March 13, 2012

The Man Who Resisted Temptation and Saw Christ

By Elder Paisios the Athonite

Christ does not require big things from us to help us in our struggle. He expects very little, a tiny bit. A young man was telling me that he went to Patmos to worship, and fell into temptation's trap. A female tourist jumped on him and hugged him while he was walking. He pushed her away saying, "My Christ, I have come for worship... not for 'love'," and he went away. That same night in his hotel room, during prayer, he saw Christ immersed in Uncreated Light. Do you see the reward he received for that one little push? Others strive for years in the ascetic life, and may never be blessed with something like that. And he saw Jesus Christ only because he resisted temptation.

If one is not compassionate, he may sit for hours with his komboschini [prayer rope]; and his prayer will have no result whatsoever. If there is pain in his heart about what he is praying for, even with a single sigh he will have prayed from the heart. Many, who when asked to pray have no time, will sigh for the other's problem; and that in itself is a prayer. I am not saying prayer needn't be done; however, if there is no time, a sigh for the pain of another is a prayer from the heart — it equals hours of prayer.