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Σάββατο, 28 Απριλίου 2018

The story of the Elder Ephraim of Arizona (Filofei)



Once there was an ascetic monk (the elder did not say that this story is about him, but monastics often talk about themselves in the third person). And somehow this ascetic, who has many spiritual children, knocked at the door to the Lord. The Lord opened the door for him, and the monk said:

"My Christ, I'm struggling with all my strength, pray, can I ask You one thing?"

"Ask," answered the Lord.

"I have spiritual children, people with whom I am connected. Previously, to get to the Kingdom of Heaven, it was necessary to score ten points. A ten out of ten. It was necessary to work very hard. And the times are now so difficult - well, no one can get around so hard to score ten out of ten ... Can You make sure that those who score eight points - also get into the Kingdom of Heaven?"

"Okay, for your sake, for the sake of your love for Me, let it be so."

The devotee continues to pray and again knocks on the door to the Lord:

"Christ, can I ask you one more favor?"

"Ask," the Lord replied once more.

"You know, Christ is mine, even eight points are very difficult to score. And people are trying. They try to obey, pray. And what if they do not have enough to score eight points? Please, please, so that those who scored six points also get into the Kingdom of Heaven. After all, it will be insulting: a person tried all his life ... Well, here they are so weak now ... Temptations are now very much in the world, and spiritual life at such a low level ... They will score six points - take them too to Yourself!"

"All right," answered the Lord, "for your deeds and love for Me, so be it."

After a while, the ascetic knocked for the third time: "

"Lord, if they only scored a four? Please, Christ, I myself will fast for them, I will make vigils and fight to the point of blood! Please let them also see the Kingdom of Heaven!

"It will be so," said the Lord.

The monk looked back at the people, looked at all his spiritual children, thought and again timidly approached the door. But when he again intended to knock on it the Lord opened it Himself and said to the ascetic:

"You know, they still have to try and make some effort!"

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