Confessing His Garden
A young man, who hadn’t been to confession for many years, went to Father Anastasios who resided at the cell of Dionysiou Forna from Karyes of Kaoutloumousiou Monastery. While they were talking, Father Anastasios told him he should go to confession, as it would help him find solutions to his problems. However, the young man was not convinced, even though Father Anastasios was trying gently to make him realize that he must go to confession. Then, Father Anastasios talked to him about Father Paisios; he told him that he is a contemporary saint and suggested they go together to visit and listen to what he has to say. So, they went to see the Elder. When they arrived at his cell he was out in the garden digging in order to plant some vegetables.
Father Anastasios greeted him and asked him, “Father, what are you doing?” The Elder, with the characteristic charming look on his face said, “Well, I have noticed that when I confess my garden and take off everything useless, such as stones, cans, roots, thorns and then I till the soil a little bit, it works wonders. So, I reached the conclusion that once in a while my garden needs confession.” Leaving the hoe aside, he let them in and treated them to a sweet.
When Father Anastasios and the young man left, they were very please the Elder had answered their question regarding confession without even bothering to ask him beforehand. Needless to say, the young fellow went straight to confession after this incident!
The Elder Said, “During the war when a soldier is injured in the leg he has to go to the doctor to take care of his wound, so that he may fight again. However, if he says, “Why should the doctor take care of my wound, since I will be injured again,” then his wound will be left uncovered and exposed to bacteria. It will get infected and he will eventually die of a hemorrhage. The same happens with confession. You must go to confession. If you fall into the same sins, you will once again confess them, until you learn not fall and stand on your feet.
Both quotes are from a great book. Telling you about it feels like I am giving away a family secret recipe or something. Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain http://astore.amazon.com/stignatiuorth-20/detail/960900993X
Here is a little bit about Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain