St Gabriel, the Fool for Christ
Friends, I have been reading and learning about one of the great saints of 20th c. Georgia, St Gabriel the Fool for Christ, a monk who was arrested and tortured by the Soviets and who, upon his release, took up the cross of becoming a Fool for Christ. St Gabriel reposed in 1995 and is dearly loved in Georgia and, increasingly, throughout the world. Below are a few of his teachings as well as his Last Will and Testament. -With love in Christ, Fr John
If you could see what grace descends during the Liturgy in church, you would gather the dust and wash your face with it.
Be humble and loving before all people, and if you cannot love everyone, at least treat everyone with good will. Kindness will open to you the gates of Paradise, humility will lead you there, and love will reveal God to you. God is seen only in truth and divine love, for “God is Love.”
…the Lord allows temptations to come upon us, so that we would be tested and learn, and attain greater progress. For if temptation increases, God’s grace also increases. How can we learn to love? The Lord shows us other people’s tragedies in order to teach us: Do not be indifferent to your neighbor’s pain. If you can help him, do so; if you can’t do anything to help, you can in any case have compassion. Pray for him. Prayer raised with love has great power.
FR GABRIEL’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
Glory to Christ God!
From His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos - Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia I ask forgiveness and conciliation. I leave my blessing and forgiveness-conciliation to all the clerical and monastic ranks. God is Love, but although I tried very hard, I was not able to attain love of God and neighbor according to the Lord’s commandments. Man’s whole acquisition of the Kingdom of Heaven consists in love — while in this visible world and in his eternal inheritance (eternal life). Bury me without a coffin, in my mantia. Be kind and humble. The Lord has remembered us in our humility, for humility gives us grace. Abide with humility, kindness, and love before every person born of God. I take my love for all with me—for Orthodox people and for every person born of God. The Goal of life and of this entire visible world is the acquisition of the Kingdom of Heaven, drawing closer to God, and receiving the inheritance of eternal life. I wish this also for all of you. I leave you with my blessing; may no one lose the great mercy of God, and may all be vouchsafed to attain the Kingdom. There is no man who lives and does not sin. I alone am a great sinner, completely unworthy, and exceedingly infirm. From all my love I beg you all who may pass by my grave to ask forgiveness for me, a sinner. I was dust, and I return to dust.
The truth is in the immortality of the soul.
“Give me a word!”
...in Paradise, each person will see the glory of God in accordance with the purity of the eyes of their soul. The degree of visibility will not be determined by God, but will depend on each person's purity.
-St Paisios of Mount Athos
We have such a law: If you forgive, it means that God has forgiven you; but if you do not forgive your brother, it means that your sin remains with you.
-St Silouan the Athonite
In the measure to which a man cuts off and humbles his own will, he proceeds toward success. But insofar as he stubbornly guards his own will, so much does he brings harm to himself.
-St Ephraim the Syrian