“I Have Lost Everything Except for What I Have Given Away”. Blessing of Elder Gabriel from the Koutloumousiou Monastery in Mt Athos

I pray to God that He may grant us His grace, so that we can love Him with all our hearts and souls, and so that, in a similar way, we may love those around and near us.  I wish that the Lord may grant us Grace so that our hearts would open wide and embrace all people. You must look at people as children of God, as His image and likeness!

Is there a supermarket in the world that sells love for God or one’s neighbor? There is no such thing anywhere, and therefore we can acquire all these virtues only through prayer, and not by earning them somehow. This is the only way to acquire peace and calmness for our soul. We can acquire love for our neighbor when we add to our prayer the effort to do good. We always have something to give to the needy as alms. It can be material help, or prayer, or a comforting word. Only in this way can we attain love for God and love for our neighbor.

The hour will come when we will be put in a coffin, and our relatives and friends will bid us their final farewell. We will leave everything behind, except for what we have given away. The angels of God will present all this latter before us. Shrouds have no pockets. I have lost everything except what I have given away, and nothing is truly mine if it is for me only. If someone wants to become poor, he should collect wealth. If you want to have everything in abundance, then give everything away. If you want to become a beggar, build your wealth. If you want to die of hunger, you need to close your eyes to the needs of others.

Joyful are those eyes that see a person in illness and cry for him, because these eyes will see all the beauty of heaven. Joyful are those lips that speak comforting words, because those lips will join the angels crying out to the Lord, “Hosanna in the highest!” Joyful is the house that opens its doors to random travellers, because these doors are opened to the Queen of Heaven and the Savior!

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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