by Andrea Elizabeth
“There is nothing worse than a monk who does not consistently do his spiritual tasks. The people in the world love present life, and by partaking in its pleasures, they deceive themselves and enjoy it. The ones who deny worldly life and its pleasures for the sake of spiritual life, experience true joy and divine pleasures which cannot be compared to anything.
However, those monks, who left the world for the sake of spiritual life – for which they give their monastic vows – and neglect their spiritual tasks, are the most miserable people. For they do not enjoy any worldly pleasures, and even if they desire them, it hurts their consciousness as they go against their promises. If by any chance, their disposition is inclined towards worldly pleasures and finally they indulge in them, they cannot even feel the fake happiness like the rest of the people, as their conscience does not permit them to do so. Since they d not do their spiritual work, they cannot experience spiritual satisfaction either. As a result, they live a terrible life, unable to feel either the joy of worldly pleasures like the people of the world, or experience spiritual fulfillment like the spiritual monks.” Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pg. 140.