Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Living a spiritual life ( Elder Paisios )
Elder Paisios said: As a person becomes more spiritual, so much fewer rights does he has in this life. It is obligatory to be patient, to accept injustice, to accept evil words from others. A crooked stick (perverted person) who is distant from God has many rights: to strike and shout and act unrighteously. Our rights God keeps for the other life. Out of ignorance however we often seek our rights here. Let us not damage things at all. If they say anything to us, immediately we give them the right. And later we think we trust in God. That is a big joke. Human justice doesn't mean anything to a spiritual person. But it is a great concern for the perverted person.
The elder said: I often see a strange thing that occurs with religious people, reminding one of a vegetable market. There everybody shouts. One says, take oranges; another says take beets, and so forth, each in order to sell their own stuff. Something similar happens with Christians. Some say if you enter this association you'll be saved. If you go there you'll be saved. However, many people are not for here or there but for somewhere else., . A man of God can help. Help but not strangle. Now, let's imagine, I go to some army base to tell them various things about monasticism. I won't tell them lies. I'll tell them as it is. So what happens? Are all to become monks. That way naturally I cause trouble, because perhaps some of them will undertake monasticism and later will suffer and fail. I have to find the pure one to help him choose.
The elder spoke again on the same theme: Someone want to paint icons, has decide to become an icon painter, to make icons which will perform miracles; may it be. Another wants to become a married priest; it is my joy. One wants to be unmarried; let him be unmarried. One wants to be a monk? He should be helped accordingly. All do not fit in one basket. Some set the people to do things contrary to whatever they can do.
The elder said: It is not good for one to change spiritual fathers. Imagine a building which continually changes engineer and builder. It's not likely to turn out right.
The elder said: The spiritual father should be free and act accordingly. He should not follow somebody else's party line. (follow some line placed by others)
Father Paisios said: I don't give prescriptions at a distance. There is no long distance doctor. Only I give prayers.
The elder said: So much higher you throw a thing, with analogous power it will fall down and break in pieces. Often we see someone with a great fantasy of himself, but outwardly he doesn't suffer anything to be humbled. This is dangerous. He has arrived at interior pride and gives grades. May God protect him, he's one with Satan.
They asked the elder if there exist on the Holy Mountain those who have arrive at the love that sees all people as brothers, and he answered: There would have been many. Unfortunately there are few, few souls. We Athonites have suffered a great evil with the Calendar. This will destroy the Holy Mountain. It has destroyed the whole world. It has created the whole situation.
The elder said again: The world now is concerned with all the other matters except itself. I think that if one is concerned with oneself everything will fall in its canonical rhythm. And this we must do. The devil, you see, opens work, gives handiwork to each.
The elder said: When I put myself in order, I put in order a bit of the Church, whenever we can be of one mind. The Holy Spirit is One. Now people make many spirits. I can not understand.
The elder said: A person give flesh to his child. God gives the soul. When the child grows the parents cease to have authority. God gives to each person the guardian angel. He helps him throughout his whole life. Shouldn't we trust ourselves to God?
Someone asked if the elder all the people who came everyday with questions tired him. He answered: I'll tell you. When the discussion is spiritual it doesn't weary. It's bad when people ask altogether unreasonable questions. If they are illiterate and ask such things it will be alright. But there are "smart" people, students, and they ask you what relation the time has with the conscience of the person. In such cases I say, 'Here I have coffee and one or two aspirins. Sit a little and little by little we'll clear up your theme.