Celebrating the Feast of St. Paisios the Athonite
July 12, 2016 - Hellenic College Holy Cross joins the universal church today in celebrating the Feast of St. Paisios the Athonite.
Reposed in the Lord in 1994, and recognized as a saint in 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the life and continuous wonderworking miracles of St. Paisios reveal the ever-presence and love of Jesus Christ in our present age.
Despite the daily news reports of war, terrorism, violence and social divide throughout the modern world, God never abandons us - not even in the wake of the series of shootings our country has endured these past weeks.
St. Paisios is quoted as saying that "even if God were to burn all the good people, one must not have negative thoughts; instead, he must think that everything that God does, He does out of love. God knows His work. For God to allow something bad to happen, then something far better will occur." (Passions and Virtues, Faith and Hope in God, p. 281)
"The better" that God often offers is not temporal, but rather eternal. Often, it is the ushering of His Kingdom, "the life in the age to come", which we as Orthodox Christians profess in The Nicene Creed.
St. Paisios reminds us further that "we must abandon ourselves to the hands of God with absolute trust and view every tribulation as a gift sent to us by the love of God. The person who has great trust in God delights in everything. Whether he is sick, or is hungry, or is wronged...he believes that God has allowed it all; he hopes in God and remains, always secured, in the harbor of hope in God." (Ibid, p. 288)
As our nation looks toward healing, and we as Orthodox Christians continue to work toward our own individual salvation, may the words and life of St. Paisios the Athonite serve as a source of inspiration, comfort and inner prayer for us, drawing us closer to communion with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who through the terrible suffering of the Cross brought victory over death!
"God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is He who will give power and strength to His people. Blessed is God." (Psalm 67:36)