Words of Wisdom (I) with Elder Arsenie Papacioc;

 Blessed memory, 2 years from his reposal in the Lord.

On Humility

The humble man never acknowledge himself as such… for he would not be humble!

Humility is the only power that can free the human soul and the nations.

There is only one way to follow: humility!

Christ was humble, then who are we not to be…?

Do you wish to overcome evil: humble yourself and do not judge. Then, you will be free.

Humility leads you to God, but love tastes God!

Humble yourself, for the Grace to abound in you.

Humility is the blood of life. One cannot be saved without it.

Man can never say: “I am humble!”

Humility is the art to descend into yourself and to remain there, in the humble you.

Sometimes the grace abandons you, so you may humble yourself before God!

On Prayer

God is very rich! And He’s awaiting us! … He waits for us to ask!

Wherever you are, and whenever you’re tempted, pray and do not be discouraged!

Anyone who wants to acquire the gift of prayer, must keep silent and pray.

We speak so much about prayer. That’s one thing that it cannot be discussed but practiced.

A deep silence is a deep prayer. And a deep prayer is like a deep silence.

Every moment is a time [in eternity] and every sigh can become a prayer.

We must not cease to pray, even with the mind.

If you pray, you are always present in you.

On the Worldly Wisdom

It’s hard for the intellectual to live a life of prayer.

God is not revealed to the sharp mind, but to the humble pure heart that is constantly shown towards Him.

The philosophers have only created some notions, but they did not solve any problem.

Intelligence and education have no value, if they are not in the service of love.

On the Church

Salvation exists only in Christ and His Orthodox Church.

If you are Orthodox, you ought to hold tight to its teachings, if not you’ll fall into heresy.

We cannot renounce even an iota from the Orthodox truth. This is a great matter that concerns God. Such it was with the fall of Catholicism! Personally, I no longer consider it a church, but a government body with a clerical name.

Such it followed the rest…

About Satan

To the devil, we don’t need to give explanations!

We cannot talk about the devil without speaking about God. In God’ creation, the devil is a tolerated.

Do you believe that the devil is free? No! He’s the most bounded for he is not in Christ … So do not be afraid of him. He is a tolerated, not a power.

If you wound know how much zeal Satan puts to interrupt our prayer!

It is a great mistake to enter into conversation with the devil. We ought to converse only with God.

If you want to drive him away, say: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me”, and speak to God. The power of His Name will rid him. It suits the devil to enter into a dialogue for it means that you acknowledge him. Thus through prayer, we ignore him.

If we first address the issue of hell, then we ignore heaven!

Walking on a wrong path, sinning means hell.

Pride is a devilish state, an absolutely diabolical one.

No other passion brings man closer to devil’ resemblance, as does pride.

If you do not listen to those whom God had appointed for you, it is easily understood that you rather obey Satan.

Lucifer fell hopelessly. The greatest fall and only two words: “I am” …

Indirectly, the devil confesses God through temptations.

There is no relationship between good and evil. Our Savior says, “Give Me your whole heart!” But the devil says, “I only need one of your finger.” But through it, soon he’ll take over your whole being. The whole you.

Sin brings humility. So it is understood that the devil plays an indirect “role” in our salvation for he reveals our infirmities, and by this helps us to grow. If he would realize how much help is to our salvation, he would trouble us less…

Whatever may be the reason for your sorrow, it’s only from demons. The grace of God doesn’t come where is grief, or sadness because you would not know what to do with it and waste it.

On Monasticism

The monastic life cannot be defined by any quote.

No philosophical word can explain monasticism.

The monastic life is… an entry into paradise.

Ii’s no small thing to serve Christ and His Pure Mother your whole life!

If we gave ourselves up to God, He will not abandon us!

The monks are not perfect, but they are in the making.

The Cross of the monk is cutting his own will. To give up what he likes. To carry what is not convenient.

The cenobitical [communal] life with renouncing your will is a great work in God’s creation.

Cutting off his will, should be the main focus of the monk, and not the solitude, where he can do what he wants, and not receive reward. If you evaded from obedience, you’re strayed and cannot grow.

If you do not obey your spiritual elder, you’ll be enslaved!

The state of disobedience is diabolic.

Wherever you are, keep vigilant then you’ll live like in the desert… You need to know to live as a hermit, while [physically] been in the midst of the world!

We cannot talk about Hesychasm having cakes on the table.

There is no hermitage if you do not carry the [whole] world’ pain in your heart!

Renouncing the world can also take place in the soul of the layman. The Holy Scripture applies to everyone. The entire world received the Commandments.

On the Monastery

The entrance into the monastery is an entrance into heaven and leaving the monastery is leaving paradise.

No school can compare to the monastic training!

In the monastery one is disbanded from his human personality to enter into the angelic reign. It means that by losing yourself, you are awakened.

If one wishes to embrace the monastic life, cannot do it for the sake of the monastery; but you ought to become “the monastery”!

There is no grace without the abbot’ blessing… if I have a joy at my age [94], is because I did not do one thing without the blessing.

Satan hates monasteries the most. He is able to engage the whole world against you, not to enter the monastery. When you decided to go, do not look back!

One cannot enter the monastery for any another reason, then the spiritual… Only after you have died to yourself, then come to the monastery.

It is no small or insignificant thing to live in the monastery confident in your purpose and without murmuring.

(translations by EC, to be continued)