Sunday, October 4, 2015

A paralyzed boy healed by St. John the Russian

St. John the Russian, depicted with St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. John of Kronstadt

In one of the two children's hospitals of Athens, a mother lied at the head of her child day and night. She brought the child from Patras, because the child's chronic affliction, paralysis of the lower extremities, had worsened in the last few days...

One evening, while the sun was setting, and the last few sunbeams lit up the hospital room, the mother remembered how she would go to a chapel of the Panagia high above Patras, and prayed, lighting the vigil lamps, sometimes with her husband, other times with her children. Her nous was fixed on that chapel. She prayed noetically: “My Panagia, my sweetest Mother who feels our pain, help my child. My Panagia, send me a Saint, look at my poor child, how in his life, he is struggling to stand on his feet. Help, my poor little boy.”

“Mother,” the child said, “who are you talking to?”

“My Georgie, remember when you read in your church book how our Lord lived in Palestine, and healed demoniacs, opened the eyes of the blind, lifted up Paralytics and made them to walk, and raised the dead? Tell him, my Georgie, and He will hear you, my good boy, tell Christouli to make you well.”

The helpless child, with his innocent gaze, looked at his mother, and at the sun which was setting. He looked on high towards the heavens.

That midnight, George saw a dream of a beautiful horseman, on a glorious horse. He stopped before him and said:

“Get up, Georgie, jump up on my horse!”

“But I am a paralytic, my feet don't move and hold me up.” he replied.

“Give me your hand, Georgie, get up on my horse. I am St. John from Russia, and our Lord sent me to bring you His grace and His healing power!"

The child, half awake, then awoke his mother, who picked him up so that he wouldn't fall out of bed.

“Mother, hold me, St. John from Russia told me to get up.”

In the morning when the night resident told the professor that the paralyzed child from Patras began walking that night, went with a hammer in hand, checked the child's reflexes, and plucked his feet with a sharp instrument, and he saw that his body was functioning normally.

“Go,” said the professor, “God had something to do with you."

Ἡ ἀπιστία προέρχεται ἀπὸ τὴν ὑπερηφάνεια.( Ἁγίου Σιλουανοῦ )

Ἡ ἀπιστία προέρχεται ἀπὸ τὴν ὑπερηφάνεια. Ὁ ὑπερήφανος ἰσχυρίζεται πὼς θὰ γνωρίσει τὰ πάντα μὲ τὸ νοῦ του καὶ τὴν ἐπιστήμη, ἀλλὰ ἡ γνώση τοῦ Θεοῦ παραμένει ἀνέφικτη γι᾿ αὐτόν, γιατὶ ὁ Θεὸς γνωρίζεται μόνο μὲ τὴν ἀποκάλυψη τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος.

Ὁ Κύριος ἀποκαλύπτεται στὶς ταπεινὲς ψυχές. Σ᾿ αὐτὲς δείχνει τὰ ἔργα Του, ποὺ εἶναι ἀκατάληπτα γιὰ τὸ νοῦ μας. Μὲ τὸν φυσικό μας νοῦ μποροῦμε νὰ γνωρίσουμε μόνο τὰ γήινα πράγματα, κι αὐτὰ μερικῶς, ἐνῷ ὁ Θεὸς καὶ ὅλα τὰ οὐράνια γνωρίζονται μὲ τὸ Ἅγιο Πνεῦμα.

Μερικοὶ μοχθοῦν σ᾿ ὅλη τους τὴ ζωὴ γιὰ νὰ μάθουν τί ὑπάρχει στὸν ἥλιο ἢ στὴ σελήνη ἢ κάτι παρόμοιο, ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὰ δὲν ὠφελοῦν τὴν ψυχή. Ἂν ὅμως προσπαθούσαμε νὰ γνωρίσουμε τί ὑπάρχει μέσα στὸν ἄνθρωπο, τότε θὰ βλέπαμε στὴν ψυχὴ τοῦ ἁμαρτωλοῦ σκοτάδι καὶ κόλαση. Καὶ εἶναι ὠφέλιμο νὰ τὸ ξέρουμε, γιατὶ θὰ εἴμαστε αἰώνια εἴτε στὴ βασιλεία εἴτε στὴν κόλαση.

Κύριος ἔδωσε στὴ γῆ τὸ Ἅγιο Πνεῦμα. Καὶ ὅσοι τὸ ἔλαβαν αἰσθάνονται τὸν παράδεισο μέσα τους.

Ἴσως πεῖς: «Γιατί λοιπὸν δὲν ἔχω καὶ ἐγὼ μία τέτοια χάρη;» Ἐπειδὴ ἐσὺ δὲν παραδόθηκες στὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλὰ ζεῖς σύμφωνα μὲ τὸ δικό σου θέλημα.

Παρατηρῆστε ἐκεῖνον ποὺ ἀγαπάει τὸ θέλημά του: Δὲν ἔχει ποτὲ εἰρήνη στὴ ψυχή του καὶ δὲν εὐχαριστιέται μὲ τίποτα. Γι᾿ αὐτὸν ὅλα γίνονται ὅπως δὲν θὰ ἔπρεπε. Ὅποιος ὅμως δόθηκε ὁλοκληρωτικὰ στὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἔχει τὴν καθαρὴ προσευχὴ καὶ ἡ ψυχή του ἀγαπάει τὸν Κύριο.

Ἔτσι δόθηκε στὸ Θεὸ ἡ Ὑπεραγία Παρθένος: «Ἰδοὺ ἡ δούλη Κυρίου· γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου» (Λουκ. 1:38).

Ἂν λέγαμε κι ἐμεῖς, «Ἰδοὺ ὁ δοῦλος Κυρίου· γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ρῆμα σου», τότε τὰ εὐαγγελικὰ λόγια τοῦ Κυρίου θὰ ζοῦσαν στὶς ψυχές μας, ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ θὰ βασίλευσε σ᾿ ὅλον τὸν κόσμο καὶ ἡ ζωὴ στὴ γῆ θὰ ἦταν ἀπερίγραπτα ὡραῖα.

Ἀλλὰ μολονότι τὰ λόγια τοῦ Κυρίου ἀκούγονται τόσους αἰῶνες σ᾿ ὅλη τὴν οἰκουμένη, οἱ ἄνθρωποι δὲν τὰ καταλαβαίνουν καὶ δὲν θέλουν νὰ τὰ παραδεχθοῦν. Ὁποῖος ὅμως ζεῖ σύμφωνα μὲ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, αὐτὸς θὰ δοξαστεῖ καὶ στὸν οὐρανὸ καὶ στὴ γῆ.

Ἁγίου Σιλουανοῦ 

Growing closer to God ( St. Dorotheos of Gaza )

Imagine a circle with its center and radii or rays going out from this center. The further these radii are from the center the more widely they are dispersed and separated from one another; and conversely, the closer they come to the center, the closer they are to one another.

Suppose now that this circle is the world, the very center of the circle is God, and the lines going from the center to the circumference or from the circumference to the center are the paths of men’s lives. Then here we see the same.

Insofar as the Saints move inward within the circle towards its center, wishing to come near to God, then, in the degree of their penetration, they come closer both to God and to one another; moreover, inasmuch as they come nearer to God, they come nearer to one another, and inasmuch as they come nearer to one another, they come nearer to God. It is the same with drawing away ….

Such is the property of love; inasmuch as we are outside and do not love God, so each is far from his neighbor. But if we love God, inasmuch as we come near to Him by love of Him, so we become united by love with our neighbors, and inasmuch as we become united by love with our neighbors, so we become united with God.

St. Dorotheos of Gaza
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