St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain (Commemorated on July 12)
“People who struggle hard, with much devotion, and have reached the angelic state to a certain extent and are nurtured with celestial honey, nevertheless offer nothing significant to God compared with what He has offered us. For they eat honey while offering Him wax. They eat sweet fruits and offer God tree resin with the censer. Therefore, we do nothing and offer nothing to God, compared with His great loving-kindness. For, while the Good God produces beautiful fruit with our rubbish or even with manure, in order to feed us, we wretched people turn beautiful fruit into manure.”
“Blessed are those who have Christ as their hearts’ axis and joyfully revolve around His Holy Name, noetically and unceasingly repeating “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
“In former days, the Holy Fathers first withdrew into the desert, becoming themselves a desert void of their passions by struggling. Without plans or programs of their own, they left themselves in the hands of God, avoiding honors and power, even when they arrived at measures of sanctity — unless Mother Church had need of them. They did obedience to the will of God, and they glorified the name of God with their holy life. They became spiritual blood donors, for they had acquired good spiritual health in the desert with good spiritual food and vigilant patristic watchfulness.In our day, however, many of us, who are unfortunately influenced by worldly love, which can make no spiritual pledge, supposedly venture to do good, to donate blood, but our blood is full of spiritual bacteria and we do more harm than good.
“One should not struggle, however, with sick scholastic meticulousness and be choked by stress (fighting with thoughts), but should simplify his struggle and place his hope in Christ and not in himself. Christ is all love, kindness and consolation, and He never stifles man, but possesses an abundance of spiritual oxygen — divine consolation. Thorough spiritual work is one thing and sick meticulousness is another; the latter chokes with its inner anguish (due to thoughtless external strain) and afflicts the forehead with splitting headaches.”
Tone 3 Kontakion (from the Lenten Triodion)
I have recklessly forgotten Thy glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which Thou gavest me. And now I cry to thee as the Prodigal: I have sinned before Thee, O merciful Father; receive me as a penitent, and make me as one of Thy hired servants!
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The most-famed ascetic of the Holy Mountain, and the newly-enlightened light of the Church, let us praise him with hymns with all our heart, for he leads the faithful towards a perfect life, filling them with rivers of gifts, therefore we cry out: Hail, O Father Paisios.