In this way we learnt to be content with our measures

Once father Joseph the young and me asked them to allow us to follow them in our fasting endeavours but the starets told us:

`You can`t.`

`We can` we insisted and asked him in the same time to allow us to fast.

When the starets accepted to let us follow their fasting example during the Great Lent we were almost flying of joy. Our daily food consisted in 25 drams of wheat flour we mixed with a little bit of water and we baked it and ate it at the 9th hour according the Byzantine time (around 3 pm) The 25 drams were in fact about 75 grams which father Arsenios weighted for us and gave us in a tin. Everything went well until the fifth week of the Lent. Then our exhaustion manifested obviously. One day at the end of that week we didn`t wake at the set hour, although father Arsenios knocked at our window.

`Arsenios, what is wrong with the youth, why don`t they move?` said the starets.

`They are sick.`

`Arsenions, don`t be naïve, they have nothing. Give them a bit of bread and they will feel all right.`

And indeed after we ate a little we recovered. In this way we learnt to be content with our measures and not to try to make efforts which were beyond our powers. But they did these.

[1] Dram (dráms), s.n. – Old weight measure weighing 3,38 grams in Valachia and 3,23 grams in Moldavia.

Excerpt from My starets Joseph the Hesychast – Archimandrite Ephrem Philotheos, Evanghelismos Publishing.

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