In this video recording, Fr. Rafail Noica, a disciple of St. Sophrony the Athonite, talks about the deep meaning of a lie and how written words can negatively influence people’s lives. This is relevant especially in a context of evil, insensitive and fake news.
Video source: Conference “Din ce moarte ne-a izbavit Hristos?” December 15, 2005, Alba Iulia, Romania
There are words that, suddenly, seem to resurrect us. It’s like suddenly waking up to another world, with another understanding… a light, so to speak. Here we have something from our first resurrection. It is the soul that starts to rise.
The word is now perceived as something alive and not just dead information. That’s the energy of the word. The living word is the one which resurrects you and when you are resurrected by some word or, finally, by what God has put in your own soul, then the words of the Scriptures will come to life and inspire you. This is the soul that starts to rise!
And when, contrary to this, when you read some things… these kinds of human lies of the man who lives in lies and you feel so burdened and what you see there is like a poison, you don’t know if it’s true or not, but you feel so burdened: this is the deadly energy of the word, the lie.
Lie and death are the same thing.
A lie is not just telling an untruth: like I’m telling you that it’s raining, but it’s sunny outside… The lie, in essence, is something much deeper. It is all that is not divine. You can say very good things, but if they are not in the Spirit of God, they are lies.
Their result is that poison, that death of the soul, where your soul becomes numb, you fall again into despair, into doubt, unbelief, fear, and into all these things that are of darkness.
Among other things, this is the path used by the one who has the spirit of discernment in his judgement. That is, among other things, looking at the effect that the words have on your soul.
If, suddenly, your soul is resurrected and it seems that, in spite of all things, you feel that there is peace, that God is good, that He is omnipotent — behold, this is something of that resurrection.
Resurrection through word — this is the work of the Church. The word which, of course, has some other energy, if it is lived [experienced] by the person who gives it, not a theoretical word — that I read from page 60 to page 120 and now I repeat what is written there — but a lived word, in a certain extent, a word of experience.
Father Sophrony [Sakharov] says wonderful things about the power of the word of Saint Silouan. But I notice from the same book that not everyone perceived it the same way. So there are more sensitive souls, more alive and more dead, more insensitive souls. A dead body is insensitive…
This is the first resurrection, and those who are part of this resurrection will no longer be wronged by the second death. The second death, after all, is not the death of the body, but the final separation of the soul from God, God forbid that this should happen to any living soul.