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Orthodox Talks #20: Elder Porphyrios of Greece as Spiritual Father

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Talk 20: Elder Porphyrios of Greece as Spiritual Father

Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas

(Duration: 3hr 21min) 

It has been said that only once in a hundred years does Greece produce an elder such as Elder Porphyrios (1906–1991), who has become renowned as one of the greatest spiritual fathers of the last century. Thousands of people, not only from Greece but from all over the world, came to him for advice and help. Using his gifts of clairvoyance, healing, and miracle-working he brought a vast number of souls to the Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church.

In this talk, Father Kosmas looks at Elder Porphyrios’ sixty years as a spiritual father. He presents many examples of how the elder dealt with those who came to him for confession, guidance and healing. Although the examples are specific to the people who came to the elder, Father Kosmas points out the spiritual benefit the listener can derive from them.

The following questions are also discussed: should spiritual fathers be strict and demanding in this day and age? Why is pride harder to detect in our time? Is an educated priest necessarily better than one who is uneducated? Is all anger sinful? How can natural gifts at times cause one to lose oneself? Is it important for a spiritual father to know the background of those who confess to him? Do spiritual fathers have the authority to deny a person Communion? Is it a sign of pride to desire the priesthood?

Other topics covered in this talk include: social anxiety, medication, and spiritual life; the dangers of criticizing a proud person; how the elder once mistakenly walked into a brothel; physical and mental illnesses and fasting; the dangers of exceptions becoming the norm in the Church;  how caring for the sick and the elderly can curb sexual passion; credit cards and their effect on one’s spiritual life; the importance of penances imposed by spiritual fathers; and the danger of measuring one’s own spiritual progress.

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