Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Mother of God gave many gifts to many saints(Part 1)

St. Gregory Palamas, who lived during the 14th century and whom our Church commemorates on the second Sunday of Great Lent, received many gifts and blessings from the Mother of God throughout his life.

When he was a young boy, he had difficulty learning in school. In the face of such difficulty, he decided to first pray and prostrate himself three times before the icon of the Theotokos prior to reading the lesson. Henceforth, with Her help he could memorize everything he read with ease.
It was not long before he excelled in his studies to such a degree that everyone marveled at his wisdom.

Two years after he became a monk, as he was praying alone and had his mind completely turned to himself and God,a reverend and heavenly gentleman (who was the holy Apostle St. John the Theologian) suddenly appeared to him. He sweetly gazed at St. Gregory and said, "My child, I have been sent by the Most-Holy Queen of heaven and earth to ask you why do you ceaselessly cry out to God at every moment, 'enlighten my darkness, enlighten my darkness'?"

St. Gregory replied, "What else should I, who am full of passions and sins, ask for other than to receive mercy and enlightenment, so I can come to know and execute His holy will?"Then St. John the Theologian stated, "The Lady of heaven and earth has sent me, Her servant, to tell you that She will be your helper."

St. Gregory asked again, "Where will the Mother of my Lord help me? In this present life or in the next life?"
"Both in this present as well as the next life," replied the Theologian. Having said these words, the Apostle disappeared, while St. Gregory's heart became filled with ineffable joy on account of the assurance he received from the Theotokos.Another time, while he was praying in his cell to the Mother of God for both
himself as well as all the members of his brotherhood, asking Her to allow them to advance spiritually and ascend to God without any hindrance, and to help them obtaintheir basic living necessities easily, so they do not have to spend all their time trying to find the essentials and are thus prevented from preoccupying
themselves with the more important spiritual matters. Soon thereafter, the Mother of God appeared to St.
Gregory during the day. She was adorned modestly as a virgin, just as she is depicted in Her icons. She then
turned to the many radiant people who were accompanying Her and ordered, “From now on, give to Gregory everything that he and his brotherhood need.” Having said this, the Theotokos disappeared. The Saint would later confess that from that point forward, “
We had everything we needed, no matter where we went.”

May we have his holy blessings, and the intercessions of the Ever-Virgin Mary. Amen.

Not the place, but the manner saves man (Elder Philotheos Zervakos )

You write, my child, that you are distressed in the world and by its vanity, delusion and impiety, sin and noise. So that I can lighten your affliction a bit I advise you to do the following: First, think that God is everywhere present, and since He is everywhere, he also is in the wilderness and in the world, in the sea and on land, He is everywhere. And He is not far from each one of us, as the Apostle Paul told the Athenians. So since my child, God is near you, leave the old world, let it do whatever it wants, you will not give account for the world. At the 2nd Coming each one will give account concerning his own self.
Second, say about those who make noise and disturb you from morning till night: They do theirjob and I let me do my job. They shout, sing, dance and bless Satan, with lewd songs, dances and foul words. I must hymn, bless and glorify God, pray and ask Him to save me, to take me with Him into paradise, as He took the thief, the prodigal, the adulteress, the publican. Is it not, my child, a great shame to us, for them to have greater eagerness than us in working for Satan day and night, for him to damn them, and us to be negligent and cold and working for God with indolence?
So I advise you, have patience and don’t abandon ceaseless noetic prayer, don’t allow God to depart from near you. Joseph was in Egypt, in the place of sin, and he did not sin because he recalled God, he had Him near him. Adam was in paradise, where sin did not exist, but because he forgot God, he disobeyed Him and listened to the devil, and he lost paradise. So it is not the place, but the manner which saves man, the divine Chrysostom used to say.
- Elder Philotheos Zervakos

Praying Before Icons

When praying, do everything with understanding. When you pour oil into the lamp burning before an icon, represent to yourself that the Life-giver every day, every hour, every minute supports your life by His Spirit, and, as daily by means of sleep in bodily respects, through prayer and the Word of God in spiritual respects, pours into you the sacred oil of life, by means of which your soul and body burn. When you place a candle before an icon, remember that your life is like a burning candle, that it will burn out and be extinguished, or that some other reasons, such as the passions, surfeiting, wine and other pleasures, make it burn faster than it should.

During prayer, before the icons or without them, it is necessary to always have full hope of receiving that which we ask for — for instance, deliverance from afflictions, spiritual sickness, and sins, because we have already a thousand times experienced that we do clearly obtain mercy from the Lord or Our Lady; and therefore, not to hope to obtain that which we ask in prayer, or to doubt in the fact of our prayers being heard, would be the greatest foolishness and blindness.

It is an excellent custom with Christians, and one pleasing to God, to have an icon of the Saviour and to pray to Him before it. This is a crying necessity of our soul. The Lord Himself, with the love which is proper to Him, desires to be formed in us, as the Apostle says: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you"[1230] ; or "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."[1231] But how can I form Christ in my heart if I do not first represent Him sensibly before my eyes? Thus we have images of the Saviour, of the Mother of God, and others. The love of Christians for them, desiring to always carry their images in their thoughts and hearts, as well as our nature, which is both carnal and spiritual, has called forth the necessity of representing Them on painted icons, placing them in the most honoured places of the house, as in our hearts or the chambers of our soul, and of reverencing them by bowing to them, first spiritually, and then bodily. And how in accordance with God's intention our veneration of icons is! Heaven itself replies to us from the icons, as the Lord in olden times replied from the mercy-seat in the Hebrew tabernacle; many of them shine by miracles.

Every place is the place of God's presence and sovereignty. Hence it is undoubtedly true that the Lord looks upon us with the eyes of the holy icons as with His own, and can speak to us by the mouths of the holy icons as by His own. Also, owing to the fact that the Lord is in every place, His cross, His name work miracles. His icons show themselves to be wonder-working, and are in every case places of His gracious presence.

An Excerpt from the diary of St. John of Kronstadt On Holy Icons, Images and Symbols.

Λυχνοστάτης-π Μωυσής Αγιορείτης

Διάφορα -Γέροντας Ιερώνυμος της Αιγίνης

Τον Σταυρόν μην τον φοράτε για στολίδι. Και, ή να έχει τον Εσταυρωμένον επάνω, δηλαδή Σώμα Χριστού μας, ή να γράφει πίσω: ΙΣΧΣ ΝΙΚΑ. Διότι και άλλοι σταυρώθηκαν.

Να λες, Θεέ μου, μη πάρεις την ψυχήν μου, εάν δεν έλθω πρώτα στα Ιεροσόλυμα. Έρχονται εδώ Γάλλοι, Γερμανοί και άλλοι, δηλ όχι Έλληνες και μου λένε «εγώ του Χριστού μας τον Τάφον θα πάω να προσκυνήσω» και χαίρονται και επιθυμούν πολύ και ημείς να μη πηγαίνωμεν! Πολλοί έρχονται εδώ στην Αίγινα να δουν τις κολώνες της Αφαίας και ημείς να μη πηγαίνωμεν εις τον τόπον όπου εγεννήθη ό Χριστός μας;

Γέροντα, σας παρακαλώ πολύ, ευχηθείτε να βρεθεί μια καλή κοπέλα για τον γυιό μου (εφοπλιστής ό γυιός) και θέλω να αγαπά πολύ τον Χριστό μας!

- Αν αγαπάει πολύ τον Χριστό μας, τον γιο σου θα πάρει; Αν αγαπάει πολύ τον Χριστό μας, όσο μου λες, δεν παντρεύεται καθόλου!

Μανίκια κοντά και άσεμνα, όχι, διότι σκανδαλίζονται, σκοτώνονται ψυχές και «Ουαί δι' ου το σκάνδαλον έρχεται».

Ή μητέρα μου, τρία αγόρια ήμασταν, δεν άφησε ποτέ να δούμε το χέρι ή το πόδι της αδελφής μας.

Θάνατος της ψυχής και φθορά της σαρκός είναι ή αμαρτία.

Θα κάμεις ότι ημπορείς δια τα παιδιά σου, διότι εις την άλλην ζωήν ό Χριστός μας θα σου ζητήσει ή τα παιδιά σου σεσωσμένα ή τις πληγές στα γόνατα σου, από την πολλήν σου προσευχήν. Δεν γνωρίζουν δυστυχώς, οι γονείς την ευθύνη την οποίαν έχουν δια τα τέκνα των.

"Όταν δίδεις ελεημοσύνη, να μη εξετάζεις τι είναι το πρόσωπο πού του δίδεις, και είναι καλό ή κακό. Ή ελεημοσύνη είναι σπουδαίο πράγμα, εξαλείφει πλήθος αμαρτιών.

Να μελετάς καλά τον βίον και να λες: « Εκείνος απέθανε, ό άλλος αρρώστησε, άλλοι έχουν μεγάλα, ανίατα βάσανα, λύπες κλπ.» και να προσέχεις, να βαδίζεις με γνώσιν.

Απ' όπου αντιλαμβάνεσαι πειρασμόν, μη αμελήσεις και μη καταφρόνησης τον φόβον ή τον κίνδυνο (ως έχων εμπιστοσύνη στον εαυτόν σου), αλλά απομακρύνσου, «αποπήδησον ως ή δορκάς εκ βρόγχων!»

ΕΙς τον Δήμαρχο της Αιγίνης, τον οποίον συνήντησε την ώραν πού επέβλεπε διάνοιξιν δρόμου: «Κύριε Δήμαρχε, σε ευχαριστούμεν δια τους δρόμους πού μας ανοίγεις, σου είμεθα ευγνώμονες, αλλά φροντίζεις να ανοίξεις και δια τον εαυτόν σου «δρόμο», δια να σε οδηγήσει στον Παράδεισον;».

Πολύ λυπάμαι την νεολαία. Άδικα χάνεται! Δεν έχει ανθρώπους να την στηρίξουν και βοηθήσουν πνευματικά.

Το μπαστούνι του Θεού δι' ημάς τους Έλληνας, όταν φεύγωμεν από το δρόμο του και πίπτομεν σε ασέβειαν και αμαρτίαν, είναι οι ΤΟΥΡΚΟΙ!

Το μυστήριο της Εξομολόγησης (για ηλικία 6-13)

Ερωτήσεις που πρέπει να κάνουμε στον εαυτό μας πριν πάμε να εξομολογηθούμε (ηλικία 6-13)
1. Η ζωή μου μπροστά στο Θεό
• Προσευχήθηκα στο Θεό κάθε μέρα; Πριν και μετά το φαγητό;
• Τον ευχαρίστησα για τα δώρα που μου χαρίζει, τροφή, μόρφωση, υγεία κλπ ;
• Μήπως μίλησα χωρίς σεβασμό για το Θεό;
• Έδειξα αγάπη στο Θεό και προσπάθησα να ζήσω σύμφωνα με τις εντολές του; Ποιες εντολές του ξέχασα;
• Πηγαίνω τακτικά στην Εκκλησία; Κοινωνώ τακτικά;
2. Η συμπεριφορά μου στην οικογένειά μου και στους φίλους μου
• Θυμήθηκα στις προσευχές μου την οικογένειά μου, τους φίλους μου και άλλους ανθρώπους που έχουν ανάγκη την βοήθεια του Θεού;

• Ήμουν καλός κι έδειξα την αγάπη μου στους γονείς μου; Όταν με ρώτησαν για κάτι, τους είπα την αλήθεια; Μήπως τους είπα ψέματα; Μήπως ήμουν πεισματάρης κι έδειξα ασέβεια; Μήπως θύμωσα εναντίον τους; Μήπως δεν τους υπάκουσα; Μήπως φέρθηκα με αγένεια στον παππού και στη γιαγιά ή σε άλλα πρόσωπα της οικογένειας;
• Ήμουν καλός με τα αδέρφια μου; Τους έδινα ευχαρίστως τα πράγματά μου; Ή ήμουν εγωιστής και τα ήθελα όλα δικά μου; Τους βοήθησα; Έκανα, με τη σειρά μου, θελήματα και δουλειές του σπιτιού; Ενδιαφερόμουν γι’ αυτούς ή μήπως τους πείραζα και τους κορόιδευα; Μήπως τους ζηλεύω;
• Ήμουν καλός στους φίλους μου και τους δασκάλους μου; Μήπως θύμωσα και μάλωσα μαζί τους; Μήπως ήμουν εγωιστής και έδειξα ασέβεια; Μήπως πήρα κάτι που δεν ήταν δικό μου; Μήπως παραμέλησα τα μαθήματά μου ή ξεγέλασα τους δασκάλους μου; Προσπάθησα να βοηθήσω έστω και λίγο κάποιον συμμαθητή μου; Μήπως ειρωνεύτηκα ή μίσησα κάποιον;
• Προσπάθησα να κάνω φίλο κάποιον που ήταν «μόνος» του και δεν είχε άλλους φίλους;
• Μήπως μίλησα άσχημα για κάποιον άλλο ή τον χτύπησα; Είπα ψέματα για τον εαυτό μου ή για άλλους;
• Χρησιμοποίησα με καλό τρόπο τα πράγματα που ο Θεός , οι γονείς μου και οι φίλοι μου χάρισαν; Μήπως κακομεταχειρίστηκα σπίτια, δένδρα, μικρά ζώα ή πουλιά; Φέρθηκα καλά σ’ άλλους ανθρώπους; Έκανα ελεημοσύνες;
3. Η προσωπική μου ζωή
• Ήμουνα υπεύθυνος; έκανα δηλαδή ότι μου ζήτησαν να κάνω στο σπίτι, στο σχολείο ή σε κάποια άλλη συντροφιά;
• Υπερηφανεύτηκα για τον εαυτό μου, ότι είμαι τάχα καλύτερος από τους άλλους; Είμαι εγωιστής;
• Θυμώνω συχνά; Ζηλεύω τους άλλους; Τεμπελιάζω; Πεισμώνω; Λεω άσχημες λέξεις;
4. Γενικά
• Λυπάμαι ειλικρινά για τις αμαρτίες μου; Λυπάμαι ειλικρινά γιατί έβλαψα τους άλλους; Συγχωρώ τους άλλους που με έβλαψαν;
• Θέλω ν’ αλλάξω συμπεριφορά και συνήθειες και να ζήσω όπως θέλει ο Θεός;
• Γνωρίζω ότι ο Θεός μ’αγαπάει και ότι θα με βοηθήσει ν’ αλλάξω συμπεριφορά; Πιστεύω ότι ο Θεός είναι καλός και ότι θα με συγχωρέσει;
«Η αμαρτία αφήνει τέτοια κηλίδα στην ψυχή που κανένα απορρυπαντικό δεν μπορεί να την καθαρίσει, παρά μόνο τα δάκρυα και η εξομολόγηση»

The Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist

One of the most treasured and revered Icons of Mount Athos is that of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn or Salutations of the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou. It is the oldest Icon chronologically of all of the others of Mount Athos.
It is made of beeswax and mastich, a product derived from tree sap along with myrh. On the back of the Holy Icon, a silver plate is fixed and the Emperor Alexios 3rd Komninos and Saint Dionysios, the founder of the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou are depicted on it. The following writing is also inscribed on the back. “This is the miraculous Icon which Patriarch Sergios held whilst circling the walls of Constantinople and which ridded the city of the barbarian siege and was donated to the Monastery of Dionysiou by Emepror Alexios.”

It is therefore the Icon that Patriarch Sergios, during that historic night in the year 626 A.D., used to lead the procession with other clergy and faithful, around the walls of Constantinople, thus giving the small number of soldiers and the polpulation the courage to continue to defend the City of Cities. It is historically accepted that the supernatural powers of the Holy Icon was key in defending Constantinople and ridding her of the Avar invaders. There is no other historical explanation since the Byzantine army with Heraclius was in Persia waging war and was not there to defend the city. The leader of the Avars, Hagano, surrounded the entire city via land and sea. He sent a message to the defenders of the city, “Don’t be fooled by your God, tomorrow I will be the ruler of your city.”
This statement had a negative impact on the soldiers and population of the city and affected their confidence in defending the city. In the midst of this fear, Patriarch Sergios issued a statement to the soldiers and people of the city, in reply to Hagano’s comments. “It is a shame to lose faith. Think as people that they do not believe in God and in the results of a Holy war. I entrusted the city and its people into the hands of Our Lady, The Theotokos. Let us pray fervently to Panagia.” Once the message had spread, a sense of confidence and renewal in the soldiers and people took hold. Patriarch Sergios, immediately held a procession led with the Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn, the Holy Belt of Panagia, relics of saints and thousands of faithful around the city walls. One of the greatest miracles then occurred. The invaders heard what sounded like many thousands of soldiers commencing an attack against them. It was in fact an attack by an unseen force which destroyed the majority of their forces and left their remaining soldiers confused, who in turn fled.
This was the result of the fervent prayers and tears of the faithful who rejoiced with fervor at this joyous occasion and glorified the Lord and the Holy Icon of Panagia. All the faithful of the city gathered at the Church of Blacherna, where Patriarch Sergios chanted the famous hymn: Τη Ύπερμάχω Στρατηγώ τα νικητήρια….. for the rest of the night, a vigil took place before the Holy Icon, where all of the salutations of the Theotokos were chanted thus resulting in the first ever occurrence of the Akathist Hymn service, the service took its name from this occurrence.

In the 13th century, the Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn, was donated to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, Mount Athos, by Emperor Alexios. Another miracle attributed to the Holy Icon is as follows:
In 1592, an Algerian pirate named Ef Artavan Alfa took off from the island of Skyros, with a large number of his men, to loot the Monastery of Dionysiou. He had been informed that a highly revered Icon of the Theotokos was treasured at the Monastery. Once he reached the Monastery, he and his men, about 200 in number with heavy weaponry, began to threaten the monks of the Monastery. The Abbot of the Monastery in an effort to save the Monastery and the monks from certain destruction and death, decided to offer the pirates precious gifts. A monk from one of the windows of the Monastery, called out to Artavan “In the spirit of friendship lets end this without blood being spilt. We have decided to give you 50,000 florins, oil and wine”. Artavan the pirate responded with “We agree, however, I would like to select one item of my choice from your Monastery in addition to this”. The Abbot agreed, and Artavan with 10 men were allowed inside the Monastery. Once inside the Katholikon (Main Church) of the Monastery, Artavan immediately spotted the Holy Icon of Panagia of Akathist and went to take it from its stand. The Abbot immediately protested saying, Icons are for Christians not for Pirates, however, the pirate threatened them all with death if they dared to stop him. The Abbot then responded, take the Icon, however, you will leave here with my curses.
The pirates, having loaded their ship with all that was offered and the Holy Icon, departed the Monastery’s shores headed back to the island of Skyros. That night, Panagia appeared to Artavan in a dream and said to him “why did you take me sly one? Take me back where I was in peace immediately”. Artavan awoke immediately however, did not take this seriously. Within the hour, the weather changed and the pirates found themselves in the midst of a great storm. The ship was now in danger of sinking. Artavan now left with the possibility of losing everything he had gained, including thje Icon, went to the chest in which he had placed the Icon and found it full of myrrh with the most beautiful fragrance. At this point he realized that his actions had caused them to be in danger of their lives. He took the Icon in his hands, and immediately the storm ceased. All of the other pirates, with fear in the hearts, begged Artavan to take the Icon back to the Monastery.
A few hours later, they were back at the shores of the Monastery, Artavan, sent a pirate named Sarif to the Abbot, and he said “Man of God, we realize that what we did was a vile act, my lord awaits you on our ship to take back the Holy Icon and release us of your curse”. The monks immediately went to the ship and took the Holy Icon into their possession.
The most significant of this entire occurrence was that many of the pirates remained at the Monastery, were taught Christianity, baptized and became monks.
Bishop Evgenios Boulgaris

Another of the many miracles of Panagia of the Akathist took place in 1753. Bishop Evgenios Voulgaris, a teacher at the Athonias Academy of Mount Athos, was suffering from a very bad stomach ulcer.
At that time, his condition was considered as fatal, due to his inability to eat and from the enormous pain. His doctors were unable to cure him. As a last effort to save him, the Abbot of the Monastery thought it would be a good idea to bring the Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist to Bishop Evgenios Boulgaris, and cross him with it, in order to give him some strength. Bishop Evgenios immediately began praying with the salutations of Panagia and venerated the Holy Icon. Once the Icon touched his lips, he immediately felt the pain subside and he was cured of his terrible illness.

“Greece will be saved and will stand on its own feet soon”- Elder Efthymios , the Hayiorite.

300(18)By George Theocharis
Fr Efthymios, the Hayiorite, is a quiet and humble monk, filled with God’s grace. I was taken aback by the absolute serenity in his movements and in the tone of his voice. He lives in a cell at Kapsala, underneath Karyes, with five other monks. He is only fifty years old yet he is already famous throughout the world. He is believed to be Fr Paisios’ successor.
Dozens of pilgrims visit him every day from all over the world to pay their respects and find a solution to their problems. Most come to hear him speak, finding solace away from the currents of everyday turbulence as if anchoring at a quiet port. .. We did the same thing twenty odd days ago. Two former Mps who had voted in favor of the two bailouts for Greece were amongst the group.
-“Niko, I told you not to do this”, he told one of the Mps, who had already met him on a previous occasion.
“You must know, my children, that this financial crisis will benefit Greece a great deal. You will notice this in a little while. It is like a storm which will pass. This is an opportunity to reinforce our faith to our Triune Lord”, the elder explained humbly.
-“Elder, do you think it will be easy for Greece to be saved as things have turned out?
-“Greece will not only be saved but will stand on its own two feet” said the elder and went on: “Be careful what you write about!”
Without knowing who I was, not even my name, he referred to my profession!
I asked him:
-“Have I written something I shouldn’t have?”
He smiled.
-“I was speaking generally since there are a lot of potholes in journalism…!”
The discussion continued on spiritual issues and on matters relating to the current situation in Greece.
He seemed to be particularly hurt by the present situation, just like his spiritual father, Elder Paisios, was.
I asked for permission to take a picture of him but he declined saying: “No, my child”.
Then the God-inspired elder went on to say:
-“You ought to live simply, without luxuries and without too many demands. You must go to Church often and also to the Holy Confession. You ought to pray with faith and humility and harbor love for other people and Jesus. Then the almighty Lord will knock on your door”.


Αληθινό χθεσινό περιστατικό :

Φίλος μου από την Κύπρο βρέθηκε με ηλικιωμένο γέροντα και κουβέντα στην κουβέντα ο παππούς του ανέφερε ότι κατάγεται από τα κατεχόμενα.

Σε ερώτηση του φίλου μου "πώς τα βλέπεις τα πράγματα παππού;"
αυτός απάντησε ότι "σύντομα θα γυρίσουμε πίσω!" με αφοπλιστική βεβαιότητα!

"Και πώς είσαι τόσο σίγουρος;" τον ρώτησε πάλι ο φίλος μου.

"Άκουσε να δεις παιδί μου :
Ο εγγονός μου που είναι 10 ετών είδε στον ύπνο του σε όραμα, τον γέροντα Παΐσιο να τον παίρνει από το χέρι και να τον οδηγεί στο σπίτι μου στα κατεχόμενα, λέγοντάς του ¨εδώ θα επιστρέψεις και θα ζήσεις την υπόλοιπη ζωή σου αγόρι μου¨!

Όταν ρώτησα τον μικρό πώς ήταν το σπίτι μας, το οποίο δεν έχει δει ποτέ ούτε σε φωτογραφία, αφού μου το περιέγραψε είπε συγκεκριμένα πως ¨έχει άσπρα ψηλά κάγκελα και γύρω-γύρω μικρές τούρκικες σημαίες¨ κάτι που δεν ταίριαζε με τα κάγκελα που είχαμε αφήσει εμείς και ήταν μαύρου χρώματος.

Έτσι αποφάσισα, να πάω στα κατεχόμενα να το δω από κοντά έπειτα από πάρα πολλά χρόνια.
Όταν πήγα έμεινα κατάπληκτος αφού το σπίτι πλέον ήταν ακριβώς όπως το περιέγραψε ο εγγονός μου.
Γι' αυτό σου λέω, σύντομα θα γυρίσουμε πίσω..."

Ο ηλικιωμένος γέροντας είναι από το χωριό Κυθρέα όπου είναι κοντά σε στρατοκρατούμενη περιοχή όπου μένουνε πολλοί τούρκοι αξιωματικοί σε σπίτια Ελληνοκυπρίων.

Οί πειρασμοί στην ζωή μας

Ό Θεός επιτρέπει τους πειρασμούς ανάλογα μέ τήν πνευματική μας κατάσταση.
Άλλοτε επιτρέπει νά κάνουμε ένα σφάλμα, λ.χ. μια μικρή απροσεξία, για να είμαστε άλλη φορά προσεκτικοί καί νά αποφύγουμε ή μάλλον νά προλάβουμε ένα μεγαλύτερο κακό πού θά μας
έκανε το ταγκαλάκι.
Άλλοτε αφήνει τόν διάβολο νά μάς πειράζη, γιά νά μάς δοκιμάση.
Δίνουμε δηλαδή εξετάσεις καί αντί κακό ό διάβολος μάς κάνει καλό.
Θυμηθήτε τόν Γερο-Φιλάρετο πού έλεγε:
Τέκνον, έγκατάλειψις Θεού, ούδένα πειρασμόν σήμερα.
Ήθελε νά παλεύη κάθε μέρα με τους πειρασμούς, γιά νά στεφανώνεται άπό τόν Χριστό.
Ένας δυνατός, όπως ό Γερο-Φιλάρετος, δέν αποφεύγει τους πειρασμούς, άλλα λέει στον
Στείλε μου, Χριστέ μου, πειρασμούς καί δώσε μου κουράγιο νά παλέψω.
Ένας αδύνατος όμως θά πή: Μήν έπιτρέπης, Χριστέ μου, νά πειρασθώ. ­
Μη είσενέγκης ημάς εις πειρασμόν....
Εμείς όμως πολλές φορές, όταν έχουμε έναν πειρασμό, λέμε: ε, μά είμαι άνθρωπος κι εγώ δέν
αντέχω άλλο!, ενώ θά έπρεπε νά πούμε: Δέν είμαι άνθρωπος είμαι παλιάνθρωπος.
Θεέ μου, βοήθησε με νά γίνω άνθρωπος.
Δέν λέω νά επιδιώκουμε εμείς τους πειρασμούς, άλλα, όταν έρχωνται, νά τους αντιμετωπίζουμε με καρτερία καί προσευχή.
Σέ κάθε πνευματική χειμωνιά νά περιμένουμε με υπομονή καί ελπίδα τήν πνευματική άνοιξη.
Οι μεγαλύτεροι πειρασμοί είναι συνήθως στιγμιαίοι καί, εάν εκείνη τήν στιγμή τους ξεφύγουμε, περνάει καί φεύγει ή φάλαγγα τών δαιμόνων καί γλυτώνουμε.
Όταν ένωθή ό άνθρωπος μέ τόν Θεό, δέν έχει πιά πειρασμούς.
Μπορεί ό διάβολος νά κάνη κακό στον Άγγελο; Όχι, καίγεται.
Ή πνευματική ζωή είναι πολύ απλή καί εύκολη εμείς τήν κάνουμε δύσκολη, γιατί δεν αγωνιζόμαστε σωστά. Με λίγη προσπάθεια και πολλή ταπείνωση και εμπιστοσύνη στον
Θεό, μπορεί κανείς να προχώρηση πολύ. Γιατί, όπου υπάρχει ταπείνωση, δεν έχει θέση ό
διάβολος καί, όπου δεν υπάρχει διάβολος, επόμενο είναι να μην υπάρχουν καί πειρασμοί.
- Γέροντα, ή πτώση σε μιά αμαρτία μπορεί να γίνη κατά παραχώρηση του Θεού;
- Όχι, είναι βαρύ νά πούμε ότι παραχωρεί ό Θεός νά αμαρτήσουμε. Ό Θεός ποτέ δεν παραχωρεί νά αμαρτήσουμε. Εμείς κάνουμε παραχωρήσεις καί έρχεται ό διάβολος καί μας
πειράζει. Όταν λ.χ. ύπερηφανεύωμαι, διώχνω τήν θεία Χάρη, φεύγει ό Φύλακας Άγγελος μου,
έρχεται ό άλλος ...άγγελος, ό διάβολος, καί σπάζω τά μούτρα μου. Αυτή είναι δική μου
παραχώρηση, καί όχι τού Θεού.
- Είναι σωστό, Γέροντα, όταν έχουμε μιά πτώση νά λέμε:
Ό πειρασμός μέ έρριξε;
- Πολλές φορές ακούω κι εγώ μερικούς ανθρώπους νά λένε ότι φταίει ό πειρασμός, όταν ταλαιπωρούνται, ένω φταίνε οί ϊδιοι πού δέν αντιμετωπίζουν σωστά τά πράγματα.
Έπειτα ό πειρασμός, πειρασμός είναι. Μπορεί νά μας έμποδίση άπό το κακό;
Τήν δουλειά του κάνει.
Νά μήν τά φορτώνουμε καί όλα στον πειρασμό.
Ένας υποτακτικός, πού ζούσε σέ μιά Καλύβη μέ τον Γέροντα του, μιά φορά πού έμεινε γιά λίγο μόνος του, πήρε ένα αυγό, το έβαλε πάνω σέ ένα κλειδί - ήταν άπό εκείνα τά μεγάλα, τά παλιά κλειδιά - καί άναψε άπό κάτω ένα κερί, γιά νά το ψήση!
Μπαίνει ξαφνικά ό Γέροντας καί τον βλέπει. ¨Τί κάνεις εκεί;, τού λέει.
Νά, Γέροντα, ό πειρασμός μέ έβαλε νά ψήσω έδώ ένα αυγό, τού λέει ό υποτακτικός του. Καί τότε ακούσθηκε μιά άγρια φωνή: Αυτήν τήν τέχνη έγώ δέν τήν ήξερα- άπό αυτόν
τήν έμαθα!
Ό διάβολος μερικές φορές κοιμάται, καί εμείς τον προκαλούμε.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...