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10 Lessons About the Art of Living From a Romanian Monk

Great minds are everywhere, in every corner, we just have to stop and listen to them.

Arsenie Boca was born in 1910 in a small village in Romania. He was just a normal child, but very clever and interested in everything around him.

When he was in year 7, he told his classmates that during their drawing and painting classes he realized that “the man is not simply, blood and bones, but there’s something else. The inspiration is not related to matter and reason.”

Even though he studied Belle Arte in University and had vast knowledge of psychology, anatomy and philosophy, was playing the flute and was fluent in French, in the end he became a monk.

He was imprisoned and tortured three times by the communist regime which was against any manifestation of God and was accused of being anti-communist. He died in 1989, before the falling of the regime and left many teachings and inspirational quotes to our nation.

1. Never stop learning

Learning involves reading a lot, but you have to “Live while reading, not learning by heart. By living while reading, enjoying the beauty of an idea, you build yourself consciously and subconsciously, and, someday, time will show the things planted there, as yours.

What is left after you forgot everything you’ve read is truly yours; that’s what you assimilated. Therefor I don’t teach you to read just to fill your memory- that is bibliography, but to do it in order to raise your soul to the art ofsaving it.”

“In the same way we are looking for a harmony in our soul, we have to seek harmony in as many aspects as we can, and a blending of those with life. Great knowledge gets the man closer to God, in the same way as poor knowledge is sending him far away from science and God.”

2. Be open minded

Always think, question everything and be open minded because “in a narrow mind, even the right thing becomes wrong”.

3. Love deeply

“Love has no limits, no space, no time; it never loses, it’s strong, in a way that can travel above the grave and reach the loved ones; it defends the Hell which can’t oppose it and travels into the sky.” If you love truly and deeply, that love will never die.

4. Remember to be generous

“When you give, at the beginning you give what you have, and then, at one point, you give what you are.” Always give from the heart because “when somebody does something with good intentions it has to go well”.

5. Be humble

Try to be humble in everything you do. No one is perfect, but sometimes you just have to be true to yourself. “To not know and to admit it, is not a guilt- sometimes is even a virtue; but to know little and to brag you know everything, this is shameful and always a guilt”.

“The most dangerous is the pride of the saint, therefore the true saints are the ones who don’t know they are saints, constantly saying they are sinners”.

6. Take care of your soul

“The soul is greater than any material thing because in it lies the possibility of completeness.”

“Sadness is the face of a soul with the lights tuned off.”

“You are poor and stressed thinking about fortune, your condition won’t redeem you. You are rich, but generous, your fortune won’t cause you any harm. The way you lay with your soul; towards one or another, that is what decides your redeem or your punishment.”

7. Remember that ‘what goes around, comes around’

“As long as your conscious is clean you fear nothing”, but if it’s not clean, you always fear something and it’s not the good things.

“We meet in the present with… the future of the past.”

8. Forgive

“Who wants to conquer the world has the duty to take the gun of forgiveness, no matter how many bad things he will suffer from the people of this world. You have to use the forgiveness as if you could see your brothers chained in foreign slavery, in the darkness of unrecognizing God and their own selves.”

Forgiveness is so rare nowadays, only brave people are using it

9. Be prepared to suffer

“All the gifts locked in our destiny are surrounded by sufferings and we can only reach as many gifts, as many sufferings we can overcome with joy.”

“Knowledge through living or teachings though pain- is the only way that can teach people something.”

10. Embrace  your death

“You can’t become a great man until you believe you’re dead, until you get used to believe your death was something that past, not something that is going to occur.”

“All of us are condemned to die and yet no one believes it will happened… We are all called for Life, yet almost no one lives this life, after the one we are called for. We live to kill this call.”

“You are us.”

By Ionela Hamz, Truth Theory; | Image credit: Wikimedia;