Sunday, May 20, 2018

Μη δειλιάζετε, μη χάνετε το θάρρος σας, μην αφήνετε το τιμόνι του σκάφους ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεϊτης )

Μη δειλιάζετε, μη χάνετε το θάρρος σας, μην αφήνετε το τιμόνι του σκάφους, διότι χάνονται τότε και αι ελάχισται ελπίδες, αλλά με στιβαράς χείρας κρατάτε καλά την προκειμένην ελπίδα εις την αιώνιον ζωήν, διότι εις την τρικυμίαν δοκιμάζεται ο καπετάνιος, ο στρατιώτης εις τον πόλεμον και ο μοναχός εις τους πειρασμούς. 
Μη φοβήσθε, διότι έχομεν ακόμη να ανεβούμεν εις πολλάς ανηφόρους οδούς, δια τούτο χρείαν πολλήν έχομεν υπομονής και ανδρείας.
Υπομένετε, παιδιά μου, ό,τι πειρασμούς και αν έχετε, θα παρέλθουν. Σκεφθήτε πόσους και πόσους πειρασμούς υποφέραμεν, όλοι παρήλθον και μας άφησαν ουχί την τυχούσαν ωφέλειαν. Ούτω και όσοι θα μας έλθουν, θα περάσουν και θα μας αφήσουν ανάλογον ωφέλειαν.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεϊτης

Τhe devil, of course, will not remain inactive; he also has his own weapons.( Elder Ephraim of Arizona )

Τhe devil, of course, will not remain inactive; he also has his own weapons.
 Which ones? For instance, he whispers to us: “You can’t do anything. I will throw you down again. Don’t you see the magnitude of this passion, the bulk of that weakness? Bear in mind that I’m not defeated so easily and that I’m not about to retreat. Besides, what have you achieved until now? Nothing! Nor will I ever let you do anything in the future. All your efforts are going to waste. I am invincible. Don’t you see my might?” And at once he displays filthy fantasies with intensely powerful carnal pleasure. He seems armed like a scorpion. And then he makes the struggler think that it is impossible for him to escape and that he should put up his hands and surrender! These and countless other things does the insidious instigator craftily display. So, onward! 

Let us expose the lie of his traps, and let us reveal the rustiness of his weapons. The warrior of the mighty God, trusting in Christ’s invincible power and actually feeling it, begins the serious battle courageously, raising the banner of the awesome cross and armed with the name of Jesus which is dreadful to the demons. He calls upon it constantly and vigorously, and thus keeps the imagination from giving in to the insidious and silly assaults of the devil, while always reflecting on death, judgment, hell, the delight of paradise and eternal glory beside Jesus, the feats of the saints, and so on and all this is like ammunition supplying power to prayer! Then despair, negligence, egotism, and depravity are put to flight, the struggler is filled with zeal, and Satan’s exaggerations collapse and burst like a thin balloon.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona