words from St. Paisios of Mt. Athos ☦1994

from Spiritual Counsels I: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man 

published by the Holy Monastery of the Evangelist John the Theologian, Sourot, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Page 238: Geronda, will the mentally impaired be well in the next life? Will they have a normal mind?

St. Paisios’ answer:

No matter how much mind one carries, lots of it or just a small amount, in the end it will turn into pulp. When it reaches Heaven the mind will become intellect. [translated from the Greek “nous”] In Heaven, the theologian Saints and the mentally impaired will not differ in their knowledge of God. God may even be more generous to the latter, because they were deprived of so many things in this life.

P. 317:

A person may not be very good looking, or they may have some handicap. God knows that such flaws will help people spiritually because God is interested more in our soul than in our body. All of us have our qualities and shortcomings- small crosses to bear, nothing big- that help us save our soul.

Also, from my thesis,  St. John Chrysostom and the Socialization of Persons with Developmental Disability: Patristic Inspiration for Contemporary Application   (https://ocdresources.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/st1johnchrysostomandthesocializationof.pdf) Page 2:

St. Paisios says this of persons with [severe and profound] developmental disability:

their souls are already saved [. . .] without making any efforts [they] have earned Paradise.”

 (from Ageloglou, Priestmonk Christodoulos, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain Mt. Athos, Greece: Holy Mountain, 1998) 138.)

I interpret this saying as referring to individuals who are more severely developmentally disabled. For I would think that the corollary to “to him to whom much is given, much is required,” would be that to those persons to whom less, or little, or very neglible abilities  have been given, less, or little, or next to nothing- and for some, even nothing- is required.” And there are those who are really given next to nothing at all- those with profound developmental disabilities.

for more from St. Paisios: Elder Paisios 

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