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“Behold, for years and generations, the way of God has been leveled by the cross and by death. How is this with thee, that thou seest the afflictions of the way as if they were out of the way? Doest not thou wish to follow the steps of the saints? Or doest thou wish to go a way which is especially for thee, without suffering? The way unto God is a daily cross. No one can ascend unto heaven with comfort, we know where the way of comfort leads.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Mystic Treatises, Homily LIX
“Understand two thoughts, and fear them. One says, 'You are a saint,' the other, 'You won't be saved.' Both of these thoughts are from the enemy, and there is no truth in them. But think this way: I am a great sinner, but the Lord is merciful. He loves people very much, and He will forgive my sins. Believe in this way, and you will see, the Lord will forgive you. But put no faith in feats of your own, however much you may have striven… Thus God has mercy on us, not for our achievements but gracious, because of His goodness.” —St. Silouan the Athonite
“He made Him who was righteous to be a sinner, that He might make sinners righteous.” —St. John Chrysostom
“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
“The goal of human freedom is not in freedom itself, nor is it is in man, but in God. By giving man freedom God has yielded to man a piece of His divine authority, but with the intention that man himself would voluntarily bring it as a sacrifice to God, as a most perfect offering.” —St. Theophan the Recluse, The Path to Salvation
“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
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