“…you will arrange their [modern novices] asceticism according to their capabilities, in particular the study of the past so that they can be freed of their secular ideas, and rather study the lives of the holy Fathers and the Apostles. You understand what I’m trying to say…if that is where their thoughts are, they will not spend time with the passions. Remember the example from the Gerontikon. There was a grace-filled ascetic who had a secular education and had been very wealthy. When another ascetic visited him, a person that had been a poor shepherd in the world, he saw the bed of the grace-filled ascetic and how he lived comfortably, and he was scandalized. When, however, he learned that in the world he had lived a luxurious life, with great wealth, he accused himself and confessed that the wealthy man was now living ascetically, while he himself was living comfortably…Don’t expect them to become perfect right away. I have told others, as well, that when they learn things from the world, they are living in sin. They need to free themselves through asceticism. This is how I tried to make them understand the need for patience.”

– Interview