The Ascetic at the Door

Blessed Elder Arsenie Papacioc 1914-2011

Someone knocked at Jesus’ door, and Jesus asked, “Who is there?”

“It’s me, Your great ascetic!”

“You’re not ready; I’m not opening the door for you!”

The ascetic was worried: “I wonder why?” And he went again to the door and knocked.

“Who is there?” asked the Lord.

“It is you!”

“If you are Me, enter!” – That is to say, God gathers with those who are gods by grace.

So it is not permitted to knock at Christ’s door with stains, since any little sin is not small! If should not be understood that the struggle is to become perfect only in not committing sins! This is a little brash, and it is not the way of humility. You have to believe that the grace of God is helping you and that if you’re something it’s only by God’s grace. This is how I understood the words of St. Silouan, uttered to him by the Savior: “Keep thy mind in hell and despair not!” Our deeds can’t save us; therefore, we have reason for a continuous and authentic humility; not a rational humility, but a true humility. (The Orthodox Word No. 280, 2011 pg. 247)