Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Monday, 13 July 2015

St Paisios - The Listener

What I find most moving about the life, and example of Saint Paisios is his gift of listening. Often this is overlooked by our concentration on his sayings and prophecies (which are of course important too). He would sit for hours on end listening to peoples fears, troubles, temptations, and family situations without saying very much. While giving concise, wise and divinely inspired advice, most of his time would have been spent patiently and compassionately listening to his fellow's problems, allowing them to open up and share.

Often, as Christians, we are too concerned with impressing others with pious or intellectual sayings, giving no room for others to speak, share, and open up. We should offer ourselves to others by listening to them, and by doing so, we are then able to give suitable, concise advice:

'Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak..' (James 1:19)
'A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.' (Proverbs 18:2)

Saint Paisios is an example to us all, of someone who was (and is) always there for his fellows; at any hour, prepared to listen to any concerns and anxieties. Not only every confessor or clergyman, but every Christian should be available to freely and openly listen, with warmth, patience, and compassion. When faced with difficulties, some may not need or want a great deal of advice or the noise of another man's voice; but be in desperate need for the compassionate silence and patience of our ears. 

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