– Father, what does it mean when they say that God tempts us through humility and charity, when we are humble and charitable?
– It is not God who does that; but the enemy, the enemy is the one who tempts us. If we are charitable, well, after we have done anything virtuous, the enemy’s voice will follow, whispering into our hears: “Good…! you’ve done good!” That is what the psalm says: “Let them be ashamed and confounded… Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.”*.
St. Silouan says that it is very hard for man to learn how to keep the Grace, because as soon as one receives it, the tempter says: “Oh, wow…! you have received the Grace…! But why have you received it?… I think it’s because you are charitable and because you have fasted…!” – and so on and so forth. That is what goes on in one’s soul in such situations. Therefore, it is not God that does that. God allows the enemy to tempt us; therefore, after every little good deed that we have done, we’d better be sure that we will be tempted.
Victims of communist prisons were commemorated today in Sighet, Romania. Visit the Sighet Memorial, a must-see and a place of remembrance for all those interested in recent history and the useful lessons that one can derive from it.
Brothers, never forget that our soul is immortal. Let me tell you one thing: we are mere strangers and passers-by here on earth. Listen to what the Psalm book says: Unworthy is man on earth and a stranger, just like all his ancestors. Nobody stays in this world. We are not here to stay. Down here is a ceaseless passing-by; we come by birth and leave by death.
Divine Jove says: From my mother’s womb I have fallen into the pit. Did you hear? That is all that life on earth seemed to him after 400 years. As after having put him through all that trying time, God gave him another 140 years of life – after having tested him with so much torment and so many illnesses – and that’s all that life seemed to him: that from his mother’s womb he had jumped into a pit. Life seemed like a mere jump to him.
Don’t you know what the Holy Spirit compares us to? Man is like grass; his days are like the flowers of the field; that is how he will bloom. And again: His days pass like shadows. And again: My days have gone down like shadows and I have withered away like grass.
I think peasants believe in a peasant God. (Anca RUGESCU, 8th grade, 14 years and 5 months)
The Cross and the prayer are a kind of weapon, with bullets of goodness, before which the devil cannot defend himself, because he doesn’t have a bullet-proof vest against something like that. (Deniz ALI, 5th grade, 11 years and 6 months)
Santa Klaus doesn’t want to be painted on the walls of the churches, because he knows his place and says that the goodness he brings happens only once a year. (Cătălina Georgiana OPAINA, 8th grade, 14 years and 8 months)
The earth deposits are money that God has put aside for us ever since the making of the world. (Iulia GHIŢĂ, 15 years and 2 months)
Even if in our dreams, we ask our guardian angel what Heaven is like, he doesn’t tell us, because if he did, we would want to die right away. (Sorin Ştefan TRANDAFIRESCU, 3rd grade, 9 years and 3 months)
God gets along more easily with small children, because the little ones have roomier souls. With grown-ups, there is such a congestion of bad things in their soul that there is hardly any place to sit. (Pavel MARTÎN, 3rd grade, 9 years and 11 months)
If our Lord Jesus Christ showed up here now, I would ask Him if He can take me to His Mother, to ask Her how it is to have God as a child. (Alina Andreea ZANE, 2nd grade, 8 years old)
The Bible is the way to read love. (Robert Felician HORTEA, 8th grade, 14 years and 1 month)
The measure of prayer is to pray without measure, because prayer is good – therefore, it doesn’t hurt anyone to do good endlessly. (Adrian IONIŢĂ, 4th grade, 10 years old)
Born in the county of Hunedoara, Romania, Fr. Arsenie Boca (September 29, 1910 – 1989) was one of the most important Romanian monastic figures of the 20th century. Ordained as a celibate Dean by Metropolitan Nicolae Bălan in 1935, he spends three months at the Romanian Prodromu Skete in Mount Athos, and is then established at the Sâmbăta de Sus Monastery (Braşov county), and receives tonsure in 1940. In 1942, he is ordained a Priest. By 1940, he had already sparkled in Sâmbăta de Sus what one of his contemporaries would describe as: “That uplifting time when the whole of Transylvania would make its way on singing pilgrimages defying chest-deep snow, to Sâmbăta de Sus, built by Martyr Voivode Constantin Brâncoveanu.”
Besides his outstanding contribution to the translation of the Philokaly alongside another reputed theological figure, Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae, he will always be remembered for his activity as a Priest, which earned him the surname of the “guider of souls”. Persecuted by the communist regime but highly respected and loved by the faithful, he was buried at the Prislop Monastery, which is now one of the country’s most important pilgrimage places.
“Fr. Arsenie was a unique phenomenon in the history of Romanian monasticism; a figure of high monastic stature, of a kind that the Romanian Orthodox Church never had before him.” Fr. Dumitru STĂNILOAE