St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain: “The Love of Christ Was Ignited in Me so Strongly that My Bones Melted”  

Unspeakable Fragrance

Two students visited the Elder in his cell of the Holy Cross and spoke with him for many hours on various spiritual topics. When they started leaving, the elder walked with them for several dozen yards into the forest. Suddenly the whole place was filled with fragrance. Understanding what the matter was, the Elder became worried and insisted that the students would leave quickly, refusing to explain the reason. The students ran down the path, feeling inexpressible and inexplicable joy. They did not even understand why they were running. Everything was fragrant: the mountains, the air, the stones, the trees, and everything else around them.

“I Am a Tin Can”

One hieromonk visited the Elder in the cell of the Holy Cross. Among other things, he said, “Elder, you have great fame in the world. People deeply appreciate you.”

The Elder shook his head and said, “Did you pass the garbage cans in Karyes as you were going down the hill just now?”

“I did.”

“Well, there are squid cans scattered around there. When the sun shines on them, they glitter nicely, so I can see them even from here. Something similar happens with these people. I am only a tin can, reflecting the sunlight they see, and they think that I am golden. When they come closer, they will see that this [light] is [coming from] an old tin can.”

Spiritual Experience

The Elder once said to one hieromonk, “Within a few years, the love of Christ was ignited in me so strongly that my bones melted like wax. One day, I was walking when the grace dawned on me, making me fall to my knees, unable to move on. I was afraid that someone would see me, because that person would be confused, not knowing what I had experienced.”

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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