February 15, 2014

Spiritual Counsels of Saint Anthimos of Chios

The following spiritual counsels were addressed from Saint Anthimos of Chios (+ February 15, 1960) to his spiritual children, the nuns of the Sacred Monastery of Panagia Voithia in Chios, which he founded.

On Silence

Silence! Silence is good, silence is harmless, silence is unrepentant. An elder used to say: "As often as I spoke, I repented, but for silence I never repented." Silence is without scandal. He who holds silence is always peaceful and is blessed. Christ did not bless the verbose nor the angered nor the troublemakers, but blessed the peacemakers, the meek, the patient - these He blessed. A person who has virtue, among the many will be found their patience, their fortitude, their gentleness, their forbearance, their temperance. If you have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, among the many you will show.

On the Awareness of our Weaknesses

Fortunate are those who know their state and are humbled, and again unfortunate are those who do not know their state, but are arrogant. Fortunate is the person who knows their illness, because human nature is subject to the passions, many evil passions, and fortunate is the one who understands this.

The Three Types of People

There are three types of people: carnal, mental and spiritual. The carnal person wants everything of the flesh, seeks rest, loves praise, does not want to be derided, does not accept the cutting off of their will, defends himself. The mental again does not want to do injustice, nor do they want to suffer injustice. The spiritual person thinks everything of the spirit, and if they suffer unjustly they rejoice, and if they are derided they are grateful.

The Salvation of the Soul

I want you to hunger and thirst for your salvation. I want you to thirst for righteousness, to be pleased with sorrows, to rejoice with punishments and sufferings. When did we, my sisters, suffer? Where are the sharp nails that pierced us? Where is the spear? Where is the crown of thorns? When did they flagellate us or spit on us or did anything to us that they did to Christ? For this reason, because we have learned nothing from all these things, we must with all of our strength try to emulate our Teacher, because if we are not like Him, we also will not sit at the right hand of God, as He sat.

On Mercy for the Soul

When you have mercy on the poor, when you help your neighbor, you give to God. But tell me, who is to us our closest neighbor, that has need and asks for mercy? Our soul. Our soul is our neighbor. We must help and be merciful to our soul. We will have mercy on this poor soul with virtues. If you want to have mercy on your soul, you will make virtues, you will be obedient, humble, patient, a lover of truth, a lover of the brethren, silent, you will cut off your will.... With these things you will have mercy on your soul and lend to God.

On the Cultivation of the Virtues

When a person works virtue, when they have eros for God, when they have a divine flame within their heart, when they have the zeal to be liked by God and those with Him, then they endure everything. He who has love in his heart, never lies with their mouth nor works deceitfully. He who has love in his heart never glances with his eyes to see things that does not benefit his soul, and he does not incline his ear to hear things that are not beneficial.

On the Anger that Tyrannizes People

Never give a place to anger. Never allow a smile to be missing from your mouth, with joy for all things never leaving you. The heart of a gladdened face blossoms. May your heart be full of satisfaction, because when satisfaction leaves anger will come quickly. Anger is the perfect deadening of grace.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.