Friday, January 31, 2020

St. Porphyrios: "One does not become a Christian with laziness..."

Jesus Christ the Son of God the Savior of the world (source)
A spiritual child of St. Porphyrios spoke of the Saint: "He spoke to me, not of some piecemeal good effort, but on the decisive, definitive passing from an old life of sin into a new life of holiness, in which we live in Christ and Christ lives within us, and for this transition, we must give all our strength.

Once, he asked me: "Tell me, to study to become a lawyer, how many years does it take?" I answered him.

He asked again: "To study to be an engineer, a chemist, a physician, how many years does it take?" I answered correspondingly, curious as to the nature of his questions.

And the Elder continued: "Do we study to learn the will of God and to apply it?"

I understood what he was referring to, and I was reluctant to respond. What could I say? That most of us faithful are lazy, lukewarm, "amateur Christians"? He knew this.

And he told me: "One does not become a Christian with laziness. It requires work, much work."

He himself was an example, without showing off. He had dedicated himself with zeal all the years of his long life to studying and to living Christ.

He was a worker, bodily and spiritually, and he wished to transmit this love of work to others. He believed that laziness leads to despondency and to many afflictions of soul and body. He recommended occupational therapy. Especially for those who were disorganized and desperate.

For the Elder, it was never too late to make a new start. He perceived of course that the denial of worldly hopes and the crushing of selfishness as the best precondition for this beginning.
Everything is transformed with effort, both with the soul and the body.

Do not leave the prayer. Simply and without being forced, fervently entreat for others. You will benefit them with prayer, not with words.

Regarding my problems, St. Porphyrios told me: "If we spoke a little on the phone, you would see that everything had immediately gone well. Tire the body, do not fear effort. Everything is transformed with effort, both the soul and the body. If they ask you about it, say humbly: 'That's how I think, but whatever you think.'"
-From a spiritual child of St. Porphyrios, in an Anthology of Instructions of Elder Porphyrios

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (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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