On 30 September 1962 the elder St. Paisius of Mount Athos departed to the God-Trodden Mountain Sinai, where he dwelt for a time at the hermitage of St. Epistimi high above the Monastery.
St. Paisios the Athonite
The angel, as an angel, always spreads what he possesses — heavenly joy and delight.
The graced man of God imparts Divine Grace, transforming carnal people and liberating them from the slavery of passions; and, in this way, he draws them near to God and they are saved.
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.
The Good God, on the other hand, endures us lovingly without ridiculing anyone, even though, as the Beholder of hearts, He knows our pitiful state well. The same thing applies to Saints who never insulted a sinful person in the presence of others, but with love, spiritual nobility, and in a hidden way, helped in the correction of the evil. We, notwithstanding the fact that we are sinners, do the opposite (like hypocrites).
Those who are liberated from their passions, however, since they no longer possess wickedness, correct the evil by their kindness. If sometimes they see a little uncleanness that is not easily cleaned, they cover it up with a plate, so that others who might see will not be disgusted by it. Those, on the contrary, who reinvestigate the rubbish, resemble scavengers…
Of greater value is one word of a humble man who has spiritual experience, coming with pain from the bottom of his heart, than a whole array of learned words from a superficial man, coming with great speed from his learned tongue. His tongue does not enlighten souls for it is fleshly and not that fiery tongue of Holy Pentecost…
Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of God, feel the greatest joy in the world. Their life is a constant doxology, for they flutter about internally like angels, glorifying God day and night. Those, however, who neglect the salvation of their souls and try to find joy and rest in this vain life, are continually tortured and entangled in endless worldly machinery and live in hell in this life.
Those who have philotimo, because they move within the heavenly sphere of doxology, joyfully accept their trials as well as their blessings, and glorify God for them. Thus, they are continuously receiving God’s blessing from everything and are melting internally out of gratitude towards God, which they express in every spiritual way possible, like children of God.
All those, however, who work humbly, acquire virtues and share their hidden experiences out of humility and love, are the greatest benefactors, because they give spiritual charity and positively help souls which are weak and unsound in the Faith. Those who throw even their own selves to the world, out of love, after having driven out the world from within them, fly into Heaven and are not caught by the world.
Kindness softens and opens up the heart, as oil opens a rusty lock.
Those who come close to people in pain, naturally draw near to God, because God is always by the side of His children who are in pain.
God spiritually strengthens His children who have philotimo, who help their fellow men carry their crosses, and He relieves them from their own crosses (trials).15 okt 2016
Those who think about the heavy crosses of the righteous, never worry about their own small trials, for, although they have made more mistakes in their life, they suffer less than the righteous.
Those who suffer trials unjustly imitate Christ; and those who face hardships due to their sins are blessed, because they are forgiven their sins in this life.
When someone gives his heart to God, then the mind of this man is also seized by the love of God. He is indifferent towards worldly things and continually thinks about the Heavenly Father, and being divinely in love, he glorifies his Creator day and night like an angel.
Kindness is one of God’s many qualities; therefore, it always spreads joy, drives away the clouds, and opens up hearts like the spring sunshine which makes the earth blossom. It even warms up snakes and takes them out of their cold holes so they, too, can enjoy God’s kindness.
Hesychia (far from the world) very quickly brings inner stillness to the soul together with asceticism and unceasing prayer. Then man is no longer bothered by external disquietude, for in essence only his body is found on earth, while his mind is in Heaven.
In this state of being were found the Holy Fathers: incorporeal ones who differed from angels in almost nothing, for they too were found day and night residing in Heaven, noetically and unceasingly at prayer.
Divine eros can soften even the toughest bones so much, that a person can no longer stand upright; he actually falls down! He then resembles a wax candle in a warm environment, which cannot stand firmly upright. It falls to one side, then it falls to the other side… you straighten it, but again it bends, again it falls, because of the heat of its environment, which is too hot for it to bear.. When a person finds himself in such a state and he needs to go somewhere or do something, he cannot… He struggles; he has to actually struggle to get out of that state….
I too have a small experience of spiritual madness, which comes from divine eros. In that state, a person reaches the stage of divine absentmindedness and wants to think of nothing else except God, the divine, the spiritual, the celestial… While divinely in love, he is deliciously ablaze internally, and he explodes externally in a mad manner – within the divine confines of modesty – and glorifies his God and Maker like an angel, day and night….
Pure prayer is greatly aided by withdrawal from the worldly bustle and large crowds of people. (If possible, it is even better to be completely alone.) When one feels alone, the soul moves about comfortably, the heart erupts with reverence before God and gradually its hard shell bursts and is removed. Thereafter, our heart is moved not only when we think of God, but also even when we hear or see His name written down. The heart leaps and kisses it with great devotion. The same happens, of course, with the name of Christ or the Panagia. Our soul is then internally sweetened.
It befits a monk to be alone and, when alone in his cell, to find rest most of all in his prayer. After all, this is why he is called a monk (The term “monk” derives from the word monachos, from the Greek word monos meaning “alone”) — to live alone with God and, instead of talking with people, to converse unceasingly with God. The more he avoids conversations with men, the more he is helped in his prayer and, consequently, by his prayer he helps others. Worldly conversations — even if you just listen to them — are spiritual parasites that obstruct unceasing prayer, especially at the outset of the ascetic life. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful as much in the beginning, so as to collect the mind, as at the later stages, so as to avoid falling into deception.
When man struggles with hope, however, divine consolation comes and the soul intensely feels the caress of God’s love.