Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
`Abba, sometimes I cannot feel any joy and then I think that maybe the joy is not for me.`
`What are you saying ? The joy is not for you ? Then for whom is it? For the devil? Have you lost your mind?`
`The joy is made for the man. God didn’t give sadness, only joy.`
`Then why don’t I have any joy inside?`
`How to feel a divine joy when your mind is not at God? You forget Christ and your mind is always thinking about your affairs and chores and about devices and in this way your spiritual machinery stops. So start saying `the Jesus prayer` and chants slowly and thus you’ll start running and spinning like a whirligig around Christ. Only near Christ you find real, pure joy, cause only Christ gives true joy and comfort. Where is Christ there is true joy and heavenly delight. Those who are far from Christ have no real joy. They can make dreams: ` will do this, I’ll do the other, I’ll go there`, they can be given honors or go to have fun and entertain themselves but they joy they feel can’t fill their soul.
That kind of joy is material, worldly but the soul doesn’t feel fulfilled with worldly joys and the man remains with a hole in his heart. Did you see what Solomon says?
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11). The worldly joy offers something ephemeral, only for that moment, it doesn’t offer any spiritual joy. Spiritual joy is a heavenly life.
All those who had experienced first the Crucifixion and revived spiritually feel the paschal joy. The Easter of the Lord, the Easter! Then it comes the Pentecost. Ans when they come to the Pentecost and they receive the divine flames, the Holy Spirit, then everything is over.
Source: Pious Paisios the Athonite, Passions and virtues, p.300-301.