The drops of grace

In those days in the little time spent in the cage with fresh air I felt for the first time the grace of God! The temperature must have been about twenty degrees below zero…I was walking in that small cage and suddenly I felt an unprecedented joy, a heat that was surrounding me. My hands and my feet started to sweat and I felt that the snow below me was melting little by little!

I started to say the prayer louder without being afraid of the guardian who was standing at four meters above me. I put the booklet in my pocket and I was shivering because I was cold and I wondered: `How? Me, the sinner to be searched by God?` I thanked him without cease from the bottom of my heart! This was repeating every time when I went to the `cage with fresh air.`Thus I got power and courage and I dedicated myself even more zealously to study and prayer!

Then I wrote to my wife asking her to go to the metropolitan with the sister of my father and be baptized Orthodox as she had asked for years but me, the sinner unfortunately neglected that. My wife was Protestant. I hid the letter for 15 days…When my lawyer came, I gave the letter to him and he put it in his briefcase quickly because I was not allowed to send letters, being considered extremely dangeroys as he told me. Then he gave me another letter from my wife telling me to read it quickly. After I finished that I gave it back to him and he tore it. It was unbelievable! My wife answered to what I had written to her 15 days before, to the letter that I had just given to the lawyer! She wrote that she had just visited the sister of my father and they went to gether to the metropolitan and the fixed a day for her baptism while they began the baptismal catechesis with the archimandrite of the metropolitan of Kitio. I cried of joy all day long! In the day of her baptism I prayed to Theotokos and to all the saints to be with her and I’m sure that they were there with my family. I felt as if I had been there too.`God, forgive me the sinner that I stayed so many years away of You and I kept my family far from You! With your kindness You brought me near You. Please help them to come to Your Church!`During his visit the lawyer gave me three more books sent by my parents, May God always protect them! Among them there was one that was golden, its brightness engraving into my memory for ever! A book written by Athanasios Rakovalis (1) May God protect him and his family!

 (1) Elder Paisios told me…, Atanasie Rakovalis, Evanghelismos, Bucureşti, 2002.

Excerpt from the book Testimony of the religious conversion of a former convinct – Father Paisios my saint and teacher, Egumenița Publishing 2016

Don’t clad yourself only in leaves

My beloved son in God, born from the divine Spirit, I am glad if you are glad !

All the heavenly powers, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and angels, all apostles and prophets, martyrs and righteous and our most holy Theotokos, Empress and Lady of all rejoice.

Today you made my soul rejoice with those said by means of paper and ink. I will be so glad and rejoice if you will show till the end those you are writing about today because the war of the enemy begins after three-four years. Then the grace withdraws for trial and the torch is extinguished.

And the nice things from now – which are nice indeed – then you will see them ugly, black and dark. That’s why don’t take as temptations what is happening now to you since someone else protects you. And because you are asking for an advice from me, the humble, my beloved son, listen:

Do not clad yourself only in leaves but stretch your roots deep down to find the springs as the sycamores do so that you may always have water and always have the shoots sprouting. And when drought comes to you may you not suffer any change as long as you have found a special spring. And when the torch you have now is extinguished, you have another one lit by your deeds and you won’t suffer at all because of darkness. And the way you can gain these is the following:

First of all the absolute obedience towards all. Humility grows from it. And the sign of humility is shown by the plentiful tears which in three four years flow like a spring. From them it is born the ceaseless prayer, the so-called mental prayer which makes tears flow immediately after you say: My most sweet Jesus! Or when you say Theotokos! And you can’t control yourself anymore. Then from tears is born an absolute peace.

Once a brother wanted to refrain his tears, because they started to flow down and someone knocked at the door but he couldn’t stop them until they stopped by themselves. So much power they have.

Thus if you gain these, you won’t be afraid that you might suffer a change, because you become a man with a different nature.

But it is not the nature that changes, only its attributes are changed by Grace through the divine energies of God.

The so-called typical ways must comprise the essence as the leaves of the trees hide the fruits. The psalmody should be done humbly. The mind should pay attention to the meaning of the troparion. The thought should find delight in the meaning given by the mind and to raise itself to its contemplation. The reading should be attentively done as well. So by means of all these the soul evolves, grows. Thus the old man dies, is erased and it is renewed the new one. And it increases the love of Christ. And the earthly things don’t satisfy him anymore, he only longs after the heavenly ones.

In what regards the body, it must strive with all its might so that it may always be dominated by spirit. Don’t ever have compassion for it at all. And either if you work or eat, don’t ever stop your prayer.

In all your prayers the mind must follow and understand what you say in your prayer and what you speak. Because if you don’t understand what you say, how will you understand with God so that He may give you what you ask for?

If you take this into account i twill be good for you. You will free yourself forever and you will make me glad. And if you don’t listen because of your recklessness, you will upset many.