Wounded By Love – The Life & Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios

(By Elder Porphyrios, Translated by John Raffan)

 

Reviewed by Emmanuel N. Stamatiou

   

Elder Porphyrios is a contemporary Holy Father who through his great love for Christ became one with Christ with the grace of the Holy Spirit and received spiritual knowledge and wisdom to become one of the most loved and most inspired spiritual guides of our generation.

Elder Porphyrios was born on the island of Evia, Greece on 7 February 1906. At the age of 12 years he went to live as a novice monk at St George Hermitage in Kavsokalyvia on Mt Athos. At the age of 14 years he was tonsured a monk. In 1926 he was ordained a priest. God sent him into the “world” for a period of 33 years from 1940 to1973 to the Polyclinic Hospital in Omonia Square in Athens as a chaplain and confessor. He spent the final years of his life in Kavsokalyvia where he fell asleep on 2 December 1991.Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, Elder Porphyrios has guided many people to find the narrow road that leads through the narrow gate to life. His last words were “that they may be one”.

This book extends the horizons of those who are struggling to increase spiritually and unite with Christ and the whole of humanity, for nothing can be more complete and more fulfilling that for all people to be united as one person in God. Elder Porphyrios says that Christ wants all to be one. In doing so, we experience the joy and unity of love. The important thing is to enter the Church; to unite ourselves with our fellow man; to pray for everyone; to care for their salvation; to forget ourselves; to do everything for them just as Christ did for us.

In Part 2 Elder Porphyrios talks about “Divine Eros” – “He who loves little, gives little. He who loves more, gives more. And he who loves beyond measure gives himself.” Our aim is to love Christ and our neighbour – including our enemies. When our soul is “punctured”, when it is wounded by divine love the passions wither away and every pain is transformed and becomes love for Christ and for the whole world.

“On Prayer” he says, “Pray to God with fervour and love in a calm state of mind, with meekness and gentleness, without forcing yourself”. He stresses the importance of the “Jesus Prayer”. However, without humility and love we cannot pray the words, “Lord Jesus have mercy on me”. For Christ to enter us when we invoke Him with the words, ”Lord Jesus Christ” our hearts must be pure and free from all impediments. It must be devoid of hatred, egotism and malice. This is an excellent chapter on how to pray. When you feel “compunction” you are wounded over and over again by the love of God. The soul suffers. It is pierced, wounded repeatedly when it is distant from God. There is a deep pain and suffering.

“On Spiritual Struggle”, Elder Porphyrios says that a man can become a saint anywhere he wants, even at work in the heart of the city, provided he has meekness, patience and love. The Holy Spirit teaches us everything. Study the words of the Fathers, Psalms, Scriptures and Jesus Prayer. Gradually the soul will be sanctified in a gentle and mystical way without being aware of it. By reading these books the soul will acquire meekness, humility and love and the soul will be made good.

Elder Porphyrios also discusses the “Mystery of Repentance”, “On love for one’s neighbour”, “Divine Providence”, “On the Upbringing of Children” “On Dispositions of the heart”, “On illness” and “On the Gift of Clear Sight”. The Elder teaches parents how to create a strong family unit and how to bring up their children to love God and their fellow man and to grow up to be children of God. He instructs people on how to overcome depression and despair and to cope with the stresses of busy daily life. The mysteries of God are revealed to the person who has humility. He attributes these gifts to God and uses them for God’s glory. The person who is worthy of God is filled with the Holy Spirit. He has divine grace. God, in the mystery of Christ, gives him joy, peace, meekness and love. Buy and read this book over and over again. Elder Porphyrios’s words will enter your soul mystically and will be taken into your heart through the grace of God.

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