Mircea Vulcănescu

Due to some sound problems, subtitles haven’t been added to Part 2, but they will be, soon. Many, many thanks to my friend Rodrigo, from Brazil, for his invaluable help in uploading this on the internet.

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Heart and Mind

When we unite these two centres – the heart and the mind -, they become a spiritual unit and then man is whole, as God made him: a full man. Through the prayer of the heart, one achieves this holy ideal of our earthly life.

However, before we reach this ultimate goal of ennoblement, of inner sanctification, of elevating this passion-torn thing which is our human being, we need to work severely to eliminate our passions – which is not easy at all – in order to chase away the evil in our minds and hearts and gather our mind together, which keeps scattering off during prayer, as I mentioned before.

If we were not helped from Above in these efforts, our battle with ourselves would be almost in vain. Yet much to our comfort and strengthening, we can seek help in our Holy Fathers’ experience and advice, which one can find in the Lives of the Saints and in all the patristic literature.

Archimandrite Sofian BOGHIU (Oct. 7 1912 – Sept. 14 2002)

Everytime We Love, We Restrain the Other One

Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi

What I mean by that is that type of suffocating love, where one “takes possession” of one’s fellowman, and which starts to “model” everyone else according to oneself. I think that we have all done such things: for instance, parents who love their children to the point where children, when they grow up, they don’t know how to escape from their parents’ tyranny – which isn’t true tyranny, but which can be perceived as such in the other one’s heart. Therefore, one first misunderstanding, one first “hazard” of love is that of us acting like people who actually know what real love is about and who therefore think they can – or even must – impose it to others.

Love – says Apostle Paul – bears all things, believes all things, forgives all things. Loves does not get puffed up, seeks not her own, does not vaunt itself; love never fails. So in order for us not to get lost in our own deformed understanding of love, the Apostle lists the signs of true love: that is, to be near the other one as if you were not. Love does not seek her own. Every time we love, we restrain the other one’s space.

That kind of love never bears fruit. But humility has always convinced one. It has even convinced tyrants, many times.

(A fragment from a lecture by Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi – “On the Hazards of Love”. Arad, Romania, Dec. 13, 2007)

A Few More Words of Advice from Fr. Arsenie

Father, can we overcome hardship?

– You can, if you want. You cannot do anything, if you don’t want to. Love thy neighbour! Well, not like you would love your own wife and children – nobody asks you that. But don’t harm him. THAT is an act of love. Because you don’t realise – if you want to shake heaven and earth, how much power lies in the simple fact of saying: “God, please forgive him!”

Everyone will realise then how important it is for one not to hate, in this world. If you can help someone – and also feel sorry for your own lack of control and proper Christian attitude – then fine. Continue reading