Talk 15: The Life of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
(Duration: 3hr 10min)
Elder Paisios may rightly be considered one of the most popular elders of our times. Thousands of people from all over the world flocked to him to receive guidance, consolation, hope, and insight into their problems. He healed sicknesses of soul and body, warned against dangers, and revealed the will of God. Using the gift of clairvoyance, he could see events both present and future. With the publishing of his remarkable life and teachings in many languages and the increasing number of miracles at his gravesite, he has become well known throughout the Orthodox world.
In this talk, Father Kosmas recounts the life and times of Elder Paisios from his youth until his blessed repose in 1994. He emphasises that by studying the life of this great elder one draws closer to him spiritually, thereby receiving help through his example, teachings, and prayerful intercessions.
The following questions are also discussed: should uneducated monks instruct educated laymen and clergy? Why is humility so important? Are priests who are subject to passions capable of guiding souls? Should we blame ourselves for the evil in the world? Can hopelessness lead one to God? What is joyful sorrow? Are we to blame for ecumenism? Should prayers be offered for those who are committing grave sins? God or medicine: which to choose? What are ‘religious liars’?
Other topics covered in this talk include: fantasy in the spiritual life; robotic obedience; the difficulty of understanding spiritual matters with the mind; working on Sundays and feast days; love of prayer; abusing children with TV; ignoring the Church; the difficulty of loving our neighbour; sacrificing our lives for others; the dangers of trusting our thoughts; the power of patience; the importance of unceasing prayer for the world; the benefit of seeing our own weaknesses; large families in our times; one saint’s repose; and how striving for holiness can be dangerous.
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