Saint Paisios of Mount Athos about the scandals in Church

Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church...

Skete of Saint Panteleimon (Koutloumousiou)

The Skete of Saint Panteleimon, not to be confused with the monastery of the same name, some kilometres away, is a skete of the Koutloumousiou monastery in Mount Athos Greece...

About the unique will of God and its four expressions towards us

We should explain the problem of God's will because even if God has one will, this will is expressed towards us in many ways – which is why many people say that God has 'many wills' – 'wills' which can be grouped into four main categories:...

Saint Mark the Ascetic: The Spiritual Law – Photo journal from the Skete of Saint Demetrios

After fulfilling a commandment expect to be tempted: for love of Christ is tested by adversity. So, never belittle the significance of your thoughts...

We have always the leaders which we deserve

Saint Paul says that „Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” because...

Saint Nektarios giving birth to a baby

We shouldn’t think, judge, and act, having faith in our way of seeing things—but on God...

Saint Daniel of Katounakia: The power of blessing

There was a young monk/brother who was puffed up with pride about his abilities. He was...

How to have a peaceful and serene mind

Having a peaceful and serene mind depends entirely on you. It does not depend on temptations or your fellow struggler's behavior. You yourself will be...

The frightening Karoulia

Karoulia is the most isolated area located at the southernmost shore of Mount Athos on a rocky and very steep site and belongs to Megisti Lavra monastery. It is underneath...

Saint Eprhaim of Katounakia: Everyone has a cross to carry

Everyone has a cross to carry. Why? Since the leader of our faith endured the cross, we will also endure it. On one hand, the cross is...

God: The physician is not to be praised only when he leads the patient into gardens and meadows

The physician is not to be praised only when he leads the patient into gardens and meadows, or baths and pools of water, or when he sets a well-furnished table before him. He is also to be praised when...

A person cannot choose the time and the nation in which he is born – but what really matters is something else

A person cannot choose the time in which he is born or lives; it is not up to him, who his parents are, or the nation he will be born into, but what...

The unknown saints are more in number than the known saints in Mount Athos – photo journal with such ones

At the beginning of the 20th century, in the Skete of Saint Anne (Major) a monk wanted to extend a wall in the garden of his cell and for this purpose he started late in the evening to dig into the forest. Suddenly he found the holy relics of a big saint: they were incorrupt, with a marvelous...

Someone dies when everyone is ready – a Photoshop lesson

Because death is such an important moment in our life, our perfect God doesn’t leave unused any possibility of improvement for the one who is about to die and for anyone else who could be affected by that person’s death...

How to behave in communities, corporations

When you dispute a problem with someone, remember that it isn't you and the problem against the other but you and the other against the problem...

The region of Katunakia with the holy relics (skulls) of Saints Ephraim and Daniel of Katunakia and their cells

Not far, and at higher altitude from Karoulia, one finds the Katounakia hesychasterion. The scenery here is...

How can God exist when the universe seem so cruel and unjust?

My argument against the existence of God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?...

It is necessary for us to forget our good actions

Why do you constantly recall what you’ve done, and bring it up to us? Don’t you know that if you praise yourself, God won’t praise you anymore?...

How the saints heal their brothers – Photo journal from fishing

How can we put up with these things unless it is because we have no true love? If we have true love with sympathy and patient labor, we shall not go about scrutinizing our neighbor's shortcomings...

Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew II: Elder Sophronios of Essex will enter into the Official Calendar of the Church, and other gifts

on the 23rd of October, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew II, proclaimed the entry into the Official Calendar of the Church of yet another Athonite saint: Elder Sophronios (Sacharov) from Essex. The announcement was...

The official visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew II, at Vatopedi

As part of his official visit to the Holy Mountain, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew II, has just been to the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi. He was met at the gates...

Elder Joseph the Hesycast, Elder Daniil and Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Hieronymos of Simonopetra are entering in the Church’s Calendar: Procedure

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced the entry in the Official Calendar of the Church of the Saints Daniel of Katounakia, Hieronymos of Simonopetra, Joseph the Hesychast and Ephraim of Katounakia. The announcement made the Athonite monks cry...

Romanian Skete Prodromos

The Romanian Skete Prodromos (Romanian: Schitul românesc Prodromu, Greek: Τιμίου Προδρόμου) is a Romanian cenobitic skete belonging to the Great Lavra Monastery, located in...

The warrior is not someone who fights

The warrior is not someone who fights, For no one has the right to take another life...

Saint Evdokimos: the biggest known unknown saint from Mount Athos – Full Photo Report

Saint Evdokimos is a great known unknown saint from the Monastery of Vatopedi. Father Meletios of Vatopedi, a witness of the happening, remembers:...

Hi, Jesus! I am Yannis!

There was once a simple man named Yannis who loved Jesus greatly. Because of his medical condition, however, he couldn’t do anything in order to find a job. Finally, an Elder took pity on him and brought him to his monastery...

We need to respect the small things because paradise isn’t for the sinless

When there’s respect for small things, there’ll be even greater respect towards the bigger ones. When there’s...

What thoughts we should confess?

What thoughts we should confess? This question appears again and again. Here is a simple way to look at it:...

The vanity and vainglory – our restless enemies

All vices grow feeble when conquered, and when beaten are day by day made weaker...

The Skete of Saint Anne (minor) with the Cell of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Between the Major Skete of Saint Anne and Karoulia, on a steep and rocky mountain side, the Minor Skete of Saint Anne was founded by...

If love doesn’t exist, nothing exists.

When one is not free from sin, let him not blame another. Let him not lay the blame neither on the state nor on the circumstances, but on himself,...

He who has lost sensibility

He who has lost sensibility is a brainless philosopher, a self-condemned commentator, a self-contradictory windbag, a blind man who teaches others to see...

Forgetfulness: the spiritual immunodeficiency virus

Forgetfulness in and of itself has no power, but acquires embodiment in proportion to our negligence. Do not say; 'What can I do?...

Orthodox survival guide – photo journal from a waterfall

The day-by-day spiritual life of an orthodox layman should be settled between him and his priest, in accordance with the Holy Tradition of the Church. This is the norm and the best way to do so. Unfortunately...

What is the “Jesus Prayer”, the “Prayer of the mind” and the “Prayer of the heart”?

The “Jesus Prayer” is the most powerful prayer, which contains the words “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy of me.” This core original, traditional formula varied and varies slightly...

Avoid the negative people but do not judge them

When we focus on good, good grows. When we focus on bad, bad grows. That's why we should...

The Major Skete of St. Anne’s

St. Anne's Skete (or, less commonly, The Major Skete of St. Anne's) is one of four sketes attached to the Great Lavra of Mount Athos. It a Greek idiorrhythmic (hermitage-style) skete consisting of...

The most masterful suicide

Whatever we prefer to God, we make it into a god for ourselves...

How to overcome sin

If God sees that the intellect has entirely submitted to Him and puts its hope in Him alone, He strengthens it, saying:...

You seek liberty and happiness where they aren’t

The whole planet wants the freedom of eternal happiness, but most people seek it where it is not and seek it in an inappropriate way...

How can we distinguish between a medical illness and a demonic activity? – photo journal from the Exaltation of the Holy True Cross

First of all we should mention that our illnesses are a result of Adam's fall. In paradise there were no illnesses. So, demonic energy is more or less involved in various degrees and because of various causes and for various purposes:...

Addiction treatment

Any addiction is a bad habit, an illness of the soul, a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, in the causes of sin, despite the adverse consequences...

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good

After giving the wronged person the good advice, Saint Paul goes on to give him advice of a higher tone, telling him not to be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good...

The Skete of Prophet Elijah

The Skete of Prophet Elijah (Greek: Σκήτη Προφήτη Ηλία, Russian: Ильинский скит) is a cenobitic skete of Pantokratoros monastery in Mount Athos, Greece...

Saint Paisios the Athonite on spiritual warfare

Don't set any store by your thoughts, whether they tell you're terrible, or when they tell you that you're a saint...

Anxiety, fear and cowardice: causes and treatment

If you pursue virtue in a monastery or community, you are not likely to be attacked much by fear. But the man who spends his time in more solitary places should make every effort to avoid being overcome by that offspring of vainglory, that daughter of unbelief: cowardice...

How to keep a gift you have

If a man has some spiritual gift and feels compassion for those who do not have it, he preserves the gift because of his compassion. But a boastful man will lose it through succumbing to temptations of boastfulness...

What is the Uncreated Light and how can we experience it?

We must know that the divine light is not a natural phenomenon, like when we hit our head or other causes which generate electrical signals through the nervous system which our brain (more exactly our visual cortex) interprets as light...

Death: Lack of comprehension

God made us in His image and likeness—that is, just a single created god—a single Human in many persons of two kinds (man and woman), as He is a single God in three persons. God created a giant mind...

How to sacrifice our bodies

Saint Paul says "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." One might ask: ‘How is the body to become a sacrifice?’...

The New Skete, the cell and the tomb of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

New Skete on Mount Athos is one of two sketes attached to St. Paul's Monastery. It is located between St. Paul's Monastery and St. Anne's Skete. The skete was founded in...

How can we finally rest

So he who desires to come to the rest of the Lord and not be defeated by the evil one, lovingly withdraws from people in all things, so as not to...

Don’t let passion outrun reason

We ought to be careful never to do anything rashly or carelessly, or anything at all for which we cannot give a reasonable ground...

We see ourselves only in the eyes of the Other – Photo journal from grapes gathering

Few words, much love. To all. No matter who they are because every one of us is 'sent', every one of us is created with a purpose, every one of us is unique in his own way...

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and our free will

It's not that God overrode Pharaoh's free will; that is, it isn't that Pharaoh was inclined to let the Israelites go but then God stopped him from doing so. It's that...

Why we should rejoice always?

We who are given the fullness of true Christianity are obliged to be working on ourselves, to be watching the signs of the times, and to...

Not even the devil can make you sin

Let us now carefully consider whether God ever allows evil to be forced on his saints, either by himself or by someone else...

The Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou

The Esphigmenou Monastery (Greek: Εσφιγμένου) is located on the northeastern coast of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece close to the Monastery of Chilandari. It is ranked eighteenth...

Why we do not kill ourselves?

But someone might say, “Then, if heaven is so great, why don’t you all just go and kill yourselves, and pass over to your God right away, and not bother us anymore?”...

Who made the Holy Belt? – Photo Journal from the feast of the Holy Belt

One may ask: Who wove the Holy Belt of the Virgin Mary? Well, She did, of course. Although the answer may be obvious, let us think a little more deeply about it...

Bible, politics and elections

Once, the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, “Reign over us!” But the olive tree said to them, “Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?”...

What Does ‘To Speak With Great Power’ Mean? – 8 years of jail

There are some people who impress us more and help us more than others do, even if they say almost the same things as the others. This is because...

God transcends everything. How can we approach Him?

Every created nature is far removed from and completely foreign to the divine nature. For if God is nature, other things are not nature; but if every other thing is nature, He is not a nature, just as He...

How to speak as a leader

If someone is not under obedience to you, do not rebuke him to his face for his faults. For that would imply...

The Holy Monastery of Saint Panteleimon (Rossikon)

The St. Panteleimon's Monastery (Greek: Άγιος Παντελεήμων, Agios Panteleimon; Russian: Ρωσικό, Rossikon)) is one of the twenty monasteries located on...

Someone who wanted to do evil, prayed

Someone wanted to do evil, but first prayed as usual; and finding himself...

The role of courage and of the conscience in the war against the passions

There is among the passions an anger of the intellect, and this anger is in accordance with nature. Without anger a person cannot attain purity...

What is mystery?

In the Christian context: by “mystery,” we do not mean merely that which is baffling and mysterious, an enigma or insoluble problem. On the contrary...

How can Saints be so humble?

One of the biggest noblemen from Gaza asked Saint Zosimas, “How can you say that you are nothing? You make miracles, you heal people, you are a saint!” Saint Zosimas told him, “I don't know but, in the way I see myself, I am really nothing.”...

There are two basic ways to cure our soul

There are two basic ways of a cure. The first is for a person to abandon "wealth" of the mind. In speaking of poverty, Saint Niketas Stethatos maintains that poverty is not only the renunciation of material goods, but is also the...

To live is to die

When a man lies, he murders some part of the world / These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives...

The Holy Monastery of Konstamonitou

The Monastery of Konstamonitou (Greek: Κωνσταμονίτου) is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the southeastern side of the peninsula...

When we are angry, the problem is with us, not with the others

There is the case of a man minding his own business, sitting quietly and at peace ; however, when a brother comes up and says an annoying word to him...

Down by Law: Why and how do we apply penances and corrective measures?

Sin is distorted pleasure, so we need pain analogous with the severity of sin in order to re-establish an equilibrium, according to spiritual law. Penance isn't given as revenge—but as...

How much should we donate?

If you want to make a donation, you must know that you will resemble God because He is merciful by excellence. Hence, He will help you and enlighten you. You will receive a...

The Dormition of the Theotokos – why it is called this way? – Photo Journal with Metr. Alexios of Atlanta

The Mother of God died, as all people die by the necessity of their mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world as the result of Adam's fall...

Bible and War: Cain, where’s your brother?

Cain, where's your brother? With this began the history of the human race on earth, namely with a brother's murder. A murder of a brother in your life!...

There are three ways that we can please God

There are three ways that we can please God: 1.) By...

Holy Monastery of Xenofontos

The Holy Monastery of Xenofontos (Greek Ξενοφώντος) is one of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. The monastery is...

Convertitis according to Father Seraphim Rose (about the beginners’ problems)

Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, himself a convert to Orthodoxy, was once asked to compose a "Manual for Orthodox Converts". In his notes for such a manual, he jotted down the following "convert pitfalls", or what he called "obstacles in the Orthodox mission today" - or, shortly, "convertitis". Based on these notes we have:...

What is obedience

You who have decided to strip for the arena of this spiritual confession, you who wish to take on your neck the yoke of Christ...

About the welfare of the children

If you are truly interested in the welfare of your children, why do you not watch as strictly, but once a week, how they attend to their lessons in the study of the Law of God, as you...

How was Elijah lifted up to heaven with the chariot of fire – Photo Journal from the litany of the saint Elijah

Many are interested in solving “hot” topics in their minds. We are interested in how Elijah was lifted up to heaven with the chariot of fire, how is the vision of paradise, the angels, the creation of the world, and other things like this...

666: What the Holy Fathers say about it?

There is a lot of anxiety and distress about the famous 666 in some circles, which most of the time (if not always) distracts us from our main aim in life - the salvation of our eternal soul. As we know from scripture...

The inflammatory aspect of the soul

What we know as the inflammatory faculty of our soul is a non-rational aspect of our soul which is responsible to avoid or attack, that is...

The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou

The Dionysiou Monastery (Greek: Διονυσίου) is one of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. The monastery is...

The real thing comes only through pain

If you want to serve God, prepare your heart not for food, not for drink, not for rest, not for ease, but for suffering, so that you may...

Our Lady Vimatarissa or Ktitorissa

This icon is on the synthronon of the sanctuary of the katholikon and the following tradition is associated with it. In the 10th century...

At the approach of the great festivals you must be especially watchful

At the approach of the great festivals you must be especially watchful over yourself. The enemy endeavors beforehand to...

How Mother of God looked like? – Photo Journal from Her Tomb (Jerusalem)

Even if the rules of iconography insist that the holy image depicted (the saints) should be with black hair and black eyes, however, from tradition and from visions, we are informed from the saints which saw the Mother of God that...

The almighty Jesus: the tyrant which wasn’t

The almighty Jesus was the only one which had the right, the power and the capacity to be a tyrant. However He didn't choose to be one because...

How to protect yourself from demons

Jesus said “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” If this kind goes out by the prayer and fasting of another person, then...

The Holy Monastery of Xeropotamou

The Monastery of Xeropotamou (Greek: Ξηροποτάμου) is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the southwestern side of the peninsula. It is located on the...

Freedom in Christ

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power — he’s...

We know how Satan works because he works like we do

The devil uses a similar technique with us when we want to attack something. So, we must know how to defend. It depends on us to do it. By searching the inspired Scripture thoroughly, we shall find...

Jesus suffered to keep you from anger

You have a spiritual nature. The soul is the image of the Creator. Honor the image of God by being in agreement with all humanity. Remember death, and do not be angry, so...

Healthy food: healthy life – Photo Journal from the Kitchen

Many wonder why and how monks can live a longer and healthier life, compared with the people of the world outside of Mount Athos. The causes of this phenomenon were studied by various medical teams from universities around the globe – however,...

Do not envy if the wicked are joyful

Perhaps you are saying, “Why are the wicked joyful? Why do they live in luxury? Why do they not toil with me?” It is because those who...

Transfiguration of Jesus: The feast of real knowledge

We struggle to learn various things and slowly try to understand their meanings in order to gain knowledge. However real knowledge is something else...

The Holy Monastery of Stavronikita

The Monastery of Stavronikita (Greek: Σταυρονικήτα) is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on...

Room for one more

We should have always room for one more. Perhaps this should be obvious but...

How can someone which made miracles end in hell?

There may be some who, in the beginning, believed rightly and assiduously labored at virtue. They may have even...

Love is everywhere

I also maintain that those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love. Nay, what is so...

Who killed Jesus? – Photo Journal from the Cell of St. Prokopius

Who killed Jesus? Many would say "the Jews" – however, if we look closely at the Gospels we will see that the answer isn't correct and besides that...

Treat lay life as a calling from God

We often conceive of worldly life as merely a kind of default existence that anyone who is not specially called to monasticism or ordination simply ends up leading. We assume that...

Be gentlest with the most abrasive people

If you love the good disciples, no one owes you any thanks on that account. But instead, try to...

The Holy Monastery of Simonopetra

Simonopetra Monastery or Simonos Petra (Greek: Σιμωνόπετρα or Σίμωνος Πέτρα) is one of the many monasteries that occupy the peninsula of Mount Athos and it is dedicated to...

Many martyrdoms are made every day without shedding blood

Birds are fooled, and the animals of the forest, by the very charms that bring their destruction. Caves as well as food deceive them. They...

Blessed is the man who knows his own weakness

Blessed is the man who knows his own weakness, because this knowledge becomes to him the...

If dying brings a saint to eternal bliss, how can murdering a good person be a crime?

A disciple once asked an elder: Well then, if a good man does not only suffer no evil by being killed, but actually gains a reward from his suffering, how can we...

My son, please don’t waste me…

Many times we yell at our children "do this" or "don't do that" - but unfortunately the end results are not what we expected. We think that they are...

Crisis in Church: How to solve – Photo Journal from the feast of Vatopedi Saints (2019)

Orthodoxy is a divine-human co-operation in which the Lord Himself will settle any crisis within His Body - the Church - and the most common way is the following one:...

How the devil convinces us of something

The devil says, "Your spiritual father is a sinner, so, don't listen to him."...

The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou

The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou (Greek: Κουτλουμούσι) is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the...

What is dispassion: a definition

Dispassion is the total cure of the soul, the experience of the heavenly state of total liberty, power and happiness. The correct way to be. It is the aim of...

Having food and clothing let us be with these things content

Let us now speak in particular about the interior man. A wheel, as you know...

Which is the best position during prayer?

The position in which man was created by God is the standing position. This is our...

Paisios of Mount Athos: his most dire temptation – photo journal with his cell and feast

Perhaps the greatest trial of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos happened when he was still a child. The Saint once said...

We do not simply wish to develop religious feelings

Man is created in the image of God and he must reach His likeness. This is, I could say, the...

Do not fall into despair because of stumbling

Do not fall into despair because of stumbling. I do not mean that you should not feel contrition for them, but that...

The Holy Monastery of the Dochiariou

The Dochiariou Monastery (Greek: Δοχειαρίου) is located on the southwestern coast of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. It is ranked tenth in the hierarchical order of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula. As is case of...

Don’t worship idols in your heart

Narrow is the way of life, and broad the way of torment; prayer is able to bring a man to the house of the Kingdom. This is the perfect work:...

What demons know about us and how?

The demons cannot know our thoughts but they conclude on what we think. They have a lot of...

How to see the others’ defects through spiritual understanding

It is worth noticing that, after acquiring spiritual understanding, the defects and faults of one’s neighbor begin to seem very slight and insignificant, as redeemed by...

What can we learn from mules? – A photo journal with great schema monks and mules

Great Schema Monks on Mount Athos have learnt a great deal from the Holy Fathers and their experiences. Likewise, they have learnt a lot from the humble mules which...

The types of prayer

There are many ways in which we can categorize prayer. A simple one is the following:...

Don’t argue with the devil

We all sin and the effect of any sin is the increase of demonic energy upon us. Devils, like any angel, are spirits - noetic existences - so our minds can communicate with them but...

The Holy Monastery of the Great Lavra

The Monastery of the Great Lavra, (Greek: Μεγίστη Λαύρα, Megísti Lávra) is located on the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. The Great Lavra was founded in...

The question of forgiveness is not a moral issue

The question of forgiveness is not a moral issue. We do not forgive because it is the "correct" thing to do. We forgive because it is...

Now people are hiding from truth

With Christ, the truth is no longer hidden. Now people are hiding from truth. For now...

Not being with God is the real punishment

Now, it’s true that most people who don’t have much sense expect to be content with avoiding hell. But I say it’s a far worse punishment than hell to be...

A humble person never behaves like a teacher

A humble person never behaves like a teacher; he will listen, and, whenever his opinion is requested, he responds...

The secrets of Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi – Photo Journal from his memorial service

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi (+2009) was a very pious monk and we honor his memory each year with much devotion and dedication. His holiness was acquired through his great ascetical feats along with good deeds which...

Honoring the saints means honoring God – Photo Journal with the Holy Belt of Virgin Mary

According to the blameless Christian faith, of the One, Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church, which comes to us as a revelation from God, I confess and hold that I...

The Holy Monastery of Karakalou

Founded in the eleventh century, the monastery received its name after either the Roman emperor Karakala or the monk, Karakalas, who was said to be its founder. Karakalou was first mentioned in...

The tree of knowledge of good and evil

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the power of discernment by multiple vision, and this is the complete...

Religion and church today: The Orthodox difference

By religion today is meant, primarily, a concrete theory which enables us to surpass the dividing wall between us and God and thus to expiate God. Also, we often refer to religion as man's invention...

What thoughts are?

Thoughts are the movements of the mind which can be motivated by: 1. God and His angels or even by His servants, ie the saints. from which...

Be ready for the end of the world – Photo report with a cell in a tree

Let us imitate John the Baptist: leaving luxury and drunkenness, let us go over to the life of restraint. For surely this is the time of...

Logic: The best way to get crazy

Logic is one of the two rational aspects of the soul but is not powerful enough in order to solve the human equation. What is important here is the fact that logic is powerful enough to...

Don’t judge by appearances – the virtue really shines only after death

He showed me many trees that had no leaves; they were withered, and they all looked alike to me. And he said to me, “Do you see these trees?” “I see, sir, that they are all alike, and all withered,” I replied. “These trees that you see,” he answered, “are those who...

The Holy Monastery of Iviron

The Iviron Monastery, (Greek: Ιβήρων) is one of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. The monastery is located on...

About using images during prayer

Some people, especially when they feel very down or hopeless, mentally look during prayer at an image of Our Lord on the cross or some other images. Generally speaking...

Practice what you preach

If anyone gives people rules to live by, and molds the character of others, is he bound to practice what he preaches or not? If he doesn’t practice what he preaches...

About authentic and fake miracles – Photo Journal with the Holy Belt of the Virgin Mary

The Holy Belt of the Virgin Mary, throughout history has performed numerous and countless miracles which have been recorded and published to date by our Monastery. There are several remarkable things about miracles...

Do not fight to expel darkness from the chamber of your soul

Do not fight to expel darkness from the chamber of your soul. Open a tiny aperture for light to enter, and the darkness will disappear. Attack your passion head on, and you’ll see how strongly it...

Guidelines for confession

During confession, especially one's first confession - it is much better to list the sins in front of the priest - that is in front of God - and to seek His forgiveness in order to show your repentance. It is not good to...

The aim of our life and the definition of sin in relationship with the Holy Spirit

In order to define sin, we must firstly clarify which is the aim or purpose of our transitory life. The aim of our life is...

The Holy Monastery of Philotheou – Small Photo Report

The Monastery of Philotheou is one of twenty monasteries on the Athonite peninsula and is located on the eastern side. It is twelfth in...

The aim of the commandments is to teach us how to love

The aim of the Christian is to attain the blessed state of deification. Deification is identical with `likeness', that is, to be like God. However, in order to reach the likeness...

Humility consists in constant prayer combined with tears and suffering

Humility consists in constant prayer combined with tears and suffering. For this ceaseless calling upon God for help prevents us from...

We must fight the invisible war

Just as people do not enter a war in order to enjoy war, but in order to be saved from war, so we too do not enter this world in order to enjoy this world, but...

Depression Treatment – Photo Journal from the ancient tower of Kaletzi (Colciu)

Depression suppresses us from the lack of God's grace in our heart and soul for without God nothing makes sense anymore, we lose our aim and purpose in life and since...

How to pray during services

We should unceasingly pray especially during the services, even if we do something concrete during them because...

How to raise good children?

What saves and makes for good children is the life of the parents in the home. The parents need to...

When going to the Holy Mysteries, go with simplicity of heart

When going to the Holy Mysteries, go with simplicity of heart, in full faith that you will receive the Lord within your heart and soul, and...

Give thanks in all circumstances and do not quench the Spirit

Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not...

The peace isn’t the absence of war

Christ said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. So...

The peace isn’t the absence of war

Christ said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. So...

Which are the types of pleasures?

Some pleasures are true, others false. The only true pleasures are the ones generated by God’s grace. The exclusively intellectual pleasures consist in...

A sign of Christ’s delicacy in an icon: Jesus wept – Photo Journal from the Chapel of Saint Nicholas

The intervention of God in our life is shown by different signs. There are miracles which appear as an obvious surpassing of the natural law which God himself created. However...

Let us not extinguish the spiritual fire

When the soul betrays itself and loses the blessed and longed for fervor, let it carefully investigate the reason for losing this. And let it arm itself with....

Why prefer the regulated community life?

We celebrate the return to Cenobitic (regulated community life) monasticism of our monastery because...

An intelligent, discreet, and pious young woman

An intelligent, discreet, and pious young woman is worth more than all the money in the world. Tell her that you love her more than...

Why we don’t have peace?

The Lord looks at the inner depth of the heart, at what the heart longs for and what it desires. And if He sees that a soul cannot come home...

It is a great good to give oneself over to the Divine will

It is a great good to give oneself over to the Divine will. Then the Lord alone occupies the soul. No thought can enter in, and the soul prays undistracted to God and is full of love for God, even though the body may be...

The main difference between heaven and hell

The main difference between heaven and hell isn't the difference of place. There is also a place difference but the main difference is...

The Unknown Heroes – Photo Journal from the Cell of St. John the Theologian

In the time of war, the real heroes are glorified by God. However, the unknown heroes have a special glory from the Heavenly King because...

Which is the sign of a person which loves wisdom?

The sign of a person that loves wisdom is that he always gives thanks to God. If you have suffered evil,...

Every human is infinitely precious

Orthodox religious thought lays the utmost emphasis on the image of God in the human person. Because...

How to benefit the others when they don’t listen

When a person is unable to profit from spiritual knowledge,...

The mind should be of steel

The mind of the upright man ought not to be like wax, or any other soft material, which always...

The sun of humility

All visible things get their light from the sun, and all that is done according to reason gets its force from humility. Where there is no light, everything...

We know when we will die – Photo Journal from the Easter Vespers

We know when we will die. Unfortunately this knowledge is lost in the labyrinth of our mind, due to...

How to learn how to pray

To learn how to pray, simply pray more often and with more zeal and you will learn it: you do not need anything else. If you...

Smile and be happy, but don’t laugh

Let us consider two sentences: 1. I am very happy when I see you. 2. I laugh a lot when I see you.Are these two sentences equal?...

The things are simple, do not complicate them.

Prayer, patience, obedience, simplicity and...

Devil tries to steal from us one of the biggest gifts

Let us take care because the devil tries to steal from us one of the biggest gifts which we have from God: our present...

Three works are approved in the eyes of the Lord

Three works are approved in the eyes of the Lord; the first, when a man is ill and temptations fall upon him...

Professionals

We must be professionals in everything. A professional doesn't have better equipment...

The Holy Monastery of Zographou – Photo Journal with the footpath till there

The Holy Monastery of Zographou (Greek: Ζωγράφου; Bulgarian: Зограф) is located on the southwestern side of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. The monastery is...

The causes of sorrows and trials

There are many causes which generate trials and sorrows in our life. Besides that, their combinations can be quite complex, so we are in...

If you want to be rich, you must be poor

If you want to be rich, you must be poor. Then you will be rich in everything, if...

Which is the quickest path to resurrection?

I saw two men travelling to the Lord in the same way and at the same time. One of them was old and more advanced in...

It is a spiritual gift from God for a man to perceive his own sins

It is a spiritual gift from God for a man to perceive his own sins. However we should take care of this gift because...

What Does It Really Mean to Be Blessed?

First we must know that we should be just one man united with the one God but, because of Adam's fall, we are many separated between us and separated from the Holy Trinity. This generated a chaotic behavior...

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra: The sinners are in the Church also

The sinners are in the Church also. The sinners too? Of course, the sinners too. God never shuts them out. He keeps them within His body until...

The Cross of Saint Constantine the Great

Saint Constantine the Great witnessed a great sign on the sky - he saw with his own eyes in the heavens and a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message...

Why Saint George is such a huge saint? – Photo journal from his cell at Kolitsou (Colciu)

Saint George is a great saint. He has two monasteries dedicated in his honor on the Holy Mountain (Zographou and Xiropotamou) and a lot of cells. Besides that he is...

Escaping from Pharaoh: Fasting is a means and not an end

Fasting is a means and not an end. It is "a tool for training those who desire self-restraint." Without fasting,...

What means ‘He will reward every man according to his works’?

When Scripture says ‘He will reward every man according to his works’ (Mt 16:27), do not imagine that...

No need to worry

If you believe firmly that God cares for you, then you do not need to worry about the body, nor need you be concerned about discovering ways to conduct your life. If, however,...

Ask for repentance in your prayer

Ask for repentance in your prayer and nothing else, neither for divine...

Christ validated the simplicity of obedience – Photo Journal from the feast of the miracle-working icon of Elaiovritissa

Christ validated the simplicity of obedience and the purity of Saint John the Theologian. Also, He praised...

We think we know a lot, but what we know is very little

We think we know a lot, but what we know is very little. Even all those who have striven all their life to bring progress to mankind...

We are reconciled only through Christ’s cross and resurrection – Photo journal from Paschal Litany

The results of Adam's sin were his separation from God, from other humans (that is, from his wife), from the environment and, ultimately, separation, due to the fight between different parts of his soul – the conflict inside of him.What is obvious...

The experience of honor – Photo Journal from the Litany at Hilandar Monastery

In the following photos you will see candid shots from the litany at the Hilandar monastery where the Abbot Ephraim was the first one...

We must force ourselves to love others and not to be angry at them – Photo Journal from Vespers of Love

Love is essentially the banishment of every kind of contrary thought, for love thinks no evil. So, we must...

Christ was not subject to death – Photo Journal from Easter

Since our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin, He was not subject to death, since death came into the world through sin. He died, therefore,...

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Photo Journal from Great Friday

When Jesus is on the cross, he cries to God, "Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?" (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) Because,...

The real leadership – Photo Journal from the service of Foot Washing

At the last supper, our Lord gave us the model of leadership: while we tend to gain power to assign tasks to others He just...

The path to victory

The path to victory is like this: Struggle as much as you can and God will do as much as He can. You will not succeed...

The one who leaves unity for money is like Judas

Here on earth, we need material wealth for our body but never, ever tie your soul to it. Christ called Judas "devil" because of his love of money. "Devil" is not a species of angels but it is a description of behavior:...

Divine love is the key of prayer

It’s not necessary to particularly focus to say the prayer. You don’t need to put effort into it when you have divine love. Wherever you are,...

Don’t ever trust in the vain glory – Photo Journal from the Palm Sunday

First of all, in the Palm Sunday services, we learn how volatile is vain glory. On Palm Sunday, our Lord was hailed as a king by the same people who, in very few days later, crucified Him...

We should be trying to lead our children to seek to turn on the “spiritual television”

We should be trying to lead our children to seek to turn on the "spiritual television".Mothers must be...

How spiritual life begins

Usually at the beginning, God gives small intimate gifts in order to see that He is real and to show you a very small part from what's possible: like a candy-maker who advertises his products.However...

Trouble remind the wise man of God

Trouble reminds the wise man of God, but...

Judas and Peter

Judas was not forgiven, because...

The heavenly man – Photo Journal from a Great Schema service

The great schema monk becomes a heavenly man, something he really experiences inside him. It is...

The easiest passions in communities

While struggling against all passions, let us who are in communities struggle every hour, especially against these two:...

What is humility?

They asked an elder, “What is humility?” The elder said, “When your brother sins against you,...

I will obey your orders willingly, if you will leave me free to follow my religion

You cannot turn me from my holy Faith by threats, nor with promises of riches and pleasures. I will obey your orders willingly, if you will leave me free to follow my religion. I would rather surrender...

Focus

Some Christians are far too focused on Hell. Some Christians are far too focused on Heaven. Instead, try focusing on...

Being afraid of God

He who has become the servant of the loving Lord will fear his Master alone and nothing else on earth, but he who does not yet fear Him...

Do not expect any reward here

If you do good, you must do it only for God. For this reason, you must pay...

Humility is a divine shelter

Humility is a divine shelter to prevent us from seeing our achievements. Humility is an abyss of self-abasement, inaccessible to any thief. Humility is a strong tower against...

The disposition of obedience: How to become a deacon – Photo Journal from the Feast of the Annunciation

God, through His Angel, said to the Virgin Mary, “You will give birth to a child.”Then she said, “How can it be?” Then...

There is no life without love

The Lord is always waiting for us to unite ourselves with Him in love; but instead, we drift further and further away from Him. We know that...

The Parable of the Sower

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell...

How to become harmless

Holy grace makes a man harmless, guileless, and...

Why we fast and mourn? – Photo journal from Vespers of Forgiveness

Mourning, according to God, is sadness of soul, and the disposition of a sorrowing heart, which ever madly seeks that for which it thirsts; and when it...

What is the role of a spiritual father

A spiritual father, like a signpost, merely indicates the...

Lord is standing at the edge of your existence waiting for you

At the edge of your heart the Lord is standing with a tall candle that burns without smoking or melting. The Lord is standing and waiting at your invitation, to bring the candle into your heart...

We are perfectly different and perfectly equal

Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free. However God...

Self-love brings sorrow

Self-love brings sorrow and is healed by silence. That's why...

The Church is a hospital for sinners

The Church is a hospital for sinners who are fighting to become saints. That's why I think that...

How to determine God to act

When you've done everything you can do, that's when God...

What we need to help the others – photo journal from the Presentation of Christ – part 2: the liturgy (Audio)

Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by...

Educating children is a sacred duty – Photo Journal from the Presentation of Christ – part 1: vigil (Audio)

Having children is a matter of nature; but raising them and educating them in the virtues is a matter of...

Why your image of God isn’t good enough

If your photos aren't good enough then you aren't close enough. This applies as well with regards to...

God’s commandments are beyond human limits

We can see the limits to all human "perfections" but God's commandments are beyond that because...

Perhaps you are the most miserable person imaginable

If you believe firmly that God cares for you, then you do not need to worry about the body, nor need you be concerned about...

The “I love you” of God

Perhaps you see yourself as a religious person. But if your tongue is out of control, you are fooling yourself. Your careless...

Elder Seraphim Rose: How God behaves with those whom He chooses?

God often isolates those whom He chooses, so that we have...

The man of sorrows – Photo journal from the name day of the Abbot Ephraim – part 2: The Liturgy

He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their faces...

The serenity of an abbot – Photo Journal from the name day of the Abbot Ephraim – part 1: the vigil (Audio)

An abbot was always very serene even if he had a big brotherhood to deal with. Once upon a time a disciple asked him: "My elder, how do you succeed in being so calm?"...

The Church is not a human organization

The Church is not a human organization, but a Divine-Human organism. It is not a human corporation, but the Divine-human Body of Christ. The source of the Church is...

One of the most important thing God teaches us

One of the most important things God has taught me is that I don't need to...

Creation is not an event in the past but a relationship in the present

Creation is not an event in the past but a relationship in the present. If God did not...

Be like a king in your heart through grace-given mourning

Be like a king in your heart, seated high in humility, and commanding laughter: Go, and it goes; and sweet weeping: Come, and it comes; and our tyrant and slave...

Don’t worry about anything

Don't worry about anything; instead pray for everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this...

God’s biggest miracle for us – photo journal from the feast of miracle-working icon of Paramythia (Audio)

The miracle working icon of Paramythia ("the one who comforts") took the name not from the big miracle which she made by escaping the monks and the monastery from pirates but from...

From death to life

If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord...

What happens if we want to do something but cannot

If we want to do something but cannot, then before...

The absolute renunciation of our own life: fearlessness of death

Obedience is absolute renunciation of our own life, clearly expressed in our bodily actions. Or, conversely,...

Focus on me and not the storm

In the midst of the storm, Christ tells us, "Focus on me" and not the storm; then...

Elder Seraphim Rose: Orthodoxy is life

Orthodoxy is life. If we don't live Orthodoxy, we simply are...

We need to simplify our life

Blessed are those who've managed to simplify their life and become liberated from the web of this world's development of...

We need to learn from our ancestors – a photo report from a memorial service

We need to learn about our ancestors. We need to learn from our ancestors. We need to respect our ancestors. Otherwise we will be condemned...

Faith and determination can make wonders – a photo journal from the Cell of St. Joseph of Timisoara

Some undertake a particular duty, but for a brother’s peace of mind, at his request they leave it; and some leave their work through laziness; and some do not leave it out of vainglory; and some do not leave it out of zeal. Faith and determination can make wonders. Just...

Elder Arsenie Boca: A prayer

Lord, You who among people come in secret, have mercy on us and put fire to the prison...

The blindness of the intellect

The intellect is made blind by these three passions:...

The advantage of praying during the night

This is the advantage of praying during the night; night is a shield against thoughts, against images and feelings. Try to be...

Why God gave us time?

Do not forget these words: God has given you time to build...

Evil does not exist

The Holy Fathers say that evil in and of itself does not exist. Evil is a distortion of reality. Evil is the desperate attempt of a thought...

How to deal with your talents – Photo journal from Theophany – part 2: Liturgy (Audio)

Be humble about your talents. Be thankful for your gifts. Be giving in your...

St. Paisios: Why we don’t have miracles anymore? – Photo report from Theophany – part 1: The Vigil

Today, increased knowledge and trust in logic has, unfortunately, shaken our faith to its foundations and filled our souls with question marks and doubts. This is why...

About thoughts, discrimination and real knowledge

One man received a thought and accepted it without examination. Another received a thought and...

How and when is manifested the Grace of the Holy Spirit

The grace of the Holy Spirit which is given mystically to every Christian when he is baptized acts and is manifested in proportion to...

Which are the differences between God’s voice and devil’s voice

God's voice fills you with peace, leads you, reassures you, enlightens you, encourages you, comforts you, calms you and convicts you. Satan's voice rushes you, pushes you, frightens you,...

What is wrong with us?

What is wrong with us? We believe that we will correct God with our inventions. We turn night into day...

The categories of men in Church

In the Church there is human-divine cooperation through history for deification. The real, charismatic Church is...

Do not judge. You don’t know from what storm the other comes – an amazing photo journal

Do not judge. You don't know from what storm the other person has come. You don't know...

Why do men learn through pain and suffering, and not through pleasure and happiness?

Why do men learn through pain and suffering, and not through pleasure and happiness? Very simply, because...

Which is the difference between who you are and who you want to be

The difference between who you are and who you want to be is...

A horse alone

A horse when alone often imagines that it is galloping, but when...

Who sees the divine care?

Divine care surrounds all human beings all the time, but it is only seen by those who...

Where does the knowledge of created things come from?

St. Gregory Palamas teaches that knowledge of created things comes from doing virtuous deeds. And when asked what the aim of virtuous deeds is, he writes:...

Faith, hope and love

And now, finally, after all that we have said, there remain these three that bind and secure the union of all, faith, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love, for God Himself is so called. And (as far as I can make out) I see the one as...

Unity heals, separation wounds – Photo Journal from the service of Holy Unction (Audio)

Unity heals, separation wounds. This is true both in the Church and in the family. That's why we must...

Now we suffer from civilization

What have we achieved in this century with our ‘civilization’? We have driven people mad and have polluted the atmosphere and the environment. When...

Who is intelligent?

Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who...

How to reach the perfect peace of love

In order to reach to perfect peace of love you must struggle to...

The one who disobeys the Church doesn’t believe in Christ

The one who disobeys the Church, in fact doesn't believe in Christ because...

Patient endurance kills the despair

Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul; it teaches the soul to...

Humility is obtained by obedience

I once asked one of the most experienced fathers and pressed him to tell me how humility is obtained by obedience. He said:...

The pride of our academy are our saints – Photo Journal from the Feast of Holy Founders. Part 2: The Liturgy (Audio)

The pride of our academy are our saints. This gives us the reason to continue. From St. Philaret of Moscow and St. Theopan the Recluse till...

Prayer: our source of happiness – Photo Journal from the Feast of Holy Founders – Part 1: The Vigil

We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all, because...

What is “the mind of the Church”?

A great deal is being said today about acquiring the mind of the Church. Sometimes, however, we do not know just what the mind of the Church is. We identify it with a blind obedience to some general laws or...

It is important to get up immediately after a fall

We all sin continually. We slip and fall. In reality, we fall into a trap set by the demons. The Holy Fathers and the Saints always tell us, "It is important to get up immediately after a fall and to...

Genesis 1:1 – E=mc^2

"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth". At first glance, one might think that this refers to the blue sky above us and the ground beneath our feet. Moving on to the second verse, however,...

Do not say: nothing has been gained during prayer

Our heart should beat for the One who created it. That's why do not say, after spending a long time in prayer, that nothing has been gained; for you have already gained something...

Why we eat?

Let us show that we eat for the sake of living, and not...

Orthodoxy is the true path – Photo Journal (the footpath to the Pantokrator Monastery) (Audio)

Orthodoxy as the true path to the heavenly Jerusalem does not guarantee that the path will be "ok". It guarantees that...

How to build the most influential Church news portal in Greece

How does one build the most influential Church news portal in Greece? More than anything, you must pray a lot, and you must struggle to be...

No one ever came to God because a Christian scolded them

No one ever came to God because a Christian scolded them but by...

Tragedy? No tragedy.

I saw that there was no tragedy in God. Tragedy is to be found solely in...

Merry Christmas! (Audio)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor...

God always helps, but take care…

God always helps. He always comes in time, but...

Always help someone; you might be the only one

Always help someone; you might be the only one that does. Help today because you don't...

Christ on Earth: between betrayals – Photo Journal from Nativity (2015) (Audio)

We usually say that Judas betrayed Christ. While it is true, this does not depict the entire life of our Lord on earth. In fact, the life of our Lord on earth was between betrayals: He was betrayed shortly after He was born and He was betrayed shortly before His death...

The Eve of the Nativity: The eve of purity – Photo Report from Eve of the Nativity (2015) (Audio)

It was fitting that the Giver of all holiness should enter this world by a pure and holy birth. For He it is that of old formed Adam from the virgin earth,...

God answers in three ways

God answers in three ways: He says "yes" and gives you what you want. He says "no" and...

Elder Seraphim Rose: How to behave from now on

Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special...

The spiritual nature of hymns – A photo journal with Vatopaidi’s choir (Audio)

Sometimes chanting in moderation soothes the temper remarkably. But sometimes, if untimely and immoderate, it lends itself to the lure of pleasure. Let us then appoint definite times for this, and so make good use of it. Correctly used, nothing so arouses the soul, gives it wing, sets it free from the earth...

Words and Silence: the relationship

Words are instruments of this world, but...

“Everything” is “impossibly difficult”

When you have love for things divine, you can fast with pleasure; otherwise...

The person who loves the most is he who humbles himself the most – Photo Journal with Katzio

The person who loves the most is he who humbles himself the most. No one will ever attain the degree of humility of Christ or His Mother,...

A short description of the rational aspects of the soul

St. John of Damascus says that the soul is intelligent and noetic. God gave man "an intelligent and noetic soul for proper breathing". It is a basic...

The prayer of Father Arsenie Boca (fragment)

Lord Jesus Christ, help me so that today, for the whole day, I may cast myself aside, since who knows out of what petty reason I will...

About Marriage: One of the most important blessings in one’s life

A certain wise man, when enumerating which blessings are the most important included a wife and husband who live in harmony (Sir. 25:1). In another place he emphasized this:...

How to become immortal

The man who has found love eats and drinks Christ every day and hour and so is made immortal. 'Whoever eats of this bread', He says, 'which I will give him, will never taste death.' Blessed is he who consumes the bread of love, which is Jesus! He who eats of love eats Christ, the God over all, as...

Why God allows children to stay on the Archbishop’s throne

Many times, God allows children to stay on the archibishop's throne because the grace of theosis is not made known by lessons but through innocence and purity as that of a child. Brothers and sisters, stop thinking...

That “special” moment called heresy

Heresy: That "special" moment when you have greather spiritual insight than the apostles, disciples, apostolic and holy fathers and the entire past and present Church members even though you...

A vote between heaven and earth – Photo journal with Metropolitan Theophan of Moldavia

There are so many political parties that try to deceive us. So many parties that want to exploit us. So many people who press us with their promises and, in the end, they do almost nothing for us. On the other hand,...

The humbleness of a Patriarch – Full Photo Report with the visit of Patriarch of Serbia, Irinej

It is our obligation to do a pilgrimage to Vatopaidi because Saint Savvas learnt here that only through holiness we can build a nation. We, as a nation, are...

We cannot understand our fall

A profound and hidden mystery is the fall of man. It is quite impossible for a person to understand it by his own powers. This is because...

How to reveal the image of God in children

When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving (all these are attributes of God), to be generous, to love their follow men, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them. And then...

The four aspects (powers) of the soul

We can divide the human soul into four aspects, three of which are formulated by Plato and, on the whole, are accepted by the Holy Fathers. We have two irrational aspects...

You must renounce the world. …But take care why.

The man who renounces the world from fear is like burning incense that begins with fragrance but ends in smoke. He who leaves the world through hope of reward is like a...

How can we find happiness – Photo journal from the feast of St. John Chrysostom – part 2: the Liturgy

Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has, and this requires...

“No one can harm John except John” – Photo journal from the feast of St. John Chrysostom – part 1: the Vigil

Don't ruin a good today by thinking too much about a bad yesterday. Let it go. It is water under the bridge. So, let your past make you better not bitter...

A symbol of a nation – a small photo journal (Bricul Mircea)

A nation is an open hand in which burns the flame of the faith throughout history. The scope of war is not to be killed for one's nation. The scope of war is to...

St. Silouan the Athonite: Advice for unbelievers

Pride does not allow the soul to set out on the path of faith. Here is my advice to the unbeliever: let him say,...

Time passes and does not come back…

Force yourselves; say the Jesus prayer; stop idle talk; close your mouths to criticism; place doors and locks...

The demons of vainglory prophesy in dreams

The demons of vainglory prophesy in dreams. Being unscrupulous, they guess the future and foretell it to us. When these visions come true, we are amazed; and we are indeed...

St. Paisios the Athonite: How to find time for everything, including prayer

In order for you to have time for prayer you must not concern yourself with things that other people can do. Let's take an example...

Everyday I say to myself, today I will make a new start

Everyday I say to myself, today I will make a new start. My job is not to judge. My job is not to...

God is NOT an avenger – Photo Journal with Metropolitan Andrew of Cluj

The man who chooses to consider God an avenger, presuming that in this manner he...

People were created to be loved and to love

People were created to be loved and to love. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because...

Which is the aim of our hierarchy and how to attain this

The aim of our hierarchy is to make us as much like God as possible and to unite us to Him. But Scripture teaches us that...

No man can serve two masters

Love of God extinguishes our love for our parents. And so he who says that he has both deceives himself. He should listen to Him who says: No man can serve two masters. I have...

To be merciful means to be “unjust”

In order to render justice to all, you must be very strict with yourself and very merciful to others. Merciful means to be "unjust"...

How to get rid of the demons like a pro

The demons praised one of the most discerning brothers, appearing to him in visible form. But this most wise man said to them: ‘If you...

The whole purpose of the Savior’s commandments

The whole purpose of the Saviour's commandments is to free the nous from dissipation and hatred. God's commandments excel...

How many men did God want to create, anyway? – Big Photo Report from olives harvesting

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them." (Genesis 1:27). At the first glance, it seems that it should read "men" or "humans" because there are two. However...

The stages of our eternal lives

We must consciously realize that we are eternal. There are four stages in our eternal life: The first stage is our embryonic life, which begins from conception until birth. This stage is characterized by the fact that...

Clarifications about Confession

We should not fear confession because confession is the door to heaven. This is because God won't cure us from our existential distortions unless we practically...

St. Paisios the Athonite: Wandering of the mind is a sign of…

If you notice that your mind constantly wanders off to various chores that you have to do, you must realize that...

What is an unforeseen affliction?

If Peter had not failed to catch anything during the night’s fishing (cf. Lk 5:5), he would not have caught anything during the day. And if Paul had not suffered physical blindness (cf. Ac 9:8), he would not have been given spiritual sight. And if Stephen had not been slandered as a blasphemer, he would not have seen the heavens opened and have looked on God (cf. Ac 6:15; 7:56). As work according to God is called virtue, so unexpected affliction is called a...

A thankful spirit is a source of joy

A thankful spirit is a source of joy, whereas an unthankful spirit is a source of sadness. Being grateful for a gift

Humility is a Divine property

Humility is a Divine property and the perfection of the Christian life. It is attained through...

What are the proofs of God’s existence? – Photo journal with Holy Belt’s departure

First of all, for the one who is stuck in his own reasoning, it is impossible with human means to prove to him the existence of God, because God does not impose His existence on anyone. Such a man can be convinced only through our personal example and prayer. However, ...

Jesus’ prayer: Why we use prayer rope? – Small photo journal

It is very important to use the prayer rope when we pray Jesus prayer because it helps our mind concentrate by using our sense of touch, our most sensitive sensory perception. Even if 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain is visual, the tactile stimuli have...

How to qualify for the contest of sanctification

Those who enter the contest of sanctification must renounce all things, despise all things, and shake off all things, that they may lay a firm foundation. A good foundation of three layers and three pillars is...

God’s grace: The cause of leaving

If you see a man who has sinned and you do not pity him, the grace of God will leave you. Whoever curses bad people, and does not pray for them, will never come to know...

Do not worship tools

Fasts and vigils, the study of Scripture, renouncing possessions and everything worldly are not in themselves perfection, as we have said; they are its tools. For perfection is...

In union with Humility

In union with humility it is impossible that there should be any appearance of hatred, or any kind of dispute, or even...

Sin is a blazing fire

Sin is a blazing fire. The less fuel you give it, the faster it dies down; the more you feed it, the more it burns...

Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou): Happiness is to take care of who you love – Photo Journal from Liturgy

If we want, Christian, to have our heart filled with divine love we must first empty them of the love of this world, its frivolous and sinful customs and then...

How to be joyful always

When a foolish person is accused or shouted at he is wounded by it and tries to contradict, or at once makes an apology to his accuser, not out of humility but in order to stop the accusations. But when...

The most necessary work

As of all foods bread is the most essential, so the thought of death is the most necessary of all works. The remembrance of death amongst those in the midst of society gives...

We just need to be constant.

In the very beginning of our renunciation, it is certainly with labor and grief that we practice the virtues. But when we have made progress in them, we no longer feel sorrow, or we feel little sorrow. But as soon as our mortal mind is...

Who should we vote for? – Here is the Church’s answer

The clergy and the monks are often asked "Who should we vote for?" This question even if it shows a very laudable humility, shows also a certain lack of spiritual knowledge. The church...

To sin is human but to remain in sin is devilish

To sin is human but to remain in sin is devilish; To fall is not ruinous to the soul but to stay on the ground is. That's why for us the key to paradise is...

How to behave in order to reach God

Whatever a man loves he inevitably clings to, and in order not to lose it he...

Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Athanasios of Limassol at feast of St. Evdokimos – Photo journal from the Liturgy (part 2)

When a thought is prolonged in us we become enslaved to the attraction. When a thought lingers within a man...

Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Athanasios of Limassol at feast of St. Evdokimos – Photo journal from the Vigil (part 1)

We cannot play with eternity. We aspire to glory and this is natural. However the sin of Adam distorted this by separating us from God and now we seek glory in vain here on Earth. St. Evdokimos...

This is what “salvation” means, in Christianity

For us Orthodox the unique and absolute goal of life in Christ is theosis, our union with God, so that man...

Do not let difficulties overwhelm you

Do not let difficulties, lack of understanding, and so on, overwhelm you, but live each day with...

The emblem of the Byzantine empire

In 340 BC the Byzantines and their allies the Athenians were under siege by the troops of Philip II of Macedon. On a particularly dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but...

Which is (not) the task of Christianity

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us...

How is the soul cured?

How is the soul cured? First we must emphasize the right faith. We Orthodox attach great importance to preserving the faith, just because we know that when faith is distorted, the cure is automatically distorted. We have previously emphasized that theology should be interpreted as medicine...

A photo report with a Romanian confessor after 19 years of torture

The communists took everything from us: they took our physical liberty, they took our wealth, our friends and relatives, our freedom of speech and expression – everything. But they couldn't enter into...

The most burdensome and grievous thing

There is nothing more burdensome and grievous then when our conscience accuses us , and there is nothing dearer than calmness and approval of our conscience. So many psychological illnesses are caused by...

To fast is to force nature

To fast is to force nature. It is to do away with whatever pleases the stomach. Fasting ends lust, roots out bad thoughts, frees one from...

The therapy of the soul: what the healer needs to know

The successful repetition of the experience of confirmation, which in medical and patristic science is cure, is the truth of every science. Just as it is absurd to...

We do NOT descend from the apes

Christ willed freely with His divine and His human will to be obedient to God the Father till death, for free will is absolutely inherent in every rational nature. After all...

We are not (yet) perfect, but…

Evidently we are not yet perfect, but at least we...

Where the courage is proven

Willing obedience is an action which shows more courage and strength of spirit than subjugating great kings and ruling over them. So, who is wise and understanding among you? Let him...

What means „poor in spirit”? – Photo journal of a liturgy in the Chapel of Paramythia

No one can say, “I am poor and hence I have no means of giving alms.”

No one can say, "I am poor and hence I have no means of giving alms." For even if you...

About advice: giving and receiving

It's one thing to give out excellent advice, but quite another to put it into practice personally...

The way to reach God

No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we...

In the desert everything is different than in the world – A photo journal from the carpentry shop

In the desert everything is different than in the world. Vatopaidi Monastery is in the "desert", as the monastic fathers call it -- in other words, a deserted or isolated place. There are no electrical cables, no water pipes, no physical utility conduits connecting it to the "outside" world. The monastery...

St. Paisios’ definition of philotimo

Remember the Blessed Elder's definition of philotimo: "The reverent distillation of...

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”: What sort of a camel is this?

There is a debate going on among scholars whether it really said "camel" or rather "rope" - both words (κάμηλος/kámêlos for camel and κάμιλος/kamilos for rope) are very close to each other and might have been mistranslated. There are some early bible translations in...

Twice a year at Vatopaidi, a miracle happens during the feasts of Holy Cross (Photo Report)

Twice a year at the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, Mount Athos, a miracle happens: the...

How to give courage to yourself

You may find yourself hampered by someone who sows tares of despondency. He tries to prevent you from climbing to such heights of holiness by discouraging you with various thoughts. For instance...

God is above everything, including existence

God does not "suffer" anything. God has no need of anything. He is above everything, including any necessity that might stem from His nature or existence. In fact, God does not "exist". God is above existence; He...

Guarding the heart

Our holy fathers have listened to the Lord who said that from the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury, slander [Mt 15:19] and how these are the things that make a man unclean. [Mt 15:20] Further, they have listened to the part of the gospel where we are ordered to clean the...

Your salvation is a low hanging fruit. How to pick it up – a photo report about apple gathering

God does everything to save you. Your salvation is a low hanging fruit. You just need to pick it up by...

Try to fill your soul with Christ

Try to fill your soul with Christ so as not to have it empty. Your soul is like...

Avoid with all your power negligence

Avoid with all your power negligence! Self-esteem corrupts treasures that have been amassed, while negligence...

Less known things about the nativity of the Mother of God – Full Photo Report

There are some less known things about the nativity of the Monther of God: firstly, she...

Manual tasks bring their own special blessings – a photo report with grapes

Manual tasks bring their own special blessings; in contrast with the more intellectual ones, they make it easier to guard the mind, the nous, and to...

How to overcome the mass-media manipulation and find the truth

The problem is not people being uneducated; the problem is that they are educated just enough to believe what they've been taught and not educated enough to question what they've been taught. That's why we need...

The way that leads to humility

Abba Sisoes used to say that the way that leads to humility is...

You should care for the main thing: death

You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing — preparing yourself for death because...

Act like you believe

Do you believe that God provides for His creatures, and is able to do all things? Let suitable...

The man in the picture is St. Christoper’s (3rd century) successor.

St Christopher was a man of great stature and unusual strength. According to tradition, St Christopher was very handsome, but wishing to avoid temptation for himself and others, he asked the Lord to give him an unattractive face, which was granted to him...

The feast of the Holy Belt, the feast of Chastity and Obedience – Full Photo Report – Part 2: The Litany, Liturgy

There are many miracles which the Holy Belt has performed throughout history. For us, however, the most precious miracle which happens each year is that we are, after 15 (fifteen) hours of...

We know the great secret about the devil

The great secret about the devil is that he cannot do anything. He can only...

Hell: equals with…

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to...

Fr. Seraphim Rose: 21st Century Schizoid Man

s “mutation,” the “new man”? He is the rootless man, discontinuous with a past that Nihilism has destroyed, the raw material of every demagogue’s dream;...

Dangers associated with our stance against the Creation

The mind, the eye of the soul, is enlightened only by God’s grace. Although the things of this creation can cast a light upon the mind, this light is...

How to recognize the stages of spiritual life

A characteristic of those who are still progressing in blessed mourning is temperance and silence of the lips; and of those who have made progress, freedom from...

We need a change in our ontological status

It is not that we did something wrong and now owe a debt we cannot pay, or are punished with death - though such a metaphor can be used and has it’s usefulness. But we need more than...

“It is better to give than to receive” said our Lord. Why? – Photo Report from the Cell of St. Joseph of Partoș (Timișoara)

"It is better to give than to receive" said our Lord, and rightfully so. This is because man is easily enslaved by material pleasures...

Suffering cleanses

Suffering cleanses the soul infected with the filth of sensual pleasure and detaches it completely from material things by showing it the...

The war of thoughts; the stages of sin

At the beginning, the thought is making just a simple appearance. If the mind throws it away then all the war is gone. However, most of the time the mind is...

Saint Joseph of Timișoara: how to make him to help us – Photo Report from Liturgy

Pray to the saint whose name you bear, and he [or she] will help you. Turn to him in times of sorrow and sickness; in difficult circumstances and in moments of joy...

The types of prayer according to apostle

The apostle notes four types of prayer. ‘My advice is that first of all supplication should be offered up for everyone, prayers, pleas, and thanksgiving’ (I Tim. 2:1)…

Technology: How we reached here

God was the reason of true faith and good behavior and of the knowledge of technology among people. While people continually felt...

The Dormition of Theotokos – Full Photo Report – Part 2: The Divine Liturgy

It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she...

The Dormition of Theotokos – Full Photo Report – Part 1: The Vigil

Thus as art can also be the fountain of true light, the inexhaustible treasury of life itself, the most fruitful source of blessing, who has won for us and brought us all good things...

How can Christians wage war

In the [Muslim] Saracen encampment they asked St. Cyril [Enlightener of the Slavs]: “How can Christians wage war and at the same time keep Christ’s commandment to pray to God for their enemies?’ To this, St. Cyril replied:...

What is Hell?

Hell is a state of eternally being separated from God. Your very being is contingent upon God for existence, but you never cease to exist. Therefore, as you attempt to rip yourself from existence and fail for all eternity, it is the most profound suffering. It is...

Deification: our purpose

And so he is truly dispassionate, and is recognized as dispassionate, who has made his flesh incorruptible, who has raised his mind above creatures and has subdued all his senses to it, and who keeps his soul in...

How to become equal to the apostles

Wherefore, if you desire to become equal to the apostles, there is nothing to hinder you. For to have arrived at this virtue only suffices for your...

Never confuse the person with the evil

Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is...

The severing of communion between us should be the last thing we do – Photo Report from Easter (Vespers)

The severing of communion between us should be the last thing we do, not the first. We must resort to this only...

How to understand a cross (Photo Report with Mihai Neșu)

It is difficult to understand the cross of another if we have not experienced it ourselves. Still...

There is one spirit on which you should keep a vigilant eye

There is one spirit on which you should keep a vigilant eye; he is the one who assails...

Regard everyone else as an angel

Don't criticize or judge other people - regard everyone else as an angel, justify their mistakes and weaknesses, and condemn only yourself as the worst sinner. Also, be constantly...

The spectacle of creation (one of the biggest Hortensia plants in the world)

It is significant how deeply attracted men are by the spectacle of an earthly king and how eagerly they seek after it; and how everyone who lives in a city where the king...

Different sources of light

There are a lot of different sources of light in our life and we must find the right one which is from God. Clearly, this source is shown to us by...

Why we are ignorant?

If the Lord has left us ignorant of the ordering of many things in this world, then it means...

The refreshment of simplicity – Photo report from an ordinary day

It is simple to be "complex" according to your own vision about yourself. However, it is quite complex to be simple because usually we have a very big idea about ourselves...

Why diligence and work is important – A Photo Report about Bees

The are many reasons why diligence and work are of benefit to us. For one, work gives us the opportunity to...

How virtues are formed by prayer

Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit and raises man to Heaven. The highest form of prayer is...

To be quiet

To be quiet is the fruit of a royal and noble upbringing. Those who’ve learned how to be quiet have...

Keep the things simple – a Photo Report with Carrots

We are created as an image of God. Hence our fight is to fight against our fight against God. Our effort is not so much to build something but rather to...

We do need competitors

The one who says that the righteous man should not have sorrows is like he is saying that...

What does it mean to take up your cross?

What does it mean to take up your cross? It means the acceptance of every means of healing, bitter though it may be, that is offered. Do great catastrophes fall on you?...

The feast of St. Panteleimon: the feast of mercy (part 2: Liturgy) – Photo Report

Every genuine confession humbles the soul. When it takes the form of thanksgiving, it...

The feast of St. Panteleimon: the feast of mercy (part 1: Vigil) – Photo Report

If at some time you show mercy to someone, mercy will be shown to you. If you show compassion to one who is suffering (and of course, this is not a great deed) you will be numbered among the martyrs...

The differences between saints

Abba Poimen said that Abba John said that the saints are like...

How you can be peaceful and pacify the heart of another

So then, with the Grace of Christ, when you become accustomed to cutting off your own will repeatedly, this...

How to deal with compunction

Both in creation and in compunction there is that which moves itself and that which is moved by something else. When the soul becomes tearful,...

Do not exaggerate things. Christ is the truth. Exaggeration comes from devil.

There is great danger when a person's spiritual reputation is greater than his spiritual level...

Keep yourself balanced

If you are overly happy when you receive good news, then you will be...

The solution for our internal chaos – Photo Report from Liturgy

Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos...

Litany of The Prophet Elijah – litany of zeal and love (Photo Report)

The Prophet Elijah (Ilias) is a beloved saint because of his great love for God, leading him to...

We need patience

The Lord sends his enlightenment only to them whose hearts with all their strength endure and thirst for the truth. That's why...

Why Stillness is necessary

Stillness helps us by making evil inoperative. If it also takes to itself these four virtues in prayer, it is the most direct support in attaining dispassion. The intellect cannot be still unless...

God’s mercy is like an ocean – wrong thing to say

There is more mercy in God than there are sins in us. Confess your sins at once, whatever they may be...

How can we explain the Creation

God is perfect and almighty. This means, among other things, that God isn't forced to create and/or to do any action which He does God is perfectly free. He transcends everything, including the necessity to create...

Pray for any orthodox brother

Do not let pass any opportunity to pray for anyone, either at his request or at the request of his relatives, friends, of those who esteem him, or of his acquaintances. The Lord...

The feast of Saints of Vatopaidi: the divine liturgy (part 2) – Photo Report

All those who are glorified in this world are lost with it. But those who are glorified by Christ are glorified through Him. The glory of the world is...

The feast of Saints of Vatopaidi: the vigil (part 1) – Photo Report

The present day Monastery of Vatopaidi has produced a multitude of saints throughout its history of over a thousand years, most of them unknown to us. We know with certainty only a few that lived within its walls and precinct - almost 70 - whose...

You cannot buy the Kingdom

Those who are self-controlled refrain from gluttony; those who have renounced possessions, from greed; the tranquil, from loquacity; the pure, from self-indulgence; the modest, from unchastity; the self-dependent, from...

God is a fire

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which...

Prayer in church: how to and effects

Prayer in church is important. The best thoughts and feelings come in church; and yes, the enemy also...

How the Church acts upon us

The Church, through the church and Divine service, acts upon the entire man, educates him wholly; acts upon his...

How the sin appears

Sin never appears as it really is, naked, abstract, because if it did, it wouldn’t deceive people’s minds so easily and make them give in. It always comes...

The feast of Saint Paisios held by his disciples (Photo Report)

We must not ask God for charismatic gifts but for repentance. The one who seek repentance will find...

The champion and the Mother of God (photo report)

"Please do not remember my sins" was the prayer that Ilias Iliadis said during Olympic Games held in London in 2012. "Mother of God, please do not remember my sins, and help me to gain an Olympic medal; and if you help me, I promise that I will give to you"...

A certain man in Constantinople was unusually merciful (Photo Report)

A certain man in Constantinople was unusually merciful. Walking along the streets of the city, he would...

The Great Schema

The άνάλαβος (Analab[v]os), which is the distinctive garment of a monk or a nun tonsured into the highest grade of Orthodox monasticism, the Great Schema, is adorned with...

The prayer is breath

The prayer is breath. When a person breathes, he is alive, and he attends to...

The Novice

If you love true knowledge, devote yourself to the ascetic life; for mere theoretical knowledge puffs a man up. Unexpected trials are...

Prayer is grace

Prayer is grace. God gives it when there is zeal and humility. It depends...

Do not despair, not be confident in yourself

It is God, Who is merciful and grants everyone what he needs, Who is blessing him when...

The key to win your life contest

He who wants to cross the spiritual sea is long-suffering, humble, vigilant and...

Which is the aim of God

The aim of God is to make man like Him. God's purpose is to...

”We have wives and are beset with social cares…”

Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: ‘We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?’ I replied to them:...

Don’t worry too much about how spiritually poor you are

Don't worry too much about how spiritually poor you are- God sees that, but for you it is expected to...

What are the differences between divine energies

Divine Providence is one thing, Divine help is another, Divine protection is another, Divine mercy is another, and Divine consolation is another. Providence is...

Nobody can separate us from the love of Christ (Photo Report)

A soul attached to the shepherd (his abbot or elder) with love and faith for Christ's sake will not leave him even if...

Why is the truth revealed only to some?

Why is the truth, it would seem, revealed to some and not to others? Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God?...

The base of the active life

The Fathers state that the active life consists in two virtues of the most general kind...

How to correctly remove all doubt…

Many times it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. That's why the humble ones...

Be brave and don’t lie to yourself

Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to the point where...

Why we use incense?

Numbers 16:46-50: “And Moses said to Aaron, Take your censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay...

God will have the last word

What I see around me would...

The most powerful prayer

The Holy Fathers say that the most powerful prayer is "pure" prayer, that is...

The Eye

The mind is the eye of the soul. So keep an eye on your mind to be...

What is true humility

A disciple once asked an elder: - Elder, is true humility to see yourself worse than everyone else?...

Why we must take care with children

The name you scratch on the bark of a tree will...

The main purpose of the Divine Liturgy

The main purpose of the Divine Liturgy is...

How to become a real winner

Once, a disciple replied to an Elder: ”Please forgive me but I cannot do it!”...

What is pleased in front of God

Nothig is so pleased in front of God like a life which brings...

The relationship between father and son

The relationship between father and son is the closest image that we have relative to...

Avoid negative thoughts at any cost

We should never, even under the worst circumstances, allow a negative thought to penetrate our soul...

You should continually call to mind all of God’s blessings

You should continually and unceasingly call to mind all the blessings which God in His love has bestowed on you in the past, and still...

The benefits of simplicity

Simplicity is a constant habit of soul that has become immune to...

Blessed are the humble ones

Blessed are the humble ones because they have the true light and ceaselessly give it to the others within a burning joy. They feel united with...

With His own mouth He warned us

We’re deceiving ourselves if we believe, for example, that the venial sin of idle talk isn’t displeasing to God...

Do not underestimate the power of lesser sins

A sin can be considered lesser when we compare it to a mortal one. But it’s not to be taken lightly when we see it in...

A lamp, before it receives a flame and is lit, is completely in darkness

God is fire and is called this by all inspired scripture, while the soul of each of us is a lamp...

He served others with remarkable love and self-denial

In the 20th century, the Russian Church underwent its own harsh martyrdom. For seven decades an untold number of martyrs and confessors gave their blood...

It wants to remind us

If you ever find yourself on the Holy Mountain or in other old churches, you will notice that...

But there are those who say…

Examine yourselves

What does it mean that we have first to examine ourselves?...

Unless they’re hungry

If they take Holy Communion while they’re still in love with their sins, it doesn’t...

Some people

Some people take the Body of the Lord without the fear of God...

His main characteristics

The main characteristics of Elder Porphyrios’s character throughout his life were...

Membership of the Church

Elder Porphyrios used to say, like all the saints, that Christ should be in the Church. This means that...

He is our friend

Well, that is indeed how we should view Christ. He is our friend...

The Great Medicine

When you don’t live with Christ, you live in...

They give depth

Compunction is born of watchfulness and watchfulness is increased by compunction. The one...

The protection of heaven

There’s a worse inundation than water: if you're inundated by the passions. When...

God doesn’t always give us what we want

When God doesn't give us something we keep asking for, He has His reasons. God also has His...

The parents are often to blame

Become like Him

Those who put on Christ take the strength from Him to...

They’ll use our cannon-balls

With people who’ve got personal issues with each other, we give our opinion in the presence of both of them, so that...

Terrible cruelty

People who reject repentance are showing terrible cruelty towards themselves...

It blights everything good

Misguided zeal is the turbulence of a malicious soul and reveals itself as...

It doesn’t poison it

Some people erroneously think that the memento mori, the remembrance of death, poisons life. It doesn't. Quite the opposite. It teaches us to...

Be patient when someone’s upset.

Let’s suppose that you can’t be merciful through your speech. What you can do, however, if somebody gets angry with you, is to...

That’s what teachers do

Why is this?

Virtue is a really good, really beautiful thing. Virtuous people are at peace with themselves, pleasing to God and accepted by others. Even without wishing to, virtuous people...

Where does responsibility lie for people’s spiritual state?

A large part of the responsibility for people’s spiritual state lies with the family. If we want to...

Incredibly short

Life on earth is very short, unimaginably so. But much has been...

The heart of the Christian Faith

Holy Week is the heart of the Christian Orthodox Faith and the centre of the yearly cycle of Christian Feasts. Every year our churches are...

Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight

The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Great Week are marked by the service of the NYMPHIOS (the Bridegroom Service). The morning service of each day takes...

A calibrated eye

The heart is the eye of human existence. The clearer it is, the quicker, farther and more...

Our breath

>We often forget that we're merely visitors passing through this life and should therefore live in ceaseless prayer, because prayer is the...

Pleasant and summery weather

Warm and balmy weather is followed by thunderstorms and rain. A soul which finds relief from...

Ascetic pain, vigilance, patience and boldness

Strive to remain unflinchingly in a state of spiritual vigilance, patience and boldness, because...

They’ve got no room

Let's not expect spiritual understanding from people who don't believe in God. Let's pray that...

It can’t be done without Christ

Without Christ, it’s impossible to set ourselves straight and to free ourselves from the passions. We can’t become...

The holy New Martyrs

I think it is only right to stress that the holy New Martyrs were the outstanding resistance fighters during the...

Never lose heart

When you’re wounded because you’ve fallen into some sin or other through your weakness or, sometimes, to your harm, through your own will, don’t lose heart, don’t be upset about it, but...

The behavior of children

Children’s behavior is directly linked to the state of the parents. When children are hurt by the way the parents behave towards each other they...

Just like Him

If Christ is within you through frequent Holy Communion, then you must become like Him. You must be...

Awareness

As the image of God, people should be self-aware, free and in control of themselves, because if awareness...

Don’t interfere

In everything we do, we need to be careful what we say and how we say it...

The atmosphere contaminates us

When we’re grouchy, the whole atmosphere around us is...

You harvest thorns

If you sow uncultivated land, you’ll just waste your seeds, and, instead of wheat, you’ll harvest thorns. We, too...

The path of life is the ascetic life

The path of life is all pain and tears, all thorns and nails. Crosses spring up...

To die a perfect death

Unless you sacrifice your self for the sake of the slightest virtue or shed blood in order to receive the Spirit, you’ll never achieve virtue. This is how...

See everything with good thoughts

When people see everything with good thoughts, they’re cleansed and given Grace by God. With bad thoughts...

The same as doctors do

When your brothers fall into sin, you shouldn’t ignore them or look down on them. Instead, you should...

It’s not their fault

Don’t make a display of your passion. Don’t hurt other people by...

Beneficial advice

Beneficial advice

The purifying prayer

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, sinner that I am...

A savior on a daily basis

Sin wears away at people every day, so they need a savior on a daily basis....

Always remember

You have to know and always remember that you’re a fallen person....

Holy humility

People who are humble are cognizant of their inner state and however...

A joyful wedding service

Those who clothe themselves with patience will see victory and the glory of God...

You have the altar with you

If we’re watchful, the Grace of the Holy Spirit makes us temples of God, with the result that, everywhere, everything’s to hand for us...

Freedom obliges

Formal recognition of our moral freedom by the Saviour teaches us that our salvation depends not only on the action of the Grace of God...

The mountains of passions

Grace is the sun. ...

Coincidental Wrong

You should feel even more sorry for them because their souls have been distorted...

You’ll get nowhere

hey’ll welcome your advice, because they’ll feel that it’s been given with love....

Our joy’s guarantor

the Son of the living God...

It’s concealed there

God’s mercy brings those who have patience to repentance ...

Symbols of gladness

Where there is joy, the sorrow of tears takes flight, the heavy gloom of mourning departs, sadness is no more....

Real stars

Because they’re humble, people with a rich inner life are real stars....

Jealousy

One of the signs of egotism is the presence of some feeling of jealousy within us....

When God is obliged

God’s obliged to send His consolation to cool their souls....

The great enemy

Condemnation is the great enemy of love...

The true path

Punishment of sinners occurs for important and creative educational reasons...

See the difference

When there’s peace and joy in your heart, then the spirit of good...

When does God grant it?

Don’t let the devil fool you into thinking that God’s love ...

It’s not unbeatable

It becomes invincible from the moment the soul begins to study carefully and persistently how to satisfy its passion...

Earthly things

People are never satisfied with what they’ve got...

The Stranger

Hospitality’s the greatest of the virtues...

It changes people

An ascetic effort that is carried out in accordance with the law makes people merciful, restrained, modest...

Let’s keep it to ourselves

If ever you want to spread the word about something, get hold of someone who’s a gossip, supposedly to tell them a secret and ask that the secret should remain strictly between the two of you...

It was smoke

Even at the hour of their death, if you see someone sinning, don’t criticize them...

It’s not easy to uproot

Let’s not expect that the vain world will easily be uprooted from within us as long as we’re content to remain within the vain world...

Ιf you only knew

Ah, if only you knew what a triumph and what a blessing it is to love your enemies and to be a benefactor for them...

Ultimate injustice

Hypocrisy is the fruit of envy...

They give proper directions

People who give everything to God and give themselves entirely to Him are housed under God’s great cupola and are protected by His divine providence...

The harsh yoke

The body and soul can’t be liberated from the yoke of the passions...

They won’t find it difficult at all

The commandment we have is to take up our cross and follow Him, ready and willing to die...

Common medicine

Prayer is an aid in our lives: talking to God, forgetting earthly matters, ascending to heaven...

Constantly defeated

Those who fear death and love...

No open windows

Let’s not give the devil any justification....

Iron hearts

If it hurt its leg, they felt sorry for the poor beast and tried to make it better...

Hang on

Father, how can I be saved?...

The soul is like a tank of water

Our soul’s like a tank full of water...

Away from the old and unredeemed

When marriage becomes a ‘sacrament’ it removes the couple and their physical marriage away from the old world...

Humility solves many issues

All the bad sentiments, insecurity, despair, frustration that attempt to take over the soul, flee away if you’re humble....

Marriage as death and resurrection

But it’s obvious that for a marriage to be manifestation and a revelation of the marriage between Christ and the Church, the couple must continually overcome the sinful ...

Sorrows and trials

People are saved through sorrows...

Good intention

When God sees good intent on our part, He’ll help us. And He’ll make this small intent so great...

The nature praises God

The mountains, the hills, the trees, the sea and the fish all praise God. But...

The best advocate

Alms-giving is the queen of the virtues...

It redeems and looses bonds

Hope rises like the rosy dawn in the moral firmament and illumines those darkened by the grime of the sorrowful soul...

The true gold

Blessed and thrice-blessed are those who are held to be bronze in the eyes of other people...

Ιt forgets where it lives

It not only forgets where it lives, it even forgets the dwelling place of the soul...

Our ignominy

Egotism is an absurd passion which is literally a scourge of humankind....

When the mind strays

When the mind strays to idle matters...

Until pride departs

When humility comes, with the sorrow of trials, God then brings joy back to everything...

From the Post-Modern Persona to the Person

This mask is not something real, it’s artificial, it’s a virtual reality, to use modern IT terminology...

In a few and in many

Because if you’re faithless in a few things, you’ll be faithless and vain in many...

Beginning and end

The beginning, the end, the source and the quintessence of all of them is the Gospel...

Round the crazy wheel

When people distance themselves from God, it’s only natural that they won’t find rest anywhere...

Love of a mother

She still loves all of them...

Magnificent and unknown providence

. Don’t think that God’s done something wrong and then corrected it: God doesn’t make mistakes...

Where we should seek joy and happiness

People look for the eternal, far from everyone and everything...

Imitators of God

Let those who are maligned or are suffering terribly, put up with the curses with meekness and restrain their anger...

They’re all over the place

Sometimes others occur, which give rise to empty daydreams...

Where’s your love?

If you’re not holy in your heart, become pure in body...

Without help

Our faith in Him is weak, it’s at the first stage, like a child learning how to walk...

The holy person

The holy person is not someone who manages to have perfect ethics or external behaviour, but he who keeps the word of Christ...

God cannot be forced by anyone

God cannot be forced by anyone; neither does He impose His will on His creatures endowed with reasoning. ...

Don’t play at it

Your eternal life or eternal death depends on you...

Good training

It’s founded on love for your neighbor. ..

He opens our eyes

God often hides from us the good things we’ve acquired...

The steady drip of humility

If we want to see the glory of God, let us love humility, because....

Remain a sheep

Don’t hold a grievance against anybody, even if they’re wicked, because otherwise your prayer won’t be heard by God...

Like satellites

hey’re like the satellites up in the air and give the impression that they’re stars....

Freedom wouldn’t be real if consequences were not real

God forgives us our sin, yet we still experience many of the consequences of our sins. This is an aspect of human freedom...

Is much like healing a wound

Forgiving, again, and again, and again. Forgive me if I carry on with this topic forgiveness, even if I get repetitive...

A burning furnace

When the heart becomes a furnace of love for God, then it can burn off vanity when it comes close to it...

Living and dead

The body lives while it cohabits with the soul, but the soul lives when God inhabits it....

There’s a big gap

Our minds should be in heaven; we should be hastening to get to our real home...

Those who are compassionate

Those who are compassionate always put up with the misconduct of others with patience and gentleness ...

The unique gift of the Holy Spirit

In this divine-human communion, man is enriched and in this he has his point of reference, which guides him and keeps him unabated on the path of truth...

The letter of the Law can be quite deadly

Someone who is truly in a spiritual state must possess and exemplify spiritual discernment...

The heart of man is the centre of his personhood

The way of the Church is love

Let’s not stone our fellow-man in a so-called “Christian manner.” The person who...

A handful of sand

Can you measure God’s mercy?

The way that you throw them can smash heads

You may be tossing golden crowns studded with diamonds to other people, but...

Every time

We are feeling joy because we are experiencing the Lord’s abundant love towards man...

Getting nowhere

Only one prayer is pleasing to Him...

Who has a need for Christmas?

We all have so much to give—but we forget that it is not actually ours...

Man acquires the ‘mind of Christ’

Man acquires the ‘mind of Christ’, which means that he knows the plan of God that He has for every soul...

Joy rather than sorrow

Struggle to live in such a way that at the hour of death you’ll have more joy than sorrow...

Faith needs no skills

Faith needs obedience, not a variety of skills...

Absent for good reason

Lord, I heard Your celebrant today praying for our brothers and sisters ‘who are absent for good reason...

The only unerring star

You should know that the only unerring star that leads you to practice the holy virtues is...

What is the Soul?

The soul, therefore, is a living essence, uncomplicated, incorporeal, invisible – in its proper nature ...

Timid people

If you struggle to overcome these two evils, it will be obvious that you believe wholeheartedly in God and that you’re ready to accept anything...

The more you practice

The more you practice doing good, the more you also acquire the fear of God...

No blackmail

We should just ask for strength and support from Him...

Anoint your head and wash your face

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret...

A Christian’s light can’t be hidden

Don’t tell me it’s impossible to move other people...

Stewards of the goods

Almsgiving is a well-intentioned act. It’s an internal voice coming from a pure heart which loves its neighbor...

Mean spirits

The people who ‘trouble’ God are those who doubt, hesitate, or, even worse, put up resistance to His power and His wisdom...

Name day celebration

When you celebrate your name day, do so with the aim of obtaining mercy from God through the intercessions of your Saint...

Loosing the bonds of passions

What is sought is liberation from the passions...

Love, affection & discretion

This is why we should have love and affection, combined with great discretion...

Warm & cold

People should be warm towards God and all things divine, but...

Confession

Confession is the voluntary and sincere disclosure of the sins that have been committed ...

Gently, without pressure

Wherever you are, on a stool, a chair, in a car, anywhere, on the road, at school, in the office, at work, you can say the prayer

With your whole heart

When you pray for yourself or for somebody else do so with your whole heart...

A gift from God

People who recognize that whatever they have is a gift from God...

The true and pure joy

When, men shame the true and pure joy that emanates from God, then all the natural sources of joy on the earth dry up, and no longer have the power to comfort them, because they are not overshadowed by the life-giving grace of God...

God is the core of our existence

People are the means through which God reveals His mystery to the world...

Fear of God is serene

The fear of God is serene, because...

We follow Christ in order to understand the truth

Our life’s full of negative things...

Cause of death

The Lord placed man in a paradise of delight and gave him one commandment...

The mystery of man’s heart

The heart is the true ‘temple’ of man’s meeting with the Lord...

Live each day as if it were the Second Coming

It holds the key to living our lives the Orthodox way...

Golden crowns

Best not to say even ‘God will deal with them’, because that’s a curse in itself...

How the true faith has come down to us

The soul of all peoples always felt that God exists, even though they didn’t know enough to worship the true God....

The Image of Those Who Hope in God

People who hope in God are truly blessed...

Byzantine Mysticism

The uniqueness of the mystical experience is also expressed by the oxymora which embrace the Christian experience dialectically...

Divine Revelation

n particular, the religions which affect more than half the population of the earth (Christianity and Islam), as well as Judaism which preceded them, are religions which depend on divine revelation...

The radiant example

Those who, with powerful and correct thinking have been able to study and understand each of the created things and having done so...

Who is the Inner Person?

Who is this outer person? That’s the one who’s well-known to people, who consists of flesh and blood, of a nervous system and bones...

On the danger of spiritual routine

There are some people who are orphans from the time they’re born...

After prayer

But after prayer, you have to guard your heart carefully...

A voluntary sorrow

It’s a powerful medicine for those who are down on their luck and is administered by a soul which suffers with them...

The Church exists to save souls. To make saints.

If you take saints out of its life, its theology and its worship, it ceases to be the Church...

Love, misunderstood

Since love that’s cultivated in the desolate wilderness has nothing of the world in it, it can’t fit into the world...

The great virtue

In truth, the great virtue is to feel sorry for those who are evil and to benefit sinners more than the righteous...

Humility solves many issues

All the bad sentiments, insecurity, despair, frustration that attempt to take over the soul, flee away if ...

You can’t put out a fire with fire

Meekness and patience have greater power than anger and stubbornness...

While the light of day still shines

Make haste, then, sinner, to receive forgiveness while the light of day still shines upon you....

Do not reprimand

Love doesn’t become angry and doesn’t excoriate anyone...

Faith and works

Real faith can’t exist without works...

Be very careful and strict regarding any feeling of pride

Be very careful and strict regarding any feeling of pride...

Against traps and temptations

There are two most powerful weapons with which we overcome all the traps and temptations of the devil....

The secret is to seek union with Christ unselfishly

The secret is to seek union with Christ unselfishly, without saying...

Do not give your heart to the world

Give your heart entirely to God, not to the world...

Sweet Paradise and trials

For people to go to sweet Paradise, they have to eat a lot of things bitter here below...

Christian Morals

The whole of the fullness of the divine revelation is to be found forever in the Church, which is the Body of our Lord, and so the divine will is always known to those who seek it...

The mercies granted by God

The most striking proof that the devil’s at work in the world is the fact that people hardly recognize, if at all, the mercies granted to them by God...

Souls that love God

Souls that love God and the truth don’t suffer even the slightest reduction in their passionate love for the Lord...

Humility, like a garment

ride arises from a lack of self-awareness and results ...

In order to defeat the spirit of ingratitude and blasphemy we say:…

In order to defeat the spirit of ingratitude and blasphemy we say: “Get behind me, Satan. I worship my Lord and God and I serve Him alone. I accept all pain and sorrows gratefully, because...

A spiritual tactic, a singularly efficacious tactic

To every temptation, to everything that distracted me from the one thing necessary, I should answer only...

When we choose Christ we are carried beyond time and space, beyond the reach of what is termed ‘tragedy’

We may say that even today mankind as a whole has not grown up to Christianity and...

On the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

The divine power of the Cross is elevated; let the hosts of demons be put to flight...

The harder the struggle, the greater the victory

In the heavenly market-place, there aren’t any cheap wares. The moments of pain and sacrifice are moments of blessing...

For the departed

We have to pray for ...

Eternal riches, cost free

Uncharitable people are unhappy because...

People can be working with their hands, but have their heart and minds lifted up to God

People can pray without ceasing provided they’re always standing before God in heart and mind...

Legitimate Exercise

Whatever movement you make, starting with its conception and following through to the implementation, you have to examine...

Crowned humbleness

If somebody accuses you of committing a sin that you didn’t do...

The economic and moral crisis that has arisen in most nations and states is linked to obvious root causes which have a name and particular forms

The economic and moral crisis that has arisen in most nations and states is linked to ...

The span of a raven

Just think what a terrible tragedy it would be if our Maker and Creator couldn’t offer us...

All virtues in one

When, as a Christian, you acquire love, you’ve got all the virtues.

Away from the old and unredeemed

When marriage becomes a ‘sacrament’ it removes the couple and their physical marriage away...

Jealousy

We must avoid this feeling as if it were black death itself...

Freedom obliges

Our moral us to take steps towards our salvation, because otherwise we’ll be lost...

The nature praises God

The mountains, the hills, the trees, the sea and the fish all praise God...

Restraint in all things

No fasting from food is of any benefit to those who...

The way to peace

The way to acquire peace is as follows: forget entirely your fall and...

Cut off your will

A Transition to Life

“How the source of life goes towards life, passing through death”, says Saint John the Damascan. The death of the life-giving Mother of the Lord transcends...

A small miracle: Saint Luke of Simferopol and Crimea (Photo Report)

I asked one of the fathers if I could shoot some photos of some icons which was gilding in their workshop. The father replied "come if you want, as we are working on one huge icon: St. Luke of Crimea." "Ok" I said and I immediately...

The way to be

The Holy Spirit, as the third Person of the Holy Trinity, is fully God. Despite this, He did not make His appearance in the world on His own; He was...

The light of humility

As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility...

Crime and Punishment

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for...

The true aim of our life

The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of...

The Holy Monastery of Pantokrator

The Holy Monastery of Pantocrator stands on the north-eastern side of the Athos peninsula, by the sea. Nearby is the site of the ancient city of Thyssus. Although age-long oral tradition maintains that...

How to lead the world

It is very easy to lead the world. First, one needs to...

Smoke and mirrors

We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do...

“What are you doing here, Elijah?”

An the word of Lord came to Elijah: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied...

In fact, the whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.

Possibly a contentious unbeliever will maintain that we...

Why we are joyful always (Photo Report from Easter)

Christians, always rejoice, for evil, death, sin, the devil and hell have been...

The Return: Imitating the dog

The elders tell us that the spiritual man should take a lesson from the dog. When it is chased out...

Skete of Saint Demetrios: a view of a typical monastic settlement on Mount Athos

It is hidden away in a dense forest, in a peaceful area conducive to prayer and spiritual development. A person must live like an exile from this world in order to...

To see or not to see your sins, that is the question…

If the man doesn't cope with his own sins, devil will....

How to find a good spouse?

First of all, pray about it. Our Lord and His holy Mother are the primary source of aid for such matters. Then ask yourself...

The Sunday of Orthodoxy: about Heresy, Heretics and Ecumenism

We hate heresy because heresies misguide souls away from God and towards hell; this is the chief reason behind the anathema on...

A sad man is a man with the lights turned off.

A sad man is a man with the lights turned off. So...

What we Need to Wash the Dishes

Washing dishes is a lowly task, both in the world and in the monastery. It may be seen either as a chore to be done (or even avoided, if possible) or as one more opportunity for spiritual progress. In order for such tasks to be...

You have NO rights

The higher level man reaches in spiritual life, the...

The Holy Monastery of Hilandar

Hilandar Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. It was founded in 1198 by the first...

Why we perform the virtues?

The self-controlled refrain from gluttony; those who have renounced possessions, from greed; the tranquil, from loquacity; the pure...

Elder, why are you happy all day long?

A disciple asked an elder, “Elder, why are you happy all day long?” The elder replied...

World War III: why and when?

A pilgrim asked a monk, “When will the Third World War happen, and why?” The monk replied...

How to became a ruler of this world

The Creator and Ruler of the world called Himself meek and humble of heart. Therefore, to be a true Ruler of this world...

Humility will end any war

Humility will end any war. This is because humility is a necessary precondition to...

St. Paisios: How to learn the mysteries of God

Whoever thinks that he can come to know the mysteries of God through external scientific theory, resembles the fool who wants to see Paradise with a telescope. Those who...

The Holy Monastery of Grigoriou

The monastery was founded by St. Gregory of Mount Athos (Younger) in the fourteenth century when he came to Mount Athos to pursue asceticism. By the end of the 15h century,...

Learn to know and deal with your masters

For the whole array of passions, wrath and fear, cowardice and impudence, depression as well as pleasure, hatred, strife and merciless cruelty, envy as well as flattery, brutality together with brooding over injuries, they are all so many despotic masters...

How to control and know yourself

He who has become aware of his sins has controlled his tongue, but...

Keep a careful eye on their motives

I have watched farmers sowing the same type of seed, and yet each one had different ideas of what he was doing. One was planning to...

Liturgy of St James – Full Photo Report and Text

The Full Photo Report of St. James' Liturgy. Enter and see 41 photos depicting it...

The mother of all the passions and sins and its therapy

Pride is the mother of all the passions and sins. If humility is characterised as...

From Adam until Christ: 5508 years?

A disciple once asked an elder, “From the time of Adam until Christ have there been exactly 5508 years?” In reply the elder said...

The Skete of Saint Andrew (Sarai)

The Skete of Saint Andrew, also the Skete of Apostle Andrew and Great Anthony in Karyes is a monastic institution on Mount Athos. It is a...

Rule #1 of programming

If a program works perfectly, the pleasure goes to users. If something is wrong...

Enjoy the Silence

Many times I regretted that I spoke; I have...

For Whom the Bell Tolls

The purpose of our life on earth is not to attain worldly achievements, but rather to attain the eternal crowns of...

Paramythia – A miracle-working icon of Mother of God and its feast

The Mother of God can “save” us through her intercession. At Vatopaidi Monastery there is a miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary called Paramythia, the “Comforter”. This icon...

In the Name of the Father

He who gives life to a son is called father. Since the...

The Prodigal Son

...But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with...

The Monastery of Agios Pavlos (St Paul)

The monastery was founded shortly before 980 and was called St Paul’s or Xeropotamou. The founder seems to have been the prominent monk Paul, who also founded the Monastery of...

The Seraphim

The first group of angels consists of those who are in God's presence and are said to be directly...

You are NOT alone

Each one of us has a saint who protects him with great care, even if we...

How to Make Major Decisions

Making a major life decision should be done with...

How to quickly find your peace

You will not labor many years, son, in search of blessed inner peace, if in the beginning you...

Combating existential diseases

Analyses of the person are essential, because within this framework we can solve the social problems as well. A society cannot exist without man. Man is making our society and all the social institutions ill. A person who is ill...

Avoid pride: it will stink your virtues

People who work for Christ, but with pride, stink out their virtues with their pride. It’s like if you’re...

The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou

The Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, or 'Nea Petra', stands on a narrow and precipitous rock at a height of...

The humble programmer

The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he...

The meaning of pain

If you want to go to sweet Paradise, you have to eat a lot of bitter things here, so...

Where we are

The sickness of human nature is the failure to reach personal perfection. The diagnosis concerns...

What can we learn from an old clock

Don’t wind the clock too tightly or the spring may break. This is the way it is with...

An advice for the young

The young are in need of...

The Detachment to Perfection

Those who have come to love the Lord are at first unceasingly and greatly disturbed by...

Give everything to God. It is your source of joy

For those who give everything to God, God will...

The mystery of holy unction

The mystery of holy unction provides...

How to escape fear

With God, fear nothing, but cast all of your care upon Him, and He will...

How do we choose a spiritual father?

A good spiritual father is not one who simply forgives sins in confession. All spiritual fathers absolve sins by virtue of their ordination. A good spiritual father is one who...

How to live a good life

To judge sins is the business of one who is sinless; who is sinless except God? It is not right to...

Where the spiritual progress is found

A person who strives for a long time but doesn’t see spiritual progress has pride and egotism. Spiritual progress is found where there is...

Why do we believe in Christ?

Why do we believe in Christ? The easy answer would be to say that...

Raising the young ones

The relationship between children and freedom. What we must know?

How to become the first one

Anyone who wants to be first must...

Why are children so happy?

Why are children so happy? It is because children...

Divine Providence

It is a definite truth that Divine Providence arranges...

How to treat the spiritual illness

We are taught to bear the spiritual infirmities of our brothers...

What is the difference between Christianity and philosophy?

Christianity is not a philosophy in the sense that prevails today.The difference is...

The Archangel

The purity of angels comes from their obedience to God. Like any other rational being, they had...

The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one

“The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”...

Separation

My child, people separate because of their...

„Freedom”: How do YOU understand it?

Some people understand the word freedom as the ability to...

The trick to keep your wealth

If you begin to guard wealth it will not be yours. Rather, if you...

How to get God’s help

Absolutely nothing will help us if we are not lenient toward the weaknesses of men and forgive them. For how can we...

How to overcome the war against yourself

When someone wages war against you, take example of Crist's crucifixion. Don't fight fire with fire. It makes you look ridiculous. Instead make...

The Light of Communion

Theophany is the Feast which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the...

The Holy Monastery of Kostamonitou (or Kastamonitou)

The monastery was founded in the first half of the 11th century by a man from Kastamoni in Anatolia, from whom it takes its name. A more recent benefactor was the Christian wife of Ali Pasha,...

St Isaac: How to behave at Christmas

Please read on: This poem has more than 1300 years...

What is the spiritual meaning of Christ’s cave to us?

It is amazing that the entrance of the uncreated, eternal God occurred within time and in His created world, in complete...

How do we prepare for a big feast?

Everyone thinks that a big feast as an occasion of joy and to catch up with loved ones. However, in order to...

How to avoid the wandering of the mind

First of all you cannot stop the wandering of the mind. But you can fight to...

You are not wiser than God

If God is slow in answering your request, or if you ask but do not promptly receive anything...

How to fit the pieces

Today many of us wonder, "How do we fit so many people in an organization?". Orthodoxy solved this problem more than 2000 years ago...

Parody and mockery of fasting

Fasting isn’t only a change of food. There has to be a change in quality, certainly, but also in quantity. The saints of our Church say...

How to gain peace

One who does not fight and defeat the passions and...

How to win the war of the stomach

We must eat to live and not live to eat. We must control the stomach and not the stomach control us. The secret is to...

How to get an impression of God

If a person wants to understand a certain place in nature, he must either...

The Next One to Pass Away

Elder Ermolaos of Vatopaidi looking at the koliva (the traditional food made in remembrance of the departed or of saints). The photo...

The symbolism of Koliva

The Koliva's symbolism finds its highest expression in the Saints, whose...

Remember thy last end

It is impossible, someone says, impossible to spend the present day devoutly unless we regard it as the last of our whole life; and it is truly astonishing how even the pagans...

Gate to Eternity

One of the most impressive services is that of the funeral. Everyone gathers around the body and...

A smile from eternity

One of the most beloved contemporary Elders of the Holy Mountain, Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi fell asleep in the Lord on his birthday, July 1st 2009, the feast of the Holy Unmercanaries. At his death, a miracle occurred shortly after his demise which...

Farewell before the journey

A priest-monk reads the prayers of the Office of Holy Unction several days before the departure of Elder Ermolaos. Along with all the brotherhood, he’s preparing for...

The proof that you did something properly

Before any great undertaking there's a wondrous cross. Don't distress yourself, though, because the...

The Experience of the Elders

Monastic tradition and the experience of the elders are revered on the Holy Mountain and serve to...

The critical significance of death

The critical significance of death isn’t that it’s the end of life. Our immortal soul continues to exist after death. The concomitant of death lies in the fact that...

The Joy of the Resurrection

The monks experience spiritual states of joy which are impossible to describe. You can only...

By nature we are, by and large, visual beings

By nature we are, by and large, visual beings. The vast majority of information which we...

Teaching the younger ones

If from the beginning you instill a good christian teaching in your children, then...

The eternal end

The monk praying in the sunset is a silent lucidity in a busy world, a light of hope in the labyrinth of logic...

The joy of sacrifice

For more than 30 years now, Elder Germanos has been a “mularas” – the one who takes care and leads the mules through the mountains...

The sight of a courteous person

The sight of a courteous person is inspiring because...

Creation is God’s natural revelation to humankind

Creation is God’s natural revelation to humankind. The value of the natural creation is revealed by the fact that...

The Education of the Young

Those who disregard education are brought to poverty and shame, but those who heed correction are...

The Relationship between Material and Spiritual

If we can put up with the lack of the material objects and our hearts aren’t enslaved to them, then...

The paths of the spiritual light

The light of the monks are the angels. The light of lay people are the monastics. In the same manner in which...

Why we need to suffer undeserved blame

According to the degree to which you suffer undeserved blame from others in the name of Christ's truth, you will be...

The lives and praises of the saints

The lives and praises of the saints are like the stars in brilliance. Because of their number, we do not know the names of all the saints; still, they amaze us by...

Humble people will always express the truth

Regardless of the place or time, humble people will always express the truth. They know that everyone who fights against the truth is...

Knowing the truth

It is impossible to know truth without God allowing us to experience...

The proof that someone has a gift

The proof that someone has a gift and uses it in accordance with God's will is that they...

How to regard people

You have to regard people with the utmost respect, but also with the deepest...

How Lord loves

The Lord loves everyone, but He particularly loves those who seek Him. To his chosen ones the Lord gives such great...

How to lift up our hearts to the Lord

Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord. This can be achieved if...

What is prayer and what is its effect

By reason of its nature, prayer is the colloquy and union between us and God. By reason of its effect, it...

The effect of the Adam’s fall

When we’re freed from sin, we can approach God, and, filled with His grace, we sense...

The Tradition effect

If you light a lamp from one that’s already burning, then another from that one, and so on...

The festal outdoor processions

The festal outdoor processions are well known for their joyful and social nature while embracing all the members of a local church community. The importance of a procession consists in...

The entrance in monastic life

One's spiritual transformation begins once he realizes that the world which he left is radically...

An Old Wing of the Monastery at Night

The East Wing of the Monastery of Vatopaidi, consisting of monks’ cells - 3:30 a. m. The first sections of the wing were built before 1450. Monks pray and study late into the night and...

Sing with understanding

Sing with understanding, rhythm and proper vigour and you'll be like an...

Paradise Lost

God is by nature good and He didn't destine humankind for hell. However,...

Whith what is God is pleased

God is pleased more if you’re humble despite an unfair and unprovoked attack than...

How to became saint

Tradition is the guiding light on the way to sainthood. Live with someone who’s...

A hermit monk with his disciple

Two are better than one, as you have a better return for your work. If...

Covering transgressions

If you cover a transgression, you seek love; but if you spread it about...

How to aquire friends

Acquire sweet lips and everyone will be your friend. Humble people know that they...

Awe Before the Sacred

The awe shown before the sacred is an expression of love and joy, not of fear. The monks...

How to receive divine wisdom

Christians receive divine wisdom in three ways: by the...

Heaven’s joy

There are specific moments when the chandeliers are set into motion by the monks. The effect is quite stunning...

The most important thing in life

The most important thing in life is to receive light from God. For this we must first...

The proof of the true shepherd

A true shepherd proves himself by his...

How the humble people see everyone

Humble people see everyone else as better than themselves and rejoice at...

Saint Nektarios: ‘I consider a monk superior to an archbishop’

Spiritual experience always comes first and foremost. Saint Nektarios states, ‘I consider a monk superior to an archbishop’, not of course, meaning any disrespect to archbishops. Rather, he wanted to...

Fighting wars

Don’t fight to win the war but rather the...

The power of virtue

Even though he was wracked by the metastasis of his cancer and by the chemotherapy which he endured, his...

The last gesture

[Jesus] ‘lifted up His hands and blessed his disciples. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven’. (Luke 2450) This was the...

Wearing the sakkos

The sakkos is worn by bishops, (it was originally an imperial vestment worn by Byzantine emperors) and symbolizes the tunic of disgrace worn by...

How can we truly know God

God can be truly known only through the Grace of the Holy Spirit. This is because real knowledge of God is...

How to solve our problems

You won’t solve your problems by thinking about them. The solution to all your problems is...

The most important fact in the history of the entire universe

Christ has risen! We celebrate the most important fact in the history of the entire universe: that God, as a human being defeated death for us. Just as...

Offering Incense

Incense has been used since the most ancient times during services and symbolizes the...

Eclipse

Keep your mind in hell...

The Naked Flame

About the naked flame of heavenly fire

The Elder’s image

If our elder is away but we imagine his face and think that he’s there with us, we’ll avoid...

Where God lies

Many rich and powerful people would pay handsomely to see the Lord or His Most Pure Mother; but God isn’t to be summoned by riches, but rather by...

Gone Fishing

Monks try to provide for their daily necessities by the work of their...

Experiencing God’s grace

In this photograph a member of the Governing Council of Vatopaidi Monastery is hard at work...

The key to being rich

The key to being rich is to be frugal and content with what you have. If you're content with what you have then...

Our gift to God

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not...

The Way

Knowing your life, your way to the truth...

All the Material Wealth that you truly need

Nobody has ever gained more in this world than...

How to purify your soul

The soul is sanctified and purified through the...

How to overcome the trials and sorrows

We must overcome the trials and sorrows in our lives through...

Spechless.

At times I’m speechless; at others I’m not happy. I’m speechless when I’m faced with the...

The Path of Virtue

The path of virtue is always in the centre; at equilibrium. You can’t sway to the right or the left. The extremes, both good and bad, are always from...

Chain reactions

It’s better to practice an easier virtue consistently rather than...

The Need for a Cross

There are many times when we need to pass through sorrows. Often we’re left alone to face a trial. We have to undertake a...

About the spiritual experience

Perhaps what I'm saying is rather bold; spiritual experience can be preferable to...

Reading and Practice

Reading enlightens the mind considerably, and helps it to concentrate. For the words are those of the...

The lord of the world

A poor monk is a lord of the world. He has entrusted his cares to God and by faith has obtained all men as his slaves. He will not tell...

Contrast

In order to abide in the love of God, it’s essential for anger and ‘hate’ to attain their maximum intensity and to be directed against...

‘The wedding with God’

The mystery of the tonsure into the great habit can’t be explained in words. Anyone who...

Learning from others

Let us imitate the work of the bee which cleverly...

Praying for others

Prayer is understood as the ontological (experienced knowledge) and spiritual bridge between...

Mount Athos Cooking

Cooking on Mount Athos is performed in the traditional way for the most part. Monks are quite reserved and careful when faced with...

How to solve the problems of the mankind

If you really want to help someone, don’t just think about their problem but...

Under aer

‘He who comes from above is above all things; he who is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all things’. (John 3:31) In the photograph, the archbishop...

The Purity Within

A Ukrainian monk of the Monastery of Vatopaidi at prayer during a service. The inner life of each monk can be...

The athletes of spirituality

When the athletes of spirituality ascend to heaven, all the heavenly powers gather from everywhere to...

Your progress towards eternal success

Your progress towards eternal success depends on...

There’s nothing more powerful than the Church

There’s nothing more powerful than the Church. Stop fighting it, or else...

Find your inner peace

Find your inner peace and silence, and a whole host will find their...

Wearing God’s grace

In the same way in which the Son of God assumed the human body as Ηis vestment, we must also wear the...

Which is the true knowledge

True knowledge is to experience eternal life. Eternal life is to know by experience the...

The importance of Christ’s example

In the same way in which Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins when He offered Himself up on the Cross, I urge you, brothers and sisters...

The greatest virtue

Love is the greatest virtue. Love is greater than a saints' martyrdom. And this is why:

A heartfelt moment

Show God the faith in your heart that you have in your spiritual father and the honest love you have for him...

All warfare is based on deception

All warfare is based on deception and has as its ultimate purpose...

Understand the words of Holy Scripture

Understand the words of Holy Scripture by putting them into practice, and don’t puff yourself up with conceit by elaborating on theoretical ideas. Only in this way...

How to manage anger

Being made in God's image, we can be corrected and guided much better through love, patience and understanding than through anger, contention and hate. The first victory against anger...

Joyful obedience

The monk finds gladness in the willing sacrifice of his entire self for the love of Christ. This is not a psychological trick or some façade for a blinkered existence but a powerful experience of the...

Idleness is the mother of all evil

We must perform our tasks quickly and with discernment. Idleness is the mother of all evil...

The Holy Chalice

This is a rare photograph of Holy Chalices in the Byzantine Style in the preparation apse to the left of the sanctuary. The middle chalice is...

Picking prickly pears

Monks live in the middle of nature, sometimes quite literally...

What stops us to progress

You’ll never obtain the blessings from above if you are...

The Blessed Mortification

Blessed is he who mortifies his will to the very end and who leaves the care of himself to...

Acting and speaking

Act in such a way in which your deeds take the place of your words. Speak in such a way that...

The most powerful weapon of the devil

The most powerful weapon of the devil is despair. He doesn't rejoice nearly so much when we sin as he does...

The true status of our inner condition

The true status of our inner condition is demonstrated during the...

The quintesence of Humility

Humility consists in considering yourself to be nothing in all circumstances, cutting off...

Perhaps what ‘m saying may seem somewhat bold…

Perhaps what ‘m saying may seem somewhat bold, but it’ s better to quarrel with God than...

Where God is hidden

God abides in each commandment by His gracious power. ‘God is hidden in...

When you pray in your heart

When you pray in your heart, you’re united with God and transcend the barriers of time. You experience the reality (mystery) of eternity...

What appalls God

Just as your stomach revolts when you see rotten fruit, so God is appalled by...

The rich exist for the sake of the poor

The rich exist for the sake of the poor. The poor exist for the salvation of the rich. Seek what’s...

What makes an icon to be miracle-working

There are three things which may allow for an icon to be miracle-working:

Holy Communion – the unity with God

Holy Communion is the central mystery in the life of the Church. Unfortunately, we often disregard this ultimate mystery...

How should be an iconographer

An iconographer should ideally have an intense ascetic life because...

The secret of hapiness

Happy are those in whom there is love for God, since they...

The worship of icons

The honour shown to the icon passes to the person(s) depicted. If I point to a statue of Caesar and ask you ‘Who is that?’, your answer would be...

The center of the spiritual life

Prayer is at the center of the spiritual life. It’s communication with God or, even better, life with God. Therefore prayer is our way to communicate directly with God, and arises from our human need for...

The true Conqueror

Christians, rejoice always, for evil, death, sin, the devil and hell have been conquered by Christ. Given that all of these have been conquered, is there...

After the Fire

We are under continuous threat from the internal spiritual fires which are...

Why animals attack humans

God’s creation has a natural tendency to turn away from sinful distortion in an effort to eradicate evil. This is why animals often attack...

How to begin and how to avoid the future traps

A firm beginning will certainly be useful for us if we later grow slack. A soul which is strong at first but then becomes lethargic is...

Divine Liturgy

Experiencing the grace of God is the beginning of an internal apocalypse...

The scope of the humanity

The aim of humanity is to become like God, to become holy, to acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit. When you come close to God and become a saint, your grace is so great that it...

The necessity of obedience

Obedience is necessary not only for monks, but for everyone. Even the Lord was obedient, even unto death on the cross. Proud and self-regarding people...

Don’t neglect your prayers

Don’t neglect your prayers. Just as the body becomes...

Why God created the world

God made all His creation out of pure love. God doesn’t depend on anything or anyone in order to be perfectly happy. He simply wanted to make a creation to...

The Kingdom of God

What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like...

If you’ve come to hate the world

If you’ve come to hate the world, you’ve escaped sorrow. But if you still have an attachment to anything visible, you’re not yet delivered from...

The degree of your love for your Elder

God will grant you His grace analogous with the love you have for your Elder. Our spiritual fathers don't need our love, nor do they...

How to behave with each other.

Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms and...

The feeling of the world’s vain glory

One of the first things which God gives to those who call is a sense of the vanity of this world. Those who’ve received the light of this knowledge must...

Living the Depth of the Spiritual Law

As we read Patristic books, we learn the Law of Freedom. However, we can only understand and live the depth of this law by...

Exposing snakes

He who exposes every snake to his spiritual father shows that he has real faith; but he who hides them...

Seeing God

If you pray with great desire, love and the tears of a pure heart, then you see God Himself in your heart, just as...

Stages of tranquility

The first stage of tranquility consists of silencing the lips when the heart is in turmoil. The second consists of...

Our inner hell

Our inner hell isn’t a consequence of sin but the result of...

The main duty of the spiritual man is to keep his mind clean

The devil is forever seeking a meeting of minds with his prey...

Circular World

True unity, true contact between two existences is realized only through God. There is no direct path which ties two beings...

The result of seeing God

The more clearly your heart sees God, the more...

The mystery of the great, holy, and angelic schema

The mystery of the great, holy, and angelic schema contains the...

Perfect communion

Holiness is pure interpersonal communion. The passions and egotism are shed through...

The light which we all seek

Pride and envy are the greatest of evils which cast down even the angels from heaven to hell. Therefore, humility and love are...

The Church

Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it to make it holy, cleansing it by His word, and presenting it to Himself as a radiant Church...

Faces and eyes

The face is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes...

The words of worship

The more you’re attentive to the words in the services, the more you’ll come to enjoy worship. And the more you love it, so much more will it make you devout and...

Flying to Heaven

Almost everything on Mount Athos seeks to raise the spirit from this world towards the divine. The delicate combination of...

Vatopaidi’s main church

Vatopaidi's main church (katholiko) dates from the10th century. Excavations have unearthed an older basilica, however, from the time of the...

About rebuking the others

Do not rebuke one who stopped sinning and has started repenting. If you say that you are doing this for God's sake then...

Overcoming the fear of suffering

The Holy Spirit, Who is sweet and gracious, draws the soul to love the Lord and...

This mystery of earthly worship

I will sing unto the Lord throughout my life, I will chant to my God for as long as I exist. Let my meditation...

The Ultimate Experience

There are things which one cannot explain but can only live...

The real Unity

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither...

The Baptismal Tonsure

The tonsure, which is reminiscent of the vow of the Nazirite, is the symbolic act of...

Why the Baptism is so important?

Before our spiritual baptism, we’re enslaved by the evil one as a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve and we’re subject to...

Our real mother

Our true birth isn’t when we emerge into to the world from our mother's womb, but occurs when we’re re-born for eternal life through Holy Baptism. So our real mother is...

How can we fight our passions?

Novices need more time in order to train themselves in prayer. It is impossible to reach this supreme virtue...

No one is able to know the Mind of God

When the Lord does not give us something we persistently request of Him, then one of two things may be happening...

Life without Christ is not worth living

Now you must be thinking, from what I’ve told you...

When…

‘When you are in an extremely dark room don’t hit out at the darkness to make it go away. That’s not how...

There will be no more death

We should take care to devote ourselves to Christ and to become saints, to enter His Church and then, once all inside His Church, to become...

I pray that you will do the same

And I always pray that my spiritual children will love God...

The beginning and the middle

There's nothing more important than realizing your weakness and your...

With the eyes of the soul

People who have a spiritual life see with the eyes of their soul...

They aren’t like me

To condemn means that i have no patience and love for others...

If I am to bring you up to my level, I first must come down to yours

The task of washing someone’s feet is hardly a task fit for a King. It is the task of the...

The heart equals life

In education, it's exceptionally dangerous to pay attention only to the development of the intellect and knowledge, ignoring the heart. We should look to the heart above all else, because...

Casting mud

The Lord didn’t live among people in order to besmirch them, but to cleanse them. He never sullied anyone, but...

Rely on the Grace

If you allow the thought that you can rely on your own powers and proceed in that vein, then...

The most just and the most unjust

Envy is the passion of a malicious soul that goes into meltdown with...

Not as much as he wants