Go ahead and sanctify yourself

A faithful young man who had married a girl who had no connection with faith went to the father to ask for his advice. The elder being put in front of the accomplished fact understood immediately which were the weaknesses of the wife and told him: `Now go ahead and sanctify yourself You have no other solution! You will fight every day more and more to sanctify yourself and your wife seeing your face radiating the joy of Christ will envy you and want to imitate you. The elder found the best solution for every problem.

Once I asked him: Your holiness, this spiritual and physical attraction which appears between a man and a woman is demonic?` The elder said:`Sometimes yes, sometimes not, it depends.`

At the next meeting I mentioned again that problem and he answered more precisely: `You know what we use to call happiness in marriage exists but with a condition: if the husbands gained a spiritual fortune, loving Christ and fulfilling His commands. Thus they will come to love each other for real and be happy. Otherwise they will be poor spiritually, they will be unable to offer love and they will face demonic problems which will make them unhappy.`

 Another time he described the things better for me. I asked him: Your holiness, I heard that if the problem of not fulfilling the physical and sentimental wishes of the two remains unsolved it finds its solution only at death.

The elder reacted vehemently: `No, don’t call it problem. Look, it’s like this: and he drew with his palm and fingers a movement over the blanket from the bed showing something which moved first crawling then slowly raising from the earth and in the end ascending to heaven. This image he drew opposes that one depicted by the romantic descriptions of some ecstatic love stories which begin from the heights and in the end fall on the earth in the most unnatural way. The image described by the elder in gestures related to the spiritual fortune which naturally creates a way upwards or downwards depending of its existence or absence.

He said something to a brother :

`If your wife reproaches to you that you are too busy with the church affairs don’t give her any answer. Go and take a walk and when she changes her mood and cooks in the kitchen go to her, pat her on her head and kiss her or her cheek. This will calm her and she will forget everything you did before.`

To another brother he said : `Be careful not to bother your wife too much. And don’t be too mad after her. Be balanced and don’t exaggerate.`

`Many times the women want to be like the men and they like to wear manly clothers and do the same things and movements like the men`, told me elder Porphyrios once.`

The elder said to a sister: `The women who are jealous on their husbands get sick of cancer. This happens even to the wives of the priests. All sicknesses are caused by troubles even the kidney stones.`

For correcting the flaws of a brother as we all did the elder took examples from nature and from his life and said:

`Son, you should know that nothing is at random. Everything has a meaning and nothing happens without a reason. Not even a leaf can fall without the will of God. For this reason you should not get upset for what happens to you. Only in this way we can sanctify ourselves.Forildren instance you are upset because of your family and you worry either for your wife or for your children. But you should know that only in this way you can make spiritual progress.If it weren’t for them you could not make any spiritual progress. God gave them to you purposefully. Well, you will say – continued the elder – but is it right to suffer because of our dear ones? Yes, I answer, because this is what God wants. And you are oversensitive and because of your sorrow you have stomachaches and all your abdominal cavity hurts, am I right?`

`You are right, father. But is it so bad to be sensitive?`

`Yes, it is bad when someone is as sensitive as you, since your sorrow will cause you all kinds of physical diseases and not only those. Don’t you know that all the psychical diseases are demonic?` said the elder.

`No, I don’t know that` said the brother

`Well, you found it now from me` said the elder.

Konstantinos Yannitsiotis, Near elder Porphyrios,  Bunavestire Publishing Bacău – 2002

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