I just started reading about our venerable Schema-archimandrite Paisius. He is remembered for initiating the revival in the late eighteenth century of monasticism in Russia and the Orthodox East that was to expand during the next century. This legacy came from a remarkable set of talents that merged in him to produce an re-invigoration of Orthodox monastic life. These virtues included his personal holiness combined with love for education, his ability to organize coenobitic monastic life, his ability to attract and teach many students, his skill in creating a school of spiritual asceticism, and his great literary talent in the task of correcting old translations and making new translations of the ascetic literature of the Holy Fathers. St. Paisius had many students who became influential among the monks in Moldavia and Russia well as on Mount Athos itself.
A couple of quotes I love by St. Paisius are:
- “Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins.”
- “The enemy likes to hide the truth and to mix good with evil. But how can one find out the truth? God’s goodwill and all our intentions are meek, full of good hope, and undoubting. Not only in our good deeds, but also in our lawlessness, God endures long with meekness and awaits our repentance. And how can one distinguish the impulse of the enemy? The enemy usually hinders us and turns us away from good. However, if in anything which apparently is good, the mind is disturbed and causes us disturbance, banishes the fear of God, deprives us of calmness, so that without any reason the heart aches and the mind wavers, then know that this is an impulse from the enemy and cut it off.”
The glorification of St Paisius was performed in our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the feast day of Holy Prophet Elias on July 20, 1982 at the Russian Skete of St Elias on Mt Athos, which was founded by St Paisius.
St. Paisius, pray unto God for us!