Sunday, June 14, 2015

How precious is the time of this life!

How precious is the time of this life! Every minute has great worth, for within one minute we can think so many things, either good or evil. One godly thought raises us to heaven, and one diabolical thought lowers us to hell. So then, behold how valuable every minute in this present life is. Unfortunately, though, we do not think about this, and hours, days, and years pass with no profit—but is it merely with no profit? How much damage we have all suffered—and I, first—without realizing it! But some day, when our soul is about to depart from our body, we shall realize it. But, alas, it will be too late; there is no room for correction then. We must realize this now when we can still make a start. 

We should take advantage of the precious time of our life. Truly blessed is he who compels himself and makes a start, because some day he will become spiritually rich. It is never too late, for the Lord awaits each one of us to awaken so that He may give us work. He waits until the eleventh hour (cf. Mt. 20:6 ). He tries with every means to awaken us. 

I pray that all of us will awaken, light our lamps, and with a vigilant eye wait patiently for the Lord to come, so that we may enter the resplendent bridal chamber of eternal bliss, the festival of the bright angels, to chant with them the resurrectional canticles, which will elevate us from theoria to theoria and to divine ascents! Then—oh, then!—we shall fully realize what a great work it is to compel ourselves in everything and that our superiors did well to push us and grieve us, for we shall say, “Behold what we see now!” Then our thanks to God will have no limits. Then we shall really render thanks worthily to God!

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Counsels from the Holy Mountain
Chapter Three
On Sin, Repentance, Mourning, and Tears

Μετά την κοίμησή του Παπά Εφραίμ Ξηροποτάμου - Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθέου (Αριζόνα)

Το να πέσωμεν και να τραυματισθώμεν, τούτο έξεστι τοις ανθρώποις

Το να πέσωμεν και να τραυματισθώμεν, τούτο έξεστι τοις ανθρώποις, εφ’ όσον και αν μία ημέρα εστίν η ζωή του ανθρώπου επί της γης, έγκειται η διάνοια αυτού επί τα πονηρά εκ γεννήσεως αυτού, αλλά το να πέσωμεν και να μείνωμεν εν τω πτώματι, τούτο ουχί ανθρώπινον. 

Η μετάνοια αναδημιουργεί τον άνθρωπον, αύτη εδόθη, ίνα θεραπεύη την ψυχήν μετά το βάπτισμα, και εάν αύτη έλειπεν, σπανίως θα εσώζετο άνθρωπος. Δια τούτο η αρετή της μετανοίας δεν έχει τέλος εφ’ όσον υπάρχει πνοή ζωής εν τω ανθρώπω, διότι έξεστι και τοις τελείοις να σφάλλουν. 

Τέκνα μου, οσάκις ίδητε τον λογισμόν να σας ελέγχη δι’ αμαρτίαν τινά, αμέσως πάρετε το φάρμακον, μετανοήσατε, κλαύσατε, εξομολογηθήτε, και ιδού επανέρχεσθε εις την προτέραν και καλυτέραν κατάστασιν.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας