Elder St. Porphyrios on the Need for Vigilance…
“Be mindful always of God. That is how our mind will acquire agility. Agility of mind comes from vigilance. Vigilance is passionate love for God. It is always having your heart and mind focused on Christ, even if you are engaged in other tasks. Vigilance requires love and yearning for Christ. You will acquire remembrance of God through the prayer ‘Lord Jesus Christ…through the prayers of the Church, through the hymns and through bringing to mind the acts of God and recalling passages from Holy Scripture and from other spiritual books. This, of course, all requires good intention. It can’t be done by force and comes about primarily through divine grace. But divine grace requires in turn its preconditions: love and humility. If you live in the embrace of divine grace, evil will not harm you. If you do not live with divinity, evil will encircle you and you will be overtaken by indolence and you will be afflicted.”
– ‘Wounded by Love’

Prayer:  O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*(Evening Prayer and Confession of Sins)


Elder Joseph+ of Vatopaidi on Our Path to Christ…
As Paul says the Christians have inherited an abundance of grace, more than what has been given to the prophets and those who lived before the law and during the appearance of the law. They came to perceive the divine matters in a shadowy and enigmatic manner, while “we have participated in divine nature” (2 Peter 4,). We have perceived with our senses and “our hands have touched” the Word of life. He Himself testifies: “Blessed are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” ( Matthew 13,16-17). Paul assures us that the knowledge of Christ’s mystery was given to us by the Holy Spirit, something which “was not made known to men in other generations” (Ephesians 3, 5). This mystery is so great and wonderful that the Church should make known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms “the manifold wisdom of God, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence”. (Ephesians 3, 10-12) The essence of this mystery is for us to recognize Him, as well as the power of His resurrection and to communicate with His PASSION in order “to attain to the resurrection from the dead”. (Philippians 3, 10) The risen Lord, who has sat at the right of the Father, has descended to the lowest regions of the earth. Therefore, the path which leads us to Him requires us to empty ourselves through suffering.

Prayer:  O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.

Elder St Paisios on the Joy of Work…

“ Work is a blessing, a gift from God. Work gives vigor to the body and refreshes the mind. If God had not given us work, man would have become moldy. Those who are diligent continue to work into their old age. If they stop working while they still have strength, they become melancholy; it’s like death for them. I remember an elderly man in Konitsa, almost ninety years old, who was constantly working. In the end, he died out on the field, two hours from his home. Besides, even this bodily comfort, which some people strive for, is not a permanent situation. It is enough to forget their anxiety for that one hour – have their food, their dessert, their bath, their rest. But just as soon as these things come to an end, they seek some other form of comfort. So, they are constantly distressed because I here is always something that they’re wanting; they feel an emptiness, and their soul is seeking to fill it. On the other hand, the person who wearies himself from work feels a constant joy, a spiritual joy.”

Prayer:  Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ’s side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.

Archimandrite Touma Bitar on the Basis of Faith…
“Why do you think that the upright person who loves the true and loves the good is ready to accept faith in God? Because uprightness, truth and goodness are flashes of the Lord Jesus Christ who is truth, goodness and life. These are lights from Him, sown in the nature of man who, if he walks in them, is drawn close to God. When the Lord God wants to reveal Himself to him, then he (that is, this person who is upright in his path, a man of truth and goodness) sees that faith is something very normal and natural and he wants to believe but he cannot because of human weakness. It is impossible for someone to believe in God by his own powers…So the condition for us to be ready to accept faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is for us to be upright in our life. Blessed is the one who bears witness to the truth even at his own expense, for there is no doubt that for God he is a chosen vessel and a blessed man. But why are there not many believers, to the degree that the Lord says, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith upon the earth?” The reason for this is that most people have come to walk in twistedness and without uprightness. They do not love the truth, but rather love their own interests. The truth, today, is equivalent to people’s interests. Very, very few people today bear witness to the truth because people look out for their own. Their basic concern is acquisition and avoiding harm. For this reason, it is very hard for them to believe and to accept God’s grace. Therefore God’s grace is not given to them because God knows the hidden things of their hearts, for He puts His grace is damaged vessels! This is a fundamental aspect of the issue of faith. He is very near to us, but at the same time He is very far from us! Uprightness is needed.”

Prayer:  Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov on Time with Children…
“The upbringing of children is a great and daily creative process. It is the parents’ hard work and constant, wise attention to their children. I have many times had to confess people on their deathbeds. Their confessions are not about not having earned a million dollars, built a luxurious home, or been successful in business. People in their final hours are first of all full of regret for not having done some good, not having helped or supported their family, friends, or even incidental acquaintances. The second thing that torments almost everyone before death is that they gave so little time to their children.”

Prayer:  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,  grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Elder St Paisios on Relations with Others
“It is very helpful to be simple in our relations with others, to always have good thoughts about them, and to not lake everybody too seriously. One should avoid discussions which are presumably held for spiritual improvement, but only bring headaches instead. One shouldn’t expect spiritual understanding from people who don’t believe in God. It’s better if one simply prays for them that (God will forgive them and enlighten them. One should speak the language of each person (at that person’s level), and not reveal the great truths that he believes and experiences, because they will not understand him, as he speaks on another frequency and a different wavelength.”

Prayer:  With the Saints, give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
*Kontakion of the Departed


Elder St. Porphyrios on Receiving the Light of Grace…
“To those who are distrustful, who doubt and dispute and use only the faculty of reason and are not open to God, God does not show Himself. God does not enter locked souls; He does not force an entrance. On the contrary, to those who have a simple and steadfast faith, God shows Himself and bestows on them His uncreated light. He accords it to them abundantly in this life and very much more in the next. Do not imagine, however, that everyone here sees the light of truth with the same clarity. Each person sees according to the state of his soul, his spirit and his education. Everyone, for example, may see the same picture, but not everyone who sees it has the same emotions. This is also true of the divine light. The true light does not shine in all human hearts in the same way. Natural sunlight shines the same everywhere, but the rays of light do not penetrate far into a house that has dirty windows. The same happens with the uncreated light. If our windows are dirty and our heart is not pure then the blackness does not allow the rays to penetrate.”

Prayer:  Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me.  Attend to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.  Hearken unto me, O Lord.
*Psalm 140 (141)