Saint Paisios of Mount Athos: They Sideline God Today

People of our era have not survived either war nor famine. “And we do not need God”, – they say. They have everything and therefore appreciate nothing. However, if hard times come, hunger or something like that, and they have nothing to eat, then they will understand the price of bread and simple jam, and of everything they will lose. If we do not glorify God, then He permits some kind of test to come for us to appreciate what we have. If we appreciate what we have, then God does not allow any evil to happen.

In the old days, when there were not all these many conveniences, when science had not yet taken such big steps forward, people had to turn to God in all difficulties, and God helped them. And now science has achieved great success, and therefore they sideline God. Today, people go through life without God, they plan one thing or another, they rely on fire protection, or on boreholes, and on this, that and the third. <…> The bad thing is that because of all these technical means not only unbelievers, but even believers think so – and they slowly begin to forget about the power of God. Fortunately, God tolerates us. But people do not even understand that God cares of them. <…>

Sin Is Bad Luck

We must know that believers who keep the commandments of God accept the grace of God, and God, how do I put this, “obligatorily” helps them in these difficult years. I heard that a new disease has appeared in America. Many of those who live an unnatural, sinful life fall ill with it and die. And now I found out that this disease has appeared in our country too. You see, it’s not God Who destroys people – people themselves destroy their kind, they destroy themselves. It is not God Who punishes them, but they themselves create a punishment by their sinful life. And it is clear that those people whose lives have no meaning are being rooted out.

– Geronda, why can’t they find a cure for cancer? Is it God Who does not let this to happen, or it is people who do not call for divine help?

The bad thing is that even if a cure for cancer is found, some other disease will appear. First there was tuberculosis – they found a cure for tuberculosis – cancer appeared. And if God helps to defeat cancer, then another disease will appear. The cause of the new disease will be people themselves, and there will be no end in sight to it. <…>

Let us ask God to give repentance to the world

Oh, if only we were aware of God’s patience! It took a hundred years to build Noah’s Ark. Do you think God could not build some ark quickly? Of course, he could! But He left Noah to suffer for a hundred years, so that the rest would also understand what awaited them and repent. “Look,” Noah told the people, “there will be a flood! Repent!” But he was ridiculed. “What kind of box he is building!” – Noah’s contemporaries made fun of him and continued on. And now, God can shake the whole world in two minutes and make it change – so that everyone becomes a believer and even a “superbeliever”. How? And here’s how: if He switches the toggle switch to an “earthquake” and slowly turns the amplifier regulator: firstly to “5 Richter points”, then to “6”, then to “7” … At the “eight” apartment buildings will begin to sway like drunks hitting each other. At the “ten” everyone will say: “We have sinned! We are begging you, save us!” Or maybe people will even make a vow to become monks – every single one! But as soon as the earthquake ends, and people, though still swaying, will be able to stay on their feet, will run to bars and discos again! Because in such turn of people to God there will be no real repentance, they will pronounce the words of repentance superficially just in order to be saved from evil. <…> The coming wrath of God cannot be escaped except by repentance and keeping His commandments.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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