The elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain said:
In order for you to have time for prayer you must not concern yourself with things that other people can do. Let’s take an example. A doctor should not be concerned with gauzes and bandages. A nurse can do that. The doctor will take care of the serious matters. He’ll do the examinations and operations, etc. If he sit to put gauze he won’t get to the serious work and then many who have need won’t benefit. The same with you. Pray for your suffering parishioners (applied to the correspondent and two other priests) remember their names and note those who have greater need. It’s better for you to know what pains each one. That way the prayer is better.
I often see a strange thing that occurs with religious people, reminding one of a vegetable market. There everybody shouts. One says, take oranges; another says take beets, and so forth, each in order to sell their own stuff. Something similar happens with Christians. Some say if you enter this association you’ll be saved. If you go there you’ll be saved. However, many people are not for here or there but for somewhere else… A man of God can help. Help but not strangle. Now, let’s imagine, I go to some army base to tell them various things about monasticism. I won’t tell them lies. I’ll tell them as it is. So what happens? Are all to become monks. That way naturally I cause trouble, because perhaps some of them will undertake monasticism and later will suffer and fail. I have to find the pure one to help him choose.
Someone want to paint icons, has decide to become an icon painter, to make icons which will perform miracles; may it be. Another wants to become a married priest; it is my joy. One wants to be unmarried; let him be unmarried. One wants to be a monk? He should be helped accordingly. All do not fit in one basket. Some set the people to do things contrary to whatever they can do.
KATAVASIAE FOR THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST Tone 1
The dew-bearing furnace showed forth the image of a super-natural wonder; for it burned not the youth whom it had received, just as the fire of the Godhead burned not the Virgin, whose womb it had entered. Wherefore, chanting let us sing: Let all creation bless the Lord and exalt Him supremely for all ages!