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Παρασκευή, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2020

Elder Pavlos' Advice for Acquiring Peace for the Soul:


 Elder Pavlos' Advice for Acquiring Peace for the Soul:

ABOVE ALL - RUN FROM JUDGMENT
... Given the relentless focus of monastic life on the practical, even on this holy ground of theological revelation a monk instinctively searches out the practical applications of truth. What do the two ways of knowing God have to do with everyday struggle for Christ?
Is not every rational creature obliged to keep what (he thinks) he knows because of what he sees, in perspective of that which (he knows) he doesn’t see? Regarding personal opinions then, “Always keep a doubt,” said Sinai’s Elder Pavlos. “Above all – run from judgment, even when you see a person sin with your own eyes. Because, while you saw him sin, as Dorotheos of Gaza says, you did not see the struggle he waged before falling. Only God saw that, and you don’t know whether that struggle outweighed the sin itself in His judgment.” Turning to Sinai’s own school of ascetic theology, the Elder cited Saints John Klimakos and Anastasios of Sinai who noted that neither do we see the efforts a person makes to repent for his sin, through which God’s forgiveness may have made him the dwelling of the Holy Spirit …
Anastasios of Sinai is therefore uncompromising on purity of heart as the only conduit of divine knowledge. Indeed, the “practical” pursuit of purity opens doors that no amount of study can budge open. Thus Father Pavlos never missed a chance during speaking tours of American universities to tell the story of the derelict monk who was saved simply because he never judged – the discounted price of humility, without the hard labor of the monastics who hunger and thirst and martyr themselves to the truth of Christ in ways the world will never see, nor should it.
Monasteries do not manufacture humility – careful living does. Attempting to search out the depths of God without purity of heart, Anastasios says, one might as well dive to the depths of the ocean without knowing how to swim. Whereas, in struggle for purity from the passions, every Orthodox becomes theologian, mystic, saint ..
Photos below are by Hadrian Liem:

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