Teachings of Pious Paissios

Words and stories of elder Paisios (ΧII)

  • May 7, 2017

The humble one no matter what good deed he would do, he forgets it immediately. While the least good he would be done, he considers it great and feels gratitude. He never forgets it and feels he is not grateful enough. There are such souls.

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Spiritual progress  is when the monk does not remember any good deed he has done. He reaches a high sensitivity, he forgets all his good deeds and says `I have done nothing good.`

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We must pray for the others with our heart. A sigh from the bottom of the heart is equivalent with a prayer. Even with hours of prayer, I dare say.

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We should pay attention to our psalmodies. Our mind should be focused on them and should not think of anything else. We should sing our psalmodies with our heart. If you sing your psalmodies with your heart as well as with your mouth, it will be good. You should pay attention to what you read and sing with godliness. Then the high chant is not a cry, because it is coming from your heart. And the chant sung in a low tune is humble, pious, full of reverence, not drowsy.

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The prayer is the ministry of the monks. Being paid by God will we neglect our  prayer which is our ministry?

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When I was young I was reading something but I did not understand. I underlined that passage, I asked and they explained it to me. Then I found something else that matched what I had already written and wrote them together. Then I divided them on themes, so that I could easily find the subject that interested me. Then at the end I wanted to add something else but had no more space. So I wrote them all again from the beginning on another notebook.

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When someone is young, strives and struggles with zeal. Then he is severe with himself and with the others as well. After some time he continues the same strife or even has a greater one and he is severe with himself but lenient with the others.

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For me to lift up sacks is nothing in comparison with lifting up the mistake of your brother. Sacks are lifted by the worldly people as well but they still have selfishness.

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During the holy services, the beginner should rather follow service than say the Jesus prayer. He should learn the ordinary service, the holidays and then he should say the Jesus prayer.

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The church is like the ship. One is sleeping, another one is yawning. But it follows its own way. There is another one who fights with the waves. All of them advance. It is enough to be in the Church. That is why you should take care to attend all the holy services. Never miss them.

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The nuns should take heed to the self ordination. At the nunneries the self ordination is demonic. The nunnery with self ordinance I dare say that it is 100% with demonic self ordinance.

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What is the canon ? An opportunity to ask for God’s forgiveness. It may be the last one. Try to turn it into account. Before the canon was done in the church. Then it started to be done in the cell because one was crying and another one was sobbing.

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The Forerunner preached repentance and prepared the people for receiving Christ. Christ came, we were baptized and overturned everything. And He comes now with the second baptism (the angelic schema) to forgive us the monks of all our sins. And we clad ourselves with the schema, with the repentance.

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The monks because they don’t have the problems the laymen have, are quiet, are dozing and they want to sleep. But it is of no avail to weaken ourselves. We should tighten the screw little by little. We cut a little from our sleep then from our food. These go together.Sleep in excess brings food in excess and viceversa. The food fattens the body. Then the body wants sleep and sleep thickens the mind.

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The women need to have a bit of manliness. Without manliness the woman is like the halvah.

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The nuns (the female nature) have interest and heart as well. But many times they do not use them properly. Attention is missing. It is as if they had a jug where they want to put oil. They wash it well, the wipe it, they prepare it well, they choose the best quality oil and put it in that. But instead of protecting it, covering it with something hard, they cover it with a cloth – and it might even be an embroidered one. Then the mice come to eatm two fall in the oil and thus the oil becomes impure and useless. What was the use of cleaning the jug and choosing the best oil? It is good for being thrown away and all your painstaking is lost. Because you don’t take care to guard what you have.

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If you throw your weight on your brother, you make it harder. If you take the weight yourself, you ease it.

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There are souls who started to walk with zeal on the path of the monastery but then they did not continue this journey. And this happened because at the beginning there was selfishness in their pupose. There is zeal, but it is not pure because it is mixed with selfishness. He has let’s say 30% zeal and 70% selfishness. Then he weakens and cannot advance spiritually. There is no more fuel. If the gasoline is not pure the engine cannot work.

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A fool for Christ told me: At the beginning it is hard. When you begin, until the selfishness is crushed it is difficult. Then you rejoice.

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Everyone loves the humble one. You can’t forget the humble.

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