The Meaning of Life — According to the Athos Elders

images.jpeg“Days, years, centuries pass as a shadow and we all approach our end. The life of man is a book, and every day of his life is one page of the book. Every book has an end, and human life has an end too. On the pages of this book there is both bad and good; both light and dark human affairs are recorded in it. And when life is over, this book will be opened before God, and on the basis of what is written in it, man will give account thereof.”

~Elder Archimandrite Ephraim (Moraitis) was an archimandrite and former abbot of Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos, spiritual guide of several monasteries on Mount Athos and Greece, and the founder of several monasteries in the United States. He labored in Arizona at St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery.

82e581be67fe5695839c16e63886c560.jpg“Most importantly, a person must know the deepest meaning of life, which consists in saving one’s soul. Having believed in God and eternal life, man realizes that earthly life is perishable, and is preparing for a journey to the other world. We rarely recall that none of us will escape death. This life was not given to us in order to enjoy it serenely, but in order to pass an exam on the suitability for eternal life, therefore we should always have a goal: prepare for this test so that when Christ calls us to Himself, ascend to Him without hindrance and abide with Him forever.”

~Saint Paisios of Mount Athos was a well-known Greek Eastern Orthodox ascetic from Mount Athos, who originated from Pharasa, Cappadocia. He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia

01-d181d0b8d0bcd0b5d0bed0bd-d0b0d184d0bed0bdd181d0bad0b8d0b9.jpg“Only the one who remakes himself lives; without it any life is only self-decay. To gain a spiritual life, don’t think about how long this will take; rather, use every moment of your life, and Christ will not leave you alone.”

~Monk Simeon of Athos 


280px-Eldersophrony.jpg“Our entire earthly life from birth to the last breath in its final completion will appear as a single, unextended act. Its content and quality can be seen in a split second. Imagine a jar of perfectly clean glass full of water; at first sight you can say whether the water is clean or not, and how much. So it will be with us on the transition to the other world. Any movement, even a fleeting one, of heart or thought leaves a mark in the total amount of our life… when we are fully concerned for eternity, then everything changes, and we strive to free ourselves from all darkness within us.”

~Elder Sophrony (Sakharov) was an archimandrite and one of the noted ascetic Christian monks of the twentieth century. He is best known as the disciple and biographer of St Silouan the Athonite and compiler of St Silouan’s works, and as the founder of the Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights, Maldon, Essex, England.

89681.jpg“When people keep the fear of God, then it is quiet and sweet to live on Earth. But now people began to live of their own will and reason, and left aside the divine commandments, and without God they think they can find joy on earth, not knowing that the one God is our joy, and only in God is the human soul rejoiced. He warms the soul as the sun warms up wildflowers, and like the wind, swinging them, gives them life.”

~Elder Silouan of Athos (Silouan the Athonite) was an Eastern Orthodox monk of Russian origin, born Simeon Ivanovich Antonov who was a poet and monk of the St. Panteleimon Monastery.


©Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Christianity

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