Saint Paisios of Mount Athos: The enemy will not go near a creature of God when they are pure in heart

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The enemy will not go near a creature of God when they are pure at heart
– Elder, how does one become a slave of one’s passions?
 
– In most cases, we let the enemy do harm to ourselves by our inattention or by becoming overwhelmed with pride. Just one careless thought or word might be enough to let the evil one take hold. I know of one strong and family. One day, the man said jokingly to his wife: “Watch out – I might divorce you!” His wife followed suit, and joked back: “It’s you who had better be more careful, as I might divorce you, too!” They were not being serious, but the devil was already standing by and rubbing his hands. He seduced them into having an argument that put them on the brink of divorce. They were so determined to go ahead that they could not think of anything else – not even the future of their children. Luckily, they met a priest who managed to bring them to their senses. “Are you seriously going to end your marriage over such a small thing?” he said.

How may we know that we are living in the Spirit?

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High spirituality enjoys much acclaim in many works of literature, art, music and cinema; even revolutionaries are sometimes honoured as saints. Some elements of spirituality may indeed be present in these works, as writers, musicians and film directors can be very good at portraying some of the Christian virtues, such as sacrificial love, honesty, conscientiousness, or bravery. Yet, as Feofan the Recluse has rightly said, none of this constitutes genuine spirituality; at best, it refers to living from the soul. For even despite its remembrance of the Lord, the soul’s true desire is to settle its worldly, temporal life, as St. Feofan teaches. He writes: “All it knows is grounded entirely in what is given to it by experience; all its workings are directed towards meeting the needs of a temporal life, and its sensations derive from, and are based upon its visible states and situations. Anything above this that is none of its concern”.
 
Life in the spirit is grounded in a different foundation. Saint Feofan sees the spirit as a power that emanates from God, knows God, searches for God, and finds comfort only in God. Convinced of its Divine origin by some profound intuition, it is conscious of its complete dependence on Him and feels an obligation to please Him in every possible way, to live through Him and in Him. No-one can attain the level of human dignity in whom there is no movement or action of the spirit».
 
In other words, to live in the spirit means to be unreservedly connected with God, to seek God and to desire to please Him. This means that a spiritual person will often act against the established customs and conventions, “defeating the natural way of things”. For example, while having a family will be a natural life choice for most people; many who live in the spirit will choose not to establish a family; they will not do so for their own pleasure or comforts of the flesh, but in order dedicate their lives to serving God and people.

Back to our English Liturgies!!!

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Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is risen!! 

I am in the pleasant position to announce you that according to a recent announcement from the Holy Archbishopric, by coming Sunday the faithfull will eventually be able to enter the churches and participate at the liturgies with the only restriction of keeping  empty seats around each person thus keeping the safe distance between each other.  As a result, the restriction with the limited number 10 of people entering the temple, will be abolished.  

Consequently, by God's providence, May the 24th at 8.40am we will be having our first English liturgy at Agia Sophia underground church! 

For self evident reasons, there will be no coffee-time after the dismissal. 

Hope to see you all again! 

Fr, Ioannis

 

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Mathew 28:19