The Elder Leonid of Optina
ISBN 13: 9780938635505
Possessing penetrating spiritual discernment, Elder Leonid radiated a powerful, straightforward manner, yet was both loving and fatherly. He could mystically see into the hearts of his spiritual children, knowing when to rebuke, when to exhort, and when to console. While knowing very well how and by what means to put someone to shame, teaching a lasting lesson, he also had a very subtle knowledge of what each person could bear. No one ever saw him disturbed by passionate anger or irritation. During the hardest days of his life, no one ever heard a sound of impatience or grumbling from him--no one saw him downcast. It was hard not to marvel at his joyfulness. Calmness, the childlike state of the Gospel, and Christian joy never abandoned the loving Elder. Keeping a holy simplicity, free of hypocrisy, he spoke with virtually everyone in an intimate way. Elder Leonid--ushering in a lineage of elders which was to span a full century--is very significant for Optina M! onastery. Like a lion, he introduced and firmly established the tradition of eldership transmitted from St. Paisius Velichkovsky--a form of monastic life almost forgotten today--founded on the Gospels and the teachings of the Holy Fathers.