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humility

The Second Tuesday after Pascha. CHRISTOS ANESTI! CHRIST IS RISEN! Staying by Oneself (Part II) »

May 7th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The inner attitude with which monks are supposed to sit in their cells is described by another elder in a drastic image: “When you dwell in the desert as a hesychast [a person who practices quietistic meditation], don’t imagine that you are doing something great. Instead, think of yourself as a dog that has been driven away from the crowd and tied up because he bites and bothers people.” The […]

The Tenth Day of Great Lent. Lent in Our Life (Part II) »

March 20th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

In regard to Lent, instead of asking fundamental questions—”What is fasting?” or “What is Lent?”—we satisfy ourselves with Lenten symbolism. In church magazines and bulletins appear recipes for “delicious Lenten dishes,” and a parish might even raise some additional money by means of a well-advertised “tasty Lenten dinner.” So much in our churches is explained symbolically as interesting, colorful, and amusing customs and traditions, as something which connects us not […]

Spirituality from Below (Part III) »

February 20th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

For the monks humility is the courage to face the truth, the courage to accept their own earthliness, their humanity. The monks test one another in humility, so as to find out whether someone really is a man of God. “A monk was highly praised to Anthony by the brothers. Then Anthony took him and put him to the test, to see if he could endure insults. When it became […]

Spirituality from Below (Part II) »

February 13th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The following remark has been attributed to Anthony: “If you see that a young man is striving for heaven with his own will, grasp his feet and drag him down; for it will do him no good.” It makes no sense for young people to meditate too early on, to take the path to mysticism too soon. First they have to come to terms with their own reality. They have […]

Death and Humility »

February 5th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

A pilgrim to the Holy Mountain of Athos asked an old hermit, “Father, how can I attain my salvation?” The venerated holy man replied, “Every day at dusk go to the cemetery and for an hour hurl insults to the dead. Do that for a month and pay attention to everything that happens around you. Then come and report to me.” After a month the pilgrim returned. “Father, I have […]