St. Paisios the Athonite
Remove your “I” from everything you do. The person who leaves his “I” rises above the earth, moves in another atmosphere. As long as he remains inside himself he cannot become a heavenly being. There is no spiritual life without sacrifice. Try to remember, at least a little bit, that death exists. And since we’ll die in any case, let’s not take care of ourselves too much. Look after your health, but not to the degree where you begin to bow down before your peace and well-being. I’m not asking anyone to throw themselves headlong into dangerous adventures, but you have to have at least a bit of heroism, my brother!.. Feats are committed not by the tall in size but by the audacious, the heartfelt, and the self-sacrificing. There’s no barbarity in spiritual audacity. Such people don’t fire at the enemy, but over his head, forcing him to surrender. A kind man prefers being killed to killing. The harmonious person is prepared for accepting divine powers. The mean, the cowardly, and the small of spirit, on the other hand, use impudence to hide their fear. They’re afraid of themselves as well as others and shoot without stopping. Courage and audacity are one thing; criminality and malice quite another. In order to succeed at anything one needs a wild streak, in the positive sense. He who lacks this wild streak can become neither a hero nor a saint. The heart must become uncalculating.
In our age audacity has become a rarity. Water, not blood, flows in people’s veins. So if a war were to break out, God forbid, many would simply die of fright while others would lose heart, because they’re used to an easy life. Fear is necessary when it helps a person turn to God. Fear from lack of faith, from lack of trust in God, on the other hand, is ruinous. Such fear is driven out by audacity.
Don’t give in to panic. Cowards are of use to no one. God looks at a person’s situation and helps him. We have to remain cold-blooded and use our brains. No matter what happens, we must continue to pray, think and act. It’s best to always stand up to a difficult situation using spiritual means. However that spiritual boldness which is born of holiness and striving towards God is missing today, as is the natural boldness needed in order not to turn coward in the face of danger. In order to hold back a great evil, great holiness is needed. A spiritual person can hold back evil and help others.
Rejoice the communicant with the Venerable, the pride of Athos, the adornment of Monastics, Rejoice the new teacher of the Church, O godly-minded Paisios, our boast.
May we speedily repent and return to our Lord, Who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth! May the Most-Holy Theotokos continue to bless, protect and guide everyone throughout the world!She guards us from attacks and prays for us to God, and kisses us as a mother does her children. She burns with the desire that everyone be saved and enter into Her Son’s Kingdom.