THE POWER OF REPENTANCE

        Saint Paul the humble, whose memory our church is honoring, once stayed in front of the church gate of a monastery and was watching the state of the monks' s souls, since he had a discerning gift from God. The monks who entered the church had a very nice and pleasant look, and each of them was accompanied by his happy- looking angel. The holy father glorified God for what he had seen. But at a certain time he saw a monk with a dark look, accompanied by many demons and his angel at a distance looking gloomy and anxious. When Paul saw this, he started crying and did not want to leave his position so as not to miss watching that monk again during his exit from the church. After the Liturgy, while the monks were leaving the church, he watched that monk again, but this time his face was shining and was all white, gleaming like light and close to him his angel was following happily whereas the gloomy looking demons were in distance.
         When Paul saw this, rose up from his position and glorified God. He stood at higher place and narrated the miraculous things he had seen. Everybody kept asking the monk what had happen to him. He said out of extreme humility; "I am a sinful man but sin has not left me yet. When I entered the church, I listened to the words of prophet Isaiah, which are God' s words; "Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together", says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land."

        "When I heard this, I came to, I felt pain in my heart, I cried and sighed; "My Lord God, who came to this world to save the sinners, please bestow on me, who is a sinner and an unworthy man, all the things you promised through your prophet. I promise you that from this very moment I give up every lawlessness and sin which I have committed until now and from now on I will never sin again with Your help". When I   finished my prayer I went out and decided to do all the things I had promised to the Lord.". When the fathers heard these words, they glorified God for his great philanthropy and extreme condensation, since the power and the consequences of the sinner' s repentance was obvious. (from the book of Evergetinos).         

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