Let us start from somewhere else. The important thing was to start
A saying of Elder Porphyrios, and its application.
"Spiritual life demands techniques and methods so that you can transfer what you have learned here, there, or somewhere else. He tried to teach all of us the idea of 'else'. We remember him saying: If we cannot do something here, let us start from somewhere else. The important thing was to start. We should not be idle. If you can't start with this or that, start with something else. The impetus you get from that will motivate you to do the other things."
This is a description of Elder Porphyrios' teaching from someone who knew him well.
This is excellent advice, similar to advice I have also heard, attributed to a local priest: "If you cannot do the best thing, do the next best thing". Another saying, that also applies: "Do not NOT do a small thing because you cannot do a big thing".
So, we are weak, and we are sinners. We can at least do SOMETHING. Something is better than nothing, every time.
Apply this wisdom to your daily life.
You fast poorly.
At least fast in some way, even a small way!
You get bored in long services.
At least come to some of the service, the beginning or the end!
You are angry with someone, and hurt, and have bad thoughts.
At least pray for this person! At least do not complain about this person and gossip about him to others!
You forget to pray for others, or even God forgive you, find this burdensome!
At least make a small list, and say "Lord have mercy on ____", every day!
You never pray in the morning.
At least say the 4 bows! At least turn off the moronic, soul-numbing talk radio, deal with the discomfort of being alone with yourself, having nothing to do but drive, and feel bored and at loose ends in traffic, and say the Jesus prayer at least for 5 minutes!
You do not pray much at home, or read the Scriptures.
At least turn off the TV, or at least ration the watching of it (the best tool to ration TV watching is a BRICK), and NEVER have it on as background noise! All that secular junk makes it impossible for your soul to find any rest or focus. You cannot get focused without doing something, even if that is just stopping something!
Start somewhere! Do something!
There are a thousand other applications.
May God help us poor sinners to do something good, though the prayers of the Holy Elder, Porphyrios!
Priest Seraphim Holland 2017
This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:
· Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070
· Phone: 972/658-5433
· Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net
This document is at
Our parish Email list (http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.
All rights reserved. Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way. We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.
 http://oodegr.com/english/biblia/Porfyrios_Martyries_Empeiries. "Elder Porphyrios, Testimonies and experiences" , by Klitos Ioannidis, pg 275