By September 21, 2010Spiritual Counsels

There was once a layman who went to the Skete of Kavsokalyvia to become a monk. The fathers of the skete, however, wouldn’t accept him, because apart from being idle and negligent, he was mischievous and always causing trouble. Since he felt at ease in the skete, he asked the fathers to allow him to remain there as a layman and do a little work.

So, he spent his life in idleness and neglect until the hour of his death, when he finally took to his bed awaiting his death. The fathers stood by him and were continuously at his side.

One day, the man who was about to die was seized by ecstasy and started making signs. The fathers were wondering what was happening! When he came to himself again, he described an awesome event to them:

“I saw the archangel Michael with a piece of paper in his hands, with all my sins on it, and he told me:

‘You see? You did all that, so get ready to go to hell.’

Then, I said to him:

‘Just have a look. Among all, those sins, does it mention the sin of judging others?’

The archangel looked and said to me:

‘No, it doesn’t.’

‘In that case,’ I told him. ‘It is not right for me to go to Hell, according to what the Lord said: ‘Do not judge and you will not be judged’ (Luke 6:37)

Then, the archangel Michael tore up the paper with my sins on. And so, fathers, I will go to Paradise. When you told me that I wouldn’t do for a monk in the skete and I was working as a layman and going to church on feast days, I heard the words of the Gospel: ‘Do not judge, that you be not judged’ (Matt: 7:1) and I said:

‘Wretched man, at least you can put that into practice.’

This way, I was saved without any other effort.”

As soon as he had said these words, he commended his soul to the archangel Michael.

Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters

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