St. Paisios the Hagiorite: Advice When Choosing a Profession

- Geronda, some parents force their children to choose the same profession as they did. Often they do it rather persistently.

- They are wrong. Parents must not push their children to do what they want them to do, if children do not like it. I knew a young man who wanted to go to theological academy and become a priest. However, his mother was against his decision. She insisted that he had to go to medical university.

The young men learned byzantine singing and began to sing in the church. He made his own musical instrument and played various church tones on it. He knew a lot of church chants by heart. He was a rather talented young man and could even compose troparions and entire services. When he finished school, he entered the theological faculty. When his mother knew about that, she suffered a breakdown. Later she came to me and asked to pray for her: “Father, pray for me to recover soon. May my son do what he likes to do”. But when she recovered, she began to prevent her son from learning theology again. Finally, he left theology, he put singing off and just wasted his life.

When I see that young people do not know what profession to choose, I give them the following piece of advice: just look what profession or science you like most. You should deal with something for what you have a natural bent. If they want to devote their life to something they do not consider their calling, I ask them not to do this. They need to devote their heart to something they have a bent for. It will be for their benefit. I mean, I try to help them choose the direction, which they like, and profession, which is not beyond their capabilities. The main thing is that their activity should be God pleasing.

Someone has a bent for music? Let him be, for example, a good musician or a church singer. Let him sing and help those people, who listen to his singing, to love our Church and prayer. Someone has a bent for painting? Let him become an artist or an icon-painter so that he can receive a blessing to paint icons, which will perform miracles. A knack for science? Then let him devote his life to science and work with all his diligence.

Elder Paisios. Words. Chapter IV

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds