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February 27, 2024

Select Sayings of Saint Ephraim of Katounakia

- Papa-Ephraim was able to see the grace of a priest. If he saw the priest from the side door of the Sanctuary, he would perceive how much grace he has.

- Someone asked him how divine Grace is seen, and he replied: "To the beginners as a cloud, to the advanced (intermediates) as fire and to the perfect as light."

- "According to the faith and reverence you have in someone, you benefit and receive grace."

- “A person can perceive if someone is in a lower spiritual state from himself, but he cannot perceive the one who is in a higher spiritual state than himself."

- "(Spiritual) reading for the monk is like a second divine Communion. There is so much power in reading it as if you just received [Communion]."

- "When we go to the Liturgy and receive Communion and then we sit down to rest, we then fall into vain talk and judgmentalism, then it is as if we are throwing away the sanctification that we have received."

- "The prayer requires confinement, not walking around and going on trips."

- Many times the prayer boiled in him even when he was still asleep. He would wake up and say: "I performed the service, will I do it again?"

- "The prayer has stages. Up to a point you say the prayer, you feel tears of joy, tears of eros, tears of ecstatic eros, but you then pull yourself together. You can do something if you want at that time. Many times, when I was liturgizing, to stop the tears I brought obscenities to my mind. Because of the many tears, because of grace I could not officiate at Little Saint Anna. That's up to a point. Then there is another state above this, in which you do not say the prayer. Not that you don't say it, but you don't hear it. It is ecstatic divine eros, so to speak. You sit and enjoy that sweetness, but how I don't know. A spiritual language to speak is needed at that time. The soul must speak. When the Apostle (Paul) came to his senses, he was unable to speak about what he saw in heaven, 'which it is not lawful for a man to utter.' Then, when the situation is downgraded, I also heard the heart and it said: 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.' After that I didn't hear anything. That is, it is one degree below ecstasy. I became the cause that my prayer was downgraded."

- "With rapture the rational part of the soul is mainly deified, with ecstasy all three parts of the soul are deified. Ecstasy is something more universal, more complete than rapture."

- "In Jerusalem there are holy places. Here on Mount Athos, our lives are holy."

Source: From the book: Από την ασκητική και ησυχαστική Αγιορειτική παράδοση, Mount Athos, 2011, p. 531. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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