Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One who runs away from temptation is also running away from eternal life.( Saint Zosima )


Destroy temptation and struggle with thoughts and there wouldn’t be one saint. The one who runs away from temptation is also running away from eternal life. One of the Saints states: "Who provided the holy martyrs with their crowns , if not their own torturers? Who granted the first martyr, Stephen, such great glory if not those that stoned him to death?" With this, he also quoted pronouncements of another Saint: "I do not blame those that denounce me but quite the opposite, I regard and call them my benefactors; and I do not reject the Physician of souls that has given my vain soul some medicine of piety, because I fear that He may say to it what was said before: "We ministered to Babylon, but it would not be cured".

Saint Zosima

The simple Porter Who Resurrected A Dead Man ( St. Paisios )

Elder Paisios the Athonite related the following wondrous true story:

I once met a man who was very kind and sensitive. Just imagine, he even refused to stay overnight at the monastery, because he didn’t want to be a burden to the monks. I used to be the host monk at the time, at the Iveron Skete, when I went out onto the balcony for a moment at noon and saw a man lying down on the stones outside. Well, well, I wondered, what is he doing out there? So I went down to him. 

"What are you doing here, blessed one? Why don’t you come into the monastery, where we can offer you our hospitality?"

"No, no, I’m just fine here, don’t concern yourself," he said.

I pressed him to come in, but he refused. He said: “All through the night, the fathers here were in vigil. They’re tired, they fast, they retire at noon to get some rest, and I’m supposed to disturb them? Its not proper!”

See what kind of good thoughts he made? That is an indication of mental and spiritual health, whereas other visitors come here, demanding to be served, and then they have nothing but malicious thoughts - they even accuse you. I finally convinced him, and brought him into the monastery, where we became better acquainted and eventually became friends.

Now listen to what this man had done. He was orphaned from his youth. He never knew his parents; he grew up in an orphanage. When he grew up, he worked as a porter in the port of Thessaloniki.

He married, and was very happy for that, as he had found the family that he longed for. His in-laws were like parents to him. They moved into a house near his in-laws and he was extremely fond of them. Imagine that, after leaving work every day, he would first go to his in-laws to greet them, to see if they needed anything, and would afterwards go to his own home to see his wife.

He was also very pious. He would repeat the prayer “My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. He would carry loads and pray.

He was concerned however, that his in-laws were not believers. In fact, his father-in-law blasphemed and that made him very sad. So, he prayed to God, asking Him not to take them away from this life, before they had properly repented. He even asked me to pray for this problem.

So, there came a time that his father-in-law became very ill, and had to be taken to hospital. He was in there for days. One day, after work as usual, he went directly to the hospital, without passing by his home first. He looked for his father-in-law, but didn’t find him in his room… He searched everywhere, asking for him. “Who? Him? Oh, he passed away. He’s downstairs, in the morgue, where they keep all the deceased patients”, they told him.

It was as if lightning had struck him. “Why, my Lord, did You take him away, if he wasn’t ready, and he didn’t even have a chance to repent? Why, my God?”

He began to pray fervently, with profound pain: “What is it for God, to bring him back? Nothing!” he thought, and began to beseech God accordingly.

He found his way downstairs, and looked around in the morgue, only to find him frozen, dead. He grabbed his father-in-law by the hand, insisting, “Come on, get up, let’s go home”. The dead man immediately came alive; he got up and followed him.

"Really, Elder, did that really happen?" I asked him, dumbfounded.

"Yes, it is really true."

"And is that man still alive today?"

"No, he has passed away. He lived on for a few more years, he repented, he became a much kinder person, a veritable lamb, and Christ then took him into Paradise."

I was amazed.

"Do things like that actually happen in our day?" I asked with wonder.

"See? And he was an ordinary layman. But he had such simplicity! And such profound faith. Didn’t Christ say: 'Whosoever believes in Me, can do whatever I do, and even greater things'? Why should this incident seem strange? Didn’t Christ resurrect the dead? Lazarus? The widow’s son? Jairus’ daughter? Didn’t the Apostles resurrect the dead? Haven’t we read so many wonders in the lives of the saints? Why should this seem strange?"

From Father Paisios Told Me, by Athanasios Rakovalis, Orthodox Hive Publications, pp. 166-168.

Δέκα απόψεις-συμβουλές για να μάθουμε να συγχωρούμε τους άλλους

1. Σκεφτείτε ότι στο κάτω - κάτω της γραφής δε ζημιωθήκατε και τόσο σοβαρά.

2. Λογαριάστε όλα τα καλά που σας έχουν γίνει, ακόμα κι από το πρόσωπο που σας έβλαψε.

3. Απαριθμήστε τα ελέη και τις ευλογίες που απολαμβάνετε από μέρους του Θεού που δεν αξίζατε.

4. Ευχαριστείτε το Θεό για τη συγχώρεση που Εκείνος έχει προσφέρει σε σας.

5. Προσευχηθείτε για εκείνον που σας φέρθηκε άσχημα.

6. Αναζητήστε μια ευκαιρία να βοηθήσετε το πρόσωπο που σας έβλαψε.

7. Προσπαθήστε να τον αιφνιδιάσετε με μια καλή πράξη ή να του δείξετε την καλή σας διάθεση.

8. Όταν θυμηθείτε την κακή ενέργεια που έγινε σε βάρος σας να την αντιπαραβάλετε με μια καλή σκέψη ή πράξη.

9. Αν το κακό που σας έγινε είναι ιδιαίτερα μεγάλο, προσπαθήστε να το ξεχάσετε σκεπτόμενοι άλλα ευχάριστα πράγματα, προτού κοιμηθείτε το βράδυ.

10. Επαναλάβετε αργά και προσεκτικά τη φράση της προσευχής του Κυρίου: "άφες ημίν τα οφειλήματα ημών ως και ημείς αφίεμεν τοις οφειλέτας ημών".

~Καταλαβαίνω ότι όλα αυτά είναι πολύ δύσκολο να τα κάνουμε πράξη ... τουλάχιστον ας προσπαθήσουμε!!!

Όλοι έχουμε αγάπη μέσα μας ... Άλλωστε από την ίδια την Αγάπη έχουμε δημιουργηθεί ... το Θεό!!!

Ο εγωισμός δεν αφήνει να βγάλουμε από μέσα μας ό,τι καλό έχουμε και να το προσφέρουμε στον συνάνθρωπό μας ...~

20 πρακτικές συμβουλές γιά Ταπείνωση

1. Σε ξέχασαν; Δε σε πήραν ούτε ένα τηλέφωνο; Δεν πειράζει. Και προπαντός μην παραπονείσαι.

2. Σε αδίκησαν; Ξέχασέ το.

3. Σε περιφρόνησαν; Να χαίρεσαι.

4. Σε κατηγορούν; Μην αντιλέγεις.

5. Σε κοροϊδεύουν; Μην απαντάς.

6. Σε βρίζουν; Σιωπή και προσευχή.

7. Σου αφαιρούν το λόγο; Σε διακόπτουν; Μη λυπάσαι.

8. Σε κακολογούν; Μην αντιμάχεσαι.

9. Σου μεταδίδουν ευθύνες τα παιδιά σου; Οι συγγενείς σου, οι δικοί σου οι άνθρωποι; Μη διαμαρτύρεσαι.

10. Θυμώνουν μαζί σου; Να παραμένεις ήρεμος.

11. Σου κλέβουν φανερά; Κάνε τον τυφλό.

12. Σε ειρωνεύονται; Να μακροθυμείς.

13. Δεν ακούνε τις συμβουλές σου; Ιδίως δεν ακούνε τις συμβουλές σου τα παιδιά σου; Πέσε στα γόνατα και κάνε προσευχή.

14. Εκνευρισμός στο αντρόγυνο; Εσύ φταις. Κι εσύ φταις. Όχι ο άλλος.

15. Έφταιξες; Ζήτησε συγγνώμη.

16. Δεν έφταιξες; Πάλι ζήτησε συγγνώμη.

17. Έχεις υγεία; Δόξαζε τον Θεόν.aι; Νήστευσε. Αγρύπνησε. Κάνε προσευχή.

20. Για όλους και για όλα προσευχή. Πολλή προσευχή. Πολλή προσευχή. Νηστεία και προσευχή διότι «τούτο το γένος των
παθών και των δαιμόνων ουκ εκπορεύεται παρά μόνο με νηστεία και προσευχή».