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Pain for children should be turned into prayer

Children should be pained for prayer. Raising the children according to St. Paisius the Svyatogorets. Part of 2

July 31 2018
Tags: Religion, Orthodoxy, Children

Ending. Part of 1

As reckless love hurts, so will reckless and unreasonable pressure, because they both result from our unhealthy selfishness. The old man noted this by saying:

"Some parents strongly press on their children, even with outsiders. As if they have some donkey, and they send it with a stick to go ahead, hold the bridle in their hands, and they tell him to walk freely! Then they reach the point where children are beaten. With their pressure, parents do not help children, but suffocate them.

Constantly: "Not that, not this, do it this way ..." Reins should be kept, but so that they do not burst. Let them carefully monitor the children to direct them to the true path, but do not create an abyss between themselves and them. Let them do the same as a good gardener when planting a tree: he gently binds it to the peg, so that it grows evenly and is not injured when the wind begins to tilt to the left, then to the right. He even fences it with a fence and watered it in a timely manner, and seeks that the goats did not swallow them until the branches grow. Because if it is left without the branches of a goat, it is already over, it is destroyed. A tree with broken branches can not give any fruit, you can not give a shadow. And when the branches grow, then the gardener removes the wattle fence, and the tree begins to bear fruit, and goats, sheep and people can find shelter under his shadow.

In their excessive care, parents, however, want in most cases to wrap their child around with a wire, while it must be tied gently to avoid injury. Let them try to help children in a way that cultivates dignity in their souls, so that they feel good as a necessity. Let them explain to them what kindness is, as far as they can in kind, with love and pain "[1].

Unforgettable elder always stressed for small and large: whatever we did, we must do it with zeal, nobility, love and pain. He advised parents to cultivate dignity in children so that they could boldly and joyously do good in life, love Christ and their neighbor and that their life was filled with spiritual meaning.

When parents notice the ugly behavior and negative reaction of their children, it is necessary to know coolly what is the reason. Very often the example of parents plays a major role in shaping the character and mental peace of our children. The elder said:

Elder Paisiy: "We help children mainly by their example, not by pressure"

"To the child listened to us, and behaved ugly - then something is wrong here. Maybe he sees ugly scenes or hears ugly words at home or on the street. In any case, we help children mainly by their example, not by pressure.

Many parents quarrel with children and give them a bad lesson. Poor children get frustrated. Then, to comfort them, parents begin to fulfill their every desire. The father goes and takes the child in kind: "What do you want me to buy you, my gild?"

There is also a mother who also takes it good, and as a result, children grow up capricious and pretenders. If parents subsequently can not give them what they want, they begin to scare them with the fact that they will finish with themselves.

I see how a good example of parents helps children. When children see that their parents love each other, they treat each other sensibly, pray, etc., then they capture it in their souls. "[2].

Very often parents at the beginning of family life are far from God and make many mistakes in the upbringing of children. And then they will know God's love and are very depressed, seeing the mistakes that they made towards their children, and most importantly, that they did not teach them to love God. The fact that such a pain is strong enough for the sensitive souls of parents who later became godly, and the devil can take advantage of this, above the measure saddening their souls to drown them in a sense of guilt and bring into despair because of mistakes in saving children. In these cases, a wise and philanthropic elder told us that if the parents have a frank repentance and they pray to God to help their children, God will do something for them. Throw a life ring, so they were saved from the storm, which hit. And even if there are no people who would help, maybe they will see something that will help them to make the situation turn for the better. You should know that these parents had a good disposition, but only when they were small, they were not helped in the family, and they are entitled to God's help [3].

One of the main teachings of the holy elder was that a preemptive and just God never wrongs a person unjustly, and every person who has been wronged will forever be justified in His eternal Kingdom, but in this world He also gives him all the opportunities to he did not suffer spiritually. When we are justified by [4] people, we are justified by a just God, - he often told us in his teachings. The same is true of the touching phenomenon of children who live spiritually and love God, but face many difficulties and obstacles from their parents, as well as in the case of orphans. About them the elder said that God cares more for these children than for those who have parents who are spiritually alive [5].

The Elder always told us that we had faith, trust in God. He believed that the less man's help from people, the more he has the rights to God's help, which, in fact, helps us and in which we need. He spoke of orphaned children in a characteristic way:

"I envy the children deprived of the great love of their parents, because they have done much for their Father - God already in this life, and in parallel they made an investment in the savings bank of God, having lost the parental love that brings interest.

But even in this life, a good God will help them, because from the moment when He somehow takes away their parents from them, He is obliged to protect them. God naturally loves them more and cares about them more. To these children God gives more rights in this life than to others "[6].

Reverend Arsenii of Cappadocia and Paisius of the Holy SeeReverend Arsenii of Cappadocia and Paisius of the Holy See

Blessed Starets cited as an example of his saint, the Reverend Arseniy of Cappadocia, who grew up as a round orphan, without a mother and without a father. If he had not spiritually risen before the fact of his orphanhood, if he had not risen with courage, he would have been exhausted, would have had psychological problems. You see, however, how fearless he was! What a struggle led! How he was sick, but how many pedestrian crossings he made! He walked, as if flying! Here, the supernatural power that God gave him is obvious. Can Christ have difficulties with bringing up orphans? [7]

What kind of consolation this old man gives us! But is it just orphanhood, when parents die physically? Is not it a kind of orphanhood, spiritual and physical, the spiritual necrosis and death of our parents' souls, their constant absence from home and a life far from God?

The Lord lives, the Monk Elder assures us. When it seems that around the continuous negative and chaos is about to come, then God dispels this with His love, and in God, a man very often gathers fragrant and precious roses from thorns.

Let us not despair when we notice that our children are experiencing spiritual difficulties, but we will begin to pray

So let's not despair as parents, when we notice that our children experience spiritual difficulties, even if it is because of our shortcomings. Through self-cultivation, which is born of humility and introduces the grace of God into the soul, we stand up against the difficulties of our children, taking upon themselves their pain, and turn this pain into the pain of praying to God for both our shortcomings and the difficulties of our children, Our Divine power and presence are our shortcomings and omissions in the upbringing of children.

I will never forget how the old man, with great pain and love, took part in the difficulties of people and with self-blame prayed for their weaknesses and illnesses.

Once in his potassium came one father, leading a child of about ten. At this time we were there, at the old man, and in the immediate vicinity we saw the whole scene. It was evident that the father and those who accompanied them told the child that the elder had the power to cure him of his illness (I think he had leukemia), and the child was waiting for the miracle to happen and he would be healed at the same moment.

The elder, as usual, received them with much love and told them spiritual words, telling them to have hope and faith in Christ and Our Lady, and then invited them to continue their pilgrimage to other monasteries of the Holy Mountain Athos. And when they got up to leave, and the child realized that a miracle had not happened, as he had imagined, he rushed to the old man, embraced him and began to ask:

"Father, please, heal me!"

The pain and love that is depicted on the face of the old man remains in me indelible. He embraced the child and so, standing, fixed his tear-stained eyes to the sky, as if none of us were there, but only Prebla God, and, pouring out the pain of the heart, said to God:

"My God, what is this child's fault that even I, unworthy and lost, can not help him?"

He closed his eyes and plunged into a silent prayer about this little angel, and we all silently experienced how this holy man prays.

What was later, we never found out, but we saw how the elder takes the pain of people upon himself, turning the pain of prayer into extreme humility, which opens the streams of mercy and grace of God.

Since then, I tell myself that if I were as hurting or if it hurt my parents too, and I would take mistakes and the wounds of my brothers upon myself, putting the pain into prayer, then I would be very different and quite different would look at his brothers, and parents - on their children. And really, how much we would help our children spiritually and physically, and to themselves, lost and unworthy!

And finally, is not pride and our selfishness usually harming us and our children, but we do not understand this, while our humility is an antidote to difficulties, both our own and our children?

I will not bore you any more. I will end by reading one letter that the venerable old man wrote to his father, who suffered because of his child, although he himself was at fault. The letter itself speaks of the judiciousness of the elders stemming from his humility and freedom in the grace of God, and of the great need to trust the Fatherland Providence of the love of God, which ultimately must guide our existence so that we can, on the ship of our family, meet the oncoming storms.

So, the Monk Elder writes:

Starets Paisii: "Do not press, but show that you are worried about the way your child has gone"

"Dear my brother O., greeting you in the Lord.

As for your child, which I write about, my opinion is that a strict position would hurt him even more. Tell him about good in kind and do not press him afterwards, but show that you are worried about the way he went. This will be seen by itself, because you can not hide your joy, or worry. You do your duty by giving advice, and then you have to entrust your child to God.

I think that the pain will bring more results if it is converted into prayer. When you are hurt because of the child's disobedience and you insist on your own, you will not achieve results, because the child was driven into fury by the flesh and the influence of the evil one to whom he gave power.

It is a storm, and it will pass. Do not be killed, he will recover later. And do not take everything to heart, that he will lose purity or what will happen later.

People of our era have different rules, they turned sin into fashion. May God have mercy on you.

See how much you can, do not harden the child, as I said, so that he does not break the chains and leave the house, because then he will come to himself, but he will not want to come to you out of pride, and so will be completely lost for you.

As for the doctor about whom you write to me in connection with the state in which he is, even if the child demonstrates something, it will do him harm if you send him there, because, on the one hand, his huge selfishness, and on the other - there will be a thought that something will happen to him because of carnal desires that will not be satisfied, and he will fall into fear and will be even worse. The child has nothing but carnal child insanity of his age, which has increased to a large extent and sparked a fire due to his inattentive life.

If you think that he has something and the doctor will tell you to give him medicines, I do not mind. But be patient for a short period of time and do not pay attention to his disobedience until he gets closer to you more. And at the first opportunity, which he will give you himself, when he feels unwell, or when you find an excuse, then lead him to the doctor.

In any case, do not worry, God will not leave the child like that. And he will not judge the sins of the children of this age as he judges the sins of the children of our age.

Pray, and I will pray, and the good God will help your child, as well as all children in the world.

With love in Christ, monk Paisius. "

Thank you!


[1] Paisiy, the elder. The words. T. 4: About family life. The publication of the mr. Evangelist John the Theologian. Suroty; Thessaloniki, 2008. S. 109-111 (in Greek)

[2] Ibid. S. 95-96.

[3] Ibid. S. 100.

[4] Unjustified - have undergone injustice, resentment.

[5] Paisiy, the elder. The words. T. 4. S. 101.

[6] Ibid. S. 126.

[7] Ibid. S. 128.

Metropolitan of Africa, Athanasius of Limassol
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