All Spiritual Counsels
- YES I DO WANT TO BE SAVED
- WHY SILENCE? WHY THE DESERT?
- WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
- WHY DO MY PRAYERS FOR HELP IN MY DAILY STRUGGLE REMAIN UNANSWERED?
- WHO IS OUR VENERABLE FATHER ARSENIOS OF CAPPADOCIA, THE WONDERWORKER?
- WHICH IS BETTER - THE WAY OF MARY OR THE WAY OF MARTHA?
- USELESS KNOWLEDGE AND IDLE CURIOSITY
- THE WORD OF GOD
- THE VALUE OF MATERIAL THINGS
- THE SECRET TO OBTAINING THE GRACE OF GOD
- THE PRIEST WHO DID NOT WANT TO SERVE THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE SPIRIUTAL LIFE
- THE GREATEST MISSION OF THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE EVIL ONE WARS AGAINST SPIRITUAL STRUGGLERS
- THE BROTHER WHO WAS SAVED WITHOUT EFFORT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T JUDGE
- THE BENEFITS OF ALMSGIVING - AN AMAZING MIRACLE
- THE ATHEIST STUDENT WHO VISITED MOUNT ATHOS
- SOMETIMES EVEN THE DEVIL TELLS THE TRUTH
- SLEEPINESS AND PRAYER
- SINS AND PASSIONS
- SIN - DESPAIR - REPENTANCE
- SHOULD I OR SHOULD I NOT REVEAL MY THOUGHTS TO ANOTHER?
- SEEK NOT THE PRAISES OF MEN
- SAYINGS BY ABBA AMMONAS
- PRAYER AND FASTING
- ON JUDGING PRIESTS
- ON JUDGING
- OF WHAT DOES THE SPIRITUAL SEARCH CONSIST?
- MIRACULOUS SIMPLICITY OF AN ATHONITE ELDER
- MALICE - PRAYER AND ASCETICISM
- LIGHT AND DARKNESS IN THE SOUL
- JESUS AS THE NEW ADAM
- IS REPENTANCE AND VIRTUE FOR LAY PEOPLE?
- IS FASTING NECESSARY? ASK THE DEMONS!
- HUMILITY - THE FOUNDATION OF ALL VIRTUES
- FREEDOM THAT ALTERS
- FAITH AND WORKS
- DOES THE DEVIL REALLY EXIST?
- DEALING WITH SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
- COMBATING DESPAIR
- BEFORE THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING
- BE AT PEACE WITH YOUR OWN SOUL
- ATTACHMENT TO EARTHLY THINGS MAKE US FOREIGN TO HEAVENLY THINGS
- ADVICE FOR PARENTS FROM AN ELDER
- A PRISONER, A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR AND THE DIVINE LITURGY
WHICH IS BETTER - THE WAY OF MARY OR THE WAY OF MARTHA?
- Categorized in: Spiritual Counsels
Today’s thought is from an anonymous Desert Father who was questioned about whether it is better to live the solitary life of contemplation and poverty or to devote one’s life to helping others and providing material support to the needy. His answer goes to the heart of the debate whether it is better to follow the way of Mary or that of Martha. (Luke 10:38-42)
The brethren said, "There were two brothers who were the sons of a merchant and their father died and they divided their inheritance between themselves. Unto each one, there came five thousand dinars.
One of the brothers divided his inheritance among the churches, and the monasteries, and the poor, and he himself became a monk, and he chose for himself a life of continual silence, and fasting, and prayer. Now the other one built a monastery for himself, and gathered brethren to him, and he took care of the strangers, and the poor, and the sick, whom he received and relieved."
"When the two brothers were dead, there was questioning among the brethren about them, and they went to Abba Pambo and asked him,
‘Which manner of life and conduct was the more excellent and exalted?’
And having learned from God, he said unto them,
‘They were both perfect, and in my sight they appear to be of equal merit.’
Explain to us now the elder’s words, for how can the man who is destitute and the man who hath possessions be equal in merit?’
The elder said,
‘Since the whole conduct of these brethren was to God, and since whatsoever they did they did it for God, with an upright aim, and since the aim of each was the same, they appeared to be in the elder’s opinion of equal merit before God.’"
The Paradise of the Holy Fathers