`Father, when the people tell us visions or that they saw a saint etc, what to tell them ?`
`It is good to tell them to be cautious. This is safer, because not everyone can distinguish if a vision is from God or from the devil.
Even if it were from God this vision, the man should not receive it. God is moved somehow when He sees that his creature doesn`t receive the vision because this shows he has humbleness. If a saint is indeed that one who appears, God knows how to warn the soul afterwards in another way and guide it to what He wants. It is needed attention as the devil may come and press the button and switch on his tv-set.
I knew a soul who hadn`t been helped by people and that is why he needed God`s help. God showed him something to help him. But afterwards the devil brought him thoughs: If God considered you worthy to have this vision He may have in mind for your something higher. From the moment he believed this the devil started to do his job and he controlled him. But God had again pity for that soul. He had a vision and heard a voice saying: `Write to elder Paisios all the visions you had.` Thus he wrote me a letter with all the visions he had. The tempter confused her. She had visions indeed but all were from the devil. From all these visions only the first and the last were from God. God allowed the last one to make her come to her senses and free her from deceit. In the end the poor one listened what I told her and she escaped.
Excerpt from Spiritual struggle – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos.