Confessing before Father Paisie Olaru

I, too, met Father Paisie Olaru, during my pilgrimages to Sihăstria Monastery and the Sihla Skete, together with my schoolmates and above all, with regretted Father and Professor Constantin Galeriu, such a brilliant guide in searching and discovering spiritual treasures.

During my studies at the School of Theology in Bucharest, being advised by experts to read the sacred texts in their original language and in my effort to acquire as many languages as possible, at one point I got to an acute existential crisis, one that made me question the meaning of my life. Tired, confused, I decided to do a complete confession (starting with my childhood) before the worthiest Spiritual Father I have ever met, Father Paisie Olaru.

In one of my personal discussions with Father Archimandrite Nicodim Sachelarie, he said: “Father Paisie and Father Cleopa are true monks and great spiritual confessor fathers. Many others would do well to find something else to do.”

So I bought train tickets in Bucharest, to go to Moldavia. Although I rushed to catch the train, I missed it. Annoyed by the incident and full of impatience, I returned to the ticket desk and decided to take the next train that was leaving Bucharest, even if I had to tour around the entire Romania. So I took the next train, which followed the route Brasov – Ciceu – Onesti – Adjud – Bacău – Piatra-Neamt, then I took the bus. I walked all the way up from Agapia to Sihla. I had written down several letter-sized pages, in tiny handwriting, in order to make a confession that would be as detailed as possible before the holy man. Continue reading

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About Prayer

By Fr. Paisie Olaru of Sihla

Any prayer is a gift from God. But we, the weaker ones, we only have the prayer of the mouth (the one that we can only say with our lips). For now, you just do that, my son. For the well is deep, but the rope is short, and the bucket is small.

In the morning, read the Akatist of the Holy Theotokos and in the evening, read Her Paraklesis. The Creed is a must-read, at least once a day; and read Psalm 50 two or three times a day…

Then read more prayers. The canon is voluntary, completely dependant on one’s good-will: “The Lord’s Prayer”, countless times, “Lord Jesus…” countless times, and genuflections countless times. Each person as much as s/he can; as neither the bee itself will be able to collect all the nectar in a flower, can she. Yet it does one so much good to put such order in one’s life. I look at myself and what I usually do: if I wake up in the morning and do a bit of a prayer rule, it’s like I’m a whole new person all day. But if you wake up in the morning and start turning around in your house [worrying] – “I need to do this, and that” – then things won’t go well all day. So do a bit of canon every day, like just Jove, who would bring sacrifice each day for his sons – just in case they had done something wrong in their minds.

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