Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elder Paisios

Translated from the Russian translation of Elder Paisios, Vol. 3 Spiritual Warfare, p. 159.

-Geronda, Abba Issac says that in prayer it is needed to feel oneself like a child.
-Yes, it is needed to feel oneself a child, but a disobedient child. You need to realize that you have grieved your Father, and weep for this. Then you will sense divine affection. Do not speak thus: “I am a child, and therefore God must love me and forgive me, so I can do as I please!”*

* “... so I can do as I please” in the Russian translation is tak hto [ mogu vykidyvat' razny fokusy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

St. Silouan the Athonite

My own translation from the Russian of St. Silouan the Athonite.  Selected from the chapter "On Longing for God" 
Lord, grant me to love You alone.

You created me, You enlightened me with Holy Baptism, You forgive my sins and give me to partake (commune) of Your Most Holy Body and Blood; give me the strength to always abide in You. Lord, give us Adam's repentance and Your holy humility.
My soul longs while on earth and desires the heavenly. The Lord came to earth to raise us to where He abides, with His Most Pure Mother, who listened to Him on earth for our salvation, and [all] disciples and followers of the Lord.
The Lord calls us there, in spite of our sin.
There we shall behold the holy Apostles, who are in glory for preaching the Gospel; there we shall behold the holy prophets and witnesses – teachers of the Church; there we shall behold the venerable ones who in the active struggle (podvizat's[, the root of which is podvig) of fasting humble their soul; there glorified are fools for Christ, for they overcame the world.
There all who conquered themselves will be glorified, who prayed for the whole world and carried on themselves the sorrows of all the world, for they had the love of Christ, and love does not bear that even one soul should perish.
There the soul wants to dwell, but nothing impure will enter there, where those who enter do so through great sorrows, and a broken spirit, and with a multitude of tears; only children who have preserved the grace of Holy Baptism enter there without grief, and there, by the Holy Spirit, they know the Lord.
My soul longs always for God and prays day and night, for the name of the Lord is sweet and dearly yearned for by a prayerful soul and warms the soul to love God.
I have lived long on earth and seen and heard many things. I listened to a lot of music, and it delighted my soul; so I thought: if this music is so sweet, then how much more will the soul delight in the heavenly singing, where in the Holy Spirit the Lord is glorified for His sufferings.
The soul lives long on earth and loves the earthly beauty, she loves the sky and sun, she loves the splendid gardens, the sea, the rivers, forest and field, and the soul loves music also; all these earthly things delight the soul. Yet when she knows our Lord Jesus Christ, then she no longer wants to see earthly things.
I have seen earthly kings in glory, and accounted it great, but when the soul knows the Lord, then the soul will count as small all the glory of kings, then the soul ceaselessly longs for the Lord and insatiably, day and night, desires the Unseen One - to see, the Intangible One - to touch.
If your soul knows the Holy Spirit, then He will give you to understand how He teaches the soul to know the Lord, and how in this is sweetness.
O gracious Lord, enlighten Your people to know You, and to know how [greatly] You love us.