Father Proclu (Nicău), baptized under the name of George, was born on November 13, 1928, in the village of Mitocu Bălan in Neamt County, Romania. He entered the Sihastria monastery of the same county on November 1, 1948. He was tonsured in 1949 in the Slatina monastery where he was transferred together with the Archimandrite Cleopa (Ilie), Hyeromonk Paisius (Olaru) and a group of monks to restore the monastic life there. When the monasteries were closed down en masse and their monks dispersed in 1959 he, upon the blessing from his spiritual father Archimandrite Cleopa, returned to his native village, as required by the authorities, to reside as a hermit in a small hut at the edge of the village.
Till his death, he performed ascetic deeds of a nightly prayer, making many prostrations and fasting extensively. He was bestowed with the gift of tears and clairvoyance that enabled him to respond to questions not yet asked. He offered guidance to the faithful who flocked to him in great numbers. Having labored in ascetic deeds for more than sixty years, he reposed in the Lord at the age of eighty-eight on January 28, 2017. He was buried at the Sihăstria Putnei cemetery for the monastics.
O, how pleasing to God is humility …
Monk Proclu (Nicău) God favors a humble man. You could see that all saints were humble. But anyone who says he is a saint has actually been seduced by the devil. The saints weren’t like that. The saints didn’t think too highly of themselves, but instead thought they were worthless, like “refuse on the earth” (Psalm 83:10). So, there’s that.
I would also add the following: God so loved the humble man that He forgave him all the sins he has ever committed. God is full of benevolence, but He doesn’t forgive pride. He can forgive anything but not pride.
Whoever is proud will fall into fornication. That’s how it is for anyone who is proud of himself… It means that the Holy Spirit abandons him… And, once he realizes that he fell, that’s when he starts to ponder about it and learns humility. So, there’s that, that’s how these things are… So, if we don’t want the Holy Spirit to leave us, we should remember this once and for all: Anyone is better than me, for I am the worst among sinners.
Anytime you arrive at an evil thought to reply in revenge, you should answer: “I will respond, but not today—I will answer tomorrow.” But before tomorrow, I will lift up a prayer, I will pray even at night, and the Holy Spirit will chase that thought away, and, once tomorrow comes, I will not say anything to him and rejoice knowing that I was able to defeat evil inside me. So there’s that. That’s how these things are done.
Good God will never leave us
Beware of the enemy’s attempts to destroy the love between you. You need to forgive each other often and lift up prayers for the Holy Spirit to drive those demons out. For you have to understand that all demons of hell escaped to reside on the surface of the earth. For where two or three Christians have gathered, the enemy assaults and misleads them so badly, that…
We are no longer the Christians we have been once… We are weak and frail; the only way we can get off the devil’s hook is by being humble
We are very weak as Christians; we are no longer the Christians we once were… We are weak and frail and we can get off the devil’s hook only when we have humility. I teach everyone as much as I can, just as I was taught by one priest: Every time I go to church (bear it in mind!), I should keep thinking that everyone else in this church is better than I am. You should mentally repeat the following prayer: “Lord, also receive me in my humility”—and continue seeing everyone else as better than you. Continue praying in your heart, attend to the words of the holy Liturgy and leave the church in peace—and this way, the Holy Spirit will always abide in you.
But if I come to church and begin to measure up everyone around me or treat others with disdain… Then I can falter, not in my mind, but in my heart, so that the Holy Spirit will abandon me, thus giving way to all sorts of troubles to befall me.
But I will also tell you this: let us not step away from a life of prayer; let us protect strong faith for as long as we can. So there’s that… Whenever I begin to pray, it is essential that I bear no evil thoughts about anyone. If anyone else cradles them, it’s their business! I need to worry that I don’t have anything like that… So there’s that… And, for as long as I can, I should refrain from repaying evil with evil. So, whenever I stand to pray, I should pray for everyone who has asked me to pray. And our Good God will never leave us alone.
But here’s what I should also tell you: I greatly honor those Christians who say that they’ve got a father confessor. For if they have a father confessor, then—and I trust our Good God—we will receive salvation by confessing our sins through the father confessor. We people are sinful, and our souls find relief during confession, and our Good God will not forsake us if we are humble.
Whoever sees it clearly has only one thing left: to weep. But it isn’t the weeping about life here and today, but about what to expect in the afterlife
And I should tell you: the end times are almost here. The years of affliction have begun. Great adversity is taking place in our days. Whoever sees it clearly has got only one thing left: to weep. But it isn’t the weeping about life here and today, but about what to expect in the afterlife. What we have here passes by, somehow or other, but our life goes by. And, unwillingly, we will end up at the end of our journey. It would seem as if it was yesterday when I was told: “Hey, you, boy, how are you doing?” Then, a few fleeting moments later, and all I hear is this: “Well, old man, how are you?” How would I know how? Believe me, I didn’t even have time to grow up. Don’t you see it yourself? I am none other and not more than a short little boy.
So yes… And now, once I receive a telegram—for all I have left is a single telegram—and that’s all, you will finally be able to get rid of me.
But then, there is something else I should tell you and it’s very important. Such is our life: Some will rejoice at the end of their life and others will grieve and suffer. As for us… I’ll tell you this. Once, some people arrived here with their children to get a blessing. And they had a little girl with them, not older than five years old. She was crying. Her mother was with her and a few other believers here. She kept on crying. And she kept asking:
“Mama, where are my brothers, where are my sisters?”
Another woman tells her:
“Won’t you just quit asking?”
Yet another one adds:
“Just shut up, your mother got rid of them. She doesn’t have them anymore.”
I should tell you this: My heart aches terribly for those who’ve had abortions. But they shouldn’t despair: repentance and contrition of heart are what they need. They shouldn’t wander off heaven knows where, but pray to our Good God in repentance and humility, and have confession, and our Good God will not forsake us; but we should have very much humility.
Whatever happens to me, I shouldn’t say: “It happened because…” but, instead: “I have it according to my sins.”
I also discovered the following, because you say about me: if I pray with humility, divine power assists me. Or, if I don’t humble myself, or when I lack humility, temptations overpower me. So there’s that… I also noticed the following: whatever happens to me, I shouldn’t say: “It happened because…” but I should rather say: “I have it according to my sins.” Once I say, “according to my sins,” and also humble myself, and pray fervently, our Good God will manage for seasonable weather to be established everywhere…
Does God like the way I live?
It so happened that three gentlemen arrived here—they were bosses, not little people. They took a seat right there, and I was sitting on this bench waiting for them to say something, because I heard from someone: They say, “It is no good for a fool to open his mouth before the wise, for he can aggrieve the wise.” So, I sat there waiting for them to start talking, eager to answer any question they would ask. But they didn’t say anything, they only sat there staring at me.
I saw the time was passing by and I had someone else waiting outside who was in a hurry, so I began this way:
“Dear sirs, you should know that if I die at this moment, the devil will take me with him. I don’t like the way I live. And God also doesn’t like the way I live.”
At this, the other gentleman got perturbed:
“O woe is me, you should know that you disappointed me!”
So there’s that… But I was thinking that… But he continued:
“O woe is me, you disappointed me! If you are saying that the devil will snatch you and take you to hell, then what fate awaits us?”
I told him:
“It’s your choice, just as you choose. You are clever people who can see everything in the dark. It’s a fool who goes out of his way to fall into the ditch, because that’s the only thing he can manage. Why would one demand from him what he is unable to do… So anyway… But you, you will have no trouble avoiding it. So there you have it…”
But I also told them:
“If I were you, I would find a good father confessor and have confession. He would teach me how to forgive my neighbor, and, along the way, he could teach me how to be a church-going Christian. So, after becoming a church-going Christian, I would consider everyone else at church to be better than I am; I have more sins than those others, so I’d tell myself: “Lord, receive me who repent.”
But at the same time, what do I hear at church? The Lord’s Prayer! Soon after reciting the Lord’s Prayer, I leave church and meet someone who caused me grief some time ago. I wish I never saw him again! And I immediately forget that I have just recited the Lord’s Prayer. Woe is me, for the Lord’s Prayer says: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Did I forgive him? I cradled evil thoughts over someone who trespassed against me. And so, it means that I will perish. So there’s that.
If you want to be saved, beware of one thing: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.
Then, he told them the following:
“Since you arrived here, my dear sirs, you should know that I will announce some joyful news for you, too. I will tell you this. If you want to find salvation, beware of one thing: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.”
One of them couldn’t make any sense of what I was telling them, so I explained it this way:
“I also examine my conscience: “Conscience, tell me the truth: if I die right away, will God save me? Does God like the way I live?” And that’s when my conscience will urge me to amend my ways through confession and prayer. At night, after having slept for a couple of hours, I should get up to pray and cry wholeheartedly for a little while. Whenever I stand to pray, it really matters that I don’t keep evil thoughts against anyone. That’s when the Holy Spirit will never abandon us. So here’s that. Help us, O Lord!”