Clerical Articles

Words and stories of elder Paisios (Χ)

  • April 16, 2017

So much strife, so much endeavour so that the soul detaches of the world then it feels nostalgia. Even if he doesn’t intend to go in the world, however he think about it. The mind it is then like an unlanded plane. The devil succeeded. The monk spends his life at the monastery and his mind is in the world.

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When the man thinks that he is worthless, he sees his dirt, but he feels comfort, hope, safety and then there is progress and spiritual benefit. While when he says that he is worthless, but he has stress and despair, then it means that something doesn’t go well. The more the eyes of the soul are cleansed, the worse he sees himself. When someone doesn’t see well, he sees himself in a very good condition. But if he will use the magnifying glass, he will see everything like a spiritual work which must be done.

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When we don’t feel stress it is good to feel the uncleanness of our soul. Spiritual pain brings comfort, while the devilish pain brings stress.

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The monk should never justify himself, nor receive thoughts. Then the heart gets purified and sees everything properly.

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The people with a brisk nature are much helped by obedience. They must not run of obedience because they will harm themselves.

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When a monk does not practice obedience, he forces his spiritual father to slap him. The father feels pain but not in his hand, only in his heart. With God it is the same. It is not enough how much He suffered for us. God suffers like the father who slaps his child, but since He brought him to the monastery to make him a monk, He shall save him by trials. The method is not pleasant but God is forced to use this way.

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In order to get rid of the lukewarm spirit, it is necessary to come the grace of God. Why God doesn’t help me when I ask for His help? Because I am not obedient, I don’t open my heart, I don’t cleanse my vessel and I ask for wine. If He gives me, the wine will be defiled too. If God helps me in this situation, I shall be harmed for sure.

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We should have zeal. We should use our zeal not at work but in the spiritual matters.

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Long time ago at a monastery the treasurer behaved severely with the monks, with parsimony. So great was his parsimony that they nicknamed him rope. When this man died tried to find gold among his belongings, but they didn’t find anything. At his burial, the mule carers, who carried the wood from the mountain till the wharf were crying and sobbing because he had helped them a lot. Taking into account the family each one of them had to feed, this man bought and gave them one, two or three mules.

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Humility is unknown to the Catholics, that’s why the grace cannot come to them.

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A monk may have spiritual passions inherited from his parents, but if he doesn’t let the devil to stir them, those remain dead, because the grace of God chases them all away.

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When we grumble about our home, about the monastery, our grumbling is heard by God.

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In order to get rid of the old man, you must kill him. The old man must receive blows and insults, must learn humility and kill selfishness, pride, envy, stubbornness, own will. When he accept to give up on his own will, the tree of the old man is cut out. Humility comes in the same time with obedience.

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In a monastery with a severe ordinance was living a careless monk. He was eating all the time and the only thing he did was to ring the bells. Some monks did his chores and said that he did them. Then that monk started to be rebuked by his conscience and thus the other monks became the cause of his change. These monks being at a very high spiritual level, were deeply concerned by the peace of their brother.  To be reached this level by someone, without any risk of damage, it is necessary to offer his love first to God so that it becomes pure, bright then after he loves God, he shall love the others as well.

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When you love one of your brothers less and you love another one more, you’re your love is not divine.

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The monk should receive with simplicity and from everyone rebukes and allow all the people from the monastery to become carvers of the new man. He should ceaselessly keep his mind at Christ.

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The world differs very much of monachism. The laymen speak in the same voice but they do not live the same kind of life. In the same house the father does certain things and the mother does other things. In the monastery we speak and share the same kind of life (meaning that we have the same thoughts and living) We are from different places but the purpose is the same. We think in unison, we have the same kind of strife. We should feel that we are more than brothers because Christ unites us.

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Cut your will. Have obedience towards your starets but even towards a simple servant. The starets has the responsibility and he shall give account, if any mistake is made. If you do not have obedience towards a simple servant you don’t have towards your starets either.

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In the monachal life there is no right and just. Rights is what supports our purpose. Many times the irrational is right. If we do not bear not even a word of rebuke it means we are infants and we show our low spiritual level.

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During martyrdom there is pain, but the love for Christ is bigger and overcomes it.

From the book From the Ascetic and Hesychast Tradition of the Holy Mountain –Evanghelismos Publishing, 2016.