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" 

''Τί χαρά ένιωσα!''



 Διήγηση Γέροντος;<<Ήμουν Δασονόμος καί είχα
   καιρό νά κοινωνήσω.Τότε κοινωνούσαμε κάθε
   είκοσι μέρες.Πέρασε λοιπόν καιρός καί έπεθύ-
μησα νά κοινωνήσω.Έτοιμάστηκα,νήστεψα τρείς
μέρες καί κατέβηκα μέ τά πόδια στό Μοναστήρι βα-
δίζοντας δυόμισι ώρες.Πήγα νά πάρω εύλογία άπό
τόν Ήγούμενο.Έκείνος λίγο θυμωμένα μού είπε,
"δέν έχει εύλογία".Εγώ είπα΄"νάναι εύλογημένο"
καί έφυγα.Μέσα μου όμως στενοχωρήθηκα.Είπα;
¨΄Τόσο κόπο έκανα νά έρθω,νήστεψα,τόσον καιρό
έχω νά κοινωνήσω ,γιατί νά μή μέ άφήνη;" ¨Οχι
πώς κατηγόρησα τόν Γέροντα.Μέσα μου είπα ότι
αύτός καλά κάνει τήν δουλειά του,άλλά άναρωτιό-
μουν σέ τί έφταιξα,ώστε νά έπιτρέψη ό καλός Θεός
τέτοια δοκιμασία.Μέ στοίχισε.Σκεφτόμουν πού έφ-
ταιξα, τί έκανα.Δέν μπορούσα νά βρώ,ίσως κάτι
ήταν καί δέν τό έβλεπα.Έκεί πού συλλογιόμουνα
αύτά μέ πιάνουν τά δάκρυα καί έκλαψα λίγο.
Λέγω ¨δέν πειράζει,γιά καλό μου θάναι¨.

>>¨Οταν προχώρησε ή άκολουθία καί φτάσαμε
στήν Λειτουργία,πρίν άπό τό "Μετά φόβου",έρχε-
ται ό Ήγούμενος καί μού λέει νά κοινωνήσω.Τού
είπα ότι δέν διάβασα τήν θεία Μετάληψη.Μού είπε
ωά κάνω ύπακοή,νά κοινωνήσω καί νά διαβάσω με-
τά τήν θεία Μετάληψη.

>>"Νάναι ευλογημένο",είπα, καί πήγα κοινώνη-
σα.Έ,τί χαρά ένιωσα,τί χαρά!Λέω,"βρέ πειρ-
σμέ,δικό σου ήταν αύτό γιά νά μέ βάλης νά πώ κά
τι  γιά τόν Γέροντα νά ψυχρανθώ,ούτε νά κοινωνή-
σω καί νά στενοχωρέσω καί τόν Γέροντα".Άλλά
δάγκωσα τήν γλώσσα μου νά μήν πώ τίποτε.
"Έγώ φταίω",είπα,"δέν φταίει ό Γέροντας">>.

Life in the world is like a manuscript..

Saint Isaac the Syrian (Excerpt from Homily 62)

Life in the world is like a manuscript of writings that is still in
rough draft.When a man wishes or desires to do so,he can add

something or subtract from it,and make changes in the writings.
But the life in the world to come is like documents written on clean
scrolls and sealed with the royal seal, where no additions or deletion is possible.
Therefore,so long as we are found in the midst of change,let us
pay heed to ourselves;and while we have power over the manuscript of our life,which we have written by our own hand,let us strive earnestly to add to it by leading a good manner of life,and let us erase from it the  failings of our former life.
We have power to erase our depts from it as long as we are here.And God will take into account every change we make
in it,so that we may be deemed worthy of eternal life before we go before the King and He sets His seal upon it.
For so long as we are in this world,God does not affix His seal either to what is good or to what is evil,even up to the moment of our departure when the service of our fatherland is completed and we set out upon our journey.
And as the blessed Mar Ephraim says,we should make our soul
like a ready ship that knows not when a wind will come upon it,or
like an army that knows not when the trumpet of battle will sound,or like a tenant who knows not when the master of the house will give order to depart,And if,he says,merchants are so well prepared for the sake of a little gain,though they will perhaps soon return from their voyage,how much more should we make ourselves ready,and prepare ourselves in advance,before the coming of that decisive day, that bridge and door into the new age 
May Christ,the mediator of our life,grant us to arrive at that decisive judgement in full preparation, He that hath glory,worship,and thanksgiving unto the ages.
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