By Elder Ephraim of Vatopaidi
(From a homily delivered in the Church of the Holy Apostles
in London, England on June 4, 2006)
I want to say that the saints who are sanctified today have great glory, great boldness towards God and help us very much. The following occurred a little prior to three months ago. A driver came from the area of Thermi near Thessaloniki. A monk stopped him and said, "My lad, can you take me until Thessaloniki?" "Of course, come." The driver was alone. He sat next to the driver and said: "Kosta, (without knowing him) you have malignant cancer in your lungs. You should go to the hospital and you’ll catch it." Immediately the monk disappeared. He was amazed. He made a few phone calls and related what happened. They brought him a few photographs. They asked him if he recognized which was the monk. He recognized Elder Paisios. He of course went to the hospital. The doctors tested him and found malignant cancer in the lungs, though he himself felt no pain. See how these men who pleased God appear after their death to confirm the truth of the gospel.
A woman from the Island of Cyprus went to Thessaloniki, Greece to reverence the grave of the Elder Paisios. As she knelt at the grave she slipped and fell forward and put her arm out to support herself. When she went back to the hotel, she noticed that there was some dirt stuck to her elbow from her fall at the grave of the Elder Paisios. She was very happy to see this for she thought it was a blessing in surprise to have this dirt from the grave of the Elder Paisios. She gathered it together and she placed it in a container that she brought with her. Then she went to bed. When she woke up in the morning she saw that a rose had sprouted from the dirt she had placed in the container. The question that arose in her mind was who planted the rose and who watered it and how could it sprout so fast?
God allows these things to happen during this age of disbelief and estrangement from God so that we can find our way back to His loving Grace. It is for this reason that I urge you to take the issue of the salvation of your souls seriously. Life is very fleeting. It is like a dream. All of us in good time will be called home to eternal life. We live in this world only as guests. Life here is like going on a trip for ten or fifteen days and when the trip is over we return to our homes. This is the way our lives are. Every person will leave from this life for eternity in the good time that God has prepared for each and every one of us. All followers of Jesus Christ are very blessed when they think of their lives here in the world in these terms.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.