Good Thoughts

elder paisios painting

When we accept whatever happens to us with a good and positive thought, we are helped; while on the contrary, we are tormented and come apart at the seams emotionally and physically when negative and evil thoughts prevail. Once, years ago, we got on a truck, which had some boards for seats, in order to go from Ouranoupolis (Chalkidiki) to Thessaliniki. The truck’s interior was a mess; suitcases, orange crates, fish, empty and dirty fish crates being returned, students from the Athonias School, some sitting and some standing, monks, lay people… One layman came and sat next to me. He was a little stout, and because he was somewhat squeezed, he began to complain loudly, “What a state!…” A little further inside the truck stood a poor monk surrounded by crates so you could only see his head. In the meantime, as the truck bumped its way along the cart track, the monk had to remain standing and hold on to the wobbling crates to prevent them from falling on him. With all of this going on, the other fellow was complaining of being squeezed a little in his seating arrangements. So I told him, “How can you be complaining when you see what that monk is enduring?” So I asked the monk, “How are you managing, Father?” And with a smile he told me, “Geronda, it’s better here than hell!” One man was tormented, even though he was able to sit, while the other was content to stand, and be virtually buried under all those crates. And this was a two-hour drive, not just a short ride. The layman’s mind was on the comfort he would have had if he were riding a bus, while the monk was thinking of the suffering in hell, and was happy enough to ride in a filthy truck. He was thinking, “We are going to reach our destination in two hours and get out, while the poor people in hell will be tormented forever. After all, there it is hell, and not some unpleasant accommodations. Glory be to God, it is better here.”

From “Spiritual Struggle,” Volume Three of Spiritual Counsels, by Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

0 thoughts on “Good Thoughts

  1. Reblogged this on Oh, she cooks! and commented:

    Wonderful news! Elder Paisios has been formally recognized as a saint, and will be commemorated in the Orthodox Church on July 12, the date of his repose in 1994.

    His apolytikion in Tone 1 (**While Gabriel was saying**)
    The offspring of Farasa *and the adornment of Athos*and the imitator of the former righteous*equal in honor, O Paisios*let us honor O faithful, the vessel full of graces, who hastens speedily*to those who cry out*glory to Him Who given thee strength*glory to Him Who crowned thee*glory to Him Who granteth healings for all through thee.

Tell Us Your Thoughts!