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Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Cross of the Prayer


A pilgrim of the Holy Mountain visited a hermitic skete and stayed in the hut of a known elder. He had the idea that prayer is easy work and that monks do not toil a lot for it .
 

Then the elderly ascetic told the pilgrim to be obedient and to stay awake one night- according to the typikon of prayer of the hesychasts- and to do prostrations and prayer with the prayer rope for a certain number of hours.

That man really stayed awake and tried to pray as the elder had instructed him.
When dawn finally came, he asked him : '' How did it go, brother? ''
''What can I tell you, Father, forgive me . I couldn't wait for daybreak.
I feel so tired from the vigil and from the attacks of the evil spirits that I would have preferred
to dig in a garden all day with the hoe. ''

'' Brother, the work of prayer, especially of pure prayer, is toilsome. That is why it has so many fruits and gifts. ''

Themes from the Philokalia pg. 66

Ὅτι οἱ μάγοι δὲν εἶναι, οὔτε πρέπει νὰ ὀνομάζωνται Χριστιανοί.( Ἅγιος Νικόδημος Ἁγιορείτης )



Καὶ λοιπὸν οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πάντα ἐνεργοῦντες Χριστιανοί, πῶς ἠμποροῦν πλέον νὰ εἶναι ἢ νὰ ὀνομάζωνται Χριστιανοί; Χριστιανοὶ καὶ μάγοι; Χριστιανοὶ καὶ γητευταί; Χριστιανοὶ καὶ ἐπαοιδοί; Χριστιανοὶ καὶ φαρμακοί; Χριστιανοὶ καὶ δαιμονολάτραι; ἄπαγε! μὴ γένοιτο! καὶ τί συμφωνίαν ἔχει τὸ φῶς μὲ τὸ σκότος; ἡ ἀλήθεια μὲ τὸ ψεῦδος;
 

Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, μὲ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ Διαβόλου; ὁ Χριστὸς μὲ τὸν Βελίαρ; ὅθεν ματαίως οἱ τοιοῦτοι καυχῶνται πῶς εἶναι Χριστιανοί· διότι κᾀνένα ὄφελος δὲν λαμβάνουν ἀπὸ μόνον τὸ ψιλὸν ὄνομα τοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ· ἐπειδὴ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν εἶναι σατανικά, εἶναι ἀντιχριστιανικά· ναὶ Χριστιανοὶ καὶ εὐσεβεῖς, μὰ μὲ τὸν λόγον μόνον καὶ μὲ τὸ σχῆμα· μὲ τὸν τρόπον δὲ καὶ μὲ τὸ ἐπιτήδευμα, προδόται τοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ, ἀσεβεῖς καὶ Ἐθνικοί· ὅθεν δίκαιον εἶχεν ὁ Χρυσόστομος Ἰωάννης, νὰ ὀνομάζῃ χείρονας τῶν Ἑλλήνων τοὺς τοιούτους Χριστιανούς, καὶ νὰ λέγῃ οὕτω περὶ αὐτῶν· «τῷ μὲν λόγῳ πολλοὶ Χριστιανοί, τῷ δὲ τρόπῳ ὀλίγοι καὶ σπάνιοι· τῷ σχήματι ὡς Χριστιανοί, καὶ ὡς Χριστοῦ μαθηταί· τῷ δὲ τρόπῳ προδόται· τῷ λόγῳ εὐσεβεῖς, τῷ δὲ τρόπῳ ἀσεβεῖς, τοῖς δὲ ἔργοις Ἐθνικοί· καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ Προφήτης Δαβὶδ καὶ ἐμίγησαν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι, καὶ ἔμαθον τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. (Ψαλμ. ρε´ 34) καὶ ἀληθῶς ἐπληρώθη ἡ προφητεία ἐν ἡμῖν· οὗτοι ποταποὶ Χριστιανοί, προσέχοντες μύθοις; καὶ γενεαλογίαις; καὶ μαντείαις;καὶ ἀστρολογίαις; καὶ φαρμακείαις; καὶ φυλακτηρίοις; καὶ ὀρνέων φωναῖς; καὶ ἐν πηγαῖς λυχναπτοῦντες, καὶ ἀπολυόμενοι, καὶ παρατηρήσεις ἡμερῶν καὶ ἐνιαυτῶν, καὶ κληδωνισμούς, καὶ ὀνείρατα, καὶ συναντήματα παρατηρούμενοι, καὶ ἄλλ᾿ ἕτερα τοιαῦτα; καὶ πῶς Χριστιανοὶ εὑρεθήσονται οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες; ποίᾳ δὲ παρρησίᾳ τολμῶσιν ἑαυτοὺς ὀνομάζειν Χριστιανούς; ἢ πῶς τολμῶσι προσελθεῖν τοῖς θείοις μυστηρίοις, οἱ χείρονες τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὑπάρχοντες; τοῖς ταῦτα πράττουσιν οὐδὲν ὄφελος τοῦ καλεῖσθαι αὐτοὺς Χριστιανούς· ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ κόρη ἡ παρθένος, ἕως ὅτου φυλάττει τὴν παρθενίαν αὐτῆς, εὐλόγως καὶ ἀξίως παρθένος καλεῖται καὶ ἔστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ ἀπατηθῇ ὑπό τινος καὶ φθαρῇ, καὶ τὴν παρθενίαν ἀπολέσῃ, οὐκ ἔτι ἔσται παρθένος... οὕτω καὶ ὁ καλούμενος Χριστιανός· ἐὰν τὰς συνθήκας παραβῇ καὶ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας καταπατήσῃ, καὶ τὸν λόγον τοῦ Ἁγίου Εὐαγγελίου ἀθετήσῃ, καὶ τὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν πράττῃ, οὐδὲν ὄφελος τὸν τοιοῦτον καλεῖσθαι Χριστιανόν». 
(Λόγ. περὶ ψευδοπροφητῶν)