Interview with Fr. Arsenie Papacioc
There is a comment in the Scripture that says: ‘there is no greater sign of love than someone putting his life on line for his friend’s sake’.
– That’s right. Because we are not created only for ourselves. You must understand this passage from the Scripture by all means: we do not come into this world only for ourselves, but for the entire Creation! That’s why I keep telling you that we are responsible for everything there is in the whole of Creation. We are born into this world for our fellowman’s sake, too. The more you live this life for the other one – whether he is a beggar or a needy person, etc –, the better. Give him something. Ok, sometimes you may not have anything in your pocket for him, but at least, don’t ignore him. For it was God Who arranged it so that you saw him. That was done to help you save your own soul.
Criticism is allowed, but passing judgement upon priests isn’t. As the saying goes, to criticize someone or someone’s work is to put a wreath upon it [and that is a good thing]. But to judge a person belonging to the clergy, to judge in a context where everyone tends to criticize precisely because the clergy are the ones who emanate the power and Grace of God and everyone points at them all the time… well, let us not forget they are human, too. Moreover, they have the possibility to save themselves more easily than you, because they have the Grace and the Church mysteries and works/duties than have been given to them — and last but not least, they must have some conscience, too!, don’t you think?
And let me tell you this – no clergyman becomes so without the will of God. God directs such a person’s life.
Interview with Fr. Arsenie Papacioc of Techirghiol monastery, Romania
– What is prayer, Father?
– Prayer is, in fact, everything. Prayer is having your heart inside God’s heart. This is a sort of education that one must “impose” upon oneself – to be present with one’s heart inside God, no matter whatever else the person happens to be saying during that time. Prayer is deep silence and a state that surpasses human imagination. It is talking with God – but not with human words. It is something that goes completely beyond oneself. Prayer is necessary… prayer is our life (and by saying this last bit I’ve just “lowered” somewhat the level of our discussion here).
– Can man acquire prayer without having a Spiritual Father?