Saturday, October 29, 2016

An Old Nun Prayer.

Abbess Thaisia of Leushino.

   I could not fail to see that the Lord Himself was guiding me along the path of my hard (monastic) life, which was spiritu­ally almost a helpless one. Involuntarily I remembered Father Laurence's words that he had addressed to me while bidding me farewell: "The Lord Himself is guiding you, as if taking you by the hand. He has taken you out of the world and as­signed you to serve Him. He will not abandon you." Not only in dreams, however, did the Lord give me clear indications of the right way to follow, but also in my everyday life. For example, He brought me to witness the fervent, meaningful prayer of an aged nun. This is how it happened.
   It was a beautiful evening. After Vespers, dinner was usual­ly served; but only a few sisters went to the trapeza for their meal most of them ate in their cells, especially the elderly ones.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Who is Man?.

By Bishop Kallistos Ware.

   What kind of an animal is man?. What is it that, with­out separating us from the other animals, yet serves to distinguish us from them?. I say "without separating," because several of the characteristics that we commonly choose to designate as uniquely human turn out to be present, at any rate in a less devel­oped form, in many of the other animals. For example, many animals think, in the sense that, when confronted with an ob­stacle, they puzzle over it until they work out a solution.
   Many animals have a memory, recalling the past with fear or joy: a horse, separated from its human owners for weeks or years, on meeting them again will show alarm or happiness, de­pending on the treatment it has once received. Some animals form lifelong monogamous unions, and show grief, or something very similar to it, when they lose their partner; and so on. Yet, de­spite all this, can we not identify a specifically human vocation set before us?.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Repose of Hieroschemamonk Paisius (Olaru).

Three ascetics of prayer: Hieroschemamonk Paisius,
Archimandrite Cleopa and Protosingel Joel of Sihastria.
   The relationship that existed between the renowned spiritual fathers of Romania during the latter part of the 20th century was truly a bond of spiritual love. These were the fathers and shepherds of souls who encouraged and comforted the vast multitudes of faithful who were suffering under the repressive and atheistic yoke of communism. The fathers, all advanced in age, never expected to see the days when Romania would once again be free. The events of the December, 1989 Revolution that overthrew the tyrannical rule which had held their land in an iron grip for over forty years came as an unexpected blessing to these elders: It was something that would certainly place new demands on Fr. Cleopa in his last years.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Qu'il ne convient pas de se laisser troubler lorsque
des justes sont victimes d'un événement fâcheux.

Saint Job le Juste qui a beaucoup souffert.
(Livre de Job).
   [1] De Pallade.
   1. Sur la montagne de Nitrie, il y eut un homme admirable, du nom de Benjamin, qui y mena une vie vertueuse durant qua­tre-vingts ans et qui, après s'être exercé au plus haut degré à la vertu, fut jugé digne d'un charisme de guérison tel que tout homme, affecté de quelque maladie que ce soit, à qui il avait im­posé les mains ou donné de l'huile en bénissant était délivré.
   2. Huit mois avant de s'endormir, il devint hydropique et son corps enfla à tel point que l'on ne pouvait enserrer son petit doigt avec deux mains. Ne pouvant supporter la vue effrayante de la maladie, nous détournâmes de lui notre regard.
   3. Alors le bienheureux nous dit : "Priez, mes enfants, pour que l'homme intérieur en moi ne devienne pas hydropique. Car ce corps ne m'a rien apporté dans la bonne santé, ni ne m'a fait du tort dans la mauvaise."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

On Forgiveness of offenses and on anger.

Saint Macarius of Optina.
   From the reminiscences of a spiritual son on Saint Macarius of Optina:
   At Optina Monastery, I became acquainted with one of Fr. Macarius' spiritual children. One time he was passing through our region on some business trip, and he fell sick about eighteen miles from our estate. When I learned of this I immediately visited him and cared for him like a nursemaid. in a word, I helped him in every way I could. The sick man recovered very slowly and according to the doctor it was very likely he would not have recovered at all. But to everyone's astonishment, he be­came well. Then he came to me and, instead of being grateful, said and did many unpleasant things to me!. I grew terribly angry and if I did not answer him impudently, it was only out of decency and fear of causing some kind of scandal.
   When I saw F r. Macarius, I told him everything that had happened. I complained bitterly about my experience, not holding back my anger. Fr. Macarius listened to everything silently. I began to feel annoyed, and also fell silent.