When people bring you a sick person's clothing to place on the holy Relics to be sanctified,be careful to take only an undershirt and not other underclothing;it is inappropriate and impious.The sun, of course,cannot be polluted,nor is God polluted;but we can become possessed by the evil one through our lack of devoutness.
In the past,when people got sick,they would take a little oil from the vigil oil-lamp,rub it on their bodies and they would get well.Now the vigil lamp is kept only as a formality,just to provide some light,and the oil,when they clean the vessel,is poured into the sink!.Once I went to a home,and saw the lady of the house washing the vigil lamp,and I asked her,"Were does the water from the sink go?""Into the sewage system,"she answered.And I had to ask her,"How is it that you take oil from the vigil lamp to bless your child when it is sick,and now you pour the remains of oil into the sewage system in order to clean the lamp?How can you justify this?How can you expect God's blessing to come to your home?"In Today's home there is no place to put a sacred object,eve the little piece of paper in which you may have wrapped the antidoron.
I remember in our home even the water used to wash the dishes did not go into the sewage system;it was disposed of elsewhere,because even the leftover crumbs were considered sacred,since we prayed before and after the meal to bless everything.All of these customs have disappeared today,and for this reason Divine Grace is also missing and people are susceptible to demonic influence.
As much as we can,we must be careful in all things.After Holy Communion or the antidoron or Holy Unction,it is good to wipe our hands with some cotton wet with alcohol and to burn the cotton.When we sweep the Sanctuary,what is gathered should be burned in a clean place or thrown in to the sea,because some pieces of antidoron or even of Holy Communion may have fallen there.Naturally,if the Body and Blood of Holy Communion is dropped on the floor,Christ does not remain there to be stepped upon,but Grace leaves us.Abroad,the Churches don't have separate cisterns for the waters of the proskomide,which go into the drains with the rainwater."We are forbidden to have separate cisterns for such purposes,because they become a breeding ground for bacteria,"they say.While virtually everyone is now filled with bacteria of body and soul,people will still say that bacteria will be formed if a drop of sacred oil is put upon our heads.How then can the blessing of God come upon us?This is where the world's demonism starts from.Fortunately,there are a few devout women,young and old,and the world is saved.
Elder,a lady asked us to paint an Icon of Saint Arsenios to place in her living room.
-Will she have only Icons there?Won't she have other paintings,pictures and so on?Won't they also smoke there?It would be better to put it in another room with the other Icons and go there to pray.I went to a home once where the Icons had been placed below the stairs,even though they had plenty of better places to put them.In another home,the Icons had been placed in front of the waste pipe.And i asked the lady of the house,"how did you ever think of putting the Icons in this spot?"This is where i am at ease with them," she answered.And it was not even the east side of the house,but the north.How then can the Grace of God come to us?Sacred Scripture says,For whosoever hath,to him shall be given,and he shall have more abundance.But whosoever hath not,from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.(Mt.13;12)We imagine that we have something,and whatever little we might have is taken away from us.
Little by little,devoutness is lost altogether,and this is why the evil things we see are occurring.If one is not careful,one can even become possessed by the devil.There was a woman-God grant her forgiveness for she is gone now-who had been possessed,because she poured the Holy water down the drain.She had a small amount of Holy water in a bottle and she thought,"It must be stale by now;I'll pour it out,and use the bottle for some other need."She poured out the Holy water and washed out the bottle,because a tiny piece of sweet basil had remained in the bottle.After that she became possessed.Grace had abandoned her,for Grace cannot remain with a person who is devoid of any devoutness.
-Elder,what if someone pours out some Holy water by mistake?
-If the same person had put the Holy water in a cabinet, and had forgotten about it and poured it out by mistake,then he bears partial responsibility for the sin.But if another person had placed the Holy Water in the cabinet,and th one who poured it out did not know that it was Holy water,then he bears no responsibility.
If a person has no reverence and does not respect all sacred matters,how can Divine Grace approach him?Grace will go to those who honour it."Do not give what is Holy to the Dogs,"says the Sacred Scripture.If there is no spiritual sensitivity,there cannot be any progress.
On the holy mountain,someone took pews out of a chapel and put them in his.Another took the tiles from the roof of another Chapel and used them for his veranda.When it rained,the water came into the sanctuary and fell on the Holy Altar.I went in once and what did I see?The chapel had been consecrated,and at the center of the Holy Altar there was a Holy Relic, a Vertebra.I picked it up and washed it at the Holy water cistern.Later,I went and talked to them:"What are you doing?The Chapel is consecrated,and you've removed the roof tiles letting the water fall upon the Holy Altar!"They later went with a roofer and somewhat repaired it.
In another place,boards were removed from the Sanctuary to make a boat dock.A Storm came and washed away the boards and the cement.And people do not understand that all these things are so irreverent.I remember in Konitsa there was a grand father who would chase away the children who scratched the walls of the Church;he considered this to be irreverent.And now look at what is happening around us!
Taken from ELDER PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS,Spiritual Counsels vol 2 "Spiritual Awakening"