Rejoice in the Lord son of the heavenly Father!
You write, my child, about the thought against your starets. Fear a lot this thought of yours. Go away of it as if it were a poisonous snake as it has a frightening power in our generation.
This is the craft of the cunning one. He brings you thoughts against your starets to estrange you of the grace which covers you, to make you guilty and then slash you without mercy. Guard my word and never allow any thought against your spiritual father find shelter in your heart but throw it away as if it were a poisonous snake.
In what regards the book you are seeking even if you saved your soul through it do not take it without blessing; because without asking this will be considered as debauchery before God. Keep exactitude in the significant and insignificant matters as well so that you don`t pray, give alms or do any other good without the blessing of your spiritual father
You heard that Saul who was chosen by God from all the people of Israel and annointed king because he didn `t show complete obedience for Samuel and kept the good ones for oblation was punished by God who told the prophet: Greater is obedience than the pure oblation.`
Great is the mystery of obedience indeed. If our sweetest Jesus opened first the path and became an example for us aren`t we obliged to follow Him? If I were among you I would practice the much desired obedience.
That is why I confess with sincerity and with all might in perfect awareness that there is no other path to salvation but this one which to keep you away of any deceit or scheme of the enemy. If somebody wants indeed to save his soul and find the sweetest Jesus is due to be obedient. He is due to look at his starets with so much love as if he saw the face of Christ.
My son, keep strongly the panoply you received and carry on your ascetic struggle courageously. Turn your arrows towards the enemies having a single aim: not to show disobedience of your spiritual father. If you have your starets to intercess for you warmly to God to have mercy with you, when you upset him, who will intercess at God for you?
Struggle according to your power to ease the burden of your starets and feel relief and patience in your troubles. I knew from my experience how much responsibility and burden the starets assumes and how much he suffers until he makes a soul be worthy instead of unworthy and he takes it to heaven especially if it happens to have a rough nature.
The starets for every soul he assumes responsibility for he puts a heavy chain around his neck and he needs many prayers for easing his burden. A lot of sincere love is needed and not disobedience and grumbling.
His disciples need to have their lips dripping piety and grace not bitterness, discord and opposition.
Every tough word you say to him in time of temptation falls like poison in his soul as it comes from the devil snake; and he withers like a flower when is hit by hail.
And he is not able anymore to pray not even for himself until the pain passes away. But if his disciples are obedient in everything then the starets goes further and ascends to heights, he prays fervently, he gets more and more enlightened, he speaks calmly and gives wise advice; he receives more grace and becomes for everyone a spring for ever flowing of divine grace he receives from God
Thus my son if you want to make progress in a short time and without much effort learn to renounce at any opinion of your own so that this one may not become your will. Your ear should listen carefully to the mouth of the starets and anything he may say to you, it should be received as if coming from the mouth of God and fulfilled without hesitation and in this way you will always have peace. Always remember that your obedience or disobedience don`t stop at the starets but from him goes to God.
Never hide any thought from your starets and don`t change your words when you confess before God. Confess your thoughts without any ambiguity and your heart will immediately find rest.
Bend your neck under the yoke of obedience and rely on the breathe of your starets. When a word comes out of his mouth accept it immediately and get wings and fly and fulfill it without searching if it is good or bad. Do blindly, without discernment anything he tells you as he assumes the responsibility for letting you be without responsibility in your deeds. He will answer for what he orders, meaning if he ordered it right or wrong and you will answer if you obeyed it well or wrongly.
It is not obedience when you fulfill a certain chore that was given to you but you have revolt inside yourself. Obedience means to obey the mind of your soul to free yourself of your bad ego. Obedience means to make yourself a slave to become free. Buy at a small price your freedom, without responsibility and glad.
Do not listen to your thought which advices you in the hard moments to go away from your monastery. Know that who is not obedient to one will obey many but in the end he will remain disobedient.
Excerpt from Testimonies from the monachal life– Pious Joseph the Hesychast , Evanghelismos.