Sunday, November 19, 2017

My heart is hard like a stone….. ( St. Paisios )

    - Elder, when I feel my heart become hard like  a stone, what should I do?


- Your problem is not a hard heart but a mind-driven heart. Your entire heart has been taken over by your mind and is now at its service. But there is still a chance for your heart to go back. Each day you must read prayers to the Theotokos. If you want your heart to get back in shape, that’s the best medicine. You do have a heart, but it has been clouded by “logic”…. Things are different in the spiritual life. What is needed is simplicity. Act with simplicity and trust in God.

- How can I become simple, Elder? – I shall have to open your head and put an old-fashioned mind in it!
You need to enter the simple world of the Saints, and get to know the spiritual science which lifts and refreshes the soul, and gets rid of headaches. “Logic” will make us suffer. For example, I say to myself, ‘This must be done in this specific manner,’ and so I go ahead and do it because it has to be done. I don’t do it with my heart but because the mind dictates it. Logic and courtesy may tell me that ‘I must surrender my seat,’ but my heart will not. Think of the difference when my heart is moved and I surrender my seat out of love. I feel such joy!

- Elder, I don’t have a heart.

- You do have a heart, but as soon as it tries to act, your mind puts a muzzle on it. You must try to acquire the logic of the heart, faith and love.

- How can I achieve this? – The first step: go down town to Thessaloniki and March barefoot in protest, so that people will say that you went mad; this way you will get rid of your mind!!! Blessed soul! You approach everything with mathematical exactness. What are you, an astronomer? If you stop thinking “logically”, you will be able to start working spiritually on yourself.

“The Holy Fathers saw everything with the spiritual, the divine eye. Patristic tests were written in the spirit of God and it was in the spirit of God that the Holy Fathers gave their interpretations. Today this spirit is lacking and Patristic texts are hard to understand. People see everything with secular eyes and cannot see beyond that; they do not have the breadth of spirit that results form faith and love.”

St. Paisios

Friday, November 17, 2017

Christians should spend the eves of feast days in prayer... ( St. John Maximovitch )

The holy canons dictate that Christians should spend the eves of feast days in prayer and with reverence in preparation for participation or attendance at the Divine Liturgy.
 
 If all Orthodox Christians are called to this, then this pertains all the more to those who take an active part in the church services itself. Their participation in diversions on the eve of a feast day is especially sinful. 
 
In view of the above, those who attend a dance or similar form of entertainment and diversion may not participate in the choir the next day, may not serve in the altar, enter the altar or stand on the cliros.

St. John Maximovitch

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The priest is not the representative of God on earth, he is the servant of God!

During his traditional pilgrimage to Mount Athos on his birthday, Metropolitan Kyiv Onuphre met the abbott of Dochiariou, Archimandrite Gregory (Zoumis), in his monastery. He is one of the most respected Athonite fathers, known largely beyond Mount Athos. 
 
Archimandrite Gregory said, "We pastors are poor and the people are obedient! Thank you [i.e. Metropolitan Onuphre] because, by your simplicity, your humble clothes, you show the way of God. We, those who wear the cassock, must be attentive. The cassock is a cross. It is the standard of Christ. Christ left no other standard, except the cassock. Love it, monks, priests and bishops! It's not fair that the bishop wears cufflinks, while people are poor, they save on bread. And never those who wear the cassock believe that they are the representatives of God on the earth! The pope believed he was the representative of God on earth - and the West drowned. 
 
Many times I have heard the priests say, "I am the representative of God on earth! You are not the representative, but the servant of God here on earth. Each time, when you ordain priests, say: from this day on, you are not the representative of God on earth, but His servant. 
 
How horrible, when priests consider themselves the representatives of God on earth! Would I be a representative of God on earth? My face, my presence, do they agree with that? Of course not ! I am a servant, a bad servant, a bad worker of His vineyard. 
 
The old Amphiloque of Patmos said: "Every night, think: today, I may have scandalized someone! Perhaps, my life has made someone leave the Church! That's the control we have to do all of us wearing the cassock. Let us spiritually fight as confessors and not as holders of power.

Friday, November 10, 2017

It is one thing to belief that God exists and another to know Him. ( St. Silouan the Athonite )


No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not know by science, but by the Holy Spirit. 
Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to belief that God exists and another to know Him. 
If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing. 

St. Silouan the Athonite

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Prayer to Archangel Michael


O Lord God, Great and Eternal King! Send, O Lord, Thy Archangel Michael to help Thy servant (name), and to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible.
O Archangel Michael, angel of the Lord and vanquisher of demons! Suppress all my combatants, make them meek as sheep, and disperse them like dust before the wind.


O great Michael, Archangel of the Lord, six-winged high prince, leader of the heavenly host, the Cherubim and the Seraphim! O kind Archangel Michael, be my helper in all offenses, sorrows and woes, in the desert, at the crossroads, be a safe haven on rivers and seas. Deliver me, O great Archangel Michael, from all the temptations of the demons, when they hear me, thy sinful servant (name), praying to thee, and calling upon thee, and entreating thy holy name: hasten to assist me and heed my prayer.

O great Archangel Michael! Vanquish all my opponents by the power of the Holy and Life-giving Heavenly Cross of the Lord, by the prayers of the Most-holy Theotokos and the holy apostles, the holy prophet of God Elias, Saint Nicholas the wonder worker, Saint Andrew the fool-for-Christ, the holy great martyrs Nikitas and Eustace, the venerable fathers and holy hierarchs, martyrs, and all the heavenly host. Amen.

Whosoever reads this ancient prayer – on that day will he be touched neither by the devil, nor by any evil man, nor will any temptation seduce his heart. If he should pass from this life – hell will not take in his soul.