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St. Porphyrios (new saint) on the power of saint's prayers


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#1 Alice

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 08:39 PM

(My translation from: www.agioritkovima.gr)

 

attributed to St. Porphyrios, also known as Elder Porphyrios, 'Wounded by Love', a brand new Orthodox contemporary saint, speaking to someone:

 

 

"You should know that the Saints of God are capable of everything"

 

Saint Porphyrios:"Imagine a city with 500,000 inhabitants, of whom all are sinning. In a monastery there, there lives a monastic ascetic who raises his pure and clean hands unto God and begs him not to punish the 500,000 sinners. I assure you that for the favor to the ascetic, God does not punish the 500,000 people."

 

Other: "What you are saying is totally surprising."

 

Saint Porphyrios:"You should know that the Saints of God are capable of everything. 

 

The Saint can ask anything of God, and God will give it to him.

 

The power of the Saints is very strong."

 

From: «Ανθολόγιο συμβουλών Γέροντος Πορφυρίου»

(Anthology of Geronta Porphyrios's counsels)


Edited by Alice, 13 December 2013 - 08:44 PM.


#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:04 AM

But does God punish?



#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:50 PM

But does God punish?


What is nessesary for salvation is offered by God. If 'punishment' opens the road to Heaven, then the answer is "yes".

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 03:19 PM

I notice that 'punishment' is in quotation marks; also, I do not think punishment is 'offered'. Is not the idea of punishment for sins a western notion?



#5 Alice

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 06:01 PM

Andreas,

 

In the Bible, God punished Sodom and Gomorrah and also the world at the time of Noah.

 

At other times, we hear that God 'allows' bad things to happen because of sins of a place or person.

 

It is a difficult question, but I do know that if it were not for  the prayers of the many saints of Mt. Athos and other religious communities, East and West, which are offered solely for the world, who knows what God may have allowed or punished us with by now!

 

Regards,

Alice :)



#6 Phoebe K.

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:17 PM

hi

 

I think the story of Johna and the whale is a good example of this, God thretened punishment but relented when the people repented.  Also our Lord himself told the disciples off for wanting to destroy a town who had rejected him.

 

The them of mercy rather than sacrifice is a recurrent them in our prayers.  Along with the them of God wanting all to have the chance to repent and come to the knowledge of God.

 

St Siluan also says a very simmaler thing, in that he says that when their is no one left to pray for the world the end will come, that is the importance he placed on praying for everyone.  In this he inplys that as long as there is one person praying for the world the Lord will withhold the destruction of the end times.

 

Phoebe



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 10:27 PM

I would suggest that OT accounts of punishment cannot be the whole story but that we should have recourse to the NT and patristic commentaries thereon. There is also the question of whether the 'punishment' mentioned is in this life or the next.



#8 Lakis Papas

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 01:24 PM

There was a time when reward and punishment were inherent with the ways of life: the way of life received meaning by the self-caused consequences.
 
The world is preserved by God for two reasons:
 
1) to sanctify the world by the grace of the Holy Spirit who dwells in the saints
2) from the forbearance of God, to allow time for sinners to repent
 
Let us assume that the created world of God was failing completely, that no human would follow God and that all people would serve evil, consciously and voluntarily, without any hope of repentance (of course this is not true, but let's assume this for the sake of debate). Then the maintenance of such a world would be, in fact, the maintenance of evil.
 
The preservation and maintenance of the world by the Holy Spirit certainly is a gift, not a reward. But, the donation relates to the prospect of deification. There is an eschatological perspective that gives meaning to things and offers status beyond the fact of existence.
 
if the saints disappear from the face of the earth, and also hope of appearance of a future saint vanish, then Humanity and the whole world would lose their meaning.
 
The assumption of St. Porphyry is rhetoric, his conclusion is true. The holiness of God's people give ground for the existence of creatures who are far from God. We know from the scriptures that until the second coming of Christ the world will not remain empty of saints, the Church will always exist - even reduced in numbers, persecuted and worldly powerless. 
 
luke 12:32

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

 



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:22 PM

I understand what Lakis Papas is saying but it does explain this saying which may or may not be properly attributed to St Porphyrios. On its face, and assuming that the withholding of punishment carries with it salvation, the saying implies God going against free will. God does not force salvation on anyone because then it is not salvation. There is no coercion with God. What place is there in this for repentance, faith, and works? God’s grace saves those who desire salvation.



 



#10 Alice

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:47 PM

I understand what Lakis Papas is saying but it does explain this saying which may or may not be properly attributed to St Porphyrios.



 

 

ΠΕΡΙΓΡΑΦΗ


Πνευματική συμβουλευτική για θέματα καθημερινής ζωής από έναν
σύγχρονο Γέροντα. Το βιβλίο παρουσιάζει με εύχρηστη θεματική ταξινόμηση
τις συμβουλές, του επί έξι δεκαετίες πνευματικού, ιερομονάχου Γέροντος
Πορφυρίου, σε πολλούς ανθρώπους που τον επισκέφθηκαν για διάφορα
ζητήματα της ζωής τους – άγχος, κατάθλιψη, οικογένεια, παιδιά, αγάπη
κ.ά.

 

http://www.porphyrios.net/?page_id=469

 

Dear Andreas,

 

This excerpt is from the published book in the link I provided above. This is not hear say, nor do I believe that this anthology has made up conversations.

 

This is the translation of the summary:

 

Spiritual counsels for matters of everyday life by a contemporary Elder. The book presents a useful thematic sorting of his counsels from six decades as a spiritual father and hieromonk to the many persons who visited him  ti discuss different matters in their life: stress/anxiety, depression, family, children, love, and more.

 

Perhaps one of the good Priests here can explain to you this theme of Divine punishment and the withholding of punishment because of monastic and saint's prayers, which the Saint/ Elder is speaking about.

 

Alice


Edited by Alice, 15 December 2013 - 06:53 PM.


#11 Lakis Papas

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:18 AM

I understand what Lakis Papas is saying but it does explain this saying which may or may not be properly attributed to St Porphyrios. On its face, and assuming that the withholding of punishment carries with it salvation, the saying implies God going against free will. God does not force salvation on anyone because then it is not salvation. There is no coercion with God. What place is there in this for repentance, faith, and works? God’s grace saves those who desire salvation.

 

The main theme of the specific counsel by St Porfyrios is that:  ... Saints of God are capable of everything. The Saint can ask anything of God, and God will give it to him. The power of the Saints is very strong.

 

I think the reference to punishment does serve as a farfetched example on how even on judgment issues, which are exclusively God's jurisdiction, saints power remain valid. I think, the foretold "withholding of punishment" does "carries with it salvation", but not an forced salvation, rather than it is about a second chance for voluntary salvation requested by the saint's supplication on behalf of sinners.



#12 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:02 PM

There has to be some qualification to this. St Silouan the Athonite prayed with tears and with his whole heart for decades for the grace of God to be given to all people that all would know God and be saved. Does that mean that all will be saved? He prayed that there would be no malice, or wars, and that love alone would reign, but World War II started less than a year after his repose.



#13 Alice

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:42 PM

Some believe that the World Wars were a catharsis and/or punishment from God...

 

The apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, if I recall, allude to this.

 

The Saints of Russia have said that the revolution was a punishment because of how far they had fallen.

 

During times of trial,  oppression, suffering, illness, (punishment) people do not propose the follies of good times such as hedonism, atheism, etc., thus, their souls are saved at that time.That is what I get out of all this.

 

Why some places suffer and others don't, I do not know.

 

I find that the more we try to analyze God with our own limited abilities, the more the evil one plagues us with doubt and unbelief.

 

Suffice it to say, we are fortunate for prayers of holy persons. Surely the free world is not pleasing to God, and especially today. Without further social commentary, I will only say 'Lord have mercy' on us and the whole world.



#14 Christophoros

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:01 PM

I would say St. Porphyrios was speaking hypothetically, which doesn't take away or deny any truth his words contain. However, I think saints desire what our Lord does: that sinners turn from their previous ways and repent. I would argue that a saint wouldn't pray that God spare a city of 500,000 sinners any punishment or consequence for their sinning. He or she would pray that our Lord be merciful and turn their hearts to repentance by whatever means He deems fit.



#15 Alice

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:58 AM

I do not think that Saint Porphyrios was speaking hypothetically. He generally did not.

 

Many times saints confound us with a depth which we cannot wrap our minds around. They have attained theosis and can understand the mystery of God much more than we can in this world.

 

Saint Porphyrios was a man who could literally see events occurring in other parts of the world, in the depths of the oceans, and through mountains...Like other saints, he could also bilocate...such is not of this dimension or of our limited comprehension.


Edited by Alice, 19 December 2013 - 02:59 AM.


#16 Christophoros

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:54 PM

Your points are taken, and are very true.



#17 Moses Anthony

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

There seems to be little or no evidence; to contradict the effacacyof the prayers of saints, either from an Orthodox or Protestant perspective.  The troubling thought here seems to be that it goes against our ideology, and theology, that God 'ever ' punishes. 

As has been said before by any number of theologians, ..."the scarlett thread of redemption runs throughout the Scriptures."  And as one follows that thread, whether it be through Moses, Joshua, the peophets, King David or Judas Iscariot, one sees that the wrath of God falls upon the disobedient, and the sinful.  God; being omnipotent and omniscient, set up the rubrics, rules, laws, and principles governing His Kingdom.  Those then "natural laws" sometimes do not sit well with how we interpret (read feel) they should be, or what we so loudly proclaim as to how God acts.

Having set up His Kingdom, the natural law of rebellion against God, is the result of sin.  "The result of sin is death...", so wrote the Apostle Paul. King David sinned against Uriah the Hittite, and God. And even though he repented he still suffered the consequences. The child borne of his sin died. This is the example we have of him of whom it is written "a man after God's own heart." And, as we see under the New Covenant with the couple Ananias and Sapphira, sometimes the consequence of sin is even physical death.

Yes, God suffers long!  We however should not however, mis-interpret the long suffering patience of God.  For; it is such, that we might come to repentance.  If we persist, then all that awaits is the fearful wrath of Almighty God.  Knowing then -as Ambassadors- the fearful judgement (law of God) we beg men, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 

 

Please forgive me for being so verbose.

the sinful and unworthy servant,

 






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