September 12, 2013

A Letter of Elder Joseph the Hesychast to a Seminarian of Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline

To John,
Student of the Holy Cross Theological School,
Brookline of Boston

Mount Athos, on 06/05/1959.

To my beloved John,

I pray you have long health and illumination from God, that your mind may be opened by His good Spirit, just as He sent to His holy disciples.

Well, good son, fear God and do His commandments and all will be accomplished.

I received your letter today and saw what you enclosed, and I rejoiced greatly that you asked for nourishment for your soul. Hasten therefore, my good child, and first of all say the Prayer. Remember the name of God, that God may also remember you in times of temptation.

Whatever you do in your mind and thoughts, say at every moment: "John, be careful for God sees you; He is present, He is next to you. He sees everything and beyond; do not allow yourself to entirely forget Him in anything. You are a worm next to Him, an ant."

For God is a God of many eyes, from which He sees everything. Before your mind moves to form a thought, God knows it. Why, therefore, do you not see it? The vision of God is the knowledge of God.

Therefore, when you don't sin, don't deceive, don't condemn, don't scheme against your neighbor, then you have fear of God. Then you are wise and understand God, and so as not to sadden Him you do not sin. This also is the vision of God, and God, Who sees all things, will cover you from the traps of Satan.

Behold the way in which you should protect yourself, my beloved son, from the traps of Satan. This suffices for the moment. I pray for you.

The humble Fr. Joseph

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.