Joy in the heavens

AS for the married, I urge them to a pure family life, counselling them to abandon the heavy sin of child-murder and any attempts whatsoever to prevent conception.

I urge them to abandon quarrelsomeness, fault-finding, anger, drunkenness and hatred, and I urge them to be reconciled before the sun has set.

Elder Cleopa Ilie (1912-1998).


An icon depicting a guardian angel

A guardian angel and a holy soul.


I have posted some Pro-Life resources on this blog. One of them is this, a short passage in a letter written by Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959), which has made me look at the sanctity of life in a totally new light.

I FORGOT to write to you a sweet little story.

Once while I was kneeling – I had become tired while praying – I saw something wondrous: a fiery youth had two beautiful small girls beside him.

One of them was our Maria and the other was Virginia – the two little ones who had died.

The young man said to them, “This is your brother. Do you recognize him?” Maria was older. “I recognize him,” she said, “but many years have passed since then.”

The other one said, “I did not see him when I was alive.”

Then he said to them, “Embrace him and then we shall leave.” And the two little ones kissed me like sweet-smelling flowers and left.

Then I came to myself with eyes full of tears, recalling the joy which takes place in the heavens when sinners repent and when the righteous enter paradise.

From “Monastic Wisdom”, published by Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona, and available from


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