Archive for July 22nd, 2007

Godly Counsel from a Holy Elder

July 22, 2007

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I am sharing here a few sayings from the Elder Amphilochios of Patmos, someone whose life and teachings I have heard spoken of before by Metropolitian Kallistos of Diocleia (Kallistos Ware). They are worth savoring. The quotes come from the volume Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit. I am especially fond of his attitude to trees.

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My children, I don’t want Paradise without you.

Whoever plants a tree, plants hope, peace, and love and has the blessings of God.

Consider all people to be greater than yourself, though they may have many weaknesses. Don’t act with hardness, but always think that each person has the same destination as we do. Through the grace of God I consider all people to be saintly and greater than myself.

I am like the old tree in whose shade the meek sheep of Christ gather during the hot days of summer, and in whose branches the small birds gather. All ask that the old pine tree might live so that they have their joy. However, slowly, slowly its roots rot and the heavy winter will come, when a strong wind will knock him down and he will become wood for the fire. Now, however, the pine tree makes glad the sheep and birds that gather in the desert.

When man partakes of Holy Communion he receives power and is enlightened, his horizons widen, and he feels joy. Each person experiences something different, analogous to his disposition and the flame of his soul. One person feels joy and rest, another peace, another a spirit of devotion and another an inexpressible sympathy towards all things. Personally I have often felt tired, but after Holy Communion I felt myself completely renewed.

Brother, forget your sins: our Christ has blotted them out from the Book of Life.

In the hour in which we are tempted we must be patient and pray. Temptation is a clever craftsman. He is able to make small things loom large. Temptation disquiets, saddens, and creates external battles. He knows many arts. He brings man to doubt. For this reason we have many shipwrecks. When we are beset by temptations, that’s when the grace of God comes. When one undergoes temptation, he recognizes his weakness, is humbled and attracts the grace of God. Don’t let the winds of temptation affact you. They can’t do you any harm.

When someone opens your heart, I’d like him to find nothing there but Christ.

I ask you to put this order into practice: as much as you can, try to cultivate your love toward Christ’s own person. You must reach the point that whenever you mention His name, tears run from your eyes. Your hearts must be truly ablaze. Then He will be your Teacher, your Guide, your Brother, your Father, your Elder….

Pay no attention to things earthly and passing. Be concerned about the union of your soul with God.

A Thank You

July 22, 2007

I noted with gratitude that Glory to God for All Things passed the milestone of 250,000 views today, all of these since beginning late last October. I am grateful for those who visit this site and pray that it is of some use to you in your day. Someone asked me today if I ever felt that the blog was like a parish. Yes and no. The cyberworld has its own sense of reality. I do have a great sense of community with many who read regularly and occasionally post notes. More than that, I feel a sense of responsibility for what I write – the same as I do for what I preach in a sermon. I know that I shall have to give an accounting for every idle world (including those on a blog).

I note that in the same time period, there have been over 3500 comments, most of which have adhered wonderfully to my admonition to be kind to one another.

The good folks at WordPress have, through their akismet program, blocked over 6,500 pieces of spam in the same period, and with the exception of about 2 days have kept this site virtually free of spam. If you could see the shameful things that constitute spam, you would be deeply grateful for this successful bit of software. I certainly am.

Again, I offer thanks to my readers and pray God’s mercy be with us all.