SAINT PAISIUS VELICHKOVSKY

paisiusv

1.  The enemy likes to hide the truth and to mix good with evil. But how can one find out the truth? God’s goodwill and all our intentions are meek, full of good hope, and undoubting. Not only in our good deeds, but also in our lawlessness, God endures long with meekness and awaits our repentance. And how can one distinguish the impulse of the enemy? The enemy usually hinders us and turns us away from good. However, if in anything which apparently is good, the mind is disturbed and causes us disturbance, banishes the fear of God, deprives us of calmness, so that without any reason the heart aches and the mind wavers, then know that this is an impulse from the enemy and cut it off.

2.  “Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins.”

3.    When languishing in spiritual doldrums, this is what Saint Paisius suggests:        “When this happens, occupy the mind with the thought of death. Come mentally to the grave; behold there one who has been dead four days: how he grows dark, bloated, and gives off an intolerable foul odor, is eaten by worms, having lost his fair appearance and beauty. Then look in another place: here there lie in the grave the bones of young and old, the beautiful and the ugly; and consider: who was fair, or ugly? Who was a faster, a continent man, an ascetic, or a careless man? And did it bring benefit to rich men that they had repose and enjoyment in this world? Remember then the endless torments of which the holy books speak: the fire of Gehenna, the outer darkness, the gnashing of teeth, the infernal Tartarus, the unsleeping worm. And depict to yourself how sinners cry out there with bitter tears, and no one delivers them. They lament and weep over themselves, and no one has pity on them. They sigh from the depths of the heart, and no one has compassion on them. Think how creatures, each in its own time, unfailingly serve the Lord their Creator. Reflect concerning the most glorious miracles of God which have been performed upon His slaves from the beginning of the world, and especially of how the Lord, having humbled Himself and suffered for the sake of our salvation, has benefacted and sanctified the human race; and for all this give thanksgiving to God, the Lover of mankind. Remember the future endless life and the Kingdom of Heaven, the repose and unutterable joy. Stand firm, do not leave off the Prayer of Jesus. If you will recall and reflect on all this, then despondency, slothfulness and weakness will disappear, and you soul will come to life as from the dead, by the grace of Christ.”

4.  “Arise, my beloved soul, and do what I shall tell you. If you cannot labor as the Holy Fathers did, then ~at least begin according to your strength.”

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