The true prophecy of Elder Ephraim of Philotheus (Arizona) (4 photos)
Our contemporary Archimandrite Ephraim of Arizona is an ascetic, shepherd and missionary, through whose labors monastic life was revived in a number of Athos monasteries, and several monasteries were founded in America and Canada. Passed away to the Lord on December 8, 2019, Father Ephraim is a spiritual child, a novice of the most famous Elder of Athos, Joseph the Hesychast, who was able to fully absorb the rich spiritual experience of his great teacher. Next to his mentor, Father Ephraim spent twelve years – as long as Father Joseph had lived since their first meeting – literally absorbing his teachings and instructions.
In 1979, by chance, Elder Ephraim ended up in America, where he was supposed to have an operation. After staying there for about a month, the elder saw with bitterness that the Orthodox in America had almost forgotten what a pious life was, neglected the traditions of the Church, and knew almost nothing about the true faith. Father Ephraim decided with God’s help to correct this situation and began to visit America regularly.
On one of these trips, he visited Hawaii, where a wonderful vision happened to him: he saw his mentor Joseph the Hesychast, who poured many oranges on his knees and said: “Let’s plant oranges, Little One! You will see how many fruits there will be! Father Ephraim understood that he would have to work in America, and this would bring good results.
A few years later, monasteries of Elder Ephraim appeared in many regions of the USA and Canada: New York, Texas, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Michigan, Montreal and Toronto. But the main one is the monastery of St. Anthony the Great in Arizona, which is why the elder is called Ephraim of Arizona, or “the apostle of America.”
temple in the Arizona desert.
All the ministry of Elder Ephraim is filled with deep love for people, delicacy, attention to their needs. Father Ephraim not only received pilgrims in his monastery, but also constantly traveled around the surrounding settlements to “hunt”, as he called it: namely, gathering food, he walked the streets in search of the homeless and fed them. Thus, the Orthodox faith is shown not only in words, but also in deeds.
Thanks to Elder Ephraim, many have discovered the true depth of Orthodoxy.
Next, I will give ten sayings of the elder, in which he reflects on why the Lord sends trials and how courageously a person endures difficulties in his earthly life, which I think will be useful to everyone!
- Nothing happens without the permission of God. And even if we were with the devil or among the beasts, God is there too! And neither the devil nor the beasts can harm us unless they receive power from God to do so.
- When fear comes to you, say: “Whom shall I fear? Who can harm me when God rules everything? If I go in the midst of the canopy of death, I will not fear evil, for you are with me. At the same time, say the Jesus Prayer and do not be afraid of anything. Believe unshakably in the truth of faith.
- God does not want those whom He saves, who seek His mercy, to be dull, cowardly, cowardly, and inexperienced. Divine heritage is for mature Christians. Therefore, He puts us before temptations to show our obedience to His commandments.
- Don’t be discouraged, don’t lose courage. Sometimes the holy nurse – the grace of God – leaves us, and we slide into frivolous and inappropriate thoughts and words in order to humble ourselves and not think highly of ourselves, but to know our weakness, that without the grace of God we cannot do any good.
- Just don’t be cowardly! Cowardice is from the evil one. It disarms us and makes us prisoners. Place your hopes on the One who said: I will not leave you and I will not leave you. He will not allow us to fall into temptation beyond our strength.
- It is necessary that the courage in us reach the point of saying with a decisive voice: “And if they betray me to death, I will not deviate a single step from faith in Christ who called me. I will lay down my life, but I will not retreat a single step. If such courage exists within us, then let us hope that, by the grace of God, victory is ours.
- Don’t be afraid, we will go through fire and water. Through the fire – when temptations seem to us like fire in their action: these are shameful thoughts, hatred, envy and similar passions. Through the water – when thoughts of despair and despondency come to us, drowning the soul in the waters. After being tested by fire and water, we will be elevated to spiritual peace of liberation from low thoughts and to dispassion bestowed by grace.
- Do not despair, seeing the power of passions and demons. With God, no word will remain powerless. When we are with God, nothing is unattainable. Therefore, dare and do not lose heart. The Lord will fight for us, and we will be silent.
- Remember that every day we must raise the cross, which means sorrows, labors, temptations and any demonic action. And what saint has traveled the earthly path and walked along dark paths, avoiding dangers and sorrows? And if we are called to follow the same path, then what is strange about it?
- Temptation reveals how much a person loves God! My children, be of good cheer. Christ is invisibly standing and waiting to see victory in order to grant you an unfading crown of eternal glory!
For modern people, the example of Elder Ephraim of Arizona is clear evidence that Orthodoxy, while remaining the eternal truth, is relevant for modern man, whoever he may be.