Twenty-four hours with St. Amphilochios (II)

1.Cultivate the Jesus Prayer and a time will come when your heart will leap with joy, just as it does when you are about to see a person who you love very much.

IMG_0026

2.Do not neglect evening prayer. Pray with eagerness like those who are going to a feast. They are awake and feel joy alone. Thus, since you are going to speak with your Bridegroom, do not listen when the Tempter tells you various things in order to hinder you, because you know there is someone who cares for you.

IMG_0027

3.-“Elder, how must we picture Christ?”

-“We must always bring to Christ to mind with love. We could be holding the photograph of someone in our hands, but since we do not know them, we do not love him, we are not moved. Whereas, when we pick up a photograph of our mother, our soul immediately leaps and cries out with love.

IMG_0028

4.A person can be raised up above the earth by two wings, one is simplicity and the other is purity of heart. You must be simple in your actions and pure in your thoughts and feelings. With a pure heart you’ll seek God and with simplicity you’ll find Him and be glad. A pure heart passes through Heavens gate with ease.

IMG_0029

5.Self-denial must be cultivated with discernment, otherwise we reach the point of suicide.

IMG_0030

6.We are on the high seas of life, sometimes there are storms and at other times calm. God’s grace does not leave us. Else, we would have sunk, if he had not held us up. 

IMG_0031

7.The saints always look to the other life. It is the grace of the remembrance of death.

IMG_0033

8.God guards us from temptation. He does not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. He allows everything for our good.

IMG_0034

9.When spirituality increases, even sleep will have been fought off.

IMG_0035

10.Prayer is grace. God gives it when zeal and humility exist.

IMG_0036

11.Fight the Hater of Good, who envies you, bravely suffer whatever befalls you with fortitude, patience and faith.

IMG_0037

12.Do not allow your soul’s enemy to wage war against you. He appears in sheep’s clothing, supposedly wanting your soul’s benefit.

IMG_0038

13.Trust in the Lord always and he will nourish you in time of hunger. … Spiritual bonds become unbreakable when they come across a child-like spirit, innocence and sanctity.

IMG_0039

14.With a good word for your neighbour, supporting him, you buy paradise.

IMG_0040

15.Repentance must occur, not from fear of punishment but because we have sinned before God. Sweeten your thoughts with words of consolation and hope. Warm your words with the warmth of your love towards your Bridegroom and remember His Passion, which he underwent for you, so that you would remain firm, devoted and humble. Give your whole self completely over to the protecting veil of the Panagia.

IMG_0041

16.Love giving hospitality, my child, for it opens the gates of Paradise. In this you also offer hospitality to angels. “Entertain strangers so that you won’t be a stranger to God.”

IMG_0042

17.The saints submitted to whatever God sent them, with childlike simplicity, “That’s the way You want it. Let Your will be done.”

IMG_0043

18.Hospitality… the greatest of virtues. It draws the grace of the Holy Spirit towards us. In every stranger’s face, my child, I see Christ himself.

IMG_0045

Chapel of Unknown martyrs by St. Amphilochios

19.Sorrow is pleasing to God, in as much as it doesn’t take away our courage to fight.

IMG_0046

20.It is necessary and beneficial for a general self-examination to take place from time to time, remembering all former sins. … Our deeds, dear sister, will not save us; God’s infinite mercy will.

IMG_0047

21.Leave all your concerns to the hands of God. Ask for whatever you want, like a child asking from its father. … Prayer is a gift from God. Always ask with hope.

 

patmos5

The nunnery of  Evangelismos “The Annunciation to the Mother of the Beloved One” was built in 1613 from a Cretan monk of the Monastery, named Nikiforos. It is southwest of Chora. It consists of the temple of the Evangelistria (Our Lady of the Annunciation) of the side chapel of St. Luke and from a three-floored fortified tower with the side chapel of St. Antonio. The foundation of the monastery is dated from 1936, from the monk Amphilochios Makris, a great spiritual figure. He worked hard for the foundation and the development of the nunnery. The icons in the church date back to the 15th, 16th and 17th century. The sisterhood is home to over 40 nuns who apart from praying, occupy themselves with social welfare, gardening, beekeeping and Byzantine embroidery called the”spitha” (spark). The same stitch was used to make embroidery for aristocratic Byzantine families from the time of Hosios Cristodoulos.

Spiritual Counsels and Sayings Translated by Marina Robb.

All material is copywrited to Evangelismos Monastery, Patmos.

Source: CyberDesert

Advertisements

Twenty-four hours with St. Amphilochios (I)

patmos9

At the nunnery of  Evangelismos “The Annunciation to the Mother of the Beloved One” in Patmos

IMG_0048

 

1.When you cultivate prayer the Tempter’s blusterings will not trouble you. Prayer diminishes his strength, he cannot do anything to us. (February 1965) .. The spiritual life has great pleasures. You fly, you leave the world , you don’t consider anything. You become children and God dwells in your heart. 

IMG_0002

St. Amhilochios Makris

2. The end of my life draws near I ask you to live a holy life, to walk along holy paths, so that you may help both our Church and Greece. … Your hearts are young and want to love. You must have our Christ alone in your heart. Your Bridegroom wants you to love only Him. 1/1/1968

IMG_0003

3.Remaining faithful to Monasticism is considered to be a martyrdom. … We must have our gaze fixed on heaven. Then nothing will shake us. …Take communion regularly, pray warmly, be patient and you will see a strong hand holding you.

IMG_0004

4.Christ often comes and knocks at your door and you invite him to sit in the living-room of your soul. Then, absorbed in your own business you forget the Great Visitor. He waits for you to appear and when you are too long in returning, he gets up and leaves. At other times, you are so busy that you answer him from the window. You don’t even have time to open the door.

IMG_0005

5.You are royalty, destined for the heavenly bridal chamber. …. Christ is near us even if we don’t see Him. Sometimes, from his great love, He gives us a slap too.

IMG_0006

6.We you see a person who is spiritually tired do not burden him any further, because his knees won’t be able to bear it. … A person who suffers from egotism attracts no-one. And if he does attract someone he will soon go away. When one comes across a childlike spirit, innocence and holiness the bond becomes unbreakable.

IMG_0007

7.Love the One, so that even wild beasts will love you. … Do you know there is an eleventh commandment not recorded in the Bible, and it says, ‘Love the trees.’ Those who do not love trees do not love Christ.

IMG_0008

8.True wealth, for me, is to see you in the Kingdom of Heaven. [to his spiritual children]

IMG_0009

9.When the flame of love exists, it consumes whatever evil approaches. … The person who shouts has no strength.

IMG_0010

10.The person who loves spiritually, feels prayerful, that he can be found within God and his brother. He is saddened when his brother is not advancing well and prays for his progress. Whoever has Christian love never changes.

IMG_0011

11.Hold the banner of Christ up high, so that you’ve always got your elder’s telephone number no matter where you are. … The Grace of the All-Holy Spirit makes a person send out rays. However, other people must have a good receiver in order to realise this. 1/1/1968

IMG_0012

12.Christ is the same, yesterday and today, but we have closed our eyes and look into the darkness. It is because we carry on like this that some fall in the mud and others are killed.

IMG_0013

13.I beseech the Lord to sanctify you, so that I may see you in Paradise. This is the dowry which I seek from the Lord for you.

IMG_0014

St Amphilochios’ tomb

14.For God’s grace to come during the Liturgy you must be concentrated and untroubled. 

IMG_0015

15.The more a person loves God, the more he loves other people. He loves them with holiness, respect and refinement, as images of God.

IMG_0016

16.When a person lacks inner warmth, he will be frozen and cold, even in summer.

IMG_0017

17.When your heart does not have Christ, it will contain either money, property or people instead. 

IMG_0018

18.Please put this commandment into practice. Cultivate love towards the Person of Christ to such an extent that, when you pronounce His name, tears fall from your eyes. Your heart must really burn. Then He will become your teacher. He will be your Guide, your Brother, your Father, and your Elder.

IMG_0019

19.Love your Bridegroom Christ with all your heart and then everyone will love you and take care of you.

IMG_0020

20.I desire the rebirth of Monasticism, because in my opinion, monasticism is the evzone [elite military unit] battalion of the Church.

IMG_0021

21.God’s protection diminishes temptation. … Innocence is greater than genius.

22.Because of widespread corruption, people cannot understand that spiritual love exists.

IMG_0023

St. Amphilochios cell

23.Let us look upon everyone as our superiors, however weak they may appear. Let us not be harsh, but always bear in mind that the other person also has the same destination as us. 

IMG_0024

24.We must have Love, even if they do us the greatest harm, we must love them. We will be able to enter Paradise only with love. 

IMG_0025

 

My cave

cave.jpg

— “Elder, I want to flee to the mountains, far away from the world, and find a cave to hide so that neither I tire anybody nor I get worn out”.

— “Try, my dear child, to enter Jesus’ cave, and once inside there, everything will be put right.”

St Amphilochios of Patmos (Makris)

* This recently canonised Saint awaited the little city hermit, ‘called’ him through his spiritual father and eventually ‘adopted’ him during his recent trip to Patmos. Glory to God for all things!!! “I think he would not have called you to visit him if it was not for this blessing” [Abouna].  Yet the Saint’s reassurance was sobering: “You should be glad. Jesus holds an artist’s chisel in His hands. He wants to prepare you a statue for the Heavenly Palace.” May St. Amphilochios teach the little city hermit to submit, like all the saints, to whatever God sends him, with childlike simplicity: “That’s the way You want it. Let Your will be done.”

 

st amphilohios.jpg

“Worldly people tire you, because whatever is stored up inside them comes at you like waves of electricity. We must be people of grace so much so that whoever comes to us may find rest.”

*

-“How do you manage to have such patience and perseverance in everything?”

– “The grace of God helps. I always believe in the power of God, my child, Who alters and adjusts everything for the benefit of our soul.”

*

“When I see a person who is irritated, I don’t listen to what he is saying, but pray for God to pacify him. That’s why I don’t get distressed. When they calm down, when the time is right, I talk to them because they are then in a position to comprehend their foolishness.”

A few Saints Await

The little city hermit has started to take heart! So many prayers for him from all four corners of the world could not possibly go unheard! They have not been answered  in the way that he would have hoped — yet!– but this is a matter of least importance. Still in the dark, then, about a number of serious professional and family matters, the little city hermit is about to embark on a long pilgrimage across Greece and Romania, where a few Saints and spiritual elders await him for an “emergency treatment”:

St John the Forerunner in the Chalkidiki monastery of his spiritual father;

st john the forerunner

St John the Evangelist and St Amphilochios in Patmos!

st john the evangelistapokalipsi spilaio patmos ag

And an elusive Romanian father Ioann, literally hiding in a North Romania hamlet, who has been praying about him for a long time, and a spiritual sister has made all necessary arrangements for them to meet at long last!

outbuilding-at-horezu

Glory to God for all things! Even if no answers are to be disclosed in all these meetings, still so many blessings are under way!

Clay

clay.jpg

Clay robs clay.

Clay insults clay.

Clay slanders clay.

Clay gets rich at the expense of  clay.

Clay rules clay.

Clay punches clay.

Clay imprisons clay.

 

And in general:

Clay considers itself

wiser,

stronger,

richer,

nobler,

more valuable

to other clay.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Monastic Wisdom, Epistle 39

 

Christ’s Naked Word

st cuthbert.jpg


St. Cuthbert, an early Celtic Saint, used to pray standing in the sea. When he stepped out, the sea otters would dry his feet with their fur.

*
“The more I examine myself, the more I see that a life devoted to constructing and organizing, a life which produces positive results and which succeeds, is not my vocation, even though, out of obedience, I could work in this direction and even obtain certain results. What attracts me is a vocation of loss–a life which would give itself freely without any apparent positive result, for the result would be known to God alone; in brief, to lose oneself in order to find oneself.” (Father Lev Gillet, Letter of 9 March 1928, in Contacts, 49, no. 180, 1997, p. 309.)
*

“The one thing that sets the Saints apart from the rest of us is their struggle to remain entirely obedient to Christ. There is no bargaining in their mind, no negotiating Christ’s teaching, no diluting His words to the point where they lose the strength to open for us the path of salvation.

Most of us receive the word of God with caution, and we immediately start turning it on all sides until we reach a compromise that works for us. Most of us fear the word of God. All we truly want is something that looks like His word enough to make us feel good about ourselves, enough to make us have the appearance of Christians, but not to the extent that we could lose control over our lives.

One can go through life either in obedience to Christ or in obedience to one’s own will. The challenges and choices of this world are simple and clear if we obey Christ’s word – we need to love, we need to forgive, we need to help. Ultimately, we need to allow the world to crucify us for His name and become true followers of the Crucified One. These are His words, and this is the way of the Saints.

Things only seem complicated when our brain gets in the way. Things only seen unclear when we begin negotiating Christ’s word, looking for a human version of it which does not lead to the Cross. Unfortunately, we always succeed. Unfortunately, we have the frightening ability to reduce Christ’s teaching to something that excludes the Cross. The danger, though, is that without the Cross there can be no Resurrection either.

The Saints are not like that. The Saints do not build an idol of their earthly lives. They have no vision of a perfect life here, no vision of a perfect self in this world. They remain faithful to Christ and His word, and allow nothing of this world to come between them and their God.

Look at St Cuthbert. Look at his faith, the faith of a young man who spent his nights into the cold waters of the North Sea, so he may control his mind and his body in prayer. Look at his obedience to his true calling – a hermit at heart, he left everything behind to be obedient to Christ. A man alone on his island, but carrying the world and its Creator in his heart.

Through his prayers, may we also be given the faith to obey Christ’s naked word, not our own tamed version of it.” (Fr. Seraphim Aldea, Mull Monastery Blog)