The Holy Fathers on the Gift of Foresight

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,



By His Eminence Metropolitan of Nafpaktos HIEROTHEOS

As we analyze this major subject, we ought to look at the teaching of the holy Fathers on this important charisma (gift) which is associated with the gift of the discernment of spirits.

This gift is not a human ability, but an energy of God in the one who has been purified and has become the house of God, someone in whom God dwells. It is the gift of grace to the spiritual man, who has the Holy Spirit within him. Saint Macarius the Egyptian says that the spiritual man "knows from what viewpoint each one speaks, and where he stands and what levels of perfection he has already experienced." He says this with reference to the passage from Saint Paul: "he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one" (1 Corinthians 2:15). Saint Gregory of Nyssa says that the power to oversee things is a characteristic property of the divinity. If someone has within him the One for Whom he longs, "he too gains the ability to watch over and examine the nature of created things." Consequently, man becomes capable of overseeing and knowing the real nature of things through God's energy.

This energy of God that enables man to oversee things and the gift of clear sight is given to those who have been purified of the passions, in proportion to their purification. Saint Anthony the Great teaches that "When the soul is purified in every way", and is in its natural state, at its natural limits, "it is clear-sighted and sees better and further than the demons because it has the Lord Who reveals things to it." The man of God is clear-sighted on account of the presence of Christ within his heart. He knows things that even the devil does not know. The devil only knows what is happening now, he never knows what will happen in the future. Saint Isaac the Syrian also speaks about the purity of the soul that makes someone clear-sighted. He writes that, if people cleanse themselves and return to their "original created state", then they are able to see "the order below them, the one above, and each other". In other words, they see the Angels and the demons. And he writes that they see them in their existing state, without them having been previously changed into bodily form. Saint Isaac the Syrian asks why it is necessary to be purified first. He answers that it is essential because, although those who are impure can occasionally see Angels and demons, they can only see them with their bodily eyes. The Saints, who have been purified, see spiritually with the eye of their soul. He writes that, in contrast with those who are impure, "the purified soul sees in a spiritual manner with a natural eye, that is, the clairvoyant eye of insight." It is essential for someone to be purified in order to receive this great gift of grace. (Source: The Seer. The Life of the Prophet Samuel and its Relevance Today by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos)


"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos


With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinful and unworthy servant of God

+Father George