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March 8, 2022

Venerable Ephraim the God-seer: The Mysteries of the Spiritual Life According to Saint Ephraim of Katounakia

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

On a few occasions I had the great blessing from God to talk [with Papa-Ephraim of Katounakia] about matters of the spiritual life. He had read some of my books and wanted to reveal to me various obscure aspects, of the many, from the lives of the deified saints, so that I could write about them for the benefit of the brethren. I remember with nostalgia a unique day when Papa-Ephraim opened his heart and told me about the mysteries of the spiritual life. He told me about the importance and results of the tears of repentance, that all reasoning is cleansed by tears, that tears have nothing to do with the vision of God, since, when man sees the uncreated Light, tears cease; about the experience he had of the vision of God, when he saw three Lights, Lights which flooded the whole space of his cell and embraced him; about the posture of the body during the vision and so much more.

I recall being speechless hearing about these experiences of the divine Light. And they were absolutely true, that is, they had no trace of imagination and sick emotional states, because it was the result of a long struggle of purification, since Papa-Ephraim lived in obscurity and silence, avoiding ostentation, even communication with many people. He especially had the charisma of great love, a love that did not know limits and boundaries.

Source: From the book Ὁ Ὀρθόδοξος Μοναχισμός. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.