April 6, 2011

Athonite Counsels On Faith

Τhe righteous martyr Iakovos, who had done his ascetic labours in Docheiariou and the Iviron skete, was blessed with the charism of prophecy and other divine gifts. He preached repentance and the Gospel to the enslaved Chris­tians during the Turkish occupation. He started in Thessaloniki and reached Nafpaktos. After he was cap­tured he appeared before King Salim where he confessed Christ as the true God. There he was condemned and hanged with his two students, Deacon Iakovos and Monk Dionysios.


A rambunctious young man told an elderly monk, "I don't believe there is a God!"

"Come near me," the monk said. "Don't you know that the hymn you hear being sung this moment is speaking about God? Don't you see my little kitten's fur, how it is? Not even Queen Frederika owned a coat like this."

The young man was moved by the elder's words. The hardness of his unbelief vanished.


The great neptic and reclusive hesychast Callinikos of Katounakia, at the time of his repose, after having spent a lifetime in ascetic labours and sweat, said: "I thank you God, for even if I have done nothing else in my life, I am dying as an Orthodox."


An ascetic said this:

"Many university students come and visit this place. At one time ten of them came asking me to work a miracle. They were very persistent. I was thinking how I could put some sense into these young people's heads. So I told them,

'Fine, stand in line so that I can cut your heads off. Then I will work the miracle: I will put them back on you again. But keep a distance between you, because there is a danger of mixing your heads and bodies up. Are you ready? Are you anxious to see the wonder?'

They reacted immediately. 'No, no! Don't use us, Father' they all said at once."


On the subject of radioactive materials an elderly monk said,

"Now we also know about radioactivity. What can I say? If the poison were contained only in one thing, we could say don't touch it. Now it is everywhere. There is nothing we can do about it. We on the Holy Mountain first bless everything with the sign of the cross and then we eat it. What can we be afraid of? Is there not somewhere that Christ says that the faithful even if they eat something deadly will not be harmed? Do not worry. People have lost the meaning of life in this world. They ought to find it. Unbelief is harmful. That is where all the trouble starts."


An elder said: "Many saints would have liked to be living and struggling in our times."

From An Athonite Gerontikon.