Many say Father Arsenios Boca is holy, while others say that man was not normal. The same thing happened with Saint Porphyrios, Saint Paisios, and other saints in the past – for example Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Symeon the Stylite or Saint Symeon the New Theologian. In fact, both opinions are true, but an explanation is needed to understand.
The one who is a saint is not a normal man. He is not a good man because the good man is the natural man. The human nature created by God is good because all of God’s creation is good. But the saint is something else.
Μan, as a rational being, has the opportunity to get beyond his “good” way of existence. And this is his torment.
For man, there are three existential states:
- the state against nature, in which man is controlled by passions. If a man dies in this state then he is doomed to hell
- the state according to nature, the natural state in which man has the attributes of his nature, is good, and does good deeds, that is, virtues. In this state, man is saved.
- the state above nature, in which man already begins to acquire qualities beyond nature, and begins to have charisma. In this state, man is sanctified.
It is a phenomenon similar to that in which iron approaches fire: iron remains iron, fire remains fire, but iron begins to acquire the properties of fire: it is very hot and begins to emit light, losing its dark appearance and its characteristic coldness.
The same with a saint: the moment he draws near to God, he begins to acquire properties and actions which, for some, are wonderful and, for others, are falsehood, madness—things unbelievable: things not good in our eyes.
The examples cover a very wide area—from wonders, prophecies, and clairvoyance, from knowledge of the date of one’s death and the awareness that their mission has ended here on earth.
These are clear signs of God’s action through the saint, actions that must be judged by the consensus of spiritual people in the Church, because we, without the experience of such situations, can easily fall into deception and misjudge the causes and purposes of such actions.
What remains with us is the obedience, veneration, and following—not so much their deeds but, more so, the spirit that has generated them, as well as the avoidance of exaggerations and exploitation in personal interests of such stars in the sky of the Church of Christ.
Based on Saint Maximus the Confessor
In photos are candid shots from the feast of Saint John Chrysostom. Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Chalkida was present at the feast and brought for us to venerate the hand of Saint David the Elder from Euboea.