Teachings of Pious Paissios

Words and stories of elder Paisios (ΧVI)

  • July 14, 2017

A laymen told me : `You the monks don’t make children nor do anything else.`

`You blessed man how many children can you make?` Ten, let’s say twenty. Or thirty. While the monk can make by his prayer 500 or even 5000. He prays for your children and for all the couples who can’t have children, as saint Arsenions used to do.`

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 Most of the people are attracted by the worldly things and they don’t feel God’s love anymore.

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There must be acknowledgement. The acknowledgement replaces much asceticism. One who cannot practice asceticism admits that and says: `I am indebted.` Forgive me my Lord Jesus Christ cause I can’t practice more asceticism.`

And Christ tells him `It doesn’t matter, don’t get upset.`

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The Holy Fathers say we should not pay any attention to dreams. Even if the dream is from God we don’t lose anything if we despise that dream. On the contrary. God is touched and reveals Himself in another way so that we can have benefit.

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If someone is drawn by heretics but he has a good intetnion he won’t find his rest there. But if he was drawn because of his selfishness and remains in his delusion one like this should be pitied.

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Communism wanted to make all people alike. This is the greatest injustice and inequality because one is taller and heavier and he needs more food.

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The man must offer his love to God and to his neighbor and the refst of his love he should give to the other creatures. It is obvious that these ecologists (lovers of animals) have as much love as it is that one which remains from Christians.

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That is why they love only the creatures of God and they don’t love God and His image, the man.

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Manliness means that someone has inside himself bravery. All men who proved to be great, had big hearts, they were brave. Manliness is to cover yourself completely in the trust in God. It doesn’t matter if the other one tells you a word, you should say to yourself: But how many times I did mistakes? Bravery is to endure the words the others tells you. Whoever has bravery has love as well and God doesn’t forget him. Manliness is not barbarism, but nobleness. Nobleness, not wickedness.

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When someone has a brave heart no matter what his occupation would be, he goes further. If he makes a military career he becomes general. If he marries he becomes a good family man. If he is a robber, he becomes a captain of robbers. And if he lives a spiritual life he becomes saint.

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When someone prays with his heart feels first a warmth around his heart then this warmth spreads all over his body.

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The Byzantine emperors offered a great gift to God and people by building so many monasteries, cause in monasteries the world found spiritual and bodily nourishment.

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God wishes most of all that we would be full of joy and inner peace. God is not a tyrant to force us, He leaves us free.

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We should never mention the name of the tempter. The devil showed up in an instant to a monk because he had said: `And this devil.` And he asked him: `What do you want?` The old man was shocked when he saw him.

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In my opinion one of the many differences between us and the Catholics is their rationalism.

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The monk should not leave easily his place when he has temptations he should first use all the resources of his patience.

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The devil is a great expert. He tries to catch everyone with something. The thought is the most important thing.

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The work of the devil is to bring all the time evil thoughts.

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I have the duty to fight with the pleasure of gluttony or at least not to give way to it. I should eat only in order not to harm myself because I feel a bit of weakness. I should sleep if I can’t less even seven hours. But I generally should not put myself in templates. Sometimes it might be possible to have power and strive more, other times it might be possible to be bothered by something and be forced to give up a bit on my strife.

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  Brains we have, what we need is mind.

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At the beginning the evil thoughts reign but slowly the good ones grow up and the evil ones stop. But even the good ones are only human concoctions. The good soil which makes grace come and dwell inside us is a depletion of our thoughts. But this of course without pills which sicken and paralyze the natural power of our mind.

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When you say the Jesus prayer you should not think of anything. You should not receive any thought, neither bad nor good, nor humble yourself with thoughts that seem good or let your mind wander to some apparently useful happenings for your soul, only take heed and live the words of the prayer.

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