What’s It Like in Hell?

Fr. Arsenie Papacioc

Well, my dear ones, they say that they showed the torments of Hell to this fellow, once. And when he was taken there, he saw this man who was ankle-deep in a pond of fire and was crying out terribly. And our man asked him: “Why do you cry out so?” And that one answered: “Because I’m in this pond forever!” He walked on… then he came across a man who was standing in a pond of fire up to his neck. Yet this one was rejoicing every now and then. He told our man: “I’m in fire much deeper than others, but I am glad to see that yet another member in my family has become a priest, and in 40 years’ time, they will take me out of here.”

You see? Psychologically speaking, those 40 years were just a limited time to him, not an eternity. That man was happy, because he had hope.

My dear brothers and sisters, upon the Last Judgement, we will be asked: “Why didn’t you love?” We will be judged because we have hated, because we have badmouthed, because we have killed.

So why don’t you fight [to be good]? Why don’t you want to ask for the Lord’s Grace? When you’re faced with all sorts of temptations, just call out to Christ: “Lord, Jesus Christ, Lord, Jesus Christ!” Don’t just live in a state of inertia, live out every moment of your lives! It’s difficult, but God will understand – He wants to help you. He’s following our every move because He loves us.

Let us love each other!

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