A YOUNG man once came to my cottage in despair, because he had fallen into a sin of the flesh and could not change from that passion.
He had been to two spiritual fathers who tried, with an austere method, to help him understand that what he was doing was a serious matter.
The boy despaired. “Since I know that what I am doing is a sin” he said “and I can’t stop doing it and be set right, I shall sever my relationship with God”.
When I heard his problem, I felt for the poor boy, and said: “Look, blessed child, you should never begin your struggle from what you can’t do, but from what you can do.
“We will see what things you can do, and we will start from them. Can you attend church each Sunday?” “I can”, he told me.
“Can you fast every Wednesday and Friday?” “I can.”
“Can you give a tithe of your salary in alms, or visit the sick and help them?” “I can.”
“Can you pray every evening, even if you have committed a sin, and say, ‘My God, save my soul’?” “I will do that, Elder”, he told me.
“Start then” I said to him “from today, to do everything you can, and the almighty God will do the one thing you cannot.”
The poor boy calmed down, and said repeatedly, “Thank you, father”. He had, you see, philotimo, and God helped him.
Elder Paisios. Original at Γέροντες της εποχής μας.
NOT KNOWING, O Lord, the power of thy all-holy Spirit that had come upon thy Apostles, they supposed the interplay of tongues to be intoxication; but we who are reassured by them, ceaselessly speak after this fashion: Take not thy holy Spirit from us, we beg, O thou that lovest mankind.
Sticheron. Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right Spirit in my innermost parts.
O Lord, the overshadowing of the holy Spirit, poured out upon thine Apostles, prepared them to speak in strange tongues; the paradox, was thought by the unbelieving to be intoxication, but by the believing to be an ambassador of salvation: make us worthy of his illumination, we beg thee, O thou who lovest mankind.
Sticheron. Do not banish me from thy presence, and do not take away thy holy Spirit from me.
Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who are everywhere, and fill all things, the treasury of good things, and who furnish with life: come, and make thy tabernacle in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save, O good one, our souls.
Feast of Pentecost. The Stichera are from Ps 50 (Heb 51).