready to forgive you

Listen to me (part I)

I cry to you in the language of silence. I cry in the language of love. I cry! Listen to me, please! I’m alone, I need you. Stretch out your hand and caress your womb. Its’ me, your baby inside there. And be sure that I’ll feel your love. Do it, please! Show me that you love me. And please dear mummy stop getting angry and stop fighting with my dad, stop crying, stop smoking, stop drinking. You suffocated me with all these things you do! Please do love me! You were the one who chose to give birth to me. Why are you torturing me?

And after this child is born a new dialogue begins, this time one face to face.

Now, my sweet mummy, you will look into my eyes and I will look into yours, now we’ll talk. Now you’ll prove me if I am a fruit of love, if you gave birth to me cause of your stubbornness, out of a whim or cause of a so-called mistake.

Now mummy dear you’ll tell and show me all. While I was living in your womb, you made me suffer. I hope that now you feel sorry for that bad bevahiour.

The first hug

There where they put us after we were born, we, all the newborn babies, were crying, we protested in our way, each one of us in his own words. At a certain moment the nurse came in and took us one by one to our mummies to be fed. My turn came. She took me to my mummy, put me in her arms and told her to feed me. I looked at my mummy closely cause her bosom wasn’t full of love and affection, it was cold. She took out her breast and put it into my mouth. But I refused it. I continued to look at her closely. I was waiting for a smile from her, but it was in vain. I didn’t enjoy at all what happened afterwards. Disgusted and annoyed, she pushed me to take her breast. I ate a little, cause I didn’t want to make her angrier. I was upset when I found that she didn’t understand the discontent from my eyes.

The next day, in the afternoon I met my father. He greeted only my mother. He didn’t bother to touch me. He just glanced at me quickly as if I were something strange for him. And this is what happened daily in the hospital. I watched my mum in the eye and I was waiting for a smile from her and for a warmer embrace. But I waited in vain…

 

Who created God ?

A youngster went to a wise old man and asked him warmly: ”How is God?” ”Does He really exist?” ”Please tell me!” ”Do you think that God exists?”

”Of course I do”, the old man answered.

”And do you also believe that God created the world?”

”Of course I do.”

”But who created God?”

”You”, the old man answered briefly and seriously.

The youngster was shocked by his answer and after a while he said:

”I ask you seriously and you tell me that I created God.”

”But I speak seriously too”, the old man answered. ”I speak very seriously indeed and take heed why.” ”You, by all the questions you ask me, show that you’re not seeking to find God as He is, but seek a god as you want him to be, as you imagine him, a God made by your measures.” ”Therefore this god you’ll create for yourself, won’t be the true God.” Then the old man added: ”Son, try to find the true God and receive Him as He is.” ”You shouldn’t want him be the way you imagine him.” ”Try to be yourself as he wants you to be.” ”Try to understand Him as he is and to love his will as it is.”

 

 

What is love?

In a classroom, a pupil asked his teacher: ”What is love, ma’am?”

The teacher thought the pupil deserved an answer to match his intelligence. Because the break was coming in a few minutes, the teacher asked her pupils to search the school yard and garden for everything aroused their love feelings.

The children rushed out happily and when they got back, their teacher told them:

”I want to show me what you brought, each one of you.”

The first pupil answered: ”I brought this flower!” ”Isn’t it beautiful?”

When it came the turn for the second one, he said: ”I brought this butterfly.” ”Look at the colors of its wings!” ”I’ll add it to my collection.”

The third pupil added: ”I brought this little bird that fell down from its nest.” ”Isn’t it lovely?”

Thus, the pupils, one by one, put on the teacher’s desk what they had brought from the school yard.

After they had finished the teacher noticed that a girl didn’t bring anything and kept quiet all that time. It seemed as if she was ashamed she didn’t bring anything. The teacher turned to her and asked: ”Are you all right, my child?” ”Didn’t you find anything at all?”

”Forgive me, madam!” ”I saw the flower and smelled its scent.” ”I thought to tear it, but preferred to leave it there to spread its perfume for a longer time.” ”I saw the vividly colored, lovely butterfly too.” ”It seemed so happy that I didn’t want to catch it.” ”I saw the little bird that fell down to the ground from its nest but when I looked up, I saw its mother had such saddened eyes that I preferred to put it back into its nest.” ”For this reason I brought the flower’s perfume, the butterfly’s feeling of freedom and the gratefulness from the eyes of the little bird’s mother.” ”But how could I show you all these?”

The teacher thanked her, giving her the highest grade.

She had been the only one from her class who understood that we could  bear true love just in our hearts.