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Prayer is a great consolation in all temptations and trials in life. It is an invincible weapon. Elder Pavlos of Sinai

Θεοφάνεια_ Theophany_Богоявле́ние-Теофа́ния_ THE-BAPTISM-OF-JESUS Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon-Baptism- fresco.-egg-tempera.-2003Because the Apodosis of the Feast of Holy Theophany falls on January 14, the Service to the Righteous Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu is transferred to the 13th.

Elder Pavlos of Sinai (Bougiouras; † March 1, 2020)

“Do Not Judge!”

The name of God is great power! As are the words that we monks say: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.” If you say them from your whole heart, and you labor and preserve your heart in purity, they will have great power. A simple example: We often lose something. The evil one makes us nervous and irritated: “Come on, where did I put it?” Don’t make a fuss, but say: “Lord, Jesus Christ, show me what I lost.” And He will show you.

Σιναΐτες Άγιοι_Saints of Mount Sinai_Святые Синайской горы_546756ΣΙΝΑ ΡΑΙΘΩ ΑΒΒΑΔΕςPrayer is a great consolation in all temptations and trials in life. It is an invincible weapon. Therefore, the enemy frightfully rises up against prayer and tries to take it away from a man by any means. When we pray in church and our mind is dissipated, we need to bring it back: “Where are you going? Come back!” And watch after the purity of your heart, because the purer the heart, the easier it is to reach Christ. The great ascetics reached great heights, but this was preceded by their podvig of purifying the soul from the passions. The passions, like clouds in the sky, conceal the light and it becomes dark.

In confession, we often say: “I don’t have any special sins… they’re normal…” And among them is condemnation, which is a heavy sin. We consider it “normal.” Condemnation is a spiritual disaster. Non-condemnation was laid at the foundation of the podvig of all those who have succeeded spiritually. The Desert Fathers tried to cultivate the virtue of non-condemnation. They condemned no one; they were very afraid to condemn. St. John Climacus says: “A monk who does not condemn goes to another monk’s cell and sees it dirty and cluttered. And what does he say? Ah, this brother is engaged in spiritual work, and he has no time for himself. Then he goes to another’s cell, and there it’s clean and everything is tidy. He thinks: This brother has the same purity within as he has in his cell.” He didn’t condemn either of them. But we, in our carelessness, could have condemned both.

Christ very wisely said: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged (Lk. 6:37). And we easily lose non-condemnation and often justify ourselves: “I said it out of love!” It’s not love! The great ascetic St. Isaac the Syrian says: “On that day when you open your mouth and condemn your brother, all the good you have done will be lost.” So strong! If we are attentive to ourselves, we will see the fruits of non-condemnation.

Non-condemnation, prayer, and purity of heart are the foundation upon which spiritual work is built.

***

—Tell us about the Divine consolation that life on Mt. Sinai brings.

We need to be simpler. A child, simple by nature, rejoices in everything. Everything pleases him. He has no problems. And if someone grows up and remains a child in his soul, he lives wonderfully! He who does not judge knows that non-condemnation brings peace to the soul. When a man has peace within himself, he also has great consolation! Therefore, it’s no accident that the Church prays at every service: “Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord,” “For the peace from above … let us pray to the Lord.” We lose peace through inattentiveness. And even we monks get distracted. But if we manage to remain as simple as children in our souls, to not condemn, to pray, and to have peace in our souls and live in the presence of God, then this is the greatest comfort.

 ***

—How should I be if I don’t know the life of my saint?

—If someone doesn’t know the life of his saint, I advise him to labor such that they will write a life about him, and his name will be inscribed with the saints.

ΣΙΝΑ_Mount Sinai_Синай (гора)_st-catherines-monastery-sharm376567878.jpgApolytikion of Holy Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raitho
Fourth Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of Holy Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raitho
Second Tone

Ye fled from the world’s * confusion and wild turbulence * and passed over to * a state of great tranquility, * crowned with blood of martyrdom and the pains of valiant ascetic deeds. * Hence, ye dwell together with all * the Martyrs and righteous Fathers in the heights.

Glory …, Sedalion of the venerable martyrs, in Tone IV:
Spec. Mel.: “Go Thou quickly before …”:

Revealed as wanderers and sojourners on earth, establishing cells in the deserts, ye manifestly undertook ascetic labors, O venerable ones, and were adorned yourselves in nakedness as with the vesture of the virtues, becoming images of the sufferings of Christ. Wherefore, ye endured slaughter at the hands of the barbarians.

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