”O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance shall they walk, and in Thy, Name shall they rejoice all the day long.”
Experiences of Uncreated Light of St.Paisios the Athonite
One afternoon, I went to see Father Paisios. I went to see the Elder to confide in him my thoughts. Father Paisios listened to me and without saying anything in specific, started telling me the following story:
-Yesterday, a monk visited me and told me something which made me recall the incident I am about to tell you. One night, I was in my cell at Katounakia saying the Jesus prayer and gradually I was possessed by a heavenly joy. Simultaneously, my cell, whose darkness was interrupted only by the trembling flame of a candle, was filled with a beautiful white-blue light. At the beginning, the light was very strong. I felt that my eyes were also “getting stronger” in order to withstand the glow. It was the Uncreated Light! I stayed in my cell for many hours, losing sense of all earthy things and living in a spiritual world, very different from this one.
While being in this state of the Uncreated Light and heavenly experiences, I lost all sense of time.
At one point the Uncreated Light started fading away and I was back to my old state of being. I began to feel hungry, so I took a piece of bread to eat. Then, I was thirsty and had some water to drink. I was getting tired and I needed to sit down and get some rest. I felt like an animal and I deplored myself for it. The change from one situation back to the other gave birth to a natural humbleness. Having experienced the difference between the spiritual state I was found in and my earthly needs, there was nothing left for me but to despise and blame myself for it.
Further down from my cell, another monk was residing. I looked outside and had the impression it was still night with a full moon. I went out and asked him:
-What time is it? It seems that dawn hasn’t broken yet this morning.
The monk looked astonished and asked me:
– What did you say, Father Paisios? I didn’t understand.
Only then, I realized what had happened. It was ten in the morning and the “full moon” I thought I had seen was the sun. The Uncreated Light was so strong that it made daylight and the sun look like a night with a full moon. The difference between the light of the sun and the Uncreated Light was like the one between night and day.
When the Elder finished his story, he told me to go, as there were other people waiting to see him. I made my way back to my cell only slightly realized my beastly state of being.
by priestmonk Christodoulos, who is the author of the book “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain” (1998).
This light is like the experience of Moses on Mount Sinai or the Apostles at the Transfiguration of Christ.
Apolytikion The Transfiguration of Christ. Tone Seven
You were Transfigured on the Mount, O Christ God, Revealing Your glory to your disciples as far as they could bear it. Let Your everlasting Light shine upon us sinners! Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Giver of Light, glory to You!
Glory…. Plagal of Second Tone. By Anatolius
PREFIGURING Thy Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst take Thy three disciples, Peter, James, and John, and didst ascend upon Tabor. And when Thou wast transfigured, O Saviour, the Mount of Tabor was covered with light. Thy disciples cast themselves upon the ground, O Word, for they could not endure to look on the form that none may behold. The Angels ministered with fear and trembling, the heavens shuddered and the earth quaked, beholding upon earth the Lord of Glory.