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FAMILY LIFE

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Elder Paisios of Mount Athos – Spiritual Counsels IV

With this present volume, we continue the publication of the counsels of the Blessed Elder Paisios with themes on the family and the ordeals people undergo caused by the crisis the institution of family faces in our times. The Elder used to say that the majority of the letters he received were from people who had family problems. He attributed these problems to people having withdrawn from God and to their self-centreredness. “In the old days,” he would say, “life was more peaceful and serene; people had patience. Nowadays, everyone has got a short fuse – people flare up right away; no one can tell them anything. And then, automatically, they go straight for divorce.”

From early on, the Elder took an active role within the great family of the Church, as he felt that he no longer belonged to his own small family. He acquired divine love and became a child of God. This is why he felt all people to be his brothers, and loved each and every one “with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:8). He used to say to us, “When I see an old man, I say that he is my father. When I see an old woman, I say that she is my mother. When I see a young child, I see that child as my brother’s child. I love everyone. For some I feel glad and for others I feel pain. Do you know what this is?” So, according to each one’s circumstances, he would become their child, brother, father, grandfather. It was the sincerity of his love which helped whoever came to him to undergo the good transformation, to accept the word of God and to live accordingly. As a member of the Body of Christ, he not only prayed with pain for those who faced problems in their families, but he also helped with his advice, when it was asked for, for even the most private aspects of family life, even though he himself lived as an ascetic….

  • Preface 9
  • The Young Facing the Two Roads of Life 19
  • PART ONE
    SUPPORTING THE FAMILY

    • CHAPTER ONE
      For a Harmonious Family
    • CHAPTER TWO
      With Patience the Family is Saved
  • PART TWO
    PARENTS AND THEIR OBLIGATIONS

    • CHAPTER ONE
      Childbearing
    • CHAPTER TWO
      The Role of the Mother in Raising Children
    • CHAPTER THREE
      The Parents’ Responsibility for Raising Their Children
  • PART THREE
    CHILDREN AND THEIR OBLIGATIONS

    • CHAPTER ONE
      Children, Their Joys and Their Difficulties 127
    • CHAPTER TWO
      The Respect and Love of Children for Parents 142
  • PART FOUR
    SPIRITUAL LIFE

    • CHAPTER ONE
      Spiritual Life in the Family 157
    • CHAPTER TWO
      Work and Spiritual Life 176
    • CHAPTER THREE
      Self Control in Daily Life 189
  • PART FIVE
    THE TRIALS IN OUR LIFE

    • CHAPTER ONE
      “We Went Through Fire and Through Water…” 205
    • CHAPTER TWO
      Illness 223
    • CHAPTER THREE
      Disability Is a Blessing From God 249
    • CHAPTER FOUR
      Spiritual Laws 260
  • PART SIX
    DEATH AND THE FUTURE LIFE

    • CHAPTER ONE
      Facing Death 271
    • CHAPTER TWO
      “Ye Sorrow Not, Even As Others Who Have No Hope” 284
    • CHAPTER THREE
      Life After Death 292
  • INDEX
    • I. Scriptural Index 311
    • II. General Index 313

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