Talk 18: More Counsels of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
(Duration: 3hr 33min)
This talk is a continuation of Talk 17: “Counsels of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos”. Elder Paisios struggled intensely against his own passions and the demons. He especially struggled to acquire the virtues of obedience, humility, repentance and love. Because of these virtues he achieved such great sanctity that the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him, and he was granted the greatest gift of all: discernment. It was with this gift that he was able to help and guide a great number of people.
In this talk, Father Kosmas offers further insight into the elder’s deep understanding of Christian life and struggle, and of the obstacles that arise to hinder us along the path to salvation. He explains that Orthodox Christians need to study closely the counsels of this great elder, who lived in our own times and hence was acquainted with the many problems that we face in the world today.
The following questions are also discussed: why is it important for family members to have the same spiritual father? How does getting enough sleep help with depression? Can strict spiritual fathers negatively affect their spiritual children? How can possessed people be helped? Why is it unwise to be “glued” to one’s parents? What is the demon of television? Why should parents be careful not to praise their children too highly? How can negative traits sometimes benefit one’s spiritual life? Can cursing have evil effects? Does medication always help those with mental illnesses?
Other topics covered in this talk include: how children resent overbearing parents; blaming our parents for our faults and passions; the female sex’s preoccupation with physical appearance; the limitations of psychiatrists; the reason for today’s lack of elders; the effects of lack of sleep on one’s spiritual life; the potentially damaging effects of theological studies; the Antichrist; the importance of preparation before confession or seeking advice; and the importance of a close relationship with a spiritual father.
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