Archive for the ‘Elder Nektary of Optina’ Category


One Day

February 24, 2010

History shows us how God guides the nations and gives as it were moral lessons to the world. Worldly life measures years, centuries, millennia; but the most important thing is that ‘it was morning and it was evening, one day.’ In the process there may be narrowing and widening, but no matter how long a man lives it will always be the same: ‘morning, evening—one day.’ The hardest object is stone, and the most gentle is water. But drop after drop the water pierces through the stone. – Elder Nektary of Optina


Elder Nektary on Psalm 1:1

February 8, 2010

In its external aspect, this means that a man is blessed, who flees impure gatherings, who does not take part in heretical or anti-church teachings. But the mind is also called a man, when it does not accept the thoughts that come from the enemy. It is impossible to forbid such thoughts to come, but it is possible not to confer with them or to entertain them, but to say instead, “Lord, have mercy!” And you’ll see how all that is earthly departs. Thus, he who acts in this manner is called a man.


An 8th Council?

February 3, 2010

Once N. Pavlovich asked Elder Nektary, “Is it possible to hope for the unification of the churches?” He replied, “No! Only an Ecumenical Council could do that, but there will be no more councils. There have already been seven councils, like the seven sacraments and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. For our age, the number of fullness is the number seven. Eight is the number of the future age. Only separate people will be united to our Church.”


Serving Life

February 1, 2010


Man is given life in order that it might serve him and not vice versa. In serving life, a man loses his sense of proportion; he works without any rationale and becomes sadly confused, not knowing why he lives. This is a very harmful state of doubt and it often happens that a man, like a horse, plods under his load and suddenly finds himself faced with such a … cataclysmic obstacle. – Elder Nektary of Optina