Category Archives: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man

The Burden of Knowledge

“The martyrs suffered much, but only for a short time. The prophets, on the other hand, suffered all the time because they could see what was really going on. Although they shouted warnings, people went on with their usual ways. When, finally, it was time and the wrath of God came on account of their deeds, the prophets who lived among them were also affected.”

A Life of Patience

“Do you know how hard life is for honest people? They run into all kinds of difficulties and have to take all kinds of abuse from their employers. Life becomes hell for them. But what are they supposed to do? Quit? They have a family to feed. Should they stay? They’ll run into more trouble. Should they obey their conscience or their boss? They are between a rock and a hard place. They can’t stand it. But they remain patient and try to manage as best they can.”

 

For Eternity

“The most important thing is to seek the Kingdom of Heaven. This should be our first and main concern. The rest will be provided for us.  If we forget this, then our time here on earth and our lives will be wasted. But if we remain alert and prepare for the next life, then our lives here on earth will have meaning. When we think about the life to come, things begin to look different.”

Salvation; Struggle

Reading and the Mind

“When we read a short but powerful chapter from the Gospel or a passage from the Gerontikon [lives of saints],  our minds are transported to the spiritual realm and do not leave. You see, the mind is like a lively child, running about in constant play. Entice it with spiritual candy, and it will not run away anymore.”
(Elder St. Paisios in ‘With Pain and Love’)

Scripture

Personal Effort

“”Pray for me to pass my exams.” They do not study hard, yet think, “God will help me.” “You must study and pray too,” I advise them. “Both are necessary.” “Why,” they answer, “can’t God help me?” They expect God to bless their laziness. That’s not possible.”

Laziness;  Work

Fire!

“The world is on fire! Do you understand? There is so much temptation. The devil has started such a blaze that all the fire-fighters in the world will not be able to put it out: it is a spiritual fire! There’s nothing left. And there’s no other help for us: only prayer can save us now. We must pray to God to take pity on us.”

Prayer; Temptation

Change of Focus

” If we do not renounce the secular spirit and do not adapt to the simple way – in other words if we do not stop being preoccupied with how others see us, or with what they say about us – we will never experience kinship with God and the Saints. But for this to happen we need to move to the spiritual realm. The more we live with simplicity, especially in a group (cenobium), the fewer bumps from our passions and the smoother we become. Otherwise we end up creating a fake person. This is why we must always strive to get rid of the secular carnival and become angels.”

Theosis; Sanctification

Blind Guides

“The educated among them have grasped dogma with their minds only, rather than with the spirit of the Holy Fathers. The uneducated have grasped the dogmas with their teeth, which is why you hear a lot of grinding when they discuss ecclesiastical matters. As a result, they both cause greater harm to the Church than the enemies of our Orthodox Faith.”

Private Interpretation; Pride

All are Needed

“Everyone is necessary in the Church. Everyone offers his services to Her, no matter what his character is, mild or strict. The Body of the Church is like the human body. Just as we need both sweet and sour foods, even bitter herbs, because each food has something to contribute…”

Body of Christ; Spiritual Gifts