Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Devil's Lament (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

Tetrasyllable Discourse
In Which the Devil Laments his Defeat at the Hands of the Ascetics

By St. Ephraim the Syrian

When the wicked devil had been overpowered and defeated, he sat down in lamentation, saying in the midst of his weeping:

“Woe is me, the wretch! What is this that I have suffered? How is it that I have come away in defeat?

I have brought this shame upon myself by waging war with them so often. I should have known right away, when I was vanquished on my first and second assaults, that Christ was with them. For I used to love waging war on the saints, and my hatred for them grew, until I was finally disgraced. For I went away defeated, in great shame. My head was wounded by their heavy blows. I set snares for them, to trap them, but they snatched them up and crushed my head. The sharp arrows that I hurled at them they caught, and they used them to slay me. I assailed them with a variety of passions, but they put me to flight by the power of the Cross.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Saint Dionysios of Olympus and the Monk Who Summoned a Demon

There was a monk at Beroea who was only slightly educated. One day a book on divination came into his hands, and out of curiosity he read a little bit of it, thereby invoking the demons. As he slept that night, he saw in a dream a giant creature, blacker than any Ethiopian, who said to him:

"Because you have called upon me, I have come. If you will make obeisance to me, I will do what you ask!"

Now the monk recognized that this was the devil, and said to him:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Saint Kuksha of Odessa and the Power of Holy Water

Saint Kuksha of Odessa (+ 1964) advised to bless all new things and products with Holy Water, and he sprinkled Holy Water in his monastic cell every evening. He learned what power Holy Water had from his spiritual father.

When Saint Kuksha was a ryassaphore monk on the Holy Mountain, he bore the name Constantine and had as an elder the Elder Melchizedek. One day as they were standing in prayer, the elder and his spiritual son heard what sounded like a wedding party coming toward the cell — horses trampling, accordions playing, and there was singing and laughter and whistling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Demonizing Others Often Begins With Our Own Unquestioned Thoughts of Suspicion (St. Paisios the Athonite)

Saint Paisios once said:
We must question our thoughts of suspicion. I will tell you of an incident so you can see what these thoughts do. One day a monk came to the hut and said to me:

"Elder Haralambos is a magician; he did magic."

"What are you saying, you lost fool? You should be ashamed of yourself," I told him.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Exorcism That Led to the Building of a Chapel in Honor of Saint Seraphim of Sarov


On 2 January 2021, Elder Gabriel, abbot of the Monastery of Venerable David in Evia, together with the fathers of the Monastery, celebrated the feast of Saint Seraphim of Sarov at the Chapel of Saint Seraphim of Sarov built on a mountain near the Monastery by the former abbot, the Holy Elder Kyrillos together with the fathers of his time. During the sermon after the Divine Liturgy, Elder Gabriel explained the history of this chapel as follows: