Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Fast and Fight on the way to Resurrection.
Saint Sophrony the Athonite.

Saint Sophrony the Athonite.

In the example of Christ Who withdrew into the wilderness, our Tradition has appointed Great Lent.
          «Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said: "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said: "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written He shall give His angels charge over you, and In their hands they will shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus said to him: "It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God."
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him: "All these things I will give you if you fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him: "Begone, Satan! For it is written: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Heavenly justice is nailed on the Cross.
Saint Sophrony the Athonite.

Saint Sophrony the Athonite.
Yesterday our Abbot said to a certain visitor that for us monks theology is life; life without "external expression" of words; life in silence and internal self-concentration. If it is so, then it is always difficult to find the words to speak about the way of Christ which leads to salvation; the way through which one is led to the Heavenly Father.
                Yesterday, in this small church of St. Silouan, we lived a foretaste of heavenly life. It was, if you like, a triumph of our faith. And perhaps for this reason precisely, we must remember today that, according to the word of Christ, our way is to carry our cross and follow Him to Golgotha.
          In the mind and heart of many people there is a thirst for justice and truth. I opened thus, by chance a booklet with the title Hope, which circulated in the form of a pamphlet during the persecution in Russia. A certain Abbess writes there about those who follow a single aim, that if they were to see justice practiced on earth, they would never come to know what Divine justice is.
          You will hear this translated from Russian: "The man who does not seek anything but righteous judgment or human justice will soon find the end of his way; whereas the widening of the soul in order to grasp and to know the justice of God has no end; just as the Lord, Who is the aim of this lifting of the soul, has no end. If man acts according to human justice, it means that he does not recognize heavenly justice, because there is a difference between them. On earth, Divine justice is nailed on the cross."[1]...

Saturday, March 14, 2020

We should be ready to endure any hardship.
Saint Sophrony the Athonite.

Saint Sophrony the Athonite.

“We do not think about how to change the world with our own powers. We strive to receive strength from God in order to act at all times with love.”
“The most important thing in the spiritual life is to strive to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. It changes our lives (above all inwardly, not outwardly). We will live in the same house, in the same circumstances, and with the same people, but our life will already be different. But this is possible only under certain conditions: if we find the time to pray fervently, with tears in our eyes. From the morning to ask for God’s blessing, that a prayerful attitude may define our entire day.”
“Whoever gives up his cross cannot be worthy of the Lord and become His disciple. The depths of the Divine Being are revealed to the Christian when he is crucified for our Savior. The Cross is the foundation of authentic theology.”
“I am neither Greek nor Russian; I am an Athonite.”

Saturday, March 7, 2020

“Oui, nous sommes son image”.
Saint Sophrony l’Athonite.

.Le Christ Réssuscité
 Saint Sophrony, c. 1980
Durant les premières années de ma conversion au Christ, l’insondable bonté de Dieu me jeta “cruellement” dans l’infini, en me faisant sentir mon insuffisance, ma kénose, mon “néant”. Grâce à ce don, mon cœur se purifia de la blessure mortelle de l’orgueil et devint capable, dans l’amour et la paix, de contempler Dieu, de recevoir de Lui une vie nouvelle, incorruptible.
Tout ce qui est absurde et terrible sur la scène mondiale, tout ce qui est banal et fastidieux dans la vie quotidienne des hommes, constitue un tableau contradictoire mais néanmoins grandiose. Tout, le noble comme le mesquin, se reflète d'une manière ou d'une autre en chacun de nous. À partir d'innombrables contrastes -le mal et le bien, les ténèbres et la lumière, la tristesse et la joie, la folie et la sagesse, l'amour et la haine, la faiblesse et la force, la construction et la destruction, la naissance et la mort -, se forme une vision globale de l'Être. Soumis à d'innombrables tourments et outrages, L'homme est bafoué; sa dignité est foulée aux pieds. Devant ce spectacle, l'âme est au désespoir. Et subitement, les paroles du Christ: «Un homme est né dans le monde », lui parviennent dans leur signification éternelle, éternelle même pour Dieu. Et, sous l'effet de cette joie, elle oublie toutes les maladies et afflictions du passé.