St. Paisios the Athonite
Protopresbyter George Efthymios said :
Elder Paisios gave me the following pieces of advice which I am quoting hoping that they will help my brethren as they have helped me.
“Do not put your plans before God’s plans”.
“Thank God for everything you are; everything you have and everything you achieve. By thanking God you will realize that these are not your achievements but His gifts and, thus, you will feel humble.”
The Elder’s words always remind me of what Apostle Paul writes: “What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
If we seek first the Kingdom of God and this is our only concern, all the other things will be given to us, as well. Will God abandon His creation? The manna which God provided for the Israelites in the desert would spoil if they kept it for the next day. (Cf. Ex 16:19-20.) God arranged things this way so that the people would have confidence in His divine providence.
We have not yet understood the words of Jesus “Seek first the Kingdom of God”. (Cf. Mt 6:33).
The Elder Paisios of Mount Athos teaches:
When you accept an injustice and are prepared to justify your neighbor, you accept Christ himself into your heart, Who was often wronged and maligned. It is then that Christ cannot be evicted from your heart and fills you with peace and gladness.
He who does his spiritual work correctly finds excuses for everyone else in order to justify their shortcomings, but never justifies himself, even when he is in the right…
For example, he sees someone stealing and thinks to himself, “If I had not been helped by God, I would now be stealing more than he is”…Or, if he sees a certain shortcoming in another person, be it serious or trivial, he will excuse him with good and positive thoughts. He thinks of his own many shortcomings…
There’s nothing worse than the injustice. Make sure you have God’s blessing in whatever you do…Whatever is not blessed, will crumble. Injustice is a great sin.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee, O Holy One, Glory to Thee, O King…