Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Elder Paisios-Excuses Hinder Spiritual Growth

Geronda,when people say that there is 'no excuse'
in Holy Scripture,what do they mean?
-They mean that in a sense,there is no justification for any excuse.
-Geronda(Elder),when I try to justify myself with excuses,I realise later that this does not befit a nun or a monk.
-Not only are excuses not befitting of a nun or a monk,they also have nothing to do with the spiritual life.I must understand that when i try to justify myself with excuses,I'm in a wrong state of mind.I cut off my communication with God and am deprived of divine Grace, because divine Grace does not come to one who is in a wrong state.
The moment a person justifies the unjustifiable,he
is separated from God.A form of insulation intervenes between God and man.Can an electric current       pass through insulation?
No.Isolation.Isolation from God and man.There is no stronger barrier to the Grace of God than excuses! It is like building a wall and separating yourself from God;by making excuses,you cut off all ties with Him.
-Geronda,you often say,"Let us at least try to attain
to the spiritual base."What is this spiritual base"?
-It is the humble acknowledgement of one's mistake,without knowingly attempting to justify himself in the least,when he is at fault and when people reprimand him.
But when one doesn't stand up for himself even when he's wrongly accused,well,then, that's when he gets an excellent grade.One who justifies himself with excuses makes no progress in the spiritual life,nor can he find any inner peace.God will not condemn us for a mistake we have made,but we must try not to justify ourselves for that mistake,and consider it to be just a natural thing.
-Geronda,if I am told that i am at fault in something,but cannot understand the nature of my fault,should i ask about it so as to be more careful next time,or should I keep silent?
-If you think that you're at fault 25 percent, when in fact you are at fault only five percent,don't you profit spiritually?Be "Generous" when weighing your faults; you don't want to short- change yourself spiritually.This is the spiritual work you must do;find and acknowledge your fault,and "catch"yourself next time.Otherwise,you are "caught" by yourself,you justify yourself but you find no peace.
-Geronda,when someone has the habit of justifying himself with excuses,but later recognizes his mistakes and deplores himself,is this of any benefit?
-At least one has gained valuable experience,and if
this experience is utilized,he can benefit from it.And if God should say,"Since he acknowledged his mistake and repented,let me give him something,"then,of course,he will receive something more from another Treasury,the Treasury of repentance.

Source- Elder Paisios of Mount Athos,
Spiritual Counsels Vol3, "SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE"

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