Counsels from the Holy Mountain

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 29/3/2010, 00:56

On Illness

12 .
Ι pray that you will get fully well. What can we do? The Lord chastens us so that we may have an eternal reward. Since we have no ascesis, the Lord gives us illnesses and afflictions to count it as ascesis for us so that we may have some small consolation when we are judged before Him. What can we do, my child? This is how God wants things: that we suffer here in order to find repose in the world to come. Everything here is transient; there, eternal. Winter is bitter, but paradise is sweet. Let our feet freeze here so that they may dance there eternally! Glory to Thee, O God.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 30/3/2010, 03:22

On Illness

13 .
My blessed child in Christ, I am praying that the great Physician of souls and bodies grant you your full health, in accordance with His holy will. There were holy men, my child, who were gravely ill, yet in their illness they healed others. Oh, how much God loved them! An exceptional sign of God’s love for a soul is when He saddles it with illnesses or afflictions. Pain of body or soul purifies, cleanses, and brightens the garment of the soul from every stain of sin. There was one holy monastic father who was always ill. It happened once that he was not ill for a period of time, and he complained, saying: “Ah, my God, why didst Thou forget me and not consider me worthy of Thy visitation?” This blessed man yearned for illnesses because he knew from his experience how much the soul benefits from them. Pain brings the unrepentant sinner to repentance, whereas for the righteous, it fortifies the strength of his soul and becomes a mighty wall around him so that he does not stray into sin. Just as a sick person gladly submits himself to the painful treatment of the doctor because he knows his aim, similarly we should endure with gratitude and knowledge all things that befall us involuntarily as sent from the kind hand of God for our salvation. “The athlete is tested by the stadium, the captain by the storm and tempest, the general by the battle, the magnanimous by misfortune, and the Christian by temptation,” says St. Basil the Great. Just as the earth becomes productive when the plow tills it deeply, likewise the soul becomes fruitful in virtues when pain and illness visit it frequently and intensely! The more pain and affliction a person has, the more beautiful his crown becomes. And if there are many and various pains that oppress him, then the crown of glory is adorned with many flowers and pearls. Gold has to pass through the furnace to become purified, and the soul of a Christian has to pass through the furnace of temptations to receive the seal of eternal glory in the royal treasury of Christ the King. If holy and blessed people passed through the furnace of pain and were benefited, how much more pain suits us and how much benefit we will derive from it when we endure it with knowledge and gratitude! It is when we see pain oppressing us, physically or spiritually, that we should consider that we are loved by God and that He has placed us in the ranks of His chosen. O blessed chastening of the Lord, I love you. But I am unworthy of such a gift, for I live in comfort and shall become a victim of the eternal fire. So, my child, I envy you because you are suffering and will obtain eternal repose! Your crown is decorated and beautified for your eternal glory! Endure for the Lord’s sake until the end. Bear your cross well lest you drop it, and you can be sure that you will be glorified with Christ eternally! Pray for me, too, lest I be shut out of paradise as one who does not practice what he preaches.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 31/3/2010, 01:21

On Illness

14 .
My child, I pray that the good Comforter, the good and true Spirit, the Holy Spirit, will overshadow you, console you, and ignite in you the love of Christ. I pray with all my soul that our Christ will grant you your health. I see and know from my experience, my child, that if one suffers various afflictions, whether bodily or spiritual, and patiently endures them with knowledge, and thanks God, then God is definitely obliged to send consolation to refresh his soul. But if we do not endure pain and labor, God does not console—He does not give His grace. Do you see after you recover from pain how much the love of Christ ignites within you? Yes, it is the reward for your labor, your patience. If you didn’t have this illness, you wouldn’t have so much love and consolation. Do you see that when you recover, you feel like a child? This is a sign that God forgives your sins and that you are free from blame. All this is caused by the patience you have when you are ill. When God deigns for you to get well, then you will see in practice what I am telling you. The more one suffers, the more grace one is given. One monk was ill, and he had such a horrible disease that the brethren were disgusted by him and drove him away. He blamed himself by saying that he deserved such treatment. Because of his humility, God made him well. But afterwards, this holy monk kept saying, “Ah, my Christ, I was unworthy to suffer more for Thy love!” He knew from experience how much he gained during his illness. Therefore, do not grieve at all. Only thank our Christ, Who loves you so much that He has given you temporary afflictions here in order to give you everlasting joy there. When you are ill and unable to fulfill your spiritual duties with exactitude, do not be sad, because it is not a sin since your will does not exercise authority over your health. Nevertheless, a monk must compel himself. But if he is ill, it is not a sin not to fulfill his duties—God is just. Obedience with humility and thanksgiving to God replace the ascesis of fasting. Great is the benefit of self-reproach when one is unable to fast due to illness.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 1/4/2010, 00:49

On Illness

15 .
I pray, my child, that a drop of the infinite patience of God may drip into your soul, where it will build a tower of patience so that you may find the unfailing treasure of eternal life. You wrote that at times when grace was afire, you asked our Christ to grant you illness or even something worse so that you could suffer out of love for Him. He did not overlook you but sent you an illness, as you had asked. So you have to be patient now, and you will learn discernment from experience, that is, not to seek things from God that we have not tried through experience. Therefore, we should always pray that the Lord’s will be done. Now pray like this: “My God, make me well, but let not my will be done, but Thine.” Like naϊve children, we often seek things that are not to our benefit. But God, as our Father, fulfills our requests in order to teach us through experience how we should pray to Him. Afterwards, though, we see that we did not pray properly, and we suffer. Nevertheless, God is forbearing and delivers us, so that the lesson of giving up our own will becomes deeply rooted within us. Moreover, at times when we suffer from our lack of discernment, God does not abandon us, but sends His grace and comforts us so that we may bear the burden. This is what is happening with you, my child. What you saw and felt was the grace of God, which nurses you until you grow in experience. The fact that God lets you suffer shows that you still need such chastening. Leave it all to God and say: “My God, I leave my illness in Your holy hands, and whenever You—Who love me so much—want to heal me, I will also want it then. I only ask Your infinite goodness that You not overlook me, but always give me the patience to bear this cross of mine, until Your will is done again.”

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 2/4/2010, 02:47

On Illness

16 .
I am sick with the flu and feel sharp pains in my appendix. I don’t know what will happen. In any case, glory to Thee, O God. God loves us and through involuntary pain seeks to count us worthy to participate in His most perfect blessings. Unfortunately, we – and I –do not love our soul in a spiritual way. If we loved it, we would endure trials of both soul and body without complaining, in order to attain the eternal blessings. Pain softens the heart and removes its hardness. As the heart is softened in this manner, the ground is prepared for the sowing of genuine repentance and correction. We who are cowardly in every affliction chase away, so to speak, the grace of God. When man is prospering, he cannot remember God, and if he remembers Him, it is only faintly. When affliction or pain approaches, he remembers Him vividly and with fervor. When sorrow oppresses him or when he expects tribulations, then he prays most ardently. And our holy God is pleased with this, just as a mother is pleased when her child seeks her with heartfelt pain, for in this she discerns love. No matter how man is tried, he always benefits when he shows the corresponding patience and gratitude during the trial. This is revealed at the end of the trial, when he sees the lightness of his soul, the clarity of his mind, and the sweetness that comes to his inner self. Let us pray to be granted knowledge and patience in life’s miseries, so that we may gain our salvation. Amen.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 6/4/2010, 00:24



Christ is Risen !



Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears


To fall and be injured is human, since—even if a man’s life lasted for only one day—his mind is inclined to evil from his youth (cf. Gen. 8:21 ). But to fall and remain fallen is not human. Repentance recreates man; it was given to us to cure the soul after baptism. If it did not exist, rarely would a person be saved. That is why, the virtue of repentance is unending as long as man is alive, for only the perfect do not err. My children, every time you see your thoughts reproaching you for some sin, immediately take the medicine: repent, weep, go to confession, and behold, you return to your former and better state.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 7/4/2010, 01:57

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

2.
After Judas the traitor dedicated himself to the Lord and became a partaker of grace, he performed miracles along with the rest of the Apostles, yet in the end he shipwrecked; whereas the thief who had done impious, evil, immoral deeds, by crying out for mercy, was granted repose in the calm haven of eternal bliss. The Jewish nation, which had received the promises of God and was called by Him special, chosen, and holy (vid. Ex. 19:5, 1 Pet. 2:9 ), was blinded and lost Him forever. The barbaric nations, on the other hand, which were like the harlot in their works, received the gospel and inherited what Israel had rejected: God. Therefore, away with despair and hopelessness! No matter how sinful we may be, we should always turn the eyes of our soul to God and entrust ourselves to Him as servants entrust themselves to the hands of their master. In this manner let our eyes be fixed on the Lord, always trusting in His mercy until He has mercy on us (Ps. 122:2 ).

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 8/4/2010, 00:38

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

3.
The fall of man into physical mortality and the consequences of exile and alienation from our good Heavenly Father, brought about the law of sin, which wars against the law of God (cf. Rom. 7:23 ). From his youth, man is subject to the law of sin as a tendency, as an inclination, and as wickedness (cf.Gen. 8:21 ). And this tendency towards evil—as an ancestral inheritance and as a mark, product, and remnant of the ancient severance from the fountain of happiness—naturally took on substantial proportions in human nature, thus drawing it to evil. Thereafter, it was only natural for grievous calamities to befall the children of Adam and Eve. The restoration to the sonship of old by means of the Lord Jesus’ death on the cross led to eternal salvation. However, this did not remove the law of sin existing within man: not that God was unable to—for just one drop of the awesome and holy blood of Jesus Christ could transform everything—but providentially He let it coexist in man so that by means of it He could not only instruct him, but also make manifest the intentions of each person. The Scriptures say that God did not permit Joshua the son of Nun to destroy all the surrounding idolatrous nations, but he left some so that through them He could teach the art of war to the sons of Israel
(vid. Josh. 17:13 ). So when this law of sin does not find a brave adversary (that is, one with good intentions and with the divine commandments and precepts as weapons ), then it vanquishes and captures the spiritual struggler; it strips him of his divine weapons and then drags him to the life of sin. From all these and many other things, we reach the truthful conclusion that all the distressing events and things in human nature are a consequence of its fall from its original immortality to mortality. Furthermore, we see that the salvific sacrifice of the God-man Jesus providentially did not remove the law of sin existing within man in order to instruct him, as well as for many other reasons pertaining to our salvation, so that by them He may make him a wise heir of His eternal blessings.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 8/4/2010, 23:54

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

4.
“As I find you, I will judge you” (cf. Ez. 33:20 ). Behold, the value of a moment. Did He find you in repentance? Did He meet you in confession? Did He reach you saying “I have sinned against heaven and before you”? (Lk. 15:18 ). Did He approach you when you had tears of genuine repentance and self-reproach in your eyes? Behold, it is in one moment that God makes his decision. “The Lord is faithful in all His words” (Ps. 144:13 ). However, if He finds you otherwise, O man, then the eyes of your soul will open, and you will see what you have lost—but what is the use? If God condemns a person, repentance is futile; when the “fair” of life ends, words are pointless. It is all over! Oh, what a great mystery this is! O my God, my Sweet Jesus, open the eyes of my soul that I may see very clearly this great mystery of my eternal salvation, so that, helped by Thy grace, I may prepare provisions and not repent at the end of my life to no avail. As Thou dost see, I do absolutely nothing and am entirely leprous with passions. Grant me tears and complete repentance before the last hour comes, when I shall hear Thy voice, “Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not live” (Is. 38:1 ).

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 10/4/2010, 01:46

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

5 .
Repentance is endless. All the virtues, by the grace of God, may be perfected by man, but no one can perfect repentance, since we need repentance until our last breath, for we err in the twinkling of an eye. Therefore, repentance is interminable. Oh, how good God is! Justly will my fellow sinners be punished, for they have ignored the infinite compassion of the heavenly Father. Although we err as humans, we are sluggish to say, “I have sinned!” But how can we say this, since we (and I, above all ) are forgetful and lazy and proud, too—mighty obstacles on the road to humility! Christ showed this road to us through His Cross, but unfortunately we voluntarily turn a deaf ear to Him, to our great regret. Time flies, the years roll by, and we are drawing nearer and nearer to eternity. We see this, yet a mental numbness has bound us until we (and I, first ) are thrown into hell! My God, Who has delivered the human race from the enemy’s slavery, deliver us also from the future condemnation when You come to judge the world and render to each according to his works (cf. Rev. 22:12 ). Through your prayers, may I find mercy when my wretched soul is judged, for I am afraid to meet the fearsome Judge because my conscience reproaches me.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 11/4/2010, 02:49

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

6 .
Obedience, cutting off one’s will, self-reproach, and patience in general are what lay the foundations of the soul, while fervor and zeal preserve one’s tears. If you want to be zealous until the end of your life, diligently pursue constant tears. If you have such tears, do not be afraid; the zeal of yearning for your salvation will remain. Water normally quenches fire; the water of God, however, which streams from the eyes of the repentant, lights not a physical fire—as we know—but a divine fire burning up the enemy’s weeds!

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 12/4/2010, 04:49

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

7 .
Let us sincerely repent; let us confess frankly and in detail. Let the tribunal of God and His decision preoccupy us continuously, and let us say, “I wonder, shall I be saved or shall I face the torments of hell?” Now is the time we must shed tears of repentance—in fact, constantly. Ah, how much we should be preoccupied by the question of how white and clean our soul is! We must purify it; otherwise, we shall be unable to present ourselves before Christ as we are now. Meditation on death should not escape us at all during our monastic routine.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 13/4/2010, 00:31

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

8 .
How precious is the time of this life! Every minute has great worth, for within one minute we can think so many things, either good or evil. One godly thought raises us to heaven, and one diabolical thought lowers us to hell. So then, behold how valuable every minute in this present life is. Unfortunately, though, we do not think about this, and hours, days, and years pass with no profit—but is it merely with no profit? How much damage we have all suffered—and I, first—without realizing it! But some day, when our soul is about to depart from our body, we shall realize it. But, alas, it will be too late; there is no room for correction then. We must realize this now when we can still make a start. We should take advantage of the precious time of our life. Truly blessed is he who compels himself and makes a start, because some day he will become spiritually rich. It is never too late, for the Lord awaits each one of us to awaken so that He may give us work. He waits until the eleventh hour (cf. Mt. 20:6 ). He tries with every means to awaken us. I pray that all of us will awaken, light our lamps, and with a vigilant eye wait patiently for the Lord to come, so that we may enter the resplendent bridal chamber of eternal bliss, the festival of the bright angels, to chant with them the resurrectional canticles, which will elevate us from theoria to theoria and to divine ascents! Then—oh, then!—we shall fully realize what a great work it is to compel ourselves in everything and that our superiors did well to push us and grieve us, for we shall say, “Behold what we see now!” Then our thanks to God will have no limits. Then we shall really render thanks worthily to God!

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 14/4/2010, 01:17

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

9 .
Let us not lose our time in vain. The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who force themselves (cf.Mt. 11:12 ). Bear in mind the departure of our souls, the final hour and moment of that difficult separation. Keep in mind how the demons seek to snatch the poor soul at this final hour and lead it to Hades. Oh, what grief! What pain of soul! How the soul sighs then! Alas, what a sorrowful situation it is in at that moment! How many promises a person will make to God that he will change his life, that he will walk the path of repentance and hardship, as long as he does not die! All of us shall reach this hour and encounter the above and much more, and we shall then promise much more earnestly that we shall take the path of repentance and spiritual warfare. Let us imagine that this has already happened and that God has heard our request. Now what is left for us to do? To fulfill our promises by showing true repentance and the struggle to correct our soul. Behold the appropriate time for repentance and spiritual warfare! Little by little the time of our life is cut short, and without even realizing it, we are led to the end and to the grave! A tribunal and a Judge await us, as well as entire books in which the deeds of each one of us are written. Who is able to escape these things? No one. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ “naked and open” (Heb. 4:13 ) for each of us to give an account of his deeds, words, and thoughts. Let us bear in mind these and many more such things night and day, so that we may bring our souls to mourning and rears!

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 15/4/2010, 01:55

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

10 .
Sin, as a hook camouflaged with the suitable pleasure, comes craftily as something sweet and charming to the tongue in order to attack the soul. However, he who has been lured by the momentary pleasure and its comfort will find it more bitter than poison and more destructive than a pestilent disease in his soul.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 17/4/2010, 02:22

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

11 .
No matter what happened with your parents, confession forgives and erases everything, my dear brother in the Lord. Recall how much the prodigal son sinned (vid. Lk. 16:19-31 ), and how much he grieved his father with his reckless life. But when he repented, at once his father’s arms opened and the past was wiped out as if it had never happened. So the cure for your sad parents has already occurred, for the change of your life to a spiritual life has rectified everything. Now that they are in the true life, they are informed by God about the change of your lifestyle and your repentance, for them. If, when we sin against our true Father, God, He forgives us no matter what we have done, how much more so will our parents be pleased, there in the true life, where they see things clearly. They know human weakness and how easily youth slips, and they are aware of the great master of evil, the devil, who was the cause for all the troubles. Instead, they will be thankful to you that through you they receive aid from God. Remain fully at peace, my brother. Walk the path of repentance with a peaceful mind, and do not let the past trouble you. “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil. 3:14 ), we should look to the goal of our salvation. As soon as man says, “I have sinned!” God forgives him immediately and overlooks his sins. How much did blessed Augustine grieve that holy mother of his! Nevertheless, what sanctity and eros of God he attained later! With repentance everything is corrected. There is nothing that overcomes the compassion of God. “He is merciful to the last and provides for the first; to this one He gives, and to that one He shows kindness” (Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom ). The love of God covers and corrects everything. No one is sinless except for one-God.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 18/4/2010, 10:40

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

12 .
[The Elder writes to one of his spiritual daughters in the world (“In the world” means not in a monastery. ]:
All that you suffered, my daughter, was because of your self-reliance. Didn’t I advise you to have humility and self-reproach? What did you trust in? don’t you know that if one boldly leans on a bamboo rod, it will break and pierce his hands? So what did you trust in? Don’t you know the saying: “Without Me you can do nothing”? (Jn. 15:5 ). Don’t you know that many Fathers fell by trusting in themselves? Humble yourself, blame yourself, weep, my daughter, wash your wedding garment. Your Bridegroom, Who is more beautiful than the sons of men, is calling you, is seeking you, and has prepared an abode for you in the heavens. The spiritual bridal chamber is extremely luxurious! Angels are serving; do not be sluggish. Arise; get some water and wash your wedding gown well, for you do not know when He will come. The time of death is unknown; it comes to us all. We do not know at what moment it will come. Repent. See how the harlot washed the immaculate feet of the Master. She shed tears more precious than myrrh, and they attracted God’s mercy and forgiveness. Then she heard, “Your sins are forgiven; go in peace” (Lk. 7:48,50 ). Repent, my daughter. Fall before the fearsome feet of the Master with mourning. Weep; cry out, “I have sinned, my Jesus. Accept me in repentance and save me. Overlook not my tears, O joy of the angels. Abhor me not, cast me not away. Thou Who hast bent the heavens by Thine ineffable abasement”. With these and many other such words importune Christ, resting assured that you will find His love three times as strong. Your repentance will give limitless joy to the angels, and exuberantly they will exclaim, “She stopped! She stopped! She stopped!” That is, she stopped short of falling. You were caught out of the flow, and now you are ascending again.

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Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 18/4/2010, 23:19

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

13 .
Pray for me, my brother, so that the Lord may grant me repentance before I depart on the great journey from this world—for we were not created for this earth, but for heaven. There, God has prepared a place for His children who are obedient to Him in everything He tells them. On the contrary, for all who are deaf to His divine commandments, He has prepared a place of eternal imprisonment—may God keep us from going there. Now God cries out through the Holy Scriptures, the preachers, the spiritual father: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt.3:2 ). Unfortunately, though, those who think they are smart and strong turn a deaf ear to Him with various excuses. But the all-good God, wanting to distribute His riches to man, calls “all the feeble, the weak, the things that are not” (cf.1 Cor. 1:27,28 ). “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind, that my house may be filled” (Lk 14:21,23 ), says God through the Holy Gospel. By calling the useless, His compassion is glorified more, and man is led to gratitude, for what leper counted worthy of purification would not render thanks to his benefactor? What person condemned to an eternal imprisonment would not be grateful to his Savior? Unfortunately, my brother, I do not thank God, because forgetfulness—the offspring of pride—has made me lose my head.

silver

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 20/4/2010, 02:44

Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

14 .
Beloved brother, may God, Who has visited our humbleness, grant us genuine repentance, through which God’s tribunal is propitiated. Sincere repentance is repentance that displays regret for sins committed, mourning, burning tears that break down the strongholds of sin, and sincere and frank confession. Repentance leaves nothing unhealed. If man had not been given repentance, no one would be saved. Triumph and victory are given to man through the weapon of repentance. Glory to the only wise God, Who gave man such an effective medicine that cures every kind of illness, as long as it is taken properly. Let us struggle, my brother; let us live in simplicity and innocence of heart like small children, as the Savior said: “Unless you become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt.18:3 ). With simplicity and faith we are freed from evil day-dreaming, which destroys the good seeds of the Holy Spirit. Things will happen according to our faith. What you sow is what you reap. Let us ask God for compunction and mourning, and He will grant them to us so that a stream of life-giving tears may follow. Then our heart will produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 21/4/2010, 02:23

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

1.
This confession of yours gave my soul much joy, because God and the angels, who were awaiting it, rejoiced. You succeeded in putting the devil to shame, who greatly rejoices when someone hides his thoughts from his spiritual father. When a snake leaves its lair, it rushes to hide somewhere because it feels as if it will be struck—the same thing happens with a diabolical thought, which is like a poisonous snake. When such a thought leaves a person’s mouth, it disperses and disappears, because confession is humility, and since Satan cannot even bear the smell of humility, how could he possibly remain after a humble, sincere confession? My child, I wish you a good beginning and cautious progress. Don’t be ashamed before me. Don’t see me as a man, but as a representative of God. Tell me everything, even if you have a bad thought about me, because I am experienced with demonic influences, and I know how the devil fights man. I know that spiritual children have simple hearts and that if evil thoughts come to them, it is due to the devil’s malice and the spiritual child’s ego, who is permitted to fall and have such thoughts against his Elder, so that the spiritual child may be humbled more. Therefore, don’t worry. I will always rejoice when you speak freely and sincerely to me, for without frank confession, there will be no spiritual progress.

silver

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 21/4/2010, 02:25

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

2.
My child, have no worries. I have taken up your burden. I only beg you to be at peace. Your words may be just on paper, but I feel the power, the meaning, and the essence of what you write; I enter into the spirit of your words. I entreat you to be at peace from now on. You are forgiven everything with the confession you made. Satan perceived your character and torments you, but without anything serious having occurred. Everything you write (that is, the thoughts that torture you ) is a trick of the evil one to make you despair, be distressed, and so forth. Throw everything that happened to you into the depths of the sea. Map out a new course in your life. If you keep thinking the same way, know that you will become the laughing-stock of the demons. I beg you, just be obedient to me. After your confession, everything has been forgiven, so let bygones be bygones. Don’t scratch a wound that made you suffer so much. Don’t be deceived by the thought that it is your fault. If you hadn’t taken him to the doctors, etc., then such thoughts would rightfully fight you. Whereas, as things are now, you have fulfilled your duty. God wanted to take him, for a reason that only His infinite wisdom knows, while you are thinking you killed him! Be careful with this thought, or else it might lurk in your heart. It is a ruse of the devil to harm you, as he knows how. This skilled trickster has drowned in the depths of hell countless multitudes with despair. When something happens and the devil sees that a person is upset by it, his trick is to pile on a multitude of supposedly legitimate thoughts in order to lead the poor person to a great storm and drown him. (As the saying goes, a fox loves a scuffle ). And when the storm passes, he sees that he was in danger of drowning in just a spoonful of water.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 21/4/2010, 23:42

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

3.
Humble yourself, and from now on confess, for confession contains most holy humility, without which no one is saved.
The devil greatly rejoices when he manages to persuade a person to hide diabolical thoughts.
This is because he will achieve his premeditated, soul-destroying goal.

silver

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 23/4/2010, 02:25

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

4.
I have written to you about the conscience, that we must be careful not to do something that will make it reproach and condemn us. Bear in mind that God sees everything and that nothing is hidden from His eyes. So how could I tell lies before God? Don’t you know that lies are from the devil, and that by not being careful, it becomes a practice, then a habit, and then a passion, and don’t you know that liars will not inherit the Kingdom of God? (cf. Rev. 21:8 ). Fear God. God is not pleased with material offerings when we neglect attending to our inner heart. But it is necessary to do these also without leaving the others undone. (cf. Mt 23:23 ). Attend to your conscience, for we do not know the hour of our death. And if we do not repay our creditor (our conscience, that is ) everything we owe him, he will accuse us vehemently, without holding back. Then—alas!—our mouth will be silenced, not having any answer to give.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 24/4/2010, 01:47

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

5.
Every night, review how you passed the day, and in the morning review how the night passed, so that you know how your soul’s accounts are doing. If you see a loss, try to regain it through caution and forcefulness. If you see a profit, glorify God, your invisible helper. Do not let your conscience prick you for long, but quickly give it whatever it wants, lest it take you to the judge and the prison (cf. Mt. 5:25 ). Does your conscience want you to attend to your prayer rule* and regain prayer? Give it these things, and behold, you are delivered from going to the judge. Do not weaken the saving voice of your conscience by disregarding it, because later you will regret it to no avail.

*Prayer rule (κανών )
Α prayer rule consists of the prayers and metanoias** which one does daily, under the guidance of one’s spiritual father.
** Metanoia (μετάνοια )
Ιn its primary sense, «μετάνοια» (pronounced «meh-tah΄-nee-ah» ) means repentance, literally, “a change of mind”. However, it can also mean the specific act of making the sign of the cross, followed by a bow either down to the ground or to the waist. It is a gesture of reverence, worship, respect, or repentance. A typical prayer rule includes a number of metanoias done while saying the Jesus prayer. Some translators use the word “prostration” for this term.

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Απ: Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Δημοσίευση  silver Την / Το 25/4/2010, 02:56

On Confession and Spiritual Accounting

6.
See to it that you are sincere in your deeds as well as in your words, and especially in confession. For God searches out the hearts and reins (Ps. 7:9 ), and nothing remains obscure in the sight of His sleepless eye. Fear God; God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7 ); He is not fooled. He chastises severely when He does not see sincerity; so be careful. When you are disobedient and commit a secret sin, counteract it by openly revealing it in confession. Do not let your ego overcome you and make you hide the truth and remain uncorrected and passionate. Correct everything now if you want to see good days of dispassion* and peace.

*Dispassion (απάθεια )
Dispassion is achieved when all three aspects of the soul (i.e., the intelligent, appetitive, and incensive aspects ) are directed towards God. It is the transfiguration of the passionate aspect of the soul (i.e., the aspect of the soul which is more vulnerable to passion, namely, the appetitive and incensive aspects ), rather than its mortification. Thus dispassion in this context does not signify a stoic indifference, but rather, a transfiguration and sanctification of the powers of the soul and eventually of the body also.

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