Τρίτη, 12 Αυγούστου 2014

ON TRIALS AND THE SPIRITUAL LAW. Source: “ The Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959): Struggles, Experiences, Teachmgs. ”


Source: “ The Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959): Struggles, Experiences, Teachmgs. ”

The Fathers’ saying spill your blood and receive the spirit could be described as the ever-memorable Elder’s permanent motto. Intrepid and courageous as he was, he left no room for queries or doubts in his life. But his ardent faith also contributed to this excellent combination, and so the results were always positive. Resolve and daring are the chief characteristics of man’s freedom which manifest his will, and with faith in Godwhich is all that is asked of our rational nature—they arouse and bring down upon us the divine energy which heals what is infirm and completes what is wanting.

With God’s help and with the above preconditions, to the Elder nothing was considered impossible; but by those unable to attain to this state, he was misunderstood and regarded as deficient or extreme. To everything that seemed difficult or complex, the Elder had a ready answer: Where is God?—which for him meant that without fail, God will solve the problem. Such an attitude was a basic principle of his, grounded not just in a very profound faith—what the Fathers call faith of contemplation—but also in the guardianship of the spiritual law, on which he based everything throughout his life. Whatever happened in general, he always judged it on the basis of the spiritual law; and in particular he judged our own personal affairs in this way, when they preoccupied us.

At the beginning of our stay with him, we usually paid quite frequent visits to him so that he could give us advice and see how we were getting on. Naturally, whether or not we told him what was on our minds, he would explain the meaning of events in detail, beginning from the results and analyzing what had led up to them, right back to the initial provocation. He would explain where these things came from, and why they came and to what extent, with such precision that we were astounded at the place the law of the spirit of life (Rom 8:2) held within him. Once, when we made a mistake (and how many mistakes are not caused by inexperience!) he gave me as a penance the pointless labor of a long journey. Because I knew that he never did anything without a reason, I did not ask any questions, but he told me of his own accord: If we do not arouse a corresponding pain through arduous asceticism along with our repentance, we do not satisfy the judgment of the spiritual law, and it is possible that we may get some trial which we do not know how it will turn out. I can say that across the whole range of our actions and affairs, both general and particular, the basis and criterion was the spiritual law. As Abba Mark says, real knowledge is patiently to accept affliction and not to blame others for our own misfortunes.

The Elder was also in the habit of referring frequently to the significance of trials, both as the totality of: the various ills by which mankind is tested, and as events concerning individuals. On the basis of the spiritual law as the intellect of God’s comprehensive providence, he accepted educative episodes as appropriate instruments for our correction, and called them trials. Even though he knew in depth the importance of the benefit derived from these and repeated the patristic saying take away trials, and no one ivould be saved and the statement that they were sure to come (Lk 17:1), he would examine with minute accuracy the causes and occasions which prompt them, and taught us how to avoid them as far as possible. His experience centered on this double duty, as he called it: to deal wisely with the causes and occasions of trials so as to forestall them on the one hand, and on the other—whenever they do occur—to confront them bravely, with faith and in hope of the ensuing benefit. Unexpected trials are sent by God to teach us to practice the ascetic life, and they lead us to repentance even when we are reluctant. And again: The afflictions that come upon us are the residt of our own sins. With these sayings the Elder reminded us of the “professor of the spiritual law,” as he called him, Abba Mark the Ascetic.

The practical aspect of the life in Christ conceals the most complex mystery in human life. Two titanic forces linked together by man create an immense and unbreakable tug- of-war with man in the middle, each frantically pulling him towards itself in order to win him over. Two loves, standing in opposition and turned towards opposite poles, form the motive power of these two forces: love towards God and love of this world. The victim, man, is not always in a position consciously to discern his own preferences, and this gives rise to retrospective changes. The occasions and causes which serve to awaken human beings who are entangled in these forces are known as trials. Are we to describe them? If I would count them, as the Psalmist says, they are more than the sand. (Pss 139:18). But we should relate just a very little from the experiences of the Elder, who had the capacity to analyze trials with exceptionally subtle discernment.

In general he considered every trial beneficial (cf. Jas 1:2), but he ascribed greater seriousness to them when explaining the particular temptations of negligence and self-conceit, which he described as devastating. Assuredly, God wills and calls all to follow Him, but not everyone accepts His call. Yet those who have accepted this calling are tested sorely, to the degree that He ordains and in proportion to the knowledge which He has given them. The negative side, which conspires against those called by God, is the love of this world which is in the power of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19), which in its crafty and hypocritical way manages to deceive some; as for the others who are not convinced by its deceit, it attempts to stifle their will with open and unconcealed force. The merciless pressure of the “changes” brought about by this evil neighbor of ours does not leave our good intention and good start intact.

There are many causes, known in detail to our Fathers, which give rise to changes: they may be natural, stemming from needs of ours which are not reprehensible, or they may be acquired, stemming from passions and demons. But whether they come from the one cause or the other, the reality is that they conspire against our will.
In this uninterrupted tug-of-war, trials are constantly present. None of those who sail this stormy sea of life remains untouched by the struggle with them. Inexperience, ignorance, weakness, the weight of our flesh of clay, our evil past, the passions, our habits and in addition the devil—all these evils change and check our right intention and vitiate our good purpose. The law of sin ivhich divells in our tnembers (Rom 7:23), which is the imagination of our heart which is evilfrom our youth (Gen 8:21) slackens our progress along the good course marked out by our calling from God and the nobility of our intention. There is now no other way of waking us up and pushing us forward except for contractual afflictions, which are properly called trials.


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Γιά τίς σαρκικές διαστροφές ἐντός τοῦ γάμου, Ἁγίου Παϊσίου Ἁγιορείτου


Διήγησις τοῦ π. Σάββα Ἁγιορείτη
περί τοῦ Ἁγίου Παϊσίου: «Μοῦ διηγήθηκε κάποια κυρία ἀπό τήν Θεσσαλονίκη, ὅτι
κάποτε ὁ Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ἔδωσε δυναμικό τέλος σ’ ἕνα φορτικό καί ἄκρως ἐφάμαρτο
συζυγικό της βάσανο. Εἶχαν διαφορετικό Πνευματικό ἐκείνη καί ὁ σύζυγός της. Ὁ
δικός της Πνευματικός ἦταν πατερικός καί εὐσυνείδητος καί ὑπεδείκνυε τίς
θεοχάρακτες γραμμές καί προϋποθέσεις τοῦ τίμιου γάμου. Ὁ Πνευματικός τοῦ
συζύγου της ἦταν νεωτεριστής καί μεταπατερικός καί ἔλεγε στό σύζυγό της τό
γνωστό καί βλάσφημο καί ἀμοραλιστικό λόγιο ὅτι "ὁ Θεός ἀφήνει ἐλεύθερες
τίς κρεβατοκάμαρες καί δέν ἀσχολεῖται μέ τό τί κάνουν οἱ σύζυγοι κατά τήν σχέση,
ἀλλά μέ τήν καρδιά…". Ὁ σύζυγος ἀπαιτοῦσε νά μεταβληθεῖ ἡ σύζυγός του σέ
χοιρώδη καί λασπώδη κρεάτινη μάζα καί διαρκῶς τήν πίεζε νά ἐνδώσει, μέ εὐλογία
τοῦ Πνευματικοῦ του, στήν παρά φύσιν θεομίσητη καί βδελυρή ἁμαρτία!!! Ἐκείνη ἀκολουθοῦσε
τήν ὑπόδειξη τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ μέσω τοῦ καλοῦ της Πνευματικοῦ καί οὐδέποτε
διανοήθηκε νά προβεῖ σέ ἕνα τέτοιο παθογενές ἀνοσιούργημα..

Κάποτε ἀπελπισμένη
κατέφυγε στήν Ἱερά Μονή Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου τοῦ Θεολόγου Σουρωτῆς καί συνάντησε τόν ἐκεῖ
παρεπιδημοῦντα Γέροντα τῆς ἀδελφότητος Ὅσιο καί Θεοφόρο πατέρα Παΐσιο τόν Ἁγιορείτη.
Τοῦ ἐκμυστηρεύθηκε τό πρόβλημά της καί ζήτησε τήν βοήθειά του. Ὁ Ὅσιος, κατά
μαρτυρία τῆς γυναίκας, ἔγινε κατά τό κοινῶς λεγόμενο «ἡφαίστειο» ἀπό ἱερά ἀγανάκτηση.
Ὑπέδειξε στή γυναίκα νά μήν ἐνδώσει οὔτε καί μέ ἀπειλή θανάτου στίς
σιχαμερότερες καί θανασιμότερες ἁμαρτίες πού ἔχει νά παρουσιάσει ὀ ἐκπεσών ἄνθρωπος.
Ἐξήγησε ὅτι μέσω αὐτῶν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἐπεισέρχεται ὁ διάβολος στό γάμο καί
φυγαδεύεται ὁ Παράκλητος.

Γίνονται οἱ ἄνθρωποι ὑποκτηνώδη ὄντα, πού ἔπρεπε νἀ ἐντρέπονται
τά φυσιολογικά κτήνη καί νά διδάσκονται ἀπ’ αὐτά. Ἐξήγησε ἀκόμη ὅτι εἶναι ἀναίρεση
τοῦ σκοποῦ τοῦ γάμου πού διασώζει τό κατά φύσιν καί ἀναγάγει στό ὑπερ φύσιν,
καί ὅτι οἱ βδελυρές καί πυρίκαυστες οὐρανόθεν στά Σόδομα αὐτές πράξεις εἶναι οἱ
προσφιλέστερες στόν διάβολο, γιατί ὁδηγοῦν τόν κατ’ εἰκόνα καί ὁμοίωσιν Θεοῦ πλασθέντα
ἄνθρωπο στήν κατακόρυφη πτωτική κατεύθυνση τοῦ διεστραμμένου δαίμονα καί ὄχι
στήν ὑπερυψωθεῖσα θριαμβευτική θέση, πού ὑπέδειξε ἡ τεθεωμένη ἀνθρώπινη φύση
πού προσέλαβε ὁ Χριστός, ἤτοι στά δεξιά τοῦ Πατρός… Ὀνόμασε τίς πράξεις αὐτές
μάστιγα τῆς ἐποχῆς καί παθογένεια γιά τά διαζύγια, τήν ψυχική διάσπαση τῶν
συζύγων, καί ἰδίως γιά τήν διαστροφή καί κατρακύλα τῶν σημερινῶν παιδιῶν, πού εἰσροφοῦν
δαιμονική ἐνέργεια ἀπό τά κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα πού ἔχει ὁ διάβολος ἐπί τοῦ
γενετικοῦ ὑλικοῦ ἀπό τό ὁποῖο προέρχονται καί ἀπό τίς χαίνουσες πνευματικές
πληγές, πού ὐπάρχουν ἀθεράπευτες στίς ψυχές τῶν γονέων τους..

Ἐκεῖνο πού ἔκανε ἰδιαίτερη ἐντύπωση
στήν κυρία ἐκείνη, ἦταν ἡ ἐπιμονή τοῦ Ὁσίου Παϊσίου νά καταγγείλει τόν
«Πνευματικό» τοῦ συζύγου της στόν Ἐπίσκοπο του γιά νά τόν καθαιρέσει. Τῆς εἶπε ἐπί
λέξει: «Νά πᾶς νά τό πεῖς στό Δεσπότη γιά νά τόν ξυρίσει!!!».

Διαπιστώνουμε τήν
ξεκάθαρη, σύμφωνη μέ ὅλους τούς Ἁγίους Πατέρες, θέση τοῦ Ἁγίου Παϊσίου, ἐνάντια
στίς ὅποιες σαρκικές διαστροφές εἴτε ἐκτός, εἴτε ἐντός τοῦ γάμου. Αὐτές καθιστοῦν
τό γάμο ἕναν «νομιμοφανή» σοδομισμό μέ καταστροφικές συνέπειες τόσο στούς
συζύγους, πού ἄν δέν μετανοήσουν κολάζονται, ὄσο καί στά τέκνα τους. Διαπιστώνουμε ἐπίσης τήν ἁγιοπατερική στάση του ἀπέναντι ἐκείνων τῶν «Πνευματικῶν», τῶν χωρίς Ἅγιο Πνεῦμα, πού συμβουλεύουν ὀλέθρια τά πνευματικά τους τέκνα «χαϊδεύοντας» τά πάθη τους. Ὅπως μᾶς διδάσκει ἡ Ἁγιοπατερική Γραμματεία ὁ Πνευματικός ἔχει ἐξουσία νά συγχωρεῖ ἐκεῖνα πού συγχωροῦνται σύμφωνα μέ τόν νόμο τοῦ Θεοῦ καί ὄχι τά πάντα. Ἡ ἐθελοτυφλία καί ἡ ἄνομη κακή συγχώρηση αὐτῶν πού ἁμαρτάνουν ἀμετανόητα κολάζει τόσο τόν ἐξομολογούμενο ὅσο καί τόν Πνευματικό του.

Ὁ Κύριος νά μᾶς δίνει σύνεση καί νά μᾶς εὐλογεῖ ὅλους δι’ εὐχῶν τοῦ Ἁγίου
Του, Ὁσίου Παϊσίου τοῦ Ἁγιορείτου».


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