CHARITY HELPS A LOT THE REPOSED ONES

Richness brings a great damage to the man when he doesn`t give alms to the poor for his soul and for the souls of his dead ones. Charity for the pained, for the widows and orphans helps a lot for the peace of the reposed. Because when somebody gives alms for a reposed one the others say: `May God forgive him. May his bones be sanctified` If somebody is sick, he can`t work and has debts and in this difficult situation  you help him and say: `Take these for the soul of this person` he will say` May God forgive him. May his bones be sanctified.` Meaning that these people pray from their hearts and this thing is what helps a great deal the reposed ones.

When the man of a certain woman dies without confession and Holy Eucharist or her child dies what else can she do to help their souls?

As much as she can she should become kinder. This of course will help her but will also help her man because after they got married the reposed husband has a share from everything she does. This is the most important thing of all, to become kinder. Otherwise she may make good deeds but she still remains stuck in her habits. Then she tells you: `I made my duty. What else do you want me to do?` And in this way she remains incorrigible or becomes even worse.

Excerpt from Spiritual Awakening – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos.

CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE THE REASON OF THE TRIAL

Specific for the long lasting patience is to consider yourself the reason of your trial. And maybe that is the way it is in fact. Since many of the things which happen to us, take place for our guidance or for the deletion of the former sins or for correcting the present recklessness or for the avoidance of the future sins.

Thus whoever thinks that for one of these it came the trial, doesn`t rebel when he is hit, especially if he is aware of his sin, nor does he accuse the one through whom the trial came cause either through that one or through another he had to drink the glass of the divine judgement. He only looks to God and thanks Him Who had allowed the trial and blames himself and receives the rebukes with a good heart behaving like David with Semei or like Job with his wife.

But the fool asks God to have mercy on him: and he doesn`t receive mercy because it didn`t come the way he wanted it but as the doctor of the souls considered it useful. That is why he becomes reckless and sometimes he is upset and other times he struggles with the devils and other times he blasphemes God. Thus showing discontent he receives only the club.

Saint Maximus the Confessor– Ascetical Word excerpt from Philocaly – Pr. Dr. Dumitru Stăniloae, Institute of Graphic Arts “Dacia Traiană” S.A., Sibiu, 1947.

THE GATE OF HEAVEN

Long time ago there lived a very rich prince who was also very stingy. He would have never given anything to anyone. But one night he dreamt that he had died and he found himself at the gate of heaven. There saint Peter told him:

`Come with me to show you where you`ll stay.` And they walked and they walked through those wonderful gardens until at a certain moment they reached a huge and beautiful palace.

`Oh, will I stay here?`

`No, by no means.`

`But who will stay here?`

`Your gardener will stay here after he dies.`

`How is it possible when he doesn`t have anything when he is poor how to deserve such a thing?`

`Your gardener doesn`t have any fortune on earth because he shares everything he earns with those who are poorer than him. He doesn`t gather anything because he gives, but look how much he gathered here. Everything you see here is the fruit of his kindness.`

`Well then where will I stay ?` the prince asked discontent.

`Look, there in that hut.`

`How to live in that hovel? There are only some wretched boards which are ready to fall…how to live in that misery? Is it right to be that way?`

`Of course it is right, saint Peter answered. Think what you gave. Nothing. What would you have liked to see here? If you had been kind and generous as your gardener is, then you would have had such palaces or even more than this but as it is…What you see there is the result of your stinginess. `

In that moment the young prince woke up scared from his dream. From that day he changed. He didn`t gather anymore treasures on earth but in the sky. He didn`t gather riches after riches, since these would have been of no avail later…

He helped the poor with everything he had and in this way he gathered a more precious fortune – the gratefulness of those helped by him and the kind deeds he had done. This is the fortune nobody could have stolen from him.

It would be wise to do the same all of us like the prince from the story because it is true the words which says `We are what we give`.

`On the path of goodness you tire yourself sooner by resting than by toiling.`

 (Saint Basil the Great)

Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Orthodox Parables and Stories– Leon Magdan,  Aramis Publishing House– Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.

THE GRACE OF THE HOLY LITURGY CONTINUES TO POUR OVER THE WORLD AND OVER EVERY FAITHFUL SOUL

Priest Savatie Baștovoi

My dears, my beloved!

I want to say a few words to all of you who are worried and disoriented because we can`t gather anymore in the churches at the Holy Liturgy as you used to do. Do not be afraid and do not worry. The Holy Spirit of God blows wherever He wills.

What I am going to tell you are not some words conceived by me for a momentary human consolation, but the expression of a millenary experience of the Church, founded on the revelations of the Saints and on the dogmatic of our great masters and hierarchs. I spent many years reading the books of the Holy Fathers and I got close to their experiences, thing which only a few still have the chance to do in the conditions of the actual life, full of worries and duties.

Many saints, wonder makers, deeply seeing the divine mysteries had periods of times in their lives when they did not have the chance to take part at the common prayer from the church and did not commune from the Holy Chalice as you all desire now. Your desire is good and true. But do not be afraid that you will be deprived of the grace of God because of the troubles, because exactly this fear and worry may petrify your hearts. The grace of the Holy Eucharist pours over all the believers no matter where they would be, if their hearts are kind. All the prayers of the Holy Liturgy ask for the grace to come over the gifts and over the believers not only over the alive but also over the dead ones. After the transformation of the gifts, the priest prays that this grace to descend over the ascetics, over those who live a pure life and over every right soul which reposed in good faith. Therefore, the saints who live in deserts and in the cracks of the earth commune from this grace, according to what saint Paul the Apostle tells us. Thus it pours over you all as well, my beloved, over all of you who seek the love of God and love the adornment of His Church.

In the book of abba Dorotheus of Gaza we are told about a monk who had his listening in the kitchen. Many times, when he made the fire, the grace of God descended  over him and he got filled of the Holy Spirit. Once he asked his elder if in such moments he should have stood up and pray. His elder told him to do what he did, because the grace was given to him for his obedience and if he had stood up to pray he might have lost it. So you should be in absolute peace and convinced that grace seeks the man when he has a kind heart and the fruits of your obedience towards your hierarchs in these times will fill your hearts of the Holy Grace.

No hierarch or priest stopped the gatherings now out of fear, but out of a forethought each one of them knows it. The Holy Liturgy did not stop, only the gatherings. The grace of the Holy Liturgy continues to pour over the world and over every faithful soul. For this you needn`t stand like in a spell watching to see from where it comes the grace from which Church and at what precise time, since in every moment and in all places the saints of God raise their hands and accomplish the great sacrament.

Therefore, in perfect peace and with absolute faith pray in your homes and ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to come over you and your houses. In a short time God will show us what is to be done for strengthening the Church and for the peace of the whole world.

Be blessed and love each other. Do not despair, knowing that nothing shows a lack of faith more than despair. Let us keep our hearts up!

Christ is in our middle!

THE LOVE BEYOND LOVE

`Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10: 37)`

The entire Gospel teaches that we must leave the insignificant ones for the sake of the more significant ones, the ephemeral things for the sake of the eternal ones, the bad things for the sake of the good, the worthless things for the sake of the priceless ones.

Because if the Holy Gospel would not promise us the most precious things, who would leave those of a lower value? If the Gospel would not show us the brightness of the eternal riches, who would leave the glittering and vanishing ones? Who would give up on these honey and milk, if he did not find something sweeter?

Who would leave his father and mother if he did not find a much closer and dearer relative? Who would sacrifice even his life in pains and death if he did not see in this way that he gains eternity?

Christ, our Lord, is sweeter than milk and honey. He is a much closer relative to us than our own parents, dearer to us than our children and friends, richer than all the visible riches, more precious than life, because He is the giver of the blessed eternity. In comparison with Him everything in the world is inferior, vulgar, bitter, weak, worthless and ephemeral. Anyone who receives Christ will easily leave everything else, because he received what is best of all, the One Who is Himself the supreme goodness.

O, Lord, Jesus Christ, the treasury of all the eternal goods, help us to detsch ourselves of everything and get close to You, Who are our Goodness and Live. For all the Glory and Gratefulness is Yours. Amen.

Excerpt from the  Prologues from Ohrid– Saint Nicholas Velimirovitch,  Egumeniţa.

HAVE A LIVE TALK WITH GOD AT THE LIGHT OF THE CANDLE

Savatie BASTOVOI

My dear ones,

Forgive me for intruding the intimacy of your souls but the outburst of live talks or programs meant to replace the services from the churches make me tell you a few words about the meaning of prayer.

With my hand on my heart I doubt the quality of a prayer made with the phone in the hand or the bows made in front of the computer.

The prayer does not mean to get in connection with other people, no matter how good and well-disposed they would be, means only to get in connection with God. You have the chance to practice prayer in your rooms, as Christ taught us.

If someone of you is willing to pray, he should wait till his children go to sleep and then retreat in a clean corner, after he shuts down his phone, laptop, television and electricity. Make a vigil candle from a glass filled with oil, using a drilled lid and a cotton wick. The mere standing before a lit candle in a dark room will deepen you into prayer more than any live programs, even if those were sent straight from heaven.

The first things which is required from a prayer is to detach himself of all the earthly things of all the thoughts like the person who is shut in his own tomb alive. Practice this feeling and you will step for sure into the Kingdom of God in a sensitive way. From this condition pray first for your family and for the whole world, without many words.

If by doing so you will be overwhelmed by a profound peace, do not rush to read much. Make three pious bows before Christ the alive One saying the beginning prayers. Then read a few psalms: 102, 145, 33. Then say the prayer

`Hail Mary `three times and if you feel to say more than say that. Make a bow for each of the saints you love. Then sit on a chair or on the edge of your bed and stay like this keeping the peace you got, in the dark, without allowing any kind of emotions to take you back to this world full of commotion and trouble.

The fact that the cars are not heard anymore during night and that you don`t have to wake up early in the morning is a wonderful chance to experience prayer as maybe you never felt before.

If you have candles is even better. It is good to have incense as well. The pure smells give a good feeling to our soul and help the mind to recollect itself. If you are a faithful family, you can pray shortly with your children, but I repeat, that should be short, for not transforming that in a tiresome duty. But you must pray alone when everybody else is asleep, because most of you don`t have the chance to experience this prayer .

Make a live with God at the light of the candle.

I wish you all to experience wonderful moments with God.

And I`ll be glad if you pray for me as well.

Thank you for reading these lines.

Source: Facebook

THE ONE WHO CHEATS

Long time ago there was a very kind noble man. One day he called to him a peasant and told him:

`Look, man, because I know that your family hardly makes ends meet, I want to help you. I give you a job and pay you very well. Do you want to work for me?`

`Sure, my lord, answered the man happily. What I have to do?`

`To build me a house at the edge of the forest.`

`The peasant left happily and in the same day he started work. The noble man gave him money for everything he needed to buy, but the man said to himself: `He doesn`t see me anyway, what wrong would be if I cheat him?`

And instead of doing everything as it should have been, he began to buy cheap low quality things and spend the money left. When he finished, the house looked very nice on the outside, but the peasant knew he hadn`t made it well and in a short time the house would be damaged.

When he showed the house to the noble man, he told him:

`Because I know that you and your family live in a small hut, I offer you this house. That is why I let you build it and I told you now in the end so that your joy be bigger.

Now the man realized his mistake. He wanted to cheat someone else and in fact he cheated himself. If he had been honest and had worked as it should, he would have made a good for himself and his family.

But now the regrets could not repair anything.

And the man promised to himself he would never cheat anyone anymore.

“As we behave with our neighbour, this is how God will behave with us.” (Saint John Chrysostom)

Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Orthodox Parables and StoriesLeon Magdan, Aramis Publishing – Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.

THE LAST WORDS OF SAINT LUKE ARCHBISHOP OF CRIMEA

My children, I urge you insistently to arm yourself with the shield from God, to be able to defend yourself of the devil`s scheming. You don`t imagine how wily he is. We must not fight with the people, but with the principalities and powers, meaning with the evil spirits. Take care! The devil has no advantage when someone is aware and feels he is close. A hidden and unknown enemy is more dangerous than a visible one. Oh, how great and terrible is the army of the devils!

Their dark horde is innumerable. Unchanged, unfatigable, day and night trying to make us who believe in the name of Christ fall and tempt us on the path of unfaithfulness, cunning and indecency. These invisible enemies of God have a single purpose day and night, our destruction. But do not be afraid, take power from the name of Jesus!

GOD GIVE US BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY OFFSPRINGS

Priest Ioan Istrati

An old woman shuffles her feet through the church. She is coming to confess her. I read her the prayer slowly. The old woman sighs. Then she starts:

`Father, I  made all sins. My mind goes like an engine, not on gas, on trifles and foolish things. I judge, I get angry all the time.

Me: Are you in conflict with anyone?

`Father, I can`t afford at all to quarrel with anyone, because the people hardly reconcile today. They are too proud. And God forbids, I close my eyes and go in the tar for such foolish things?
Me: With your children you are in good relations?
`In good relations, father, because I beat them when they made carryings-on. I made my children with the prayer, I gave birth to them by prayer.

Me: How comes that?
`Father, I`m ashamed to say but when I was making love with my man first we sat down on our knees both of us at the edge of the bed and we prayed: God give us beautiful and healthy offsprings. And they were born healthy and agile, all six and all of them have faith in God. And I taught my girls too to pray to God to give them healthy and beautiful offsprings.

The miracles fall down from the skies like tears when the heart fills itself with love of God and people.

PRAYER, RIGHTEOUS LIFE, EXAMPLE

`Father, what`s the right position the monk must have in the hard situation of nowadays?`

`From the start the prayer, the righteous life and example. He or she should talk when it is necessary and where it is necessary.

`This means the monk should talk when he is given the opportunity?`

`Of course. If the monk doesn`t speak, then who to speak? The monk has nothing to be afraid of. The others are afraid they might lose their positions. If we who devoted ourselves to God don`t  push forward, then who will do it?`

`My mind tells me that God will not let this happen, will not allow it. This situation will end. Now it is like there is a big fishing net which has fish inside, but it is rotten. They move in all directions and in the end the net will be torn. And will not be torn because the fish are big, only because the net is rotten.`

`Father, the fish are the Christians?`

`Yes, the Christians and the others are the eels, the snakes. But we will have to answer to God for this situation. I tell them openly. I don`t refrain.`

`What should we do, father?`

`First of all we must do work inside ourselves. Because being a monk, I have as my purpose to destroy my own fleshly spirit. To build up my own spirit and become a spiritual man, because otherwise my life as a monk is meaningless. Then we must talk with discernment when it is necessary and God will help us to bear good fruit.

`Father, but some people say: Better practice silence and prayer.`

`But you can`t be indifferent when everything is burning around you. You must extinguish the fire. The pain doesn`t let you remain silent. Of course, the most important thing is that everyone should struggle to live a spiritual life as much as he can. And if he has to take a stand in a serious matter, he will take the stand which is allowed by God.

Live a humble, simple, spiritual life, so that you won`t be forced to make compromises in a difficult moment .

Afterwards, try to receive for monastic life young girls who have vocation for monachism, who can become good, authentic nuns. When someone becomes a good monk, he knows till where to deal with a matter , what to do and what not to do, he knows how to act. If he doesn`t become a good monk, everything will go wrong. Do you understand? If you become good nuns, you will act prudently.

If you don`t become good nuns, then when you send one somewhere, you will have to tell her: You must speak about this matter only to this extent and to that extent about the other matter.` Because otherwise she might say stupid things. And this shows that the soul is immature. And how will you cope with that?`

`That`s why those who have inclinations for monasticism should be educated in such a way that they could become good nuns and know till where to speak about something and what to speak about. To know what to do in a difficult moment and act showing obedience, so that her spirit may unite with that of her abbess.

When needed, only at a sign made by the abbess, they should understand to work on the same frequency. Otherwise, nothing can be done. If you don`t learn to act in this way, someone else may enter the same frequency and say other things and you wouldn`t understand and, in this way, a great harm may be done.

Excerpt from Spiritual Awakening– Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing, 2012.