False piety

The one who has much faith and piety nourishes himself from something higher, more spiritual which can`t be described. But there are some people who have a false, a hollow piety. The people of this kind say dryly:

`Now because I am inside the church I must stay carefully, I must not move, I must bow my head, I must make the sign of the cross in this way.

Some people may stagger in their faith but they stand up during the entire Vigil.

`Father, are they worried because of something are they seeking anything and that is why they do this?`

`They have something inside themselves. These are good but somebody should feel them in his soul not only to do them outwardly. One thing is to take out your hat when you get in the church out of piety and another thing is to take it out because you want to cool off your head. Our piety is shown in the way we commune, in the way we take the wafers.

`Father, can someone be irritated by the way someone else expresses his piety?`

`Listen, when someone makes a big sign of the cross but he does that simply and humbly he doesn`t bother the other one. But if he looks around to see if the others watch him and he makes the sign of the cross repeatedly then the others will start to laugh at him.

`Or when somebody passes by a church and looks around to see if there are any people in that place or he waits patiently till some people show up and afterwards he starts making the sign of the cross many times and prostrates himself many times, then they are right to laugh at him. You see the worldly spirit is disliked. The true piety when it exists it shows out alone. The decent man without true piety becomes indecent.

[1] Rom. 13, 13; I Cor. 14, 40; I Tes. 4, 12.

Excerpt from Spiritual awakening – Pious Paisios the Athonite,  2012.