‘For they shall see God’: Elder Eusebios Vittis (+2009)

“Prior to his [ie. Elder Eusevios] death he was sought after by many souls seeking comfort and consolation. I, though unworthy, was  granted the blessing of not only meeting him but hearing a homily he gave and of speaking with him very briefly in private. The memory of his soft hands and piercing eyes have remained forever in my heart.

Since my feeble words cannot properly convey his holiness, nor his pure and all-consuming love for Christ our God, I have taken the liberaty of copying a translation of one of his poems for our spiritual benefit. It was translated by a fellow-student of mine, Michael Tishel. May God grant him many blessings for his effort in bringing the inspiring writing of a contemporary saint to the English-speaking world!

Before the Crucified One by Elder Evsevios Vittis (+2009)                                                                                                     Translation © by M. Tishel taken from his blog One Pilgrim to Greece…

O soul, you who are weary and saddened by many things that, out of politeness, you would rather not mention. Instead, you hold them within you, not wanting to offend, hurt or scandalize any other soul around you–from near or far. You, o restless soul, who search for peace, run to the Crucified One, the Sweet Jesus; kneel before Him with contrition. Tell Him the following words with courage, slowly, purely, and honestly, and with steadfast faith that you will be heard:

O Lord my Jesus, meek and humble in heart, I wholeheartedly beg and beseech You:

Release me from the desire to be admired by others.
Release me from the desire to be loved by others.
Release me from the desire to be sought out by others.
Release me from the desire to be honored by others.
Release me from the desire to be praised by others.
Release me from the desire to be preferred by others.
Release me from the desire to give advise to others.
Release me from the desire to be commended by others.
Release me from the desire to be cared for by others.

Release me from the fear that they will humiliate me.
Release me from the fear that they will scorn me.
Release me from the fear that they will reject me.
Release me from the fear that they will slander me.
Release me from the fear that they will forget me.
Release me from the fear that they will offend me.
Release me from the fear that they will suspect me.

***
Lord, grant me to desire that others be loved more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be esteemed more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that the good view of others increase, and that my own decrease.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be put to use more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be praised more than me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be remembered, and not me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others be preferred and chosen over me.
Lord, grant me to desire that others make progress in virtue more than me, if of course I could achieve something like that on my own.

O soul, you who art hurt and wounded by that which you have inflicted on yourself, if the Lord hears you–and he will hear you if your prayer is genuine, honest, fervent and comes from the depths of who you are–

–how much peace will reign in your heart!
–how much serenity will take root inside of you!
–how much tranquility will be painted on your face!
–and amongst all of the events of your life, how many blissful moments will you experience, both large and small!

Don’t forget, beloved soul, that most of the offenses that we experience stem from the exaggerated concept that we have of ourselves. They have their beginning when we overestimate what we do and offer, with the hidden intention of increasing our status in the world, however possible.

The greatest thing in the world is to be forgotten by everyone, except by those who we love and who love us (even if we find that those who we love very much do not respond in like manner). Maybe you think, blessed soul, that your love for others is greater than theirs is for you. How can you truthfully measure this? The Holy Spirit through the Apostle says: ”owe no man anything, except to love one another“ (Romans 13:8). In other words, your debt is always unpaid! So how are you so bold as to make demands as if you’d paid it? Love, therefore, without waiting for some sort of response. Love the following truth, and carry it in your heart: that anything, except for our ”debt“, creates within us

restlessness, instead of joy,
agitation, instead of peace,
anxiety, instead of certainty,

Don’t ever forget this!
Let’s allow this attitude, therefore to be implanted within us. Let’s not stop walking this road. Let’s not allow prideful thoughts to trick us, such as the following:

I could be doing something else, much more important than what I am doing,

It is a thought, seduced by deceptive aspirations, desires and unfounded zeal to leave our everyday work, as we quite ridiculously want our virtuousness to blossom more than that of our neighbor’s.

Rather, let us keep busy with what we are doing, because that is what God has given us to do.

Let us occupy ourselves by doing it as best as we can.

This means, in short, to do it
with clarity.
with energy.
with joy.
completely.

This is how the Elder looked the two times I met him, like a little angel.

May we have his blessing!”

September 24, 2011 by matushka constantina

 

Likewise, toward the last years of his life, I had the blessing to speak with Father Eusebios in private and pray together . More about this at a future blog post. What a gentle, holy soul! May we have his blessing!

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