Saturday, June 9, 2012

A humbling prayer of St. Paisios

A humbling prayer of St. Paisios (amateur translation)
It was the feast of St. Christodoulos (October 21st). At the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou, the Elder of the Monastery celebrated his feast day, and because I also bore the Saint's name, I also celebrated. All the Fathers were together in the meeting room, and greeted the Abbot of the Monastery. I was nearby in the kitchen with another monk, preparing the treats.
At that time, my ego was very great. I was young in the monastic life, and I had thoughts that I would become greater and more virtuous than my Elder. Naturally, I did not understand these thoughts of mine, but because I did not say them anywhere, no one could help me.
Elder Paisios, however, in whom always worked the Grace of the Holy Spirit, was informed of these thoughts of mine, and in a manner full of goodness and love, made me come to my senses a bit and see my plight.
As we were therefore preparing the treats, from the corridor we heard a commotion. Some brothers rose hastily to announce that Elder Paisios was coming. I then left the treats, and exited the door of the small kitchen which led into the corridor. When the Elder approached, I bent down to make a prostration and kissed his hand. Then, one of the fathers that followed him said: “Elder, today Fr. Christodoulos also celebrates.”
Then, the Elder asked me: “You celebrate today also? What should I pray for you? I pray that the Abbot of the Monastery becomes like St. Christodoulos of Patmos, and that you become like the Abbot!”
He smiled, somewhat, took two to three steps towards the corridor, and paused, turning around again towards me and told me, smiling: “Is that enough for you?” And he entered the meeting room.
From that instant, my ego was expressed! Internally, I began to the struggle with these thoughts, and I regretted that he wished that the Abbot become like St. Christodoulos, and to me to be only like the Abbot. In this beautiful manner, however, the Elder made me sense that I was fighting with my ego. Without understanding it, at one instant, I saw that the prayer that the Elder made for the Abbot and that for myself was totally the same. However, this remained the most discerning and full of love manner of the Elder for me, even though I did not have the attitude to humble myself and to struggle with greater philotimo, according to my strength, to cast out my ego.
Excerpt from the book: “Skeuos ekloghs” of Hieromonk Christodoulos of the Holy Mountain (

St. Paisios the Athonite (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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