Counsels For Students- By: Fr. Philotheus (Zervakos) of Paros

Archimandrite Philotheus Zervakos (1884-1980)

Continue your lessons and don’t look at what this or that person is doing- just pay attention to yourself (Deut. 15:9). If many of your fellow-students are lewd, impious, blasphemous, and unruly, don’t you imitate them. When the Lord sent His disciples into the world to preach the Gospel, He told them: “I am sending you as sheep amid wolves: become wise like serpents and innocent like doves” (Matt. 10:16). And you, my child, are like a sheep amid wolves: become wise, and do not let the wickedness of the depraved, lewd, and impious influence you. Imitate the honey bee, which knows many impure, foul-smelling, and filthy places, but does not stop at these. He selects the fragrant and choice blossoms of the bushes and tress, and he gathers up the honey and the fragrant, aromatic wax. If you see anyone who is good, wise, pious and virtuous, imitate and keep company with him. Anyone you see that is lewd, filthy, impious, blasphemous, proud, envious and vindictive, do not approach him and do not keep company with him; but do not find fault with him, for Christ said: “Do no judge, so that you may not be judged, and do not condemn, so that you may not be condemned” (Luke 6:37).

Love, respect and take care of your parents, and your brothers as well. If they don’t listen to you, and scorn you, then don’t tell them anything. Just pray that the Lord may enlighten them to be at peace with one another. Also pray that the Lord may grant peace to the whole world and that we may all be deemed worthy of the heavenly and unending life and kingdom. Amen.

Excerpt taken from the book:
Father Philotheos Zervakos: Paternal Counsels
, Vol.1


1 Response to “Counsels For Students- By: Fr. Philotheus (Zervakos) of Paros”

  1. 1 Adrienne June 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

    This is a beautiful post – I wish all young people especially, would be introduced to it. Most difficult for me not to speak up to my family who either do not believe or bear hard feelings. Yes, keeping the peace and praying no matter what discord is indeed necessary.

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"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."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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