March 23, 2011

Do Figures Like Elders Paisios and Porphyrios Exist Today?

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

Fortunately, we knew these really enlightened Elders, Fathers Paisios and Porphyrios and other patristic personalities, who showed us what the Church is and how God shows, through the Church, his friends. Many of us felt God's love near them. These elders comforted thousands of people and in many cases brought rest to the most unruly children of God. We must feel unworthy of such a gift.

However, since God and the Church exist, such holy figures always exist. As I said before, the saints are the offspring of the Church, having passed through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, and Pentecost, and give testimony of the new life which God brought to earth.

Alas if there are no such figures today. It's like thinking that the Church has ceased to exist or is barren and cannot give birth. The truth is that when saints cease to exist, then will occur the Second Coming of Christ.

On Mount Athos today there are many blessed monks who glorify God and are glorified by Him. Mount Athos is still a great light, which, when those who see it do not have adequate vision, they are blinded and they blame the monks who live there. And outside Mount Athos also, in monasteries and communities there are blessed children of God and the Church, which illuminate those who understand this and have need.

The problem is that we do not see the saints, do not feel them, do not smell their presence. This is because we do not have high pursuits, we do not have spiritual senses to recognize them and to feel them. We can apply in this case the words of Christ: "For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened" (Matt. 7:8). Those who truly seek God and His saints, they will certainly encounter them, or rather the living modern saints themselves will go to find them and fill them with the gifts of God. Such is our God. He comes secretly, He likes to reverse all logical possibilities, He shows His love loudly, suddenly and surprisingly to those who hurt and are looking for Him. Soberly intoxicated are those who seek "the good wine", the strong wine.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.