The Fragrance of Reverence - St. Paisios the Athonite
Hear many examples of how St. Paisios expressed his God-loving heart in daily life. These are expressions of true piety from a great saint of our times.
A reading of pp. 414-421 from "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos" by Hieromonk Isaac
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From "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos":
The Elder had an innate reverence, but he also cultivated it a great deal. He placed such emphasis on it that he once said that "reverence is the greatest virtue, because it attracts the Grace of God." To the Elder, reverence was the fear of God and spiritual sensitivity. Reverent people behave carefully and modestly, because they intensely feel the presence of God.
"If someone neglects the little things," he taught, "the danger is that he will start neglecting greater, holier things. And then, without realizing it, rationalizing it all to himself—'This is nothing, that does not matter’—he can end up, God forbid, totally neglecting the things of God and becoming irreverent, arrogant, and atheistic."
He paid attention to details, but in a way that was not it-Malistic or fastidiously formal. This was his own attitude toward God, which was not laid out in advance by any typicon of the Church: it was his personal disposition. He felt that his whole hermitage, not just his chapel, was sacred space. He arranged his cell, where he prayed, just like a little church. There was an iconostasis with many icons and a lamp that burned continuously, and he would cense and light many candles there. He had constructed his bed so that it was like a coffin, and he would say, "This is the altar of my cell." Icons and holy books never touched his bed, with the exception of an icon at its head.
He did not think it was right to refer to the Holy Fathers of the Church simply by their first names; for example, as "Vasileios" or "Gregorios." "We talk about Father So-and-so' and say Father' to monks and clergy," he commented, "and is this how we are going to talk about the Holy Fathers?"
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