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“Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.” — Potter Stewart
 
“Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.” —Mark Twain
“Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.” —Heinrich Heine
“He who strikes terror in others is himself continually in fear.” —Claudius Claudianus
 
“Ignorance is the cause of fear.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Who feareth to suffer suffereth already, because he feareth.” —Michel de Montaigne
“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.” —unknown
 
“Don't try to do two things at once and expect to do justice to both.” —Traditional Proverb
“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln
“And she [Athens] has brought it about that the name "Hellenes" suggests no longer a race but an intelligence, and that the title "Hellenes" is applied rather to those who share our culture then to those who share a common blood.” —Isocrates
 
“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” —Plato
“He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare; and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Faithful copies of a counterfeit original yield only more counterfeits.” —unknown
 
“Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It's where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more.” —Terry Pratchett
“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark – that is faith.” —Charles Spurgeon
“The Ecumenism is a huge lie; they speak in the name of a love outside of Christ, which excludes you from the Truth. If the Ecumenists really loved the world, they would not disown the truth of the value and the spiritual richness of Church Tradition and of the Holy Fathers. They disown Christianity from the gracious beauty. God has left from them, what remains is only their ego. No, we don’t need You. We lead the world, we rule the world, we give the bread, we give the happiness on this earth. Jesus must be arrested again not to disturb our march. Eliminating God from the world and of the soul in any way – this is the goal of the Ecumenism also repelled by Saint Justin Popovich. The Ecumenism and the globalization are at the forefront of the apocalyptic times. They want to accustom the eye and the spirit of the Orthodox with the habit to serve together with these heretics, until they get to have Communion from the same chalice. Because this could give them the right to build their own churches. But no, they want strategically to compromise the shrines and the faint hearted priests who are quick to “obedience”. The Ecumenists have the false impression that they will bring something new in the Church of Christ. Let us not forget that the Church is the body whose head is Christ. You can not break it from Christ Who is the Path, the Truth and the Life. The Ecumenists will not fulfill anything. You can not change the reality according to the human interests. The divine reality remains the same in every age. The Holy Spirit speaks through the mouths of the bearers of God, not of the bearers of human interests. The Christian Church has never gone after the crowd; not the many lead or hold the truth, but the few, chosen, as the carriers of the Holy Spirit. We do work only under this Father’s truth, the Gospel of our Lord and the Orthodox Church Tradition. All this falsehood which has appeared in our world has no other purpose than to embarrass and undermine the whole tradition and the beliefs of a nation. Questions are not posed and answers are not given, and people take for granted everything that has been written at the official level. But, by not solving these dogmatic problems the untruth slowly settles in our Orthodox Christian Church. All the Ecumenical attempts of unifying the other Christian communities found in heresy, the dialogues which have developed in our Orthodox Christian Church, since I know, haven’t got any result because they have false basis, they are untrue and do nothing but disturb the authentic Christian life.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania, Din învățăturile și minunile Părintelui Justin
 
“We must prepare for martyrdom and beyond this, I would not have to speak if people were not powerless in spirit and mind to understand. It's not easy to live these days. But if the Lord has so pleased that we should suffer these times, then we must obey and receive with joy all that comes upon us, as from the hand of God, and not from the enemy…
 
Therefore, please stop looking for solutions. Human solutions are not existent, my dears! The solution is to die for Christ. Fathers will give up their sons, mothers, their daughters, unto death. Behold, we witness the fulfillment of this prophecy. If the mother will let the child be vaccinated, it's as if giving him over to die…
 
Therefore I say to you, trust that the Lord will give you power to confess Him. We live in an anarchic world, the entire political class is an enemy of Christ and a servant of evil, that is why even living our simple life without abdicating our Christian principles is a daily confession and martyrdom.
 
So: do not receive this vaccine or anything that the new political powers bring you today. The Zionists rule the world and the Americans work for them and they think they have come to own it because they have no shyness. Everything is in sight and they are aware that they have no opponent to fear and they fight to depopulate the world, with the few who will remain to worship them. Now they're studying and sorting, and the way they're going to distinguish people from each other is the chips. Do you or do you not have a chip? For what is the chip after all? A weapon against Man. And we have no weapons; our youth is weary, that even if they want to rise from the spell in which they live, they have no power.
 
Our only weapons are spiritual ones: prayer, humility, love, but also confession [of Faith]. You can't love without confession [of Faith]. Love is sacrificial, and if we fear to confess the truth, what sacrifice do we have? Or if we do not care about our neighbor who is unaware and we do not inform him and we let him fall prey to this system, what love do we have? Those who still struggle today to awaken their brother, who have not remained indifferent to the future of a nation and a church, those are the children of the love of God, who lay their lives down for their brethren…
 
It is important to oppose all antichrists and die with dignity; not to have a cowardly position.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania
“Let not us, who would be Christians, expect anything else from it than to be crucified. For to be Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example – and warning – to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. If we would rise with Christ, we must first be humbled with Him – even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world. And we must be crucified outwardly, in the eyes of the world; for Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, and the world cannot bear it, even a single representative of it, even for a single moment. The world can only accept Antichrist, now or at any time. No wonder then, that it is hard to be a Christian – it is not hard, it is impossible. No one can knowingly accept a way of life which, the more truly it is lived, lead the more surely to one’s own destruction. And that is why we constantly rebel, try to make life easier, try to be half-Christian, try to make the best of both worlds. We must ultimately choose – our felicity lies in one world or the other, not in both. God give us the strength to pursue the path to crucifixion; there is no other way to be Christian.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, from his journal as printed in the biography Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene
“[Heretics] should not be admitted to any discussion of the Scriptures…
The Lord Jesus sent the apostles to preach. … Now what they actually preached can, as I must here likewise prescribe, be proved only by those very same churches which the apostles themselves founded by preaching to them both viva voce, as they say, and later by letters. Such being the case, it is consequently certain that any doctrine which agrees with [what is held by] these apostolic churches, moulds and original sources of the faith, must be considered the truth, undoubtedly containing that which these churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God; but any other doctrine must be presumed false, since it smacks of opposition to the truth of the churches, of the apostles, of Christ, of God."
Come now! Would they all have fallen into error? Would the steward of God, the Vicar of Christ [the Holy Spirit] have neglected His duty by allowing the churches to understand and believe otherwise than what He Himself taught the apostles? Is it likely that so many and such outstanding churches would all have strayed into the one [false] faith? No chance happening ever has the same outcome in the case of many different individuals. A doctrinal error in so many different churches would of necessity have taken different forms. But when unity exists amid diversity, this can be the result, not of error, but only of Tradition.
“Creating man according to his image, God diffused into man's very being the longing for the divine infinitude of life, of knowledge, and of perfection. It is precisely for this reason that the immeasurable longing and thirst of humanity is not able to be completely satisfied by anything or anyone except God. Declaring divine perfection as the main purpose for humanity's existence in the world – ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father who is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matth. 5: 48) – Christ, the Savior, answered the most elemental demand and need of our God-like and God-longing humanity.” —St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, Highest Value and Last Criterion in Orthodoxy
 
“He who refuses to give in to his passions does the same as he who refuses to bow down and worship idols.” —St. Theophan the Recluse
“Concerning the charge of idolatry: Icons are not idols but symbols. Therefore, when an Orthodox venerates an icon, he is not guilty of idolatry. He is not worshiping the symbol, but merely venerating it. Such veneration is not directed toward wood, or paint or stone, but towards the person depicted. Therefore relative honor is shown to material objects, but worship is due to God alone.” —St. John of Damascus
“Don't be anxious about what you have, but about what you are.” —St. Gregory the Great
 
“If a man really sets his heart upon the will of God, God will enlighten a little child to tell that man what is His will. But if a man does not truly desire the will of God, even if he goes in search of a prophet, God will put into the heart of the prophet a reply like the deception in his own heart.” —Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
“The soul that is in all things devoted to the will of God rests quiet in Him, for she knows of experience and from the Holy Scriptures that the Lord loves us much and watches over our souls, quickening all things by His grace in peace and love. Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God, be it illness, poverty or persecution. He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us. The Holy Spirit, whom the soul knows, is witness therefore. But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will because they like their own way, and that is harmful for the soul.” —St. Silouan the Athonite (From the Life and Teachings of Elder Siluan by Bishop Alexander and Natalia Bufius translated by Anatoly Shmelev)
“You should look downward. Remember: you are earth and you will return to the earth.” —St. Ambrose of Optina
 
“Everything in this life passes away – only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“Just as a pauper, seeing the royal treasures, all the more acknowledges his own poverty; so also the spirit, reading the accounts of the great deeds of the Holy Fathers, involuntarily is all the more humbled in its way of thought.” —St. John Climacus
“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.” —St. Theophan the Recluse
“When we are immersed in sins, and our mind is occupied solely with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent to who we are inwardly, and we persist along a false path without being aware of it.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco
“We have to be aware that what is being pounded in upon us is all of one piece; it has a certain rhythm, a certain message to give us, this message of self-worship, of relaxing, of letting go, of enjoying yourself, of giving up any thought of the other world … It is actually an education in atheism. We have to fight back by knowing just what the world is trying to do to us…” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“In advising against being carried away by artificial practices such as Transcendental Meditation I am but repeating the age-old message of the Church … The way of the Fathers requires firm faith and long patience, whereas our contemporaries want to seize every spiritual gift, including even direct contemplation of the Absolute God, by force and speedily, and will often draw a parallel between prayer in the Name of Jesus and yoga or Transcendental Meditation and the like. I must stress the danger of such errors … He is deluded who endeavors to divest himself mentally of all that is transitory and relative in order to cross some invisible threshold, to realize his eternal origin, his identity with the Source of all that exists, in order to return and merge with him, the nameless transpersonal Absolute. Such exercises have enabled many to rise to suprarational contemplation of being, to experience a certain mystical trepidation, to know the state of silence of mind, when mind goes beyond the boundaries of time and space. In such like states man may feel the peacefulness of being withdrawn from the continually changing phenomena of the visible world, may even have a certain experience of eternity. But the God of Truth, the Living God, is not in all this.
It is man’s man's own beauty, created in the image of God, that is contemplated and seen as divinity, whereas he himself still continues within the confines of his creatureliness. This is a vastly important concern. The tragedy of the matter lies in the fact that man sees a mirage which, in his longing for eternal life, he mistakes for a genuine oasis. This impersonal form of ascetics leads finally to an assertion of the divine principle in the very nature of man. Man is then drawn to the idea of self-deification—the cause of the original Fall. The man who is blinded by the imaginary majesty of what he contemplates has in fact set his foot on the path to self-destruction. He has discarded the revelation of a personal God … The movement into the depths of his own being is nothing else but attraction towards the non-being from which we were called by the will of the Creator.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Mt. Athos, His Life is Mine, 115-116
“Christ said, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword' and 'division'. Christ summoned us to war on the plane of the spirit, and our weapon is 'the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.' Our battle is waged in extraordinarily unequal conditions. We are tied hand and foot. We dare not strike with fire or sword: our sole armament is love, even for enemies. This unique war in which we are engaged is indeed a holy war. We wrestle with the last and only enemy of mankind death. Our fight is the fight for universal resurrection.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Mt. Athos, His Life is Mine
“Fiery lust, the desire for marriage, sexual union … and all the other things that, as most people think, the body seeks for - it is not the body as such … but the soul, which through the body seeks pleasure by their means… Let no one think he is being driven towards these things and compelled by his own body… the body cannot be moved to anything apart from the soul.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian
 
“Pornography is the devil's iconography.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“Just as the virtues are begotten in the soul, so are the passions. But the virtues are begotten in accordance with nature, the passions in a mode contrary to nature. For what produces good or evil in the soul is the will's bias… For our inner disposition is capable of operating in one way or another, since it bears within itself both virtue and vice, the first as its natural birthright, the second as the result of the self-incurred proclivity of our moral will.” —St. Gregory of Sinai
“Suffering reminds the wise man of God, but crushes those who forget Him.” —St. Mark the Ascetic
“God permits tribulations and adversities to befall people – even the saintly – so that they may persist in humility. But if we harden our hearts against adversities and tribulations, he He also hardens these tribulations against us. On the other hand if we accept them in humility and with a contrite heart, God will mingle tribulation with mercy.” —St. Isaac the Syrian
“But do not be troubled or sad. The Lord sometimes allows people who are devoted to Him to fall into such dreadful vices; and this is in order to prevent them from falling into a still greater sin – pride. Your temptation will pass and you will spend the remaining days of your life in humility. Only do not forget your sin.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov
“Are you angry? Be angry at your sins, beat your soul, afflict your conscience, be strict in judgement and a terrible punisher of your own sins. This is the benefit of anger, wherefore God placed it in us.” —St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians 2
 
“Firmly purpose in your soul to hate every sin of thought, word, and deed, and when you are tempted to sin resist it valiantly and with a feeling of hatred for it; only beware lest your hatred should turn against the person of your brother who gave occasion for the sin. Hate the sin with all your heart, but pity your brother; instruct him, and pray for him to the Almighty, Who sees all of us and tries our hearts and innermost parts.” —St. John of Kronstadt
“These eight passions should be destroyed as follows: gluttony by self-control; unchastity by desire for God and longing for the blessings held in store; avarice by compassion for the poor; anger by goodwill and love for all men; worldly dejection by spiritual joy; listlessness by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God; self-esteem by doing good in secret and by praying constantly with a contrite heart; and pride by not judging or despising anyone in the manner of the boastful Pharisee (cf. Luke 18 : 11–12), and by considering oneself the least of all men. When the intellect has been freed in this way from the passions we have described and been raised up to God, it will henceforth live the life of blessedness, receiving the pledge of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 1 : 22). And when it departs this life, dispassionate and full of true knowledge, it will stand before the light of the Holy Trinity and with the divine angels will shine in glory through all eternity.” —St. John of Damascus, On the Virtues and the Vices, from The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)
“See how many and great the evils it has brought on us – this self-justification, this holding fast to our own will, this obstinacy in being our own guide. All this was the product of that hateful arrogance towards God. Whereas the products of humility are self-accusation, distrust in our own sentiments, hatred of our own will. By these one is made worthy of being redeemed, of having his human nature restored to its proper state, through the cleansing operation of Christ's holy precepts. Without humility it is impossible to obey the Commandments or at any time to go towards anything good. As Abba Mark says: without a contrite heart it is impossible to be free from wickedness or to acquire virtue.” —St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings
 
“Begin gradually, do not trust yourself. Do not depend on your own understanding, reject your will, and the Lord will give you true understanding.” —St. Macarius of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy
“If you deny yourself and constantly renounce your own opinions, your own will, your own righteousness-or what amounts to the same thing: the knowledge, understanding, will, and righteousness of fallen nature-in order to plant within you the knowledge of God, the will of God, and the righteousness of God taught us in the holy Gospel by God Himself, then fallen nature will open fire within you and declare a savage war against the Gospel and against God. Fallen spirits will come to the help of fallen nature.
“Our prayer reflects our attitude towards God. He who is careless of salvation has a different attitude toward God from him who has abandoned sin and is zealous for virtue but has not yet entered within himself and works for the Lord only outwardly. Finally, he who has entered within and carries the Lord within himself, standing before Him, has yet another attitude. The first man is negligent in prayer, just as he is negligent in life, and he prays in church and at home merely according to the established custom, without attention or feeling. The second man reads many prayers and goes often to church, trying at the same time to keep his attention from wandering and to experience feelings in accordance with the prayers which are read, although he is seldom successful. The third man, wholly concentrated within, stands with his mind before God, and prays to Him in his heart without distraction, without long verbal prayers, even when standing for a long time at prayer in his home or in church. … Every prayer must come from the heart and any other prayer is no prayer at all. Prayer-book prayers, your own prayers and very short prayers, all must issue forth from the heart to God, seen before you.” —St. Theophan the Recluse
 
“It is very important to know how to pray. Many times even we, the monks in the monasteries, pray, but we only think we pray. It is not enough to attend the church services and just be there like that would be enough. We have to work the prayer from the inside out. No matter how many prayers we say with our mouth, it is nothing if the prayer is not coming from the heart and if we don't apply the teachings of Orthodoxy in our everyday life. Now more than ever, lay people have to pray from the heart, because this will be our only salvation. In the heart is the root of all passions and that is where we need to direct our struggles. If in the later years Christianity became lukewarm and superficial, we have to end all that now, this is not going to be enough anymore. If we will not pray from the heart, we will not be able to sustain the psychological attacks, because the evil one has hidden brainwashing methods that are unknown to us. The greatest sin today is carelessness. We pray carelessly, we repent carelessly, even if we do it. Times will come when only the ones that have the Spirit of God will be able to know good from evil. The human mind itself on its own will not be able to tell the difference. There will be great deceptions and only the Holy Spirit will give us the discernment we need so we can save ourselves. Pray that you will not be deceived! Only through prayer can we receive the Holy Spirit. If we don't pray and just persevere in our laziness and unrepentant ways, we will completely lose the Holy Spirit and His guidance. May it not be that we lose the guidance of the Holy Spirit!” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania, The truth about the times–Spirituality of the end of times, 2010
“It is sometimes well during prayer to say a few words of your own, breathing fervent faith and love to the Lord. Yes, let us not always converse with God in the words of others, not always remain children in faith and hope; we must also show our own mind, indite a good matter from our own heart also. Moreover, we grow too accustomed to the words of others and grow cold in prayer. And how pleasing this lipsing of our own is, coming from a believing, loving, and thankful heart. It is impossible to explain this; it is only needful to say that when you are praying to God with your own words the soul trembles with joy, it becomes wholly inflamed, vivified, and beatified. You will utter few words, but you will experience such blessedness as you would not have obtained saying the longest most touching prayers of others, pronounced out of habit and insincerely.” —St. John of Kronstadt
“Chastisement through the trials imposed on us is a spiritual rod, teaching us humility when in our foolishness we think too much of ourselves.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan
“Goodness is not confirmed without trial. Every Christian is tested by something: one by poverty, another by illness, a third by various thoughts, a forth fourth by some calamity or humiliation, while another by various doubts. And, through this, firmness of faith, hope and love of God are tested.” —St. Ambrose of Optina
“Sometimes men are tested by pleasure, sometimes by distress or by physical suffering. By means of His prescriptions the Physician of souls administers the remedy according to the cause of the passions lying hidden in the soul.” —St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia
“Among all God's actions there is none which is not entirely a matter of mercy, love and compassion: this constitutes the beginning and end of His dealings with us.” —St. Isaac the Syrian
 
“We must hate avarice, self-esteem and sensual pleasure, as mothers of the vices and stepmothers of the virtues. Because of them we are commanded not to love ‘the world’ and ‘the things that are in the world’ (1 John 2:15); not so that we should hate God's creation through lack of discernment, but so that we should eliminate the occasions for these three passions.” —St. Mark the Ascetic
“‘The world’ is the general name for all the passions. When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. But when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them the passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure from which comes sexual passion, love of honour which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancour and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead; for though living in the flesh, they did not live for the flesh. See for which of these passions you are alive. Then you will know how far you are alive to the world and how far you are dead to it.” —St. Isaac the Syrian
“‘Exile is separation from everything in order to keep the mind inseparable from God. An exile loves and produces continual weeping.’ From Paradise, we must become exiled from the world if we hope to return.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
 
“Prayer is superior to all good works. It begets tears of repentance, greatly contributes to peace in one’s thoughts, leads one to think only of God Who is the ultimate Peace, and brings forth the love of God. Prayer alone purifies the rational part of the soul through the vision of God, Who causes the purification of the angels; it also preserves the desiring part of the soul in purity before God.” —St. Kallistos Telikoudes, On the Practice of Hesychasm, The Philokalia, Vol. 5
“Day and night I pray the Lord for love, and the Lord gives me tears to weep for the whole world. But if I find fault with any man, or look on him with an unkind eye, my tears will dry up, and my soul sink into despondency. Yet do I begin again to entreat forgiveness of the Lord, and the Lord in His mercy forgives me, a sinner.
“Fasting is the mother of health; the friend of chastity; the partner of humility.” —St. Symeon the New theologian
 
“Many fast with body, but do not fast with soul: many fast from food and drink, but do not fast from evil thoughts, actions and words, and what is the benefit of it?! Many fast a day and two more, but from anger, resentment and vengeance will not fast; many refrain from wine, meat and fish, but with their tongue they eat people similar to themselves, and what is the benefit of it?! There are those who do not reach for food with their hands, but provide them for bribery, embezzlement and robbery, and what is the benefit of it?! True and true fasting is abstaining from every evil. If you want, Christian, to benefit from your fasting, fast carnally, fast mentally, and fast always!
 
When you instruct fasting to your stomach, impose it on your evil thoughts and lusts. Let your mind fast from vain thoughts and memory from resentment, and your will from evil wanting, and your eyes from evil looking. Turn away your eyes from beholding vanity, let your ears fast from shameful songs and whispers of slander, let your tongue fast from defamation, condemnation, blasphemy, lies, flattery, filth and every empty and rotten word. Let your hands fast from the robbery of another's goods, and your feet from the clothing of evil work. Repent and, abstaining from every evil word, deed and thought, learn every virtue and you will always fast before God.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
“As salt is needed for all kinds of food, so humility is needed for all kinds of virtues.” —St. Isaac the Syrian
“A rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.” —St. John Chrysostom
 
“A poor man when he reaches out to you does not beg, but offers you the kingdom of God.” —Elder Arsenie (Papacioc) of Romania
“No one in creation is rich but he that fears God; no one is truly poor but he that lacks the truth.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian
“Do not be surprised that when you draw near to virtue, grievous and intense tribulations come to you on all sides: for virtue is not considered virtue, if it does not involve hard work.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Directions on Spiritual Training, The Philokalia
 
“A certain brother had succumbed to the sin of lust, repeating this sin every day, but every day he would also beseech the Lord's mercy, with tears and prayers. By acting this way, his bad habit always fooled him and he would repeat the sin again; but again, after sinning, he would go to the Church and, upon seeing the holy and venerable icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, would fall to his knees and with bitter tears would say: ‘Spare me, Lord, and rid of me this tortuous temptation, because it plagues me terribly and harms me with its bitter pleasures. My face is not worthy to look upon Your holy icon, so that my heart might be consoled.’
 
That was the sort of thing he would say, but whenever he left the Church, he would again fall in the mire. Yet he never lost his hopes for salvation, and immediately after sinning, he would again return to the Church and say the same things, praying to the benevolent Lord God: ‘Lord, be my warrantor that from now on I won't sin again; but please, Lord, forgive all of my sins, from the beginning, up to now.’ And after making these grandiose promises, he would again return to the same, terrible sin. And one could discern the sweet benevolence and infinite goodness of the Lord, in tolerating and enduring this incorrigible and grave violation and the ingratitude of this man, and how, in His great compassion, the Lord desired the repentance of this man and his definitive return; because this sin was being repeated, not for one, two or three years, but for ten and more.
 
Brothers, can you see the immeasurable tolerance and infinite benevolence of the Lord? How He shows forbearance and kindness every time, by enduring our gross iniquities and sins? What is more staggering and provokes our wonder with regard to God's wealth of compassion, is that although our brother kept promising and would agree to desist from that sin, he proved himself a liar.
 
One day, after our brother had fallen into that sin again, he went running to the Church, mourning and moaning and in tears, beseeching the compassion of the merciful God to spare him and save him from the mire of incontinence. While this brother was begging the benevolent God, the wicked devil, the destruction of our souls, realized that he had achieved nothing, because while he was sewing with sin, the man was fraying it with his repentance. So the devil impudently appeared before him visibly, and, turning his face towards the venerable icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, started to cry out, saying: ‘What ‘s it going to be with us two, Jesus Christ? Your infinite sympathy defeats me and degrades me, whenever you accept this lecher, this wanton, who lies to you every day and disregards your authority. Why then don't you burn him? Why are You so forbearing and tolerant towards him? You are supposed to be the one who will judge the adulterous and the licentious and will eliminate all sinners. In fact, You are not a fair judge, because, wherever Your authority considers it befitting, You judge unfairly and You overlook things. With me, because of the small infraction of pride, you cast me down from heaven, whereas with him, who is a liar, a lecher and a prodigal, because he merely knelt before You, You imperturbably grant him Your favor. So, why do they call You a fair judge? From what I can see, You simply give Yourself to people out of Your great goodness, and You overlook justice.’ As the devil was saying these, all choked up by his bitterness, flames and smoke came out of his nostrils.
 
After the devil had finished speaking, he became silent, and immediately, a voice was heard coming out of the altar saying: ‘You wicked and pestilent dragon, your wickedness wasn't satiated by swallowing the whole world, and now you are trying to grab and swallow this man who found refuge in the infinite mercy of My compassion? Can you present any sins that are heavier than the precious blood which I shed for this man, on the Cross? Mark well, that My crucifixion and My death forgave his sins. Besides, you didn't send him away when he headed towards sin, but you accepted him with joy and you neither abhorred him nor hindered him, because you hoped to win him. Well then, I, Who am so merciful and benevolent, who had instructed my high Apostle Peter to forgive any man who sins daily up to seventy times seven, will I not forgive and spare this man? Yes, I say to you, and because he sought refuge in Me, I will not turn away from him, until I have made him mine. Because I was crucified for the sinners and it was for them that I extended my immaculate arms, so that everyone who wants to be saved, will seek refuge in me and be saved. I do not avoid anyone, nor do I send anyone away, not even if someone sins a thousand times in one day and then comes to Me a thousand times; he won't leave dismayed. Because I did not come to call the righteous to repent, but the sinners.’
 
As soon as these words were heard, the devil stood fixed in place, trembling, unable to escape. And the voice spoke again: ‘Listen, impostor, with regard to what you said about me being unfair : because I am fair to everyone, and in whichever condition I might find them, I will judge them accordingly. Look at this man, I found him in repentance and returning back, fallen on his knees in front of Me, and your conqueror. I will therefore accept him and save his soul, because he did not despair about his salvation. And you, when seeing the honor that I grant him, will impale yourself out of envy and be put to shame.’
 
And just as the brother lay there, prone and weeping, he gave up his soul; instantly, a fury as great as a fire fell upon the devil, and it consumed him. Therefore my brothers let us learn from this incident of God's immeasurable compassion and philanthropy, what a kind God we have, and that we must never despair or not tend to our salvation.” ​—St. Amphilochios, On Masturbation and the Futility of Despair
“Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience. While a wound is still fresh and warm it is easy to heal, but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable. But with God all things are possible.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 5, Section 30
“…should we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from the Lord's love. For if He so chooses, He can deal mercifully with our weakness. Only we should not cut ourselves off from Him or feel oppressed when constrained by His commandments, nor should we lose heart when we fall short of our goal…let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again. Only do not abandon your Physician, lest you be condemned as worse than a suicide because of your despair. Wait on Him, and He will be merciful, either reforming you, or sending you trials, or through some other provision of which you are ignorant.” —St. Peter of Damascus
“Faintness of heart is a sign of despondency, and negligence is the mother of both. A cowardly man shows that he suffers from two diseases: love of his flesh and lack of faith; for love of one’s one's flesh is a sign of unbelief. But he who despises the love of the flesh proves that he believes in God with his whole heart and awaits the age to come … A courageous heart and scorn of perils comes from one of two causes: either from hardness of heart or from great faith in God. Pride accompanies hardness of heart, but humility accompanies faith. A man cannot acquire hope in God unless he first does His will with exactness. For hope in God and manliness of heart are born of the testimony of the conscience, and by the truthful testimony of the mind we possess confidence towards God.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 40
“Within the heart are unfathomable depths. The heart is a small vessel, and yet dragons and lions are there. And there also are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough and uneven paths are there and gaping chasms. Likewise, God is there; there are angels, there is life and the Kingdom, there is light and the apostles and the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace. All things lie within that little space.” —St. Macarius the Great
“Let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones; let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch
 
“Everything will happen suddenly. It may even happen tonight. Maybe it has begun already? Today you are deprived of one thing, tomorrow of another. God is giving it to us a little at a time, and we stupid people don’t understand.
 
I say this to you and I counsel you, even if the sky were to fall down, even if the earth would rise up, even if the whole world were destroyed, as it is due to do so, today, tomorrow, don’t be concerned with what God is going to do. Let them burn your body, let them fry it, let them take your possessions – don’t concern yourself. Give them away – they are not yours.
 
You need your soul and Christ. Even if the whole world were to fall apart, no one can take these two things away from you against your will. Guard these two, and don’t loose them.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos
 
“Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy. But maintain the same faith in times of persecution. Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special. Don't justify your sins and weaknesses, but see yourself as you really are. And, especially, love one another.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish reverie. But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement.” —St. John of Kronstadt
 
“Firmly purpose in your soul to hate every sin of thought, word, and deed, and when you are tempted to sin resist it valiantly and with a feeling of hatred for it; only beware lest your hatred should turn against the person of your brother who gave occasion for the sin. Hate the sin with all your heart, but pity your brother; instruct him, and pray for him to the Almighty, Who sees all of us and tries our hearts and innermost parts.” —St. John of Kronstadt
“For this reason, the man who lives by God's standards and not by man's, must needs be a lover of the good, and it follows that he must hate what is evil. Further, since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God's standards has a duty of ‘perfect hatred’ (Psalm 139:22) towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person. He should hate the fault, but love the man. And when the fault has been cured there will remain only what he ought to love, nothing that he should hate.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, 14:6, Penguin ed., transl. Bettenson
“In hell there is democracy and in Heaven there is a Kingdom.” —St. John of Kronstadt
“We shall not care what people think of us, or how they treat us. We shall cease to be afraid of falling out of favour. We shall love our fellow men without thought of whether they love us. Christ gave us the commandment to love others but did not make it a condition of salvation that they should love us. Indeed, we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit. It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer. Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect – it will not matter provided that the Lord accept us. And vice versa: it will profit us nothing if the whole world thinks well of us and sings our praises, if the Lord declines to abide with us. This is only a fragment of the freedom Christ meant when Hial practices such as Transcendental Meditation I am but repeating the age-old message of the Church … The way of the Fathers requires firm faith and long patience, whereas our contemporaries want to seize every spiritual gift, including even direct contemplation of the Absolute God, by force and speedily, and will often draw a parallel between prayer in the Name of Jesus and yoga or Transcendental Meditation ande He said, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8.32). Our sole care will be to continue in the word of Christ, to become His disciples and cease to be servants of sin.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex, His Life is Mine, Chapter 6; pg. 55
“The Church is a hospital, and not a courtroom, for souls. She does not condemn on behalf of sins, but grants remission of sins. Nothing is so joyous in our life as the thanksgiving that we experience in the Church. In the Church, the joyful sustain their joy. In the Church, those worried acquire merriment, and those saddened, joy. In the Church, the troubled find relief, and the heavy-laden, rest. ‘Come,’ says the Lord, ‘near me, all of you who labor and are heavy-laden (with trials and sins), and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). What could be more desirable than to meet this voice? What is sweeter than this invitation? The Lord is calling you to the Church for a rich banquet. He transfers you from struggles to rest, and from tortures to relief. He relieves you from the burden of your sins. He heals worries with thanksgiving, and sadness with joy. No one is truly free or joyful besides he who lives for Christ. Such a person overcomes all evil and does not fear anything!” —St. John Chrysostom, Homily XV, II Cor. VII VIII, paragraph 6, Themes of Life II, Life Issues II, Holy Monastery of the Paraclete
“When you are depressed, bear in mind the Lord’s command to Peter to forgive a sinner seventy times seven. And you may be sure that He Who gave this command to another will Himself do very much more.” —St. John Climacus
 
“A person who suffers bitterly when slighted or insulted should recognize from this that he still harbours the ancient serpent in his breast. If he quietly endures the insult or responds with great humility, he weakens the serpent and lessens its hold. But if he replies acrimoniously or brazenly, he gives it strength to pour its venom into his heart and to feed mercilessly on his guts. In this way the serpent becomes increasingly powerful; it destroys his soul's strength and his attempts to set himself right, compelling him to live for sin and to be completely dead to righteousness.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian
“The time of this present life is a time for harvesting, and each person gathers spiritual food - as pure as possible - and stores it up for the other life. It is not the clever, the noble, the polished speakers, or the rich who win, but whoever is insulted and forbears, whoever is wronged and forgives, whoever is slandered and endures, whoever becomes a sponge and mops up whatever they might say to him. Such a person is cleansed and polished even more. He reaches great heights. He delights in the theoria of mysteries. And finally, it is he who is already inside paradise, while still in this life.” —Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-dweller
“Forgiveness is better than revenge.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
“When God forgave you, it means He forgave you for eternity.” —Elder Arsenios Arsenie (Papacioc) of Romania
“Love alone harmoniously joins all created things with God and with each other.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan
“Abortion is the anti-Christ's demonic parody of the Eucharist. That's why it uses the same holy words ‘This is my body’ with the blasphemous opposite meaning.” —Dr. Peter Kreeft
“An Irish pro-abortion leader described their vote as a decision to enter the "modern" ‘modern’ world. That was extremely well-said. Modernity suggests to us that we are the masters of history, the arbiters of life and death. Our compassion for the suffering is always expressed, ultimately, in our willingness to kill them, without remorse.
For many, abortion has become the sacrament of modernity, in which we learn to say in blasphemous irony: ‘This is my body.’” —Fr. Stephen Freeman
 
“Each child with special needs such as this does not come into the world in order to make our lives difficult and make us suffer. They each come into this world for a reason and have their secret inner voice. It remains to us to offer love; to ‘bear one another's burdens’; to experience a collective humbling – to realize, that is, that we are not as powerful and important as we think; and to try to lighten that person's burden and understand their language… These children are better at speaking the language of God.” —Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Labreotiki, When God is Not There, pg. 48
“O God, grant us a deeper sense of fellowship with all living things, our little brothers and sisters to whom in common with us you have given this earth as home. We recall with regret that in the past we have acted high-handedly and cruelly in exercising our domain over them. Thus, the voice of the earth which should have risen to you in song has turned into a groan of travail. May we realize that all these creatures also live for themselves and for you - not for us alone. They too love the goodness of life, as we do, and serve you better in their way than we do in ours. Amen.” —St. Basil the Great
“The devil does not hunt after those who are lost; he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, criticism. Therefore we should not trust our logical minds.” —Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos
 
“Christ is the only exit from this world; all other exits – sexual rapture, political utopia, economic independence – are but blind alleys in which rot the corpses of the many that have tried them.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“Only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“The end of each discovery becomes the starting point for the discovery of something higher, and the ascent continues. Thus our ascent is unending. We go from beginning to beginning by way of beginnings without end.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa
 
“He who forsakes all worldly desires sets himself above all worldly distress.” —St. Maximus the Confessor
“He is with me, He who left the world behind. He is present in me, He who left His nature. He dwells in me, He who denied Himself. He is wholly for me, He who lost His life for me.” —St. Ambrose of Milan
Pray Thou Thyself in me.
Amen.” —St. Philaret (Drozdov), Metropolitan of Moscow, The Morning Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow
 
“In that anxious and dreadful hour when the heavenly powers are roused, when all the angels, archangels, seraphim and cherubim will stand with fear and trembling before Thy glory, when the foundations of the earth will be shaken, and when all that breathes will be terrified by the incomparable greatness of Thy glory – in that hour mayest Thou take me under Thy wing and may my soul be delivered from the terrible fire and from the gnashing of teeth, from outer darkness and eternal lamentation, that I may bless Thee and say: Glory to Him Who has desired to save a sinner according to the great compassion of His mercy!” —St. Ephrem the Syrian
“If there is any rest for us in this world, then it consists only in purity of the conscience and patience. This is a harbor for us who sail upon the sea of life…” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
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