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Orthodox Talks #16: Encounters With Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

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Talk 16: Encounters with Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas

(Duration: 3hr 28min) 

Elder Paisios (1924–1994) was a rare ascetic and man of prayer in our modern world. As a God-bearing elder he had the prophetic gift of being able to see into people’s souls, and from his hermitage on the Holy Mountain he guided and healed thousands of people who came to him from all over the world for relief from their spiritual and physical infirmities. The life of this great elder silences those who believe that saints are a myth or that there are no longer any saints in our times.

In this talk, Father Kosmas relates the experiences of a number of people who visited the elder, recounting their problems, concerns and questions and the elder’s response in each case.  In addition to vividly illustrating the gift of eldership, the wide range of topics discussed in the course of these encounters is sure to interest anyone trying to lead a Christian life in this age of religious confusion.

The following questions are also discussed: can our sins affect our loved ones? How can one be “tied to the devil”? Why does God allow incurable illnesses? Is it always beneficial to witness a miracle? Is walking on water always a sign of holiness? Why did Elder Paisios refuse to see one person? How did he succeed in preventing a young man from committing suicide? Why can it be dangerous to ignore an elder’s advice? Can all holy people guide souls?

Other topics covered in this talk include: the difference between the clairvoyance of an Orthodox elder and that of a psychic or medium; the effects of online pornography on one’s spiritual life; intellectual spirituality and pride of the mind; trusting one’s thoughts; mental illness and deception; how to distinguish between real and fake or demonic miracles; practicing obedience even to non-Orthodox; an explanation of UFO abductions; and a young man’s encounter with demons on Mount Athos.

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