Tuesday, January 22, 2013
When Elder Joseph was still living at the skete of St. Basil, one day
he went to a neighboring church to visit Fr. Gerasimos. That day there
happened to be a certain layman visiting from the world. When Elder
Joseph saw the man, he approached him and said: “You have a mistake, a
The layman asked: “What mistake do I have?”
“I don’t know,” replied Elder Joseph. “All I know is that there is
something seriously wrong with you.”
“Can we find out what it is?”
“We cannot determine this now during the day. If you’d like, come
down to my hut tonight.”
“I will be there after midnight, Elder.”
Indeed, during the middle of the night the laymen went to visit him.
They started talking, and eventually Elder Joseph discovered that this
person, who had obtained a college degree in theology, had written an
entire book in support of Darwin’s theory of evolution of the species.
Elder Joseph advised him, “When you want to support a theory or
opinion, why don’t you draw from the writings of the holy Fathers? A theory
or viewpoint is confirmed when it is validated by either the Holy Scriptures
or the holy and God-bearing Fathers.”
The theologian ultimately admitted that he had made a mistake to
believe in this theory. He then asked Elder Joseph to tell him how he knew
he was mistaken.
“Yesterday, as I approached you,” explained the Elder, “ I sensed a
foul odor and smelled a bad stench coming from you, and from this I
realized that there was something wrong with you.”
—from the book My Elder Joseph the Hesychast—
From the age of eleven [says Elder Paisios], I would read the lives of
the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books
and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and
keep reading there.
Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my
brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and
explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said,
“I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll
see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come
up with at the time.
So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but
nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then
something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an
important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out
of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to
myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves
my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want
anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and
God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After
this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the
waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the
resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall
live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page
where the same words were written.
With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were
overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior
of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or
books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this
young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now,
Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”
—from the book Elder Paisios of Mount Athos—
Πέντε χελιδόνια-πέντε λόγια που έχουν εσένα προορισμό.
Κάθε λάμψη κλείνει απάνω σου.
Πριν απλοποιηθείς σε χόρτο
αφήνεις τη μορφή σου απάνω στο βράχο
που πονεί ανεμίζοντας τις φλόγες του προς τα μέσα
ΚΥΡΙΕ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΕ ΕΛΕΗΣΟΝ ΜΕ
1,2,3,4, 5 λέξεις…
«Πέντε χελιδόνια – πέντε λόγια …» λέει ο Ελύτης.
για πέντε λόγια γράφει και ο απόστολος Παύλος: «θέλω πέντε λόγους δια του νοός μου λαλήσαι …, ή μυρίους λόγους εν γλώσση», φράση που ερμηνεύεται από κάποιους πατέρες και μοναχούς ως αναφερόμενη στην επίκληση του ονόματος του Ιησού :
«ασκήσου στην αδιάλειπτη καρδιακή προσευχή, τη νοερά προσευχή, το «Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, ελέησόν με», υπακούοντας στα λόγια του αποστόλου: «Θέλω πέντε λόγους δια του νοός μου λαλήσαι… ή μυρίους λόγους εν γλώσση» (Α’ Κορ. 14. 19).», λέει ο άγιος Δημήτριος του Ροστώβ .
Everything begins from the mind and the imagination. There is no sin
or virtue that does not have its origin and beginning in the imagination of
The first evil and sinful thought, primarily the ensuing sinful images
are the origin of all the various forms of sin. No sin takes place with actions
unless an evil thought is formed with the imagination beforehand.
In the beginning, sin approaches subtly like a sly fox. Cunningly and
quietly it assaults us and convinces us that it is nothing more than an ant,
and, consequently, it does not require attention. If the soul remains
indifferent, in following, this microscopic ant in no time turns into a
ferocious lion that cannot be tamed, and the soul is faced with a great
First, submission to sin takes place internally, and in following it is
externalized through the body.
All the evil begins when a person gives in to his imagination and
allows sinful thoughts to prevail. When a person suffers many such
spiritual shipwrecks and is repeatedly wounded by sinful mental images,
every time the devil returns and presents similar images to the mind, man
is immediately taken captive. For this reason, it is necessary to remain
unyielding so that passions and fantasies do not take root within us and do
not become stronger.
When people reach the point of being enslaved to a passion, they
protest and state, "I cannot resist. I can't do anything during the time of
temptation." The answer is this: It is necessary to take the appropriate
measures before the mind and heart become disarmed and enslaved. We
must take the necessary precautions in order to avoid the danger; because
once we have been poisoned we are no longer able to take any action.
—by Elder Ephraim of Arizona—