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December 7, 2010

A Poem On the Spirit Holy Meekness and Angerlessness

While Elder Athanasios of Grigoriou (+ 1953) was abbot of Grigoriou Monastery on Mount Athos, he took special care in teaching his spiritual children meekness and angerlessness. To do this he even became a poet to give them verses to read on the subject. One monk received from the Elder the following poem:

On Holy Meekness

By Elder Athanasios of Grigoriou

Sweet it is, most sweet of all,
To be meek and gentle.

When a man abuses me,
Why should I insult him?
Will his fury ever cease
If I return his curses?

His anger carries him away,
and I respond in kind.
Till through his harsh ferocity,
I am brought low.

In the hour of passionate rage,
I shall hold my peace.
The madness will cool and pass away
If I let it end with me.

Afterwards, by peace and sweetness
Do I strike the unjust one,
And I am better heard by him
Than if I had struck back in wrath.

From Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos (vol. 1) by Archimandrite Cherubim, p. 160.