April 5, 2012

Elder Paisios On Approaching Youth Who Have Strayed

- "Elder, how can someone approach young people who have strayed?"

- "With love. If there is true, noble love, immediately young people receive it and are disarmed. Children come to my Cell, from a thousand walnuts come nuts, with various problems. I welcome them, give them hospitality, speak with them, and after a short while we become friends. They open their hearts and receive my love. Some, unfortunate ones, are so deprived. They thirst for love. It immediately appears that they never felt love either from a mother or a father which satisfied them.

In this way if you hurt with them, love them, they forget their problems and even drugs, their sickness leaves them, they do away with mischief and come reverently as pilgrims to the Holy Mountain. Because they are informed in some way about God's love. And I see they have a certain nobility that breaks your heart. They do not accept economic help, even though they are in need, but they take up work to get by and at night they go to school."

Translation by John Sanidopoulos