Here are a few fragmented translations from Father Arsenie Boca’s books and life. Father Arsenie is regarded by Romanians as a contemporary saint, yet to be officially declared so. This is both due to the close-to-angelic life he lived throughout one of the most cruel times of Romania’s history – the 20th century communist regime – where he endured both imprisonment, he was arrested many times and even taken to the (often fatal) construction sites of the Black Sea Canal, where many of the ‘persona non grata’ of the communist regime where sent to die.
Father Arsenie not only lived through all of these hardships, but he strengthened the Christian orthodox population of Romania, who under an atheist communist regime, was suffering from all persecutions. When the regime finally saw they could not make him perish, they banned him from serving as a priest. He remained though close to the Church, but this time as a painter. His exceptional painting skills gave life to impressive works of art, such as those from the Draganescu church.
The rest of this post is a small, humble testament of his words and art work.
Father Arsenie Boca (September 29, 1910 — November 28, 1989) was a Romanian hieromonk, known today for his profoundly spiritual life, the books and church paintings that bear his name, but also for the way he honourably endured and survived imprisonment and persecution from communist Romania’s security service.
“God’s love for the biggest sinner is greater than the love of the holiest man for God“
Quotes from “The Path Towards The Kingdom“
1. More scientific knowledge brings us closer to God, while less knowledge pulls us further away from both science and God. A man’s worth is proportional to its closeness to God. God valued him highly, but he must earn this merit. If not, God is not to blame.
Science does not address life, this is why it cannot understand it, nor create it.
This is exactly what the holiness addresses. The perfect holy man, who gave away his life and showed that he can also create it, raising people from the dead and making the blind see (Luke VII, 22), is only Jesus.
Why is it that medicine does not recognise Him? Even more, it doesn’t even mention Him!
2. Breaking an earthly law is considered an offence and is punished accordingly. Breaking a divine law is called a sin and is punished as it has been said and it can be seen – who ever sees.
Lord Jesus Christ, help me let go of myself today, as I can create great problems from small and insignificant issues, and this way, carrying for myself, I will lose You.
Lord Jesus Christ, help me so that the prayer of Your Holy name will wander (work) through my mind more than lightning on the sky, so that I stay clear of even the shadow of bad thoughts as, look, I am sinning every minute.
Lord, coming secretly amongst people, have mercy upon us, because we stumble as we are walking in the dark. Our temptations are closing the eyes of our mind, forgetfulness has become like a wall amongst us, turning our hearts to stone and all together have made the prison cell in which we keep You crippled, starving and naked, wasting our days.
Lord, coming secretly amongst people, have mercy upon us and set fire to this prison cell, light up the love in our hearts, burn the thorns of our temptations and make our souls bright. Lord, coming secretly amongst people, have mercy upon us, come and live within us, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prays through us with unspoken sighs, when word and mind don’t have the power.
Lord, coming secretly amongst people, have mercy upon us, because we don’t realise how imperfect we are and how close You are to our souls; and how distant we become through our sins. Shine Your light over us, so that we see light through Your eyes and live eternally through Your life. Our light and joy, praise be to You!