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Saint Paisios: fuel costs for travelling to the moon

This is an excerpt from a conversation between Saint Paisios of Mount Athos and some university students who arrived at his cell.

Some university students arrived at my Kalyvi (hut) one day, loaded with books. They said,
“Geronda, we are here to discuss the Old Testament with you. God permits knowledge, doesn’t He?”
“What kind of knowledge do you mean?” I asked them.
“Knowledge acquired with the mind?”
“Yes,” they answered.
“This kind of knowledge,” I replied, “will take you up to the moon, but will not lead you to God.”
It is good to have the intellectual powers that take man to the moon costing billions of dollars in fuel expenses and so on, but it is better to have the spiritual powers that raise man to God, his ultimate destination, with only a bit of fuel, a mere dried piece of bread.
Saint Paisios the Athonite, Spiritual counsels, I


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