July 29, 2015

The Decalogue: An Unknown Text of Saint Paisios

By George Agetis

It was the end of August in 1998. Mount Athos, Karyes, afternoon. My thoughts suddenly told me to go to Katounakia to Saint Hypatios.*

I did a fervent prayer and my thoughts remained pure. Taking my backpack, I left. Stavros, Kastanaras, Antithonas, Chorafina. I walked slowly, in order to arrive in Katounakia in the morning. I went to Saint Paul, New Skete, Saint Anna, Little Saint Anna, Katounakia, Saint Hypatios up high in the morning.

I went beside the cliffs where I sat and went through, contemplating, the reasons for my coming. Abruptly I got up and entered the small cell along the path.

On my second step in something happened and I stopped and turned left, where I saw on the plaster written with charcoal the following text in capital letters, exactly in the order I present it below.

The pursuit of the perfection of the spirit 
is the only act that justifies the human race.

Imprudent traveler who does not know.

Reflect continuously.

The enemy is:

The Ego


Ritual Without Essence



The Program





I wrote it immediately in my ledger and with a piece of wood erased the letters on the plaster, which were like powder from the moisture.

I know that the text is by Elder Paisios.

* Saint Paisios resided as an ascetic in the Cell of Saint Hypatios in the year 1966.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.