My Spiritual Father

“Seek out, with much care and thought, a teacher who will be a safe guide to you; one who knows well how to lead such as are journeying towards God; a teacher who is rich in virtues and wise in the Holy Scriptures.”

Saint Basil the Great

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“Just by keeping the word of one’s Spiritual Father one receives Grace from God.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“Don’t hesitate [to come to Confession]. Don’t be ashamed. Whatever you may have done, even the greatest of sins, the Spiritual Father has power from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and from the Apostles to forgive you with his Stole.”

Saint Iakovos of Evia

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“The Lord loves us so much that He suffered for us on the Cross; and His suffering was so great that we can’t comprehend it. In the same way our Spiritual Pastors suffer for us, although we often don’t see their suffering. The greater the love of the Pastor, the greater his suffering; and we, the Sheep, should understand this, and love and honour our Pastors”

Saint Silouan the Athonite

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“A wise man is one who accepts advice, especially that of a Spiritual Father counselling him in accordance with the Will of God.”

Saint Thalassios the Libyan

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“The world cannot comprehend how many people have been comforted through your Priestly Stole; how many thousands of Souls have been saved; how many have Communed the Pure Mysteries; how many have entered the Church through the Baptisms you have performed; how many received the Church’s Blessing through the Sacrament of Marriage…”

Archbishop Makarios of Australia

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“The Priesthood is a very great gift of God towards mankind. It is the conduit of the Grace of God.”

Elder Epiphanios of Athens

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“The Holy Spirit acts Mystically through the Spiritual Father, and then when you go out from your Spiritual Father, the Soul feels her renewal.”

Saint Silouan the Athonite

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“Let us return to the Christ-Bearing Ascetics and to the Holy Fathers.”

Saint Justin Popovich

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“My heart only has entrances. It doesn’t have exits. Whoever enters remains there. Whatever he may do, I love him the same as I loved him when he first entered into my heart. I Pray for him and seek his Salvation.”

Elder Epiphanios of Athens

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“A Spiritual Father, like a signpost, merely indicates the way; but you yourself must follow the path.”

Saint Nikon of Optina

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“Come now my beloved son, if only for a day. We will speak with God and about God. Come and enjoy Him Whom you miss.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

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“Orthodox Priests share in Christ’s self-emptying, in the Martyric Priesthood of Christ, Who was Crucified and went down to Hades.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“I suffer along with the person who is confessing. I feel pain along with him. I suffer and cry for him… I pray for the repentant; I am concerned about him and wait for him to come again.”

Saint Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia

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“Whoever possesses unclouded faith in his Spiritual Father will, on seeing him, think that he is seeing Christ Himself; when with him or following him, he will firmly believe that he is with and following Christ.”

Saint Symeon the New Theologian

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“There is no greater satisfaction for me than to remain for hours in the seat of the confessional and to reconcile man to God.”

Elder Epiphanios of Athens

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“When someone cannot rebut his thoughts, he should at least tell them to his Elder. Even then he will benefit.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“Abba Pimen said something wonderful: ‘Stay close to a person who fears God and then you’ll have fear of God, as well.’ Who are they who really fear God? Those who are passionless, virtuous, saintly people who never cease to repent. How much we owe to such people when we encounter them, how much we owe to the fact that we’re with them and that, in some mysterious way they stimulate our heart to Pray.”

Elder Efraim of Vatopaidi

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“I will implore my Lord that He send down upon you the Grace of His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom, faith, courage, and hope in Salvation. I believe that God will hear my Prayer, although it is weak, for He came down from Heaven to lead us there.”

Saint Gabriel of Seven Lakes

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“When we accept the Spiritual Father as a gift from God, or when gratitude and thankfulness to God for the Spiritual Father arise in Prayer, then we love him in the Spirit.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“Let your [Spiritual] Father be the one who is able and willing to labour with you in bearing the burden of your sins.”

Saint John Climacus

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“If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the Apostles Ordaining their successors, and these successors Ordaining others, and so on, the Grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their shepherds and teachers.”

Saint Gregory Palamas

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“When someone is completely obedient to his Elder, his heart opens up and he inherits the Elder’s ‘riches’ in a very short time… This means that, if the disciple receives a Grace from God during Prayer, his mind immediately turns to his Elder and he says that this happened by the Prayers of the Elder. This is Spiritual obedience and love for the Elder. Through this process, obedience to the Elder deadens the passions. This is the only way to deaden and transform the passions.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“A Monk came to his Spiritual Father and asked: ‘Father, how many times have I come to you, repented of my sins, how many times have you counseled me, but I can not improve myself? What good is it for me to come to you if after my conversations I again fall into my sins?’ His Elder answered: ‘My son, take two clay pots – one with honey and one empty.’ His Spiritual child did so. ‘And now’, said the Elder, ‘pour honey several times from one pot to another.’ The disciple again obeyed. ‘Now, son, look at the empty pot and smell it.’ The disciple looked, sniffed and said: ‘Father, the empty pot smell like honey, and there, on the bottom, there is a little thick honey.’ ‘That’s right’, said the Elder, ‘and my instructions settle in your Soul. If for Christ’s sake, you learn at least some of the Virtue in your life, then the Lord, through His Mercy, will fill the deficiency and save your Soul for a life in Paradise.'”

A Parable

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