Elder Arsenie Papacioc of Romania, blessed memory, was part of the great generation of confessors for Christ that had suffered much while imprisoned for their faith under the atheist [communist] regime of the east. His words, not academic but rather simple, down to earth, have great authority as they are spoken from an experience of suffering and with a burning love for everyone.
On Charity/ Mercy
With God there is no past evil, where there is a good present.
When God forgave you, it means He forgave you for eternity.
God keeps us not that we are worthy, but because He is very merciful.
My brothers do not ignore a begging hand, or one that offers help.
Charity is not only to give something. It means to accept the man sitting next to you, without casts him out in your mind.
In having pity on others – it shows our likeness to Christ.
The beggar stretches out his hand not to ask, but to give you the kingdom of heaven, and you do not notice!
Lets remember my brothers: beggars are biblical characters!
Do you want to get rich? Give everything you have! And you’ll receive a hundredfold!
Man doesn’t account much when he receives, yet he remembers when he gives.
Learn to live not only in you, but to live in [for] all who are with you.
The mercy of God does not abolish hell [judgment].
We need to love much! For Christ is commanding us!
Lets be attentive, love is the criteria of [the last] judgment!
When Christ asked us to love, He also gave us the strength to do it.
We should love our pain [sorrow] and those that caused it.
You are free and have the possibility to climb [grow], if you do not hate.
Our hearts must always be free for Christ.
This world is not evil; we are at fault for we do not know to love.
The hate of your neighbor is the most devilish work.
If you would try to love people as you love Christ, then you’ll no longer see the wrongs of your neighbor.
Know that the love for the enemies is a commandment. We ought to boast them in our heart.
One question is justified, let us all ask ourselves: “Do I love or I do not…?” – for it’s a commandment, my brother! Do not think that our Savior spoke only to the people of His time or to His apostles. No… He spoke for all men and for eternity.
Instructions to the Priests
Fathers, the great battle is to heal their wounds, not to apply penances. We defile His sacrifice on Golgotha when we refuse to absolve those with grievous sins when they repent.
The Canons of the Church are a great guidance. But you are to use them with elasticity [iconomia].
It is said that the deer will not run well for two reasons: when she is too fat, or when she is too weak. Too much asceticism can weaken someone, but also indifference and non-engaging could “fatten” man.
Personally, I’m not for penances that require a lot of time and physical effort.
Penance means the possibility to repent, to commit that sin no more, to struggle not to fall again.
A good penance is to look at the penitent as at someone you love!
We need a … continuous state of love.
We must have “the need” to love. There is never someone near you by coincidence [in vain]. He is there, by God’s providence.
A spiritual father accounts for his child’ weakness.
God does more for our salvation than Satan for our destruction.
Outside the Church, there is no salvation! Hell exists only outside the Church.
He who can do good but does not do it, commits sin.
Only the devil cannot be saved.
Without God’s grace, it is impossible to be saved only by your actions, no matter how great of an ascetic you may be.
It is the Cross that saved mankind! Not God’s justice or His miracles, but His Cross! When Jesus was crucified, Satan was defeated.
I do not see how fasting alone can give us hope for salvation. Humility rooted deeply in our hearts and freedom from resentments, are hopes for our salvation.
What we’re being asked first is: the will to overcome temptations. And by praying to God, His grace will not abandon us.
Heaven is full of repentant sinners.
We ought to strive for the world to be saved, with everything we’ve got!
So every day we may gain eternity. That’s our ideal.
Our Saviour was not crucified only for a “category” of sins, but for everything that means sin on earth.
And He gave everyone the strength to avoid hell, yet He descended into hell.
And those from hell, He also loves. But they are whipped by His love, by His justice. And what Christ did not do to save us from hell?
Fear of death is not caused by death but by life. If you want not to fear death, live as a Christian!
Only those who don’t live in Christ, fear death!
Man, in his foolish pride and suffering, wants all heaven in a moment!
There is no sense or purpose, if there is no God.
We too can overcome the world, not by our power but by His.
Nothing is lost, as long as our faith is alive!
Life it is too precious to be spent in vanity.
On Marriage and Family
When we say during the Holy Sacrament of Marriage’ prayers, that the woman shall be subject to her husband, the husband must also take heed when he is told in the same prayer, that he must love her. If he does not love her, she will not obey him. Man, by not listening to this word, becomes responsible for the woman’s stubbornness. The woman must also not forget that this obedience is her way to salvation. And if the man is the head [of the family] then the woman is the heart, and this heart is made by God that He may find rest in it!
Nothing is better than a good [hearted] woman and nothing is worse than a fallen woman. So husbands, you must labor with all your power to transfigure her.
Love joins everything in the two. This is the symbol of the wedding ring.
A marriage done just for pleasure has no meaning. Marriage means reaching together into eternity.
It is the married woman that gives birth, raises and educates the child.
We cannot accept by any means that the woman will have an abortion… It’s a great matter for she will murder an unbaptized man. We must always ask ourselves: what Christ would’ve done in this case?
Family remains the best instructor.
On the Holy Eucharist
The Eucharist will perfect you; it won’t forgive your sins.
The man that prepares can commune often, but he must be given a time for repentance first. For indeed who is that prepared for such wonder?
Some neglect the mystery of confession and use it just as a pretext to commune.
On Christian Suffering
My dear, suffering is a gift from God!
The mission of Christ on earth was to save the world through suffering, so suffering brings much humility.
It is a mistake to run from your own suffering. You are truly free only when you are struggling, when you are present on the cross.
Suffering brings deep wisdom and make you reflect more seriously on your salvation.
A question arises: how is our heart responding to the suffering around us? The greatest thing we’ll be asked at the last judgment is: “Why have we not paid more attention to our neighbor?”
On the sin of homosexuality
God had punished it by fire! (Genesis 19: 24-25). It is the most grievous sin! It is said that this sin urges The End!
I mean those sins will bring judgment sooner over the world. Save yourself my brother, for many are falling… It’s the word of the Holy Fathers that this very serious sin, of sodomy (homosexuality) brings swiftly Judgment … We are now in an advanced stage, as the West already officiates sodomy (same sex marriages)! …
I’m not sad that I’m an old man! I do nothing for myself. Everything that I do, I do it for God and for His children.
I’m not all for a great asceticism. I lean more for a great vigilance! For it is not asceticism [in itself] what God wants from us but our broken and humble hearts, His continuous presence in our lives.
I’ve experienced many things in life and have seen God’s wonders; “I saw the invisible God, I experienced Him!” Our world today strives to see only His contour; she wants to touch Him in a carnal form.
The Mother of God represents the human race.
Lets get accustomed to the authority of the words of the Holy Scripture.
Peace is greater than justice.
There is no one thing from what Christ spoke that it cannot be fulfilled.
Our life is our witness! And we ought to confess the Truth, wherever we are.
No matter where [who] we are, we’re all are unprepared, and it’s only by God’s grace that we do the things that we do.
If you’re vengeful, you’ll be indebted to God. But if you ‘resist not evil’, then God “owns” you.
We must refute immediately all [evil] thoughts that come to mind, and they will come until our last breath.
God’s will not delay His help if we’ve purified our heart.
Often, you compare yourself with the man you call evil! Why don’t you see comparing yourself to St. Peter and Paul, or with Saint Siouan the Athonite [of Mt Athos]?
If you went to ask the advice of a bishop or of a man [abbot] of God, know that the answer will come from God not from that bishop or abbot. If you complained about it, know that is God that you slandered.
Elder Cleopas was great father! A great chancellor with much knowledge and also of detail! He created a spiritual era. He leaned more towards an ascetic work with strict fasting, prayers and tears of repentance; I’m more for watchfulness [awakening].
Believe in God, love the church and follow the [spiritual] fathers of the church. Walk your life on the road of humility. Acquire a good name near Christ. Insist more in prayer. You’ll be free only when you walk with love towards those who hate you! Stay still in Christ for eternity…
(Translations by EC)