Monday, April 27, 2015

Are Dreams Deceptive ( St. Paisios )

-Elder,I'm tormented by some unpleasant dreams...

-When you have a bad dream,never examine what you saw,how you saw it, or whether you're guilty or how much you may be at fault.The evil one,having failed to tempt you during the daytime,comes to you at night.Sometimes God permits the devil to tempt us in our sleep,so that we may see that the old self has not entirely died.Other times,the enemy approaches a person in his sleep and presents various dreams in order to upset him when he awakes.This is why you shouldn't pay any attention to them.Cross yourself and the pillow,place a cross and an icon on your pillow,and say the Jesus Prayer until you fall asleep.The more importance you attach to such dreams,the more the enemy will come to disturb you.This is something that happens to children,too, even though they are little angels.The enemy comes and scares them in their sleep,and they wake up frightened,running into their mother's arms.Often times,they are approached by Angels who make them smile in their sleep out of joy,or they may wake up from their great joy.As such,dreams brought about by temptations are an external influence of the enemy upon man while he's asleep.

-Elder,what about feeling a certain burden while you're sleeping?

-Sometimes this comes from a stressful situation that one has experienced during the day,or from various fears,various suspicions and so forth.Naturally,the little devil can take advantage of this,forming confusing combinations in order to make the person feel dizzy.Often we sleep so lightly that we may think that we are awake and praying for this unbearably heavy burden to go away.
Once in a while the devil may take the form of a human or of a saint and appear to someone in his sleep.Once he appeared in the form of Saint Arsenios to a sick man who was sleeping and told him,"I am Saint Arsenios;I have come to tell you that you will die.Do you hear me?You will die!"The man was frightened and horrified.A Saint never speaks to a sick person like that.And even if a sick person is about to die and a Saint appears to inform him about his death,he will do so gently and kindly:"God sees how much you are suffering here and this is why he has decided to take you out of this world.See that you prepare yourself."He will never say,"Do you hear me?You will die!"

-Elder,what happens when someone cries out in his sleep?

-It's good,he wakes up...Many dreams are due to worry.When someone is worrying over things or when he is very tired, these things are struggling inside him and he sees them in his dreams.It happens often to me,too;when I deal with various people and their problems during the day,such as unfairness and so on.I later find myself scolding the unjust ones in my sleep:"You godless man,have you no feelings?" and I wake up because of my yelling.

-Elder,can someone foresee something that will happen to him from the dreams he has?

-No,don't pay any attention to dreams.Whether they are pleasant or unpleasant,you are not to pay any attention to them,because there is the danger of being deluded.Ninety five percent of dreams are deceptive.This is why the Holy Fathers say that we should not pay any attention to them.Very few dreams are from God,but in order for someone to interpret even these,he must have purity and other prerequisites,much like Righteous Joseph and the Prophet Daniel in the bible,who both had the gift from God.Daniel said to Nabuchadnezzar,I will tell you what dream you had and what it means.But consider the spiritual maturity he had attained!He was in the den of lions.and they,even though they were hungry,did not hurt him.Habbakuk brought him food and Daniel said,"Has God remembered me?"If God didn't remember the Prophet Daniel in the lions den,whom would He remember?

-Elder,some people don't have any dreams.

-It is better that they don't!But by dreaming,of course,people spend no money for tickets or fuel!In our dreams we can see in an instant something that in reality would take hours,even days,because the concept of time is abolished.This is where one can understand the verse from he psalm:For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past.

Beware of Visions

-Elder,What should we say when people come and tell us of visions or of saints they have seen?

-It is better to tell them to be cautious.This is safer,because not everyone can discern if a vision is from God or from the devil.Even if a vision is from God,one should not really accept it.After all,God is moved,in a sense,when He sees His creature not accepting the vision immediately,because this indicates humility.If indeed a Saint appeared in a vision,God would surely find another way to inform the soul and guide it to the desirable purpose.We must be careful and aware that it is possible for the devil to come,press the button and turn on the "television"...

There was a soul who had not received help from people,and for this reason she was entitled to divine help.God revealed something to her in order to help her.But then the devil put some thoughts in her head:"It seems that God has something more sublime in store for you,who knows?Otherwise,why would He have endowed you with that vision?"From the moment she believed this,the devil started his work and controlled her!But in the end,God had pity on her and helped her again.She had a vision and heard a voice telling her,"Write to Father Paisios and tell him all the visions you have seen."So she wrote me a letter relating all the visions she had had.The tempter,the devil,had really confused her.They were real visions;but they were all from the tempter.Of all the visions she had related,only the first and the last were from God.The last one was permitted by God to help her come to her senses and to be rid of the deception.In the end,the poor woman took heart what I told her,and she was freed.

Taken from ELDER PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS,Spiritual Counsels Vol3 "Spiritual Struggle"

Ο διάβολος φοβάται το κομποσχοίνι και την ευχή

Λόγια αγάπης από το γεροντικό του Αγίου Όρους…

Στην Σκήτη της Αγίας Άννας, ο Μοναχός Προκόπιος από την Καλύβα «Εισόδια της Θεοτόκου» είχε μεγάλη επιθυμία να μάθει μουσικά, για να δοξολογεί κι αυτός το Θεό, όπως και οι άλλοι αδελφοί.
Επειδή όμως ήταν λίγο παράφωνος αποφεύγανε οι Πατέρες να τον μάθουν μουσικά.
Ο αδελφός Προκόπιος είχε χάρισμα από το Θεό λάβει να λέει ακατάπαυστα την ευχή το «Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ υιέ του Θεού ελέησόν με τον αμαρτωλό» και στο αριστερό του χέρι κρατούσε πάντα το κομβοσχοίνι, το όποιο δεν αποχωριζόταν ποτέ.

Μια μέρα, ήταν πολύ λυπημένος, πού δεν μπορούσε να βρει κανένα για να τον μάθει μουσική και συλλογιζόμενος αυτό το πράγμα, από την πολύ του λύπη, είχε σταματήσει να λέει την ευχή.

Ξαφνικά παρουσιάζεται μπροστά του ένας σεβάσμιος, αλλά άγνωστος σ’ αυτόν γέροντας ο όποιος του είπε: «Αδελφέ Προκόπιε, τι έχεις κι είσαι τόσο λυπημένος; τι σε απασχολεί; Ο Προκόπιος του απάντησε: «τι να έχω γέροντα, να, θέλω κι εγώ να μάθω λίγα μουσικά και δε βρίσκεται κανένας να με μάθει, γιατί μου λένε πώς είμαι λίγο φάλτσος». Ο ασπρογένης γέροντας τότε του είπε: «Γι’ αυτό κάθεσαι και στενοχωριέσαι καημένε, εγώ θα σε μάθω μουσικά και θα σε κάνω να γίνεις ο καλύτερος ψάλτης του Αγίου Όρους, θα κελαηδάς σαν το καλύτερο αηδόνι, αλλά θέλω κι εσύ να μου κάνεις μια χάρη».

«Δηλαδή τι ζητάς από μένα, του είπε ο Προκόπιος, θέλεις να σε πληρώσω; Εγώ ότι θέλεις θα σου δώσω!». Τότε ο ασπρογένης του είπε: «Ή πληρωμή ή δική μου είναι να πετάξεις από τα χέρια σου αυτό που λέτε κομποσχοίνι και να πάψεις να λες αυτό πού λέτε ευχή και θα σε μάθω ‘γώ, ότι θέλεις».

Ο Μοναχός Προκόπιος άμα άκουσε αυτά κατάλαβε πως ο φαινόμενος δεν ήταν Μοναχός, άλλα ο παμπόνηρος Δαίμονας, που ήθελε να τον κάνει να σταματήσει την προσευχή, και αμέσως έκαμε το σταυρό του και είπε: «Ύπαγε οπίσω μου Σατανά παμπόνηρε, δε μου χρειάζονται τα μουσικά σου και οι πονηρές και οι καλοσύνες σου» κι ο Δαίμονας έγινε άφαντος.

Απ’ αυτό μαθαίναμε πόσο ο Διάβολος φοβάται το κομβοσχοίνι, για το οποίο καλά λένε οι Πατέρες ότι είναι το όπλο του χριστιανού κατά του Διαβόλου και την ευχή, η οποία καίει τον Δαίμονα. Ενώ τους ψάλτες δεν τους φοβάται τόσο και δεν τους υπολογίζει, γιατί, εύκολα με το ψάλσιμο αφαιρούνται από την προσευχή και πέφτουν στον εγωισμό και την υπερηφάνεια!

Γερόντισσα Μακρίνα: ”Η Ευχή”


Στήν ώρα τής διακονίας (εργασίας) μας, ή οτιδήποτε άλλο κάνουμε, αντί νά αργολογήσουμε, αντί νά συζητήσουμε, αντί να πούμε ιστορίες, αντί νά πούμε πνευματικά, καλύτερα είναι νά λέμε τήν “ευχή“. Γιατί μέσα καί στά πνευματικά ακόμη θά υπάρχει καί μία κατάκριση, ένα κουτσομπολιό, μία αργολογία, μία μεμψιμοιρία,, θά υπάρξουν αστεϊσμοί, διάφορα. Όταν μάς έρχεται διάθεσις γιά συζήτηση, όταν μάς πιάνει πλήξη, μάς πιάνει στενοχώρια, νά ξέρετε είναι γιατί δέν κυνηγάμε τήν “ευχή“. Νά τήν κυνηγήσουμε, όπως τήν κυνηγούσαν οί Πατέρες οί άγιοι, όπως τήν κυνήγησαν πνευματικοί άνθρωποι στόν κόσμο καί αισθάνθηκαν τήν Χάρι τού Θεού. Γιορτές καί Κυριακές πού έχουμε περισσότερο χρόνο νά λέμε τήν “ευχή” (Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, ελέησόν με), νά τόν εκμεταλευώμαστε τόν χρόνο.

Γερόντισα Μακρίνα – Λόγια Καρδιάς, εκδόσεις Ιεράς Μονής Παναγίας οδηγήτριας Πορταριά Βόλου.

Avoid Cancer, Live Like A Monk

A Foolproof Anti-Cancer Diet... With Just One or Two Drawbacks

If you want to avoid cancer, live like a monk. That is the inescapable conclusion from research into one of the world’s most renowned monastic communities.

The austere regime of the 1,500 monks on Mount Athos, in northern Greece, begins with an hour’s pre-dawn prayers and is designed to protect their souls.

Their low-stress existence and simple diet (no meat, occasional fish, home-grown vegetables and fruit) may, however, also protect them from more worldly troubles.

The monks, who inhabit a peninsula from which women are banned, enjoy astonishingly low rates of cancer.

Since 1994, the monks have been regularly tested, and only 11 have developed prostate cancer, a rate less than one quarter of the international average. In one study, their rate of lung and bladder cancer was found to be zero.

Haris Aidonopoulos, a urologist at the University of Thessaloniki, said that the monks’ diet, which calls on them to avoid olive oil, dairy products and wine on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, helped to explain the statistics. “What seems to be the key is a diet that alternates between olive oil and nonolive oil days, and plenty of plant proteins,” he said. “It’s not only what we call the Mediterranean diet, but also eating the old-fashioned way. Small simple meals at regular intervals are very important.”

Meals on the peninsula, which the Prince of Wales has visited regularly and which can only be reached by boat, are ascetic and repetitive affairs that have changed little over the centuries, although there are variations between the 20 monasteries.

The monks sit in silence while, from a pulpit, passages from the Bible are read in Greek. They eat at speed – as soon as the Bible passage is over, the meal is officially completed.

The staples are fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice and soya dishes, and bread and olives. They grow much of what they eat themselves. Agioritiko red wine is made locally from mountain grapes. Dairy products are rare – female animals are banned from the autonomous semi-state.

Life on Athos has changed little over the past 1,043 years. Breakfast is hard bread and tea. Much of the day is taken up with chores – cleaning, cooking, tending to crops – followed by a supper, typically of lentils, fruit and salad, and evening prayers.

Some of the seaside monasteries specialise in catching octopus, a delicacy that is softened up by bashing on the rock. Fish also feeds the Athos cats, protected by the monks for their mouse-catching prowess. Of all domestic animals, only cats are exempt from the ban on females. Some of the monks live in hillside huts or cliff-side caves perched above the sea as satellites of the main establishments, perhaps the closest that modern Christianity gets to medieval hermits. They depend for their sustenance on handouts of bread and olives.

On holidays and feast days such as Christmas and Easter, when other Greeks are feasting on roast meat, the monks prefer fish, their only culinary luxury. Father Moses of the Koutloumousi monastery, one of the 20 organised cloisters scattered over the Athos peninsula, said: “We never eat meat. We produce most of the vegetables and fruit we consume. And we never forget that all year round, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we don’t use olive oil on our food.”

The olive-oil routine, which also applies to wine and dairy products, appears to have no religious significance, but is a way of eking out their supplies.

All the monks stick to the rigorous fasting periods of the Orthodox Church, in which a strict vegan diet is prescribed for weeks at a stretch.

Michalis Hourdakis, a dietician associated with Athens University, said: “This limited consumption of calories has been found to lengthen life. Meat has been associated with intestinal cancer, while fruit and vegetables help ward off prostate cancer.”

The lack of air pollution on Mount Athos as well as the monks’ hard work in the fields also played their part, the researchers said. There was no mention, however, of whether the absence of women had any effect on the monks’ renowned spiritual calm.

Salad days: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday

Breakfast: Hard bread, tea
Lunch: Pasta or rice,vegetables, olive oil
Dinner: Lentils, fruit and salad, olive oil. Red wine

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: no olive oil

Holidays and feast days: Fish and seafood

Λέγε την ευχή ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )

Λέγε την ευχή: αγιάζει το στόμα, αγιάζει ο αέρας, αγιάζει ο τόπος που λέγεται. Οι δαίμονες βάζουν χίλια εμπόδια δια να μην προσευχηθεί ο άνθρωπος, επειδή όλες οι παγίδες, όλα τα δίκτυα των δαιμόνων καταστρέφονται δια της προσευχής. 

Άπειρες φορές οι δαίμονες δια στόματος δαιμονισμένων ομολόγησαν ότι καίονται από την ενέργεια της ευχής.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης