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This is a video recording of the late ’90s, where rangers, monks and priests talk about the hermits who are still living in the Romanian mountains.

At the end of the video, there is an interview with an Orthodox hermit of our times speaking about prayer, pure heart and love of the neighbor.

Excerpt from the conversation:

“Q: For how long have you been living in the mountains?
A: It’s been about twenty years since I’ve been living in this abode, where I do now.

Q: What do you think you need to get God to talk directly to you?
A: First of all, God requires of you to have a pure body. Without purity, one cannot approach holiness. And secondly, there is prayer – prayer day and night. Nothing will draw you close to God except prayer! … When you are in contact with the Holy Spirit, you just sit there and the Holy Spirit prays for you! Just like a mill: once you put the belt on, it keeps running by itself, without you.

Nothing can purify one as well as prayer. Just as you wash a piece of laundry, so that it doesn’t get smelly and stays clean, in the same way, prayer polishes man’s soul.

One’s empowerment for prayer is from God, it’s according to God’s will, when it descends into one’s heart. And how does God bestow prayer upon one? According to the person’s humility. Humility, humility and again humility! Exalting oneself has always been repulsive to God.

You must love your neighbor as yourself.

If one were to cut me here (shows his hand) it would hurt. If one cut me there – it would hurt. In the same way my heart should hurt for you. Because if this kind of pain and love existed between one person and another, there wouldn’t be as much killing around as we see nowadays.

Let’s say 400 dollars fell off your pocket.  If I care for you I would quickly grab it – lest anybody else should take it away – and tell you. “Look, Ma’am, this money fell from your packet. Please here it is” – because I love you. If I didn’t love you, I would put my foot on it and take advantage of your lack of heed.

See how things should be understood?

We have a holy duty not to do any harm, but only good as much as we can.”

 

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