Saturday, 8 September 2012

Elder Paisios on Repentance,The Never-Ending Handycraft

-Geronda,what is joyful grief,joy-creating sorrow?

-It is the joy that comes from sorrow over a mistake
we have made.Joyful grief contains both joy and pain
and this is why it is called joyful grief.Man is saddened
out of philotimo at having grieved the Lord,but he is also
 joyful because he feels divine consolation.The sinner,
when he repents sincerely,is forgiven by God;he feels
divine consolation and may even attain fervent spiritual
joy,spiritual exultation.

-Geronda,can a man who struggles spiritually repent
throughout his life?

-Yes,If he struggles appropriately,doesn't notice his
progress but only his mistakes,and lives in a constant
state of repentance.He doesn't know that at first he was
struggling with one demon,and later he was struggling
with a whole regiment.You see,the more effort one ap-
plies to uproot a passion and acquiring a virtue,the
more enemies gather to tug at the roots from below.
That's why,even though he may not see any progress,
he nonetheless advances in a positive way.And it is pos-
sible to live in this state until the time of death,not seeing
any progress and imagining that there is no advancement,
seeing only that he continues to make mistakes;but in
reality,there is indeed progress,because the struggle is
constantly intensified,and one struggles with an ever-
increasing number of demons.
Repentance for one who is struggling is a never-
ending handicraft.We mourn for the dead,we bury them
and often forget them...But we will mourn over our sins
constantly,until we die;and this,of course,is done with
discernment and with hope in Christ.Who was crucified
to resurrect us spiritually.

Taken from ,Elder Paisios of Mount Athos,
Spiritual Counsels Vol 3"Spiritual Struggle" 

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