Sunday, August 21, 2016

Μη ντρέπεσαι να πης τις αμαρτίες σου.... ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )

Η μετάνοια εκφράζεται σαν ομολογία των αμαρτημάτων, σαν εξαγόρευσις. Μη ντρέπεσαι να πης τις αμαρτίες σου. Κάποτε θα γίνη η αποκάλυψις των αμαρτημάτων μας. Ή θα τις αποκαλύψουμε εμείς, μόνοι μας, μπροστά σ' ένα πρόσωπο, στον πνευματικό, ή θα τις αποκάλυψη ο Θεός την ήμερα εκείνη μπροστά σ' όλους τους αγγέλους και τους ανθρώπους. Αν προλάβουμε πρώτοι να κατηγορήσουμε τον εαυτόν μας με την μετάνοια, εξαλείφονται όλες οι αμαρτίες μας και αθωωνόμαστε.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Dormition of the Mother of God- Transition to Life.. ( Elder Ephraim of Arizona )



Every time we celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God, it’s as if we’re having Easter – the Easter of the summer. Our Lady the Mother of God prepares Easter for us. A glorious crossing “from death to life”. A second Easter, holy spotless, life-giving for the human race, because today “the laws of nature are overcome”.

“How the source of life goes towards life, passing through death”, says Saint John the Damascan. The death of the life-giving Mother of the Lord transcends the concept of death, so that it’s not even called death, but “dormition” and “divine transition” and an emigration and immigration towards the Lord. And even if it’s called death, it’s a life-bringing death, since it transports to a celestial and immortal life.

The transition of the Mother of God, as an indisputable fact preserved by sacred Tradition, has been incorporated into the teaching of the Orthodox Church and has nothing to do with the ­­­­­pietistic beliefs of the Westerners concerning the conception without seed and life without death of the Virgin Mary.

The Virgin was the particular creation of God who surpassed all people and the angels. She is the only mortal ever to have lived a spotless life and to have become what is beyond the understanding of all reasoning beings- the Mother of God. Because she never sinned, never gave in to sensuous thoughts, it was proper that she lived on earth without the pains of the flesh, or illnesses. Even though she had a life-giving body, still, as a human being she was subject to the sickness of death and she did, in fact, die. But her body and soul were not separated from God. For a short time, the connection binding them together was loosed, as was the case with Christ.

After her death, her soul was united immediately with Christ. Because at the time of the Dormition of His Mother, attended by the celestial ranks of the angels and the saints, He took her holy soul, not merely to heaven, but “to His royal throne, to the heavenly Holy of Holies”, as John the Damascan tells us. And the life-giving and God-receiving* body of Our Most Holy Lady, after three days, was transported to the celestial realms, uncorrupt, to her Only-Begotten and beloved Son. In other words, we can speak of the resurrection of the Mother of God in the flesh. But this resurrection was not activated by Our Lady herself, but by her Son and God.

One witness of this resurrection/transportation of the Mother of God was the Apostle Thomas, who had not been present at her interment. He arrived late, as usual- three days late, in fact- and requested the other apostles to open the grave, only to find that the God-glorified body was not there. They did, however, see the Mother of God ascending into the heavens and giving the Apostle Thomas her Precious and Holy Belt, as proof of her ascension, rather in the same way as Christ allowed the same apostle to touch His wounds after the Resurrection.

The body of Our Lady- like that of her Son- did not undergo any corruption in the grave, that is it was not altered, it did decompose into the material elements that constituted it. In any case, since Christ’s resurrection, the bodies of many of His saints have not decayed and have become, in part, undecomposed relics. How much more reasonable it is that the God-receiving body of the Mother of God would not decay.

Saint Andrew of Crete says that the fact that the Mother of God did not lose her virginity at Christ’s birth had, as its natural concomitant, that her body did not decompose at the time of death. “The birth avoided despoilment and the grave did not accept decomposition”.

After her Dormition, Our Lady the Mother of God became the mother of the new creation, the Church of Christ. Because she had the central position in the dispensation of salvation, since it was from her that the Head of the Church, the Lord, took His human flesh. Now, in the celestial Church, she has the fullness of Grace and glory and boldness. She has become the benefactress of the whole of nature and creation, which is why all creation venerates her as Lady and Maiden and Queen and Mother of God.


Through the Mother of God and because of her, the history of the whole world entered another orbit, incomparably more magnificent and superior to what had existed before her. No creature could have or could ever be more perfect than her, nor could she have been more perfect than she was. According to the Fathers, there are three things that Almighty God could not have made more perfect: the incarnation of the Divine Word, the Virgin Mother of God and the bliss that the saved will enjoy.

After the resurrection of Christ, Our Lady was the support of the apostles and of the newly-founded Church of Christ. She taught the new Christians, guided them and consoled them in their sorrows. In the expanded version of her Life, we read that the Archangel Gabriel visited her three days before her Dormition, as he had done at the Annunciation, and told her of her glorious transition from death to life. The Holy Spirit, in miraculous wise, then gathered all the apostles in Gethsemane, in the house of the Mother of God, so that they could be present at her interment and take her blessing. After they had lauded the greatly-praised Mother of God, they asked her to pass on to them a final teaching, as a legacy. The Mother of God then told them a parable, in which this world was compared with a trade fair at which whoever does best at trading will be the who gains the greatest profit. She went on to explain that so it is also in matters of the spirit. Whoever observes Christ’s commandments with the greatest zeal and heed will gain the greatest profit and will be glorified more greatly in the kingdom of heaven. And she urged them to persist in the “good fight”.

And, indeed, how greatly pleased Our Lady is when she sees us struggling for our salvation. What satisfaction this brings her! And she herself, while on earth, how hard she struggled in her quiet way- though, since she was sinless, there was no need for her to do so- so as to leave us with an example of perfect asceticism. After her dormition, they found in Gethsemane where she lived, slabs where had preformed her prostrations and they were deeply indented from all the wear and tear she had subjected them to.

Let us also imitate her direct obedience, her endearing humility, her secret, internal, spiritual effort, her ardent prayer, the constant watchfulness which she showed, her divine love, and the spiritual pain she felt as a knife at the Cross of her Son.

To those who struggle, she becomes a “supportive ally”, even if they have previously lived prodigal lives. Let’s remember that the Mother of God “stood bail” for Mary the Egyptian after the latter’s repentance. And when Saint Mary retreated into the desert to take on her relentless struggle, Our Lady herself consoled her with her divine appearances.

As novice-mistress of monastics, the Mother of God is also the provider of divine gifts to them, especially those on the Holy Mountain. It was she who gave the gift of the prayer of the heart to Saint Maximos Kavoskalivis, Gregory Palamas, Silouan the Athonite and also to the late Elder Iosif the Hesychast, who is directly linked to our brotherhood. Another reason why today is of particular importance to us who are the spiritual grandchildren of Elder Iosif the Hesychast is that it was on this day, in 1959, that he fell asleep in the Lord. He loved Our Lady very much- our sweet little mother, as he called her- and he received so many insights, divine appearances and gifts from her. And, indeed, one particular characteristic of the blessed Athonite Fathers is their love of the Mother of God. At the sound of her name, they were unable to restrain their tears which came from pure love for the Virgin Mother. Merely on hearing her name, a soul that loves God is moved to wonder, gratitude and thankfulness. So even the recollection of the Mother of God, that is recalling the person of Our Lady to the mind, sanctifies the person who does this. The late Fr. Athanasios Iviritis used to say that love of the Mother of God saved people, even if they didn’t have any works to show.


People today have to use the mediation of the Mother of God, which is for our salvation. In every one of our sorrows and problems we mustn’t forget “the help of the saddened, the protectress, defender, comfort of the faint-hearted”, to whom we can have recourse and find consolation, immediate release and response. We pray that Our Lady the Mother of God, who has been “transported to Life”, will always give her blessing to all of us, so that we may spend the present life as safe and sound as possible from the deceits and wiles of the Evil One, and that she will make us worthy of the heavenly kingdom of her Son. Amen.

* The first Friday after Easter, a feast of the Mother of God, is often referred to in English, as that of the Life-Giving Spring. In fact this should be, Life-Receiving Spring. The most likely explanation, perhaps is a lapsus calami on the part of a translator, who read ζωοδότος for ζωοδόχος. 




Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Source-Pemptousia.com

Source -http://orthognosia.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Να μη θυμώνης, δείγμα εγωϊσμού είναι αυτό.. ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )

Να μη θυμώνης, δείγμα εγωϊσμού είναι αυτό, η δε πραότης και η μακροθυμία, δείγμα ταπεινώσεως. Δια τούτο, παιδί μου, εάν θέλης να σμικρύνης και να εκριζώσης τα πάθη σου, την ταπείνωσιν και την αυτοκατηγορίαν αγάπησον, μόνον με αυτόν τον τρόπον κυρίως ελαττώνονται και εξαλείφονται τα πάθη.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης

Struggle with all the might of your soul for the love of our Christ.

Struggle with all the might of your soul for the love of our Christ. The devil strives day and night to make us his vessels and render us unworthy of our holy God. But let us strive to become vessels of our crucified Christ so that we may humiliate the devil and glorify the Love Who shed His all-holy blood for us! Struggle mightily. Do not fear, for we have before us our big brothers—the angels—who fight together with us. They are incomparably stronger than the demons. Therefore, take courage. Strengthen ourselves with true self-knowledge, for the truth protects a struggler like an almighty weapon.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Προσεύχου να σε τονώνη ο Θεός εις την υπομονήν, εις την διάκρισιν, εις την φώτισιν ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )


Εσύ, παιδί μου, κάνε το καθήκόν σου, εάν δεν κάμνουν υπακοήν, άφηνέ τους εις τον Θεόν και ησύχαζε. Είναι φθόνος του διαβόλου, παιδί μου, μήπως ο διάβολος εις τα βουνά θα πάη; Πηγαίνει εκεί που αγωνίζονται δια να σωθούν, και επειδή και ημείς θέλομεν να σωθώμεν, μας ανακατεύει χωρίς να το εννοώμεν. Σήκωνε, παιδί μου, το βάρος των αδελφών. Ο δε Θεός είναι δίκαιος ανταποδότης εις τον καθένα. Θα έλθη καιρός και θα ίδης πόσα θα σου δώση δια τους κόπους που κατέβαλες δια τόσας ψυχάς. Κοπίασον εις αυτόν τον κόσμον, βοήθει και ποτέ δεν θα στερηθής της βοηθείας του Θεού. Τώρα σπείρεις, θα έλθη καιρός που θα θερίσης. Προσεύχου να σε τονώνη ο Θεός εις την υπομονήν, εις την διάκρισιν, εις την φώτισιν κ.λ.π. Εγώ δια σε προσεύχομαι συνέχεια, αλλά δεν έχω παρρησίαν εις τον Θεόν και ούτω δεν φέρει καρπόν η προσευχή μου. Σκέψου τι υπέφεραν οι πατέρες, δια να σώσουν άλλους, δεν είναι μικρόν το θέμα, εσύ βοηθείς τους άλλους, εις σε θα ξεθυμάνη ο διάβολος, δι’ αυτό και σε θλίβει. Λοιπόν βάλε την υπομονήν και την ανδρείαν εμπρός και ειπέ: «Θα αποθάνω επάνω εις τον αγώνα βοηθώντας τους αδελφούς μου δια να σωθούν και ο Θεός δεν με αφήνει να χαθώ, αφού δια την αγάπην Του το κάνω». Ναι, έτσι πράξε, και θα ίδης πόσην δύναμιν θα πάρης εις το αγώνισμα και πόσην χαράν. Διότι ενίοτε η ανυπομονησία, η απελπισία και η απαισιοδοξία υστερούν την χάριν του Θεού και ο άνθρωπος το αποδίδει εσφαλμένα εις τα βάρη που σηκώνει. Αλλά το θάρρος, η θυσία, η ανδρεία, η πίστις προς τον Θεόν φέρει την χάριν του Θεού. Εύχομαι να σου τονώση ο Θεός τα πνευματικά νεύρά σου δι’ αγώνα με νέας δυνάμεις.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Η ΓΕΡΟΝΤΙΣΣΑ ΜΑΚΡΙΝΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΚΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΑ ΜΟΝΑΣΤΗΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ . Gerontissa Makrina. ( English Subtitles )







Echoes From the Heart is a documentary film that gives a glimpse into the immense impact of Gerontissa Makrina, abbess of Panagia Odigitria monastery in Volos, Greece.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Εάν θέλει ο Θεός να πάσχωμεν, άρα έχει κάποιον σωτήριον σκοπόν, τον οποίον ημείς οι γήϊνοι δεν δυνάμεθα προορατικώς να τον προϊδωμεν ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )


 Ο Θεός παιδεύει και πάλιν ιάται, ανεβάζει και κατεβάζει. Εις το θέλημα του Κυρίου τις δύναται αντιστήναι; Εάν θέλει ο Θεός να πάσχωμεν, άρα έχει κάποιον σωτήριον σκοπόν, τον οποίον ημείς οι γήϊνοι δεν δυνάμεθα προορατικώς να τον προϊδωμεν, ενώ η υπομονή και η μακροθυμία και το ταπεινόν της παραδοχής του πειρασμού, πάντοτε, ναι, πάντοτε, θα φέρη κατόπιν βεβαίαν ωφέλειαν.
Βάσταζε, παιδί μου, τον σταυρόν σου και γνώριζε ότι εις όσα πάσχομεν είναι γνώστης ο Θεός και ως Πατήρ γνήσιος προσπαθεί με κάθε τρόπον να μας μορφώση εντός μας, τον Ιησούν Χριστόν. Θέλει να πάσχωμεν, διότι οίδεν, τι έχει ετοιμάσει δια τα πάσχοντα παιδιά Του εις τους ουρανούς. Εάν όμως δεν στείλη εις αυτά θλίψεις, θα αδικηθούν, διότι θα υστερηθούν τα ανεκλάλητα αγαθά του ουρανού. Όσον περισσότερον πάσχομεν, τόσον πιο ωραίος στέφανος της δόξης πλέκεται!



Mη πιστεύης ποτέ ότι έχεις δαιμόνιον, μη σε πλανέση ποτέ κανένας τέτοιος λογισμός. Εις πολλούς μοναχούς συμβαίνουν τοιαύτα, όταν αρρωστήσουν, ούτως ο Θεός τα έκανε. Όταν ασθενή το σώμα, να ακολουθή σύμφωνα και η ψυχή, και όταν η ψυχή πάσχη και το σώμα να μαραίνεται και να σκυθρωπάζη. Σε εφθόνησεν ο πειρασμός, παιδί μου, αλλά ας κάμνωμεν υπομονήν, δια να σκάση αυτός και να δοξασθή ο Θεός. Θα παρέλθουν όλα και ο χειμών ομοίως και θα ανατείλη και πάλιν η γλυκεία άνοιξις της υγείας και θα χαίρεσαι και θα λέγης: «Μακάριον, ότι εταπείνωσάς με, όπως αν μάθω τα δικαιώματά σου». Ποίος δεν πονεί, όταν εγχειρίζεται και ποίος δεν πονεί, όταν υποχωρήση η χάρις του Θεού και βρίθουν μύριοι λογισμοί διεστραμμένοι; Ούτως ωκονόμησεν η θεία Σοφία, να κατεργάζεται την διόρθωσιν της ψυχής. 


Όπως οι καιροί της φύσεως, δηλαδή ο Χειμώνας, η Άνοιξις, το Καλοκαίρι, το Φθινόπωρον, ο ένας διαδέχεται τον άλλον, ούτω πως και οι καιροί οι πνευματικοί, φεύγει ο ένας, έρχεται ο άλλος και ούτω συνηθίζει η ψυχή εις όλας τας πνευματικάς αλλοιώσεις και γίνεται σοφή και έμπειρος. Και αυτή η πείρα είναι χάρις, η οποία βαστάζει την ψυχήν εν καιρώ των φοβερών αλλοιώσεων, ώστε να σοφίζεται εκ των προηγουμένων πειρασμών ότι μόνον η υπομονή και η μακροθυμία παρέχουν κατάστασιν ειρηνικήν και σκέψεις ωφελίμους, οπότε εξερχόμεθα εκ των πειρασμών με ωφέλειαν και γινόμεθα περισσότερον σοφοί και έμπειροι.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Εάν εύχεσθε έντονα και αδιάλειπτα, δεν θα πέσετε, εάν την προσευχήν αμελήσετε, να ηξεύρετε, θα έχετε γενικήν πτώσιν. ( Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης )

Υπομονή, παιδιά μου, μη χάνετε το θάρρος σας, λέγετε έντονα την ευχήν, μην σκορπίζετε τον νουν σας εις τα γήϊνα, έστω και αν έχετε μερίμνας, ως παρερχόμενα να τα τοποθετήτε μέσα σας, μόνον την προσευχήν και την μνήμην του θανάτου να έχετε προ οφθαλμών σας διηνεκώς, «προωρώμην τον Κύριον ενώπιόν μου δια παντός, ίνα μη σαλευθώ» (Ψαλμ. 15,8 ).
Εάν εύχεσθε έντονα και αδιάλειπτα, δεν θα πέσετε, εάν την προσευχήν αμελήσετε, να ηξεύρετε, θα έχετε γενικήν πτώσιν.

Γέροντας Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτης

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The prayer is breath......


The prayer is breath. When a person breathes, he is alive, and he attends to his whole life. Whoever begins to say the prayer, also begins to correct his whole life, with his spiritual father as a guide. Just as the rising sun awakens, illuminates, and gives life to creation, so also when Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, rises by means of the prayer in man’s nous and heart, He awakens him to do the works of light and of the day without evening.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Overall piety and vigilance are everything; they are the true marks of a soul living in Christ.

I know by experience that piety through silence, prayer, meditation, cleansing tears, true repentance, and contemplation of divine things renews the physical aspect as well as the spiritual aspect of him who struggles. Ascesis helps, of course, when the body is strong, but when it is weak, thanks-giving and self-reproach make up for ascesis. 

Overall piety and vigilance are everything; they are the true marks of a soul living in Christ. When these are absent and one practices ascesis one-sidedly, either he benefits little or he is totally lost because he becomes puffed up by the praises of others as well as by his own thoughts. 

Without watchfulness—that all-embracing light of the soul, inestimable in value—he loses his labors. This is what happened with many ascetics in the desert, and they literally lost their souls, as we read in the writings of the Desert Fathers. Ascesis is depicted by the Fathers as the leaves of the tree, while vigilance is the fruit (Abba Agathon, vid. The Philokalia, vol. IV, p. 199 ). By their fruits you shall know them (Mt. 7:16 ) –it is fruits that we have been commanded to bear. 

May God enlighten us how to walk, for true guides have vanished and everyone walks his own way. May God be a true guide for all of us.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona