Saturday, June 24, 2017

St. John the Forerunner performs miracles

I heard the following account that took place in 1937 [says monk Lazaros] to my amazement and surprise from monk Chrysanthos:
"As you are aware, Father Lazarus, for many years now I have repeatedly attempted to become a
director and member the monastery’s Council of Elders.

After trying at length, pleading with various fathers, and oftentimes bringing this matter up
with the Abbot without success, I became
extremely distraught and upset.Through the
synergy of the devil, I became despondent and my mind was darkened to such an extent that I decided to put an end to my life. "Can you believe it?" I would ask myself.

"They appoint so many other younger monks to
this position! But they disregard me, even though I have grown old in this monastery working at so many different assignments! I will not tolerate this any longer. I'll go down to the shore, and jump in the ocean then it will be on their conscience."

I pondered on these thoughts for a several days, until I firmly decided to go through with it. However, our merciful Lord, through the intercessions of our holy patron Saint John the Honorable Forerunner, gave me the thought to fast for three days prior to executing my plan.

I thus isolated myself in my room for three days.
I shut my door and window shutters, and, within the darkness of my cell, I prayed continuously for two days and nights without eating or drinking anything, without even lying down on my bed. I prayed standing, then seated, and when I sensed sleep coming on, I would again arise to pray. On the third day, around 10 o'clock in the evening, suddenly a brilliant light appeared that lit up my entire room.

Simultaneously, I heard a loud voice saying to me: "Why aren't you at peace? Why are you distraught
and planning to go down to the shore to drown in t
he sea?" As soon as I saw the light and heard this voice, the sadness and dejection that had been plaguing me altogether disappeared, and I began
crying, wailing, and shedding tears, asking for forgiveness, and confessing that I had sinned and been deceived by the evil one: "Forgive me, Saint John..." He then responded, "Why have you stopped chanting?

Why haven't you approached the chanter's stand this past week, but instead you wander about here and there asking to become a director? Don't I know who should become a director? If I don't want you to become a director, how can you become one? Don't I know who should become a director?" In the meantime, I had fallen to the ground and was weeping ceaselessly,
begging for forgiveness, and promising that henceforth I would be at peace, I would return to the chanter's stand, and never again seek to become a director.

After I said these things,the brilliant light vanished. I no longer felt uneasy, I immediately felt peace, and when the bell rang for the beginning of the service, I went to church and
followed the entire service."

Monk Chrysanthos [notes monk Lazaros] was very guileless, and for twenty-five years he had
chanted in the right choir with much zeal and reverence.

This is why he received divine mercy and
special intervention from the Honorable Forerunner.

from the book
Narrations from Dionysiou Monastery

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Enter into the Church and wash away your sins. ( St. John Chrysostom )

Enter into the Church and wash away your sins.

For here , there is a hospital and not a court of law.

St, John Chrysostom

The devil will use every opportunity to pit the true Orthodox Christians against each other ( Fr. Seraphim Rose )

In the coming years, the devil will use every opportunity to pit the true Orthodox Christians against each other, sometimes with issues great and other times (more commonly) small. We must try with steadfastness to not get caught by the bait.

Fr. Seraphim Rose

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lying: right or wrong ( St. Paisios )

Can we lie to save someone's life? Should we lie if its a good reason?

St. Paisios give this advice:

It is a sin for someone to lie. When he lies for a good cause, i.e. to save someone else, this is half a sin, because the lie is for the benefit of his fellow man and not for himself. However it is also considered a sin; therefore, we should keep it in mind, and not fall into the habit of telling lies for insignificant things.In our day-to-day world we are bombarded with advertisements trying to influence us. Many of the claims are partial lies or half- truths intended to deceive us into thinking something other than what is the full truth. This is also a form of lying that we are commonly caught up in. Do we not often tell half-lies (a bit of embellishment) during our daily activities to make things seem better than they really are? Lies of all kinds will do us harm unless we recognize the error in engaging in them.

  St. Paisios gives some advice to business owners.

There are good and bad merchants, honest and dishonest ones. The honest ones tell the truth, use good materials and their prices are reasonable. The others lie and make illicit profits. At the beginning people ignore the honest merchant and his shop runs the risk to close down. Later on, though, God reveals the fraudulence of he dishonest ones and gives His blessing to the honest merchants.In the end he is saying that we are rewarded by our truthfulness. But in the short term we may be put at an disadvantage materially. This is why there is so much lying in our day-to-day world and why we must struggle not to engage in such activity. Any sin can separate us from God.

  St. Paisios

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The kindness of God ( St. Paisios )

 As the kindness of God renders everything useful for a good purpose, so too must we, His creatures, make good use of everything in order to be benefited and benefit others.

St. Paisios