Spiritual Counsels

Mother of God

The purity of the Mother of God

Some thoughts on the Mother of God by Elder Joseph the Hesychast I CANNOT DESCRIBE TO YOU HOW MUCH OUR PANAGIA LOVES CHASTITY AND PURITY! "I cannot describe to you how much our Panagia likes chastity and purity. Since she is the only pure Virgin, she wants and loves everyone to be like that. As soon as we cry out to her she rushes to our help. You don't even finish saying, "All-holy Theotokos, help me!" and at once, like lightning, [...]

St. Paisios

When does God perform miracles?

On this day, we celebrate the memory of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos.  Below is a story about Saint Paisios where he taught the nature of miracles. A group of young men, of no religious background, visited the Elder.  They had heard of Father Paisios and were curious to meet him.  After giving them the typical Mount Athos treat (loukoumi and water), he sat next to them to listen to what they had to say. They told him: - Father, we want you [...]

Confession & repentance

How easily does God forgive!

How easily does God forgive! This will happen by just opening to Him the door of your soul. God is not expecting any reward for what He is giving to people. Even if your sins are millions or billions, for God it counts for zero. What is a small quantity of sand in the ocean worth? All the sins of the world are just a virus in the ocean. There is no sin that wins the mercy of God. So [...]

Sunset at the Monastery

On Paradise and Salvation

Now in the springtime, when nature is wearing its most beautiful apparel, one feels inexpressible joy when this natural beauty is accompanied by a sublime spiritual state. Truly, our holy God has made all things in wisdom (Ps. 103:26)! The soul cannot get enough of beholding the beauty of nature. Oh, if man would only lift his mind above this earthly realm to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the inconceivable beauty of paradise where the finite, earthly mind ceases to [...]

Pay good for evil

Speak well of those who speak evil of you. Pay good for evil. Pray for those who cause you various offenses, wrongs, temptations, persecutions. Whatever you do, on no account condemn anyone; do not even try to judge whether a person is good or bad, but keep your eyes on that one evil person for whom you must give an account before God, yourself. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov  

Prepare yourselves my children

Let us now strive more, my children, and the benefits will be great. No one finds grace without toil. If the farmer does not farm his field, he will not see the results. When our fasting coexists, is strengthened and is encompassed with prayer, with contemplation, with watchfulness, with church attendance, with confession, with Holy Communion, with good works and charity giving, then is fulfilled the beauty of the souls preparation for the reception of Holy Week. Then we will [...]

On Repentance

Let us say something about the thorns. Blessed Mary of Egypt was twelve years old when she fell into the hands of the devil. She lived in sin day and night. But the merciful God enlightened her and she abandoned the world and went into the desert. There she led a hermit’s life for forty years. She was cleansed and became like an angel. God wished to give her rest, so He sent the holy ascetic Zosimas to hear her [...]

Family prayer at home during Lent

Kids are more likely to feel at home at church if their home feels more like a church. While I am not suggesting that we walk slowly and use quiet voices at home, Lent is a great time to build your family icon corner, or come together before your icon corner in prayer. Mom and dad must be taking things seriously if they are lighting a candle before the icons and bowing their heads in prayer. If we are [...]

On Carrying your Cross

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Mk. 8:34), said the Lord to his disciples, calling them unto Him, as we heard today in the Gospels. Beloved brothers and sisters! Bowing down bodily to worship the precious Cross of the Lord today according to the rule of the Holy Church, we bow down also in spirit! We venerate the precious Cross of Christ—our weapon of victory and banner of Christ’s [...]