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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Honesty is the most precious Holy Cross. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

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Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

The just person is usually given the worst position, or may even lose his position to others. They abuse him and step all over him. Don’t we have the saying, “They walk over corpses; they stop at nothing?” But the more people push the just and righteous person down, the more the Good God lifts him up, like a cork. It’s not easy though and it takes a lot of patience. Patience clears up so many things. The person who wants to live a virtuous life and be honest in his work, be it a labourer, a merchant, or whatever else, must accept the fact that, once he begins work, he may have to reach the point of not being able to even pay the rent, for example, if he has a store, for the blessing of God to come to him. But he should not have this as his goal: “If I should reach that point, then I will surely have plenty of customers.” One must not think that way or aim at that, because then, God will not bless him. But when he decides to live as God wills and resolves not to cheat or overprice things, God will not abandon him.

Another person may gain much profit by overpricing. At first, he makes a lot of money and becomes rich, but then people find out that he is dishonest, and his busi­ness goes stony broke. On the other hand, the honest mer­chant gains customers and hires more employees. So he is tested in the beginning, but wins in the end. The good person is tried and tested by evil and cunning people; he has to pass through the card (7).

When someone follows the devil’s path, and comes up with tricks and all kinds of deceptive schemes, God will not bless his work. Schemes of deception don’t work; they appear to flourish, but they collapse in the end. It’s important that we start with God’s blessing in everything we do. A just man has God on his side. And if he has some boldness before God, then miracles hap­pen. When someone lives according to the Gospel, he is entitled to divine help. He walks with Jesus Christ. What can we say? The man has earned His blessing. This is the foundation of it all. Once that is given, there is nothing to fear. The important thing is that Christ, Panaghia and the Saints should find rest in everything we do, and when that happens, we will have their blessing and the Holy Spirit will overshadow us. Honesty is the most precious Holy Cross. If someone is dishonest even if he has a piece of the Honourable Cross on him, it’s like he has nothing. But if one is honest, he has God’s help even though he doesn’t have a piece of the Honourable Cross. Now, if he has both, well, then he’s got everything!

7. Card is a wire-toothed brush or a machine fitted with rows of wire teeth, used to disentangle fibres, as of wool, prior to spinning.
(Saint Paisios of Mount Athos : Spiritual Counsels, Vol. 1, With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man”, Part 1, Chapter 4, p. 87-104, Holy Monastery “Evangelist John the Theologian”, Souroti, Thessaloniki, Greece 2006.)
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