The elder said: A certain monk known to me happened to go with a group on an
excursion. One of them didn't believe at all in God. Since he was a friend the
others had brought him for all that he confessed that he didn't believe. When
the others began to chat among themselves, the monk joined the unbeliever and
with his own method cast out from within him the matter of unbelief — without
the others noticing. The man himself did understand what had happened. A change
took place in him and everyone appeared like rainbows. That person believed in
God through the intercession on the monk.
The elder said: Often we see a person and we say a couple spiritual words to
him and he takes a turn. Later we say, "Ah, I save someone." I
believe that the person who has the disposition and goodness within him, if he
doesn't take the turn from us will take it from a bear or a fox or from
anything else. Let us watch out for false evangelization.
The elder said concerning papa-Tychon: There was a little elder who had
simplified his life. He had no housework. He was free from every convenience,
because that which we call today convenience is in fact inconvenience.
Convenience is for one to simplify one's life and to limit its to the
essentials. Then the person is liberated.
The elder said: We much not compel others to follow the spiritual struggle.
You can not compel him if he does not have the disposition. It is like what
happens with food. If one is not disposed to eat and we give him food under
compulsion, he will vomit it up.
The elder said: The world today has need of good confessors. Good spiritual
fathers are few today and the few that remain have to do their work in a hurry
because of the many who go to them. Like a good surgeon who does many
interventions and is wearied by the results so as to not give all as he should.
If there were good spiritual fathers, there would not be so many psychiatrists.
To a question of how a spiritual father should apply the canons in
confession the elder answered: The spiritual father must see each person
separately and act accordingly. for me the spiritual father who applies the
canons without examining each situation individually is a criminal.
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