Theophan the Recluse

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Our father among the saints Theophan the Recluse (1815 - 1894) was the bishop of Tambov in Russia. He was a prolific author, especially on the subjects of the Christian life and the training of youth in the faith. His feast day is celebrated on January 6 or 10.

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Quotes

  • "Descend with your attention into the heart, stand there before the Lord and admit nothing sinful to enter there. In this is the entire activity of inner warfare."
  • "Attention to that which transpires in the heart and proceeds from it - this is the chief activity of the proper Christian life."
  • "God abandons no one. For Him all are children. None are stepchildren. And the hard occasions and situations - all is sent for our benefit."
  • "You must kill egoism. If you don't kill it yourself, then the Lord, hammer-blow after hammer-blow, shall send various misfortunes, so as to crush this stone."
  • "A Christian without zeal is a poor Christian."
  • "Mercilessness to oneself, readiness to perform any favor to others and the surrender of oneself entirely to the Lord with a prayerful abiding in Him - these are the creators of the spiritual life."
  • "Self-pleasing and self-pity testify that in the heart abides the ego, and not the Lord."
  • "Divine determination depends on the life of a man, and not his life upon the determination."
  • "It is a great error to think that you must undertake important and great labors, whether for heaven, or, as the "progressives" think, in order to make one's contribution to humanity. That is not necessary at all. It is necessary only to do everything in accordance with the Lord's commandments."
  • "He who believes in God, but does not confess Him as the Father of the Son, does not believe in a god that is the true God, but in some personal invention."
  • "Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This, then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your powers towards it."

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