Saturday, June 6, 2015

Να σκέπτεσαι, παιδί μου, το άδηλον του θανάτου

Να σκέπτεσαι, παιδί μου, το άδηλον του θανάτου, ποία δαιμόνια, ποία τελώνια φοβερά θα διέλθη η ταπεινή ψυχή μας! Τι φοβερόν κριτήριον την περιμένει! Θα τρέμη από φόβον και τρόμον! Μελέτα την οδυνηράν κόλασιν μετά των δαιμόνων, οίμοι, αιωνία υπάρχει χωρίς τέλος και τέρμα!

Δυστυχώς, παιδί μου, ο κακός διάβολος όλας τας σωτηριώδης μνήμας, μας τας παίρνει, δια να μην ωφεληθώμεν και μας φέρει όλας τας κακάς, δια να μας μολύνη την ψυχήν. Εφ’ όσον γνωρίζομεν τας παγίδας του, ας βιάζωμεν τους εαυτούς μας τόσον εις την αγιωτάτην ευχήν, όσον και εις τας πνευματικάς μελέτας, των τόσον ωφελίμων θεωριών, ώστε η ψυχή μας συνεχώς να ωφελήται και να καθαρεύη.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας

Πατρικαι Νουθεσίαι.

Περί Μνήμης Θανάτου
Κολάσεως και Κρίσεως

Δεν υπάρχει καλύτερος δρόμος από την υπακοήν

Δεν υπάρχει καλύτερος δρόμος από την υπακοήν, διότι χαρίζει εις τον εραστήν της, χαράν, ανάπαυσιν, ανευθυνίαν, συγχώρησιν και πλήθος άλλα καλά, πρωτίστως δε την σκέπην από τας παγίδας του Σατανά, διότι καθοδηγείται ασφαλώς από την πείραν του πνευματικού και ούτω χωρίς πολλά εμπόδια βαδίζει τον δρόμον της πνευματικής ζωής.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας 

Πατρικαι Νουθεσίαι.

Περί Υπακοής, Παρακοής και Εκκοπής Θελήματος.

He who has humility also has obedience, love, patience, and every virtue.

Humility is a wonderful virtue, which makes fragrant the one who has it. He who has humility also has obedience, love, patience, and every virtue. When we get angry, or become enraged, or criticize, or do not obey, it is evident that we have a corresponding amount of pride and egotism. The more we progress in humility, the more the evil offspring of egotism will retreat. 

My children, let us humble ourselves for the Lord Who humbled Himself for us. The Lord showed so much humility, even to the point of crucifixion. So shouldn’t we, who are lowly by nature, bow our head to our brother? Do we expect always to get our own way? If we want Jesus to dwell within our heart, let us love and humble ourselves like Christ. Let us not grieve Him any more with egotistic manifestations. Let us not crucify Him again with expressions and conduct lacking brotherly love. No more bitterness in the holy heart of our most sweet Christ.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Chapter Ten.
On Pride, Self-Reproach, and Humility

Egotism is the most evil of evils

Love one another, and do not be embittered out of egotism. Humility is a sure guide; it does not let the one who possesses it hit the reefs of carelessness and be shipwrecked, but as a luminous guide it leads him faultlessly on sure ground.

 Egotism is the most evil of evils; it causes all our lapses through unsubmissive thoughts. Fear this and strive to get rid of it, for the more it remains within us, the more it will wound us with the proportionate pain. I beg that you not criticize one another, for this is downright egotism. Excuse your brother’s fault; this is evidence of humility and love. 

The brother who acts thus will find much grace from God, but he who judges and scandalizes his neighbor should know that not only will he not find grace, but even if he has something he will lose it, so that he may learn the lesson of humility through suffering. Be particularly afraid of inner criticism, that is, thoughts of criticism, because it does not come to light through the spoken word, in which case it is likely to be corrected by someone who hears it. 

Be careful, I say, about criticism from within, which imperceptibly makes us fatally guilty and deprives us of the life of divine grace and offers as a most bitter drink the death of the soul. I pray that love and freedom from criticism will reign in every expression among you, so that the Holy Spirit may rest in your souls.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Counsels from the Holy Mountain
Chapter Nine.
On Condemnation