Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Μη φοβού τίποτε, ει μη τον Θεόν.

Μη φοβού τίποτε, ει μη τον Θεόν. Έχε τον φόβον του Θεού ωσάν λυχνάρι και αυτός θα σου φωτίζη τον δρόμον, πως ακριβώς να περιπατής, διότι χωρίς φόβον Θεού, συνείδησιν καθαράν δεν δυνάμεθα να δημιουργήσωμεν, ούτε εξαγόρευσιν ειλικρινή δυνάμεθα να κάνωμεν, ούτε σοφίαν πνευματικήν ποτέ θα αποκτήσωμεν, διότι αρχή σοφίας και τέλος σοφίας φόβος Κυρίου.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας

Προσοχή πολλή να ενθυμήσαι τας αμαρτίας σου

Η Χάρις του Χριστού μας μαζί σου, παιδί μου, μέσα εις την ψυχήν σου, δια να σε φωτίζη και να σου αυξάνη την αγάπη Του, ώστε να κρατηθής κοντά Του, και να μη σε πάρη το ρεύμα της κοσμικότητος και εκπέσης του Θεού και χαθή η αθάνατος ψυχή σου, της οποίας αντάξιος δεν είναι όλος ο κόσμος.

Η χάρις που σου ήλθε είναι ολίγη, οι άγιοι είχον πολλήν χάριν, δια να πληθυνθή, πρέπει να ταπεινωθής. Εάν υπερηφανευθής, θα φύγη και κατόπιν θα κλαις, προσοχή πολλή να ενθυμήσαι τας αμαρτίας σου και τα πάθη σου, δια να μη φυτρώση η κενοδοξία και φυγαδεύση την ευχήν.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας

What is more beautiful than prayer!

Cry out the name of God; He is ready to help everyone who asks. Do not forget the prayer; man’s entire being is sanctified by the prayer. It is the only thing which those who do not struggle to the point of shedding blood are unable to do. What is more beautiful than prayer! 

Whoever prays is enlightened and comes to know the will of God. And how does he know it? When he prays well, of course. And when does he pray well? When he sends his prayers to God with all the right ingredients. And what are the ingredients that make prayer savory? 

Humility, tears, self-reproach, simplicity, and especially obedience with love. Prayer sheds light, and this light shows the right path which God wills. The prayer should be said without flagging; by praying thus you will remain invulnerable on all sides. 

When you find yourselves in a state of passionate thoughts, resume the prayer eagerly and assiduously, and immediately you will find relief. Hold on to the Jesus prayer steadfastly.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Do you know how much help the departed seek!

Do you know how much help the departed seek! Since there is no repentance after death, and as humans they also departed with stains and blemishes, and since they see that the help of the living greatly assists them to be perfected and find rest, they yearn, seek, and long for someone to commemorate them. They also long for one of their descendants to become a priest or a virtuous Christian who will care for them. 

Let me tell you about a vision of a certain bishop which he himself told me while we were serving together years ego. He told us that there was a priest who had a drinking problem and often got drunk; this was going on for many years. Other than this, though, the priest was virtuous and pious. 

One day he drank wine as usual and got drunk, and then before he was fully sober, he went and served Liturgy. So God allowed an accident to happen: he spilled the holy Body and Blood of the Lord! The poor fellow froze with fear, while also thinking about the heavy penance his bishop would give him!

 Finally, after he confessed, his bishop told him, “Go—I will notify you when to return, and then I’ll give you the penance”. So as the bishop was all alone reflecting and pondering, and as he picked up a pen to write his decision to depose him, he saw an endless multitude of people of every age, kind, and class unwind before him like a movie. The bishop was stunned by this vision but was also overcome with fear. Then all those people together said to him, “Your Eminence, do not punish the priest; do not depose him”. Then, little by little, they disappeared. 

Afterwards, the bishop called the priest to come. The poor priest was terrified, thinking about being deposed. The bishop said to him, “Tell me something, do you commemorate many names when you serve Liturgy?” The priest answered, “In the proskomidi, Your Eminence, I commemorate names for a long time—from kings and emperors down to the last pauper”. The bishop then said to him, “Go, then, and whenever you serve Liturgy, commemorate as many people as you can, and take care not to get drunk anymore. You are pardoned”. Thereafter, the priest—with the help of God—was delivered from drinking.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona