September 4, 2011

Elder Cleopa On the End Times

1. A Sign of the End Times

One day Elder Cleopa met a holy ascetic in the forest and asked him:

"Tell me, Father, when will the end of the world come?"

And the righteous hesychast told him:

"You know when the end of the world will come? When a road will not exist from one neighborhood to another."

That is to say, when love will not exist from one person to another.

2. Do Not Fear the Coming of Antichrist

A few years ago when people were disturbed that the Antichrist is coming, with wars and similar things, Fr. Cleopa would tell them in a loud voice:

"The Father is at the wheel! Take and read verses 10 and 11 of Psalm 32:

'The Lord scatters abroad the counsels of the nations, and He sets aside the reasoning of the peoples; and He rejects the counsels of rulers. The counsel of the Lord abides forever, the thoughts of His heart from generation to generation.'"

He would also encourage them saying:

"Be not disturbed nor afraid, because things will not come to pass as they want. Whatever they want, let them do it. You should not fear. Pray and make the sign of the cross with faith, and the demons shall flee."

3. Learn To Fast

Father Cleopa would say: "Learn to fast, because the time will come when you will eat one potato a week."

4. Spiritual Coldness

A father asked the Elder:

"What will happen, Elder, after your departure to the Lord?"

Elder Cleopa responded:

"There will come stronger cold and hard frost."

Here he of course means spiritual cold, where everyone will be overly involved with earthly things and there will be lack of interest in spiritual things along with a great subservience to the passions.

From The Life and Struggles of Elder Cleopa, Romanian Hesychast and Teacher by Archimandrite Ioanichie Balan. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.