September 6, 2011

Elder Paisios: On Canons and Penances

By Elder Paisios the Athonite

The Pedalion [Rudder or Book of Canons] is called the Rudder, because it guides man towards salvation - sometimes in one way and other times in another way; as a captain of the ship turns the rudder to the left or to the right, in order to bring the ship to shore. If he were to navigate the ship in a straight line, without turning when needed, he would bring it upon rocks, sink it and everyone on board would drown. If the Spiritual Father uses Canons of the Church as if they were loose military cannons - and not with discernment, in accordance with each person's needs and the repentance demonstrated - then instead of healing souls, he'll be committing a crime.