Deliver Us From the Evil One

“Whose voice is that rattling in your brain?”

The following words of St. Silouan are fairly straightforward. God give us grace and good hearts to hear him.

If you think evil of people, it means you have an evil spirit in you whispering evil thoughts about others. And if a man dies without repenting, without having forgiven his brother, his soul will go to the place where lives the evil spirit which possessed his soul. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Never! I will never forgive him!

Two monks used to live at the Lavra of the Kievo Caves, Tito and deacon Evagrios. They were friends and of the same mind and spirit. The love they had for each other was exemplary. All the others in the brotherhood were seeing them as an model to them and hugely admired them.

However, the one who is the enemy of all goodness, the devil, who is used to saw weeds among the wheat and transforms the wheat into weed when men snooze (and do not watch out carefully to preserve their spirituality and are not afraid in case the devil steals their love because they think it is their personal achievement and their own right), transformed this love into loathing. Such was the repugnance that Tito and Evagrios felt for each other that they could not even see eye to eye.

Read more…

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What is Forgiveness Sunday? (included are readings in greek)

We enter today the period of the Great Fast in preparation for Pascha. We are called to repent, to forgive, to pray, to fast from food and passions remembering the exile of Adam from Paradise banished because of uncontrolled desire to eat from the tree. It is the Sunday of Forgiveness. Reconciliation with God and restoration from the exile of sin is given to all who seek it through repentance and confession. We make a beginning in forgiving one another and asking for forgiveness which is the purpose of the special Vespers this afternoon. Our relationship with God is not outside and distinct from our personal relationships.

God is love. He makes the rain to fall and the sun to shine on both the good and the evil so that all have a chance to apprehend His love and repent. If we show God-like love in forgiving one another we shall also be forgiven. Full of gratitude to God for this promise and experience of forgiveness of our own sins we extend this forgiveness to all who trespass against us. In forgiving one another we release ourselves from the heavy chains of pride which imprison our souls. If we do not forgive one another we can have no communion with the God of forgiveness. We remain in the self exile of pride and outside of salvation. But today we are called to freedom through the cross of struggle against sin. Sorrowing for our sins we rejoice that these holy days lie before us in which we can draw closer to the great love and mercy of God. In our ascetical strivings we are warned not to let our right hand know what our left hand is doing. We are not to count, nor advertise our fasting which is a tool and not an end in itself. The Great Fast is not essentially about food but about returning to God. There is no evil in food nor in the body which needs it to live but our return to God is not possible when the soul is subject to the body and to the uncontrolled desires and appetites of fallen man. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Ephraim the Syrian On Repentance

Grant forgiveness, O Lord, send also strength. Convert me, that I might live in sanctity, according to Thy holy will. Sanctify my heart that has become a den and dwelling-place of demons.

I am unworthy to ask forgiveness for myself, O Lord, for many times have I promised to repent and proved myself a liar by not fulfilling my promise. Thou hast picked me up many times already, but every time I freely chose to fall again.

Therefore I condemn myself and admit that I deserve all manner of punishment and torture. How many times hast Thou enlightened my darkened mind; yet every time I return again to base thoughts! My whole body trembles when I contemplate this; yet every time sinful sensuality reconquers me. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Should he send his wife away for reasons of adultery?

sad girl

Words of the recently reposed Elder Joseph of the Vatopedion Monastery:

«….Now then, today I am forced to speak about this matter also; it is a somewhat daring endeavour, but necessity has caused me to bring up the subject, when every day I hear men say «my wife is like this….my wife is like that….all women are devils…».

So, I ask: «Excuse me dear fellow, but this woman you are referring to – weren’t you the one that married her?»

«Yes….»

«Well then, when you married her, didn’t you find every love, tenderness and happiness in her person?»

«Yes…» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The best way to earn forgiveness

forgiveness

How often does someone do something to you that gets you all riled up? As human beings without control over our passions it doesn’t take much for us to feel slighted, to feel like someone has done us wrong. And often times when we feel this way we hang on to it. “I can’t believe that that driver this morning cut me off like that… and then drove five miles per hour UNDER the speed limit!” “I’m so mad at Brian! I can’t believe that he had the nerve to question my work competance!” and so forth and so on. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »