Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Cristo ha resucitado! Verdaderamente, ha resucitado!
Kristos (İsa) dirildi! Gerçekten dirildi!
Al-Masih-Qam! Hakkan Qam!
«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
“After the demonic storm, there will come a divine sunshine”…
– Geronda, why is the devil called “ruler of the world”? Does he really have dominion over the world?
– No way does the devil rule the world! In calling the devil “prince of this world,” Christ did not mean that he rules the world, but that he is master over vanity, over deceit. How else could it be? Would God have really allowed the devil to rule over the world? However, those whose hearts are given over to vanity, to worldliness, are living under the power of the “ruler of this age.” That is, the devil rules over vanity and over those who are enslaved by vanity and worldliness. What does the word “worldliness” mean? It means adornments, trifling baubles, does it not? Thus, those who are enslaved by vanity find themselves under the devil’s thumb. A heart that is captivated by worldly vanity keeps the soul in an underdeveloped state and the mind in obscurity.
Our soul’s greatest enemy, an enemy greater even that the devil is the worldly spirit. It sweetly attracts us and then leaves us with bitterness forever. If, on the other hand, we were to see the devil himself, we would be so overwhelmed with horror that we would be forced to turn to God and would undoubtedly strive to get to paradise. In our age a lot of worldliness has entered the world, a lot of worldly spirit. This worldliness will destroy the world. By becoming internally worldly, people have expelled Christ from themselves.
Sin has become fashionable
The greatest barbarianism in the world is not war, but moral catastrophe. People are deteriorating both spiritually and physically. Some people try to justify the situation by saying that sinful life did not begin in our times. “Look at what was going on in ancient Rome!” – they say.
True, but the people in Rome were pagans and worshipped idols. And Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans addressed himself to these pagans, who had become baptized, but had not yet foresworn their bad habits. We should not follow the examples of the greatest decadence in each epoch. Just think – we are Orthodox people, and where have we landed! About other people nothing can be said at all… But the worst thing is that modern people, while engaging in sin on a wholesale basis and seeing that someone is not following the spirit of the times and is not sinning, but demonstrates an iota of piety, – call such a person backward, a retrograde. These people are upset that someone is not sinning. They equate sin with progress. And that is absolutely the worst thing. If modern people, living in sin, would at least recognize it, God would have mercy upon them. But they try to justify that which has no justification, and they laud sin. Moreover, to count sin as progress and to say that morality has outlived its time is, beside everything else, a most horrible blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if someone living in this world engages in spiritual endeavor and keeps his life pure, – that has great value. Such people are due to be immensely rewarded,
O, if only we could realize how long-suffering is God! It took 100 years to build Noah’s ark. Do you not think that God was unable to quickly build some kind of an ark? Of course He could do it, but He allowed Noah to suffer for 100 years, in order for others to likewise realize what awaited them, and to repent. “Look, – said Noah to the people, – there will be a deluge! Repent!” But they only laughed at him. “What a box he is building!” – remarked Noah’s contemporaries sarcastically and continued on their merry way…. Let us ask God to grant the world repentance and that we may escape His righteous anger. God’s imminent wrath cannot be avoided safe through penitence and the keeping of His commandments.
Coming difficult years. We will have big tests… we take it seriously, to live spiritually…. Now go or Christ or the devil. It is clean front. Now you become a hero because do not greeting the devil. However we will see terrible events. There will be spiritual battles. The Saints will be more sanctified and the dirty will become more dirty.
I feel inside me a consolation. A storm is therace has value…
One can see tempests and great agitation in all the nations. I can now appreciate the torment which the prophets suffered. The greatest martyrs were the prophets! They were martyrs to a greater extent than all the known martyrs, despite the fact that not all of them died a martyric death. This is because martyrs suffered comparatively briefly, while the prophets witnessed the doing of evil and suffered constantly. They cried out and cried out, but the others continued to blow their own horns. And when, due to these others, God’s wrath came down on people, the prophets suffered together with all the rest. But at least in those times men’s minds were limited, and they simply left God to worship idols. Now, when people abandon God consciously, – this leads to the greatest idolatry and paganism.
We have not yet realized that the devil has hurled himself forth to destroy God’s creations. The devil is enraged because the world has begun experiencing concern over the loss of goodness. He is in a frenzy, because he knows that he has little time left to act. He is now behaving like a criminal, who, upon being caught, cries out: “I can’t save myself, they’ll catch me,” – and begins wrecking everything both right and left. The world is burning! Do you realize that? The devil has lit such a conflagration that even if all the firemen were to gather together, they could never extinguish this fire. In a spiritual fire nothing remains undamaged. The only thing left for us is to pray that God have mercy upon us.
The entire world is coming to a single end. Universal destruction. We cannot say: “A window or something like that is slightly broken in the house, let me fix it.” The entire house has fallen apart. The state of affairs has already spun out of control. Only God can do something from above.
Despite the fact that we have brought ourselves to such a state, God does not leave us to the mercy of fate. God proceeds to guard the modern world with both hands so-to-speak. Today, when mankind is surrounded by so many dangers, God protects it like a mother does her child. Currently Christ, the Most-holy Theotokos and the saints help us much more than in past times, only we do not realize it. And what would happen to the world if this help were not available?!…
The world does not understand that God is helping it. If God were not helping us, with the amount of dangerous technology that we currently have in the world we would all have been crippled long ago. But, fortunately, we have protectors: our Father – God, our Mother – the Most-holy Theotokos, our brothers and sisters – the saints and the angels.
How great is the devil’s hatred of mankind! How strong is the enemy’s desire to destroy us! And yet we forget with whom we are doing battle. If only you knew how many times the devil has already wound his tail around the earth, planning to destroy it! However, God does not allow him to do it, He ruins all his plans. God extracts benefit even from the evil which the devil attempts to do to us; God turns this evil into good.
– Geronda, it seems to me that the devil has great power, especially in our times.
– The devil does not have power, but is full of malice and hate. Only God’s love is all-powerful. Satan tries to pass himself off as being all-powerful, but cannot cope with such a role. He appears to be powerful, but in reality he is absolutely powerless. Many of this destructive plans fall apart even before they are put into action. Do you think a good and kind Father would allow some kind of hoodlums to beat up His children?
Humility possesses great power. The devil falls apart in the presence of humility… Whatever we do, we must be filled with humility, love, and nobleness. It is all so simple, and we ourselves are complicating our spiritual life… The easiest means to salvation are love and humility. For this reason we should begin with love and humility, and then go on to other things.
In order to hold back a great evil, great holiness is needed. A spiritual person can hold back evil and help others.
Today’s situation can be resisted only spiritually, not by worldly means.
We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. The Tower of Babel is upon us! Divine intervention is needed…
God still dwells in a part of the Christians. God’s people, people of prayer, still remain, and God in his all-goodness still tolerates us and will put everything in order. Don’t be afraid!
God loves us.
Don’t get upset in the least, for God is above everything. He rules everyone…
The offspring of Farasa, and the adornment of Athos, and the imitator of the former righteous, equal in honor, O Paisios let us honor O faithful, the vessel full of graces, who hastens speedily to those who cry out: glory to Him Who gave you strength, glory to Him Who crowned you, glory to Him Who grants through you healings for all.
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.
Through the intercessions of our Father among the Saints Paisios the Athonite, through the prayers of St. George the Trophy-bearer, of all the ascetic Fathers and all the saints, O Lord of compassion and hope, have mercy on us and save us!