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Πέμπτη, 9 Αυγούστου 2018

TO APPROACH GOD ... Talking with Geronta Pavlos of Sinai


A single oil lamp illumines the Byzantine icon of the "Panagiia* of the Life-Giving Spring," the only flicker of light in the most ancient chapel of St. Catherine's Monastery. The quiet glow on the icon invites one to become a privileged guest in the secret world of the saints, there, to exchange illness for health, confusion for light, burdens for freedom... 

But what truths lead beyond the surface of everyday existence to the place where solutions are transfiguring, not temporary – therapeutic, not palliative? 


"Geronta, our Lord says, 'The truth shall set you free.' " 


"The truth of the Gospel," St. Catherine's Elder Pavlos responds. 


"Freedom is a basic element of the Orthodox faith, and a major one, such as love. God gave this freedom. And God Himself doesn't impinge upon it. Therefore if you or I don't want to approach God, He doesn't seize us by force ... He leaves us to do as we wish. This is a major point. On the other hand, in the opposite case of the evil one, the devil, if you give him power, he doesn't depart from inside you, he keeps hold of you. He doesn't respect your freedom at all."


From http://www.mountsinaimonastery.org/q-a/


* Greek for 'All Holy' -  a title of Theotokos, the Virgin Mary

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