Difference between revisions of "Uncategorized Quotes"

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O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again, but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us, that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship of His pain He vouchsafed salvation.
 
O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again, but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us, that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship of His pain He vouchsafed salvation.
:St. Cyril of Jerusalem, ''On the Christian Sacraments''
+
:St. [[Cyril of Jerusalem]], ''On the Christian Sacraments''
   
+
----
Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility.     Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is    self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is theinflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness. - ''St. John Climacus''
+
Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance isself-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is theinflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.  
   
+
:St. [[John Climacus]]
<linebreak>
+
----
Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following
+
<linebreak>Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following
 
things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most
 
things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most
 
despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one,
 
despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one,
Line 17: Line 17:
 
with the nature they have been given, while I, owing to my
 
with the nature they have been given, while I, owing to my
 
innumerable sins, am in a state contrary to nature.
 
innumerable sins, am in a state contrary to nature.
   
+
:St. [[Gregory of Sinai]], ''[[Philokalia]]'', Vol. IV.
    St. Gregory of Sinai, Philokalia, Vol. IV.
+
----
   
+
He, therefore, who sets himself to act evilly and yet wishes
    + + +
+
others to be silent, is a witness against himself, for he wishes
   
+
himself to be loved more than the truth, which he does not wish to
    He, therefore, who sets himself to act evilly and yet wishes
+
be defended against himself. There is, of course, no man who so
    others to be silent, is a witness against himself, for he wishes
+
lives as not sometimes to sin, but he wishes truth to be loved
    himself to be loved more than the truth, which he does not wish to
+
more than himself, who wills to be spared by no one against the
    be defended against himself. There is, of course, no man who so
+
truth. Wherefore, Peter willingly accepted the rebuke of Paul;
    lives as not sometimes to sin, but he wishes truth to be loved
+
David willingly hearkened to the reproof of a subject. For good
    more than himself, who wills to be spared by no one against the
+
rulers who pay no regard to self-love, take as a homage to their
    truth. Wherefore, Peter willingly accepted the rebuke of Paul;
+
humility the free and sincere words of subjects. But in this
    David willingly hearkened to the reproof of a subject. For good
+
regard the office of ruling must be tempered with such great art
    rulers who pay no regard to self-love, , take as a homage to their
+
of moderation, that the minds of subjects, when demonstrating
    humility the free and sincere words of subjects. But in this
+
themselves capable of taking right views in some matters, are
    regard the office of ruling must be tempered with such great art
+
given freedom of expression, but freedom that does not issue into
    of moderation, that the minds of subjects, when demonstrating
+
pride, otherwise, when liberty of speech is granted too
    themselves capable of taking right views in some matters, are
+
generously, the humility of their own lives will be lost.
    given freedom of expression, but freedom that does not issue into
+
:St. [[Gregory the Great]], ''Pastoral Care''
    pride, otherwise, when liberty of speech is granted too
+
----
    generously, the humility of their own lives will be lost.
+
The Lord of all gave to His apostles the power of the gospel, and
   
+
by them we also have learned the truth, that is, the teaching of
    St. Gregory The Great, Pastoral Care
+
the Son of God—as the Lord said to them, 'He who hears you hears
   
+
Me, and he who despises you despises Me, and Him Who sent Me'
    + + +
+
[Lk.10:16]. For we learned the plan of our salvation from no other
   
+
than from those through whom the gospel came to us. The first
    The Lord of all gave to His apostles the power of the gospel, and
+
preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it
    by them we also have learned the truth, that is, the teaching of
+
down to us in Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our
    the Son of God - as the Lord said to them, `He who hears you hears
+
faith. For it is not right to say that they preached before they
    Me, and he who despises you despises Me, and Him Who sent Me'
+
had come to perfect knowledge, as some dare to say, boasting that
    [Lk.10:16]. For we learned the plan of our salvation from no other
+
they are the correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord had
    than from those through whom the gospel came to us. The first
+
risen from the dead, and they were clothed with the power from on
    preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it
+
high when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with
    down to us in Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our
+
all things and had perfect knowledge. They went out to the ends of
    faith. For it is not right to say that they preached before they
+
the earth, preaching the good things that come to us from God, and
    had come to perfect knowledge, as some dare to say, boasting that
+
proclaiming peace from heaven to all men, all and each of them
    they are the correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord had
+
equally being in possession of the gospel of God.
    risen from the dead, and they were clothed with the power from on
+
:St. [[Irenaeus of Lyons|Irenaeus]], ''Against the Heresies'', III
    high when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with
+
----
    all things and had perfect knowledge. They went out to the ends of
+
The Lord's Day is a mystery of the knowledge of the truth that is
    the earth, preaching the good things that come to us from God, and
+
not received by flesh and blood, and it transcends speculations.
    proclaiming peace from heaven to all men, all and each of them
+
In this age there is no eighth day, nor is there a true Sabbath.
    equally being in possession of the gospel of God.
+
For he who said that `God rested on the seventh day,' signified
   
+
the rest [of our nature] from the course of this life, since the
    St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, III
+
grave is also of a bodily nature and belongs to this world. Six
   
+
days are accomplished in the husbandry of life by means of keeping
    + + +
+
the commandments; the seventh is spent entirely in the grave; and
   
+
the eighth is the departure from it.
    The Lord's Day is a mystery of the knowledge of the truth that is
+
:St. [[Isaac of Syria]], ''The Ascetical Homilies'', I
    not received by flesh and blood, and it transcends speculations.
+
----
    In this age there is no eighth day, nor is there a true Sabbath.
+
When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he
    For he who said that `God rested on the seventh day,' signified
+
were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within
    the rest [of our nature] from the course of this life, since the
+
him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong
    grave is also of a bodily nature and belongs to this world. Six
+
and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or
    days are accomplished in the husbandry of life by means of keeping
+
impossible to most people. Such a man is like a giant surrounded
    the commandments; the seventh is spent entirely in the grave; and
+
by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes
    the eighth is the departure from it.
+
forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to
   
+
strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the
    St. Isaac of Syria, The Ascetical Homilies.I
+
Word in wisdom.
   
+
:St. [[Symeon the New Theologian]], ''The Practical and Theological Chapters''
    + + +
+
----
   
+
When we lay bare the hidden meaning of the history, scripture is
    When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he
+
seen to teach that the birth which distresses the tyrant is the
    were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within
+
beginning of the virtuous life. I am speaking of the kind of birth
    him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong
+
in which free will serves as the midwife, delivering the child
    and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or
+
amid great pain. For no one causes grief to his antagonist unless
    impossible to most people. Such a man is like a giant surrounded
+
he exhibits in himself those marks which give proof of his victory
    by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes
+
over the other.
    forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to
+
:St. [[Gregory of Nyssa]], ''The Life of Moses''
    strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the
+
----
    Word in wisdom.
+
The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily slept.
   
+
He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched away
    St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological
+
The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber.
    Chapters
+
So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour,
   
+
Thou who dost will that all men be saved.
    + + +
+
:Kontakia of St. Romanos, A Prayer.
   
+
----
    When we lay bare the hidden meaning of the history, scripture is
+
The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of
    seen to teach that the birth which distresses the tyrant is the
+
the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to
    beginning of the virtuous life. I am speaking of the kind of birth
+
carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof
    in which free will serves as the midwife, delivering the child
+
cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are
    amid great pain. For no one causes grief to his antagonist unless
+
absolutely useless without the roof—no help to any living
    he exhibits in himself those marks which give proof of his victory
+
creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the
    over the other.
+
practice of the commandments, and the observance of these
   
+
commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of
    St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses.
+
God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the
   
+
practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments
    + + +
+
is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God.
   
+
:St. Symeon the New Theologian
    The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily slept.
+
----
    He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched away
+
I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to
    The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber.
+
gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I
    So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour,
+
shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received
    Thou who dost will that all men be saved.
+
from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule
   
+
for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because
    Kontakia of St. Romanos, A Prayer.
+
not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of
   
+
body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal:
    + + +
+
to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies... A clear
   
+
rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop
    The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of
+
eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are
    the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to
+
satisfied.
    carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof
+
:St. [[John Cassian]]
    cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are
+
----
    absolutely useless without the roof - no help to any living
+
In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept nor is it a
    creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the
+
theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather, it is the living
    practice of the commandments, and the observance of these
+
theanthropic hypostasis—the historical Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
    commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of
+
Before Christ men could only conjecture about the Truth since they
    God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the
+
did not possess it. With Christ as the incarnate divine Logos the
    practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments
+
eternally complete divine Truth enters into the world. For this
    is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God.
+
reason the Gospel says: "Truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
   
+
:St. Justin Popovich
    St. Symeon the New Theologian
+
----
   
+
Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being
    + + +
+
afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at
   
+
the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they
    I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to
+
take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning
    gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I
+
creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms
    shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received
+
against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute
    from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule
+
fighter.
    for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because
+
:St. John Climacus
    not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of
+
----
    body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal:
+
God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts.
    to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies... A clear
+
Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the
    rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop
+
devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will
    eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are
+
come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but
    satisfied.
+
also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will
   
+
flee before the heat of His countenance.
    St. John Cassian
+
:St. [[Seraphim of Sarov]]
   
+
----
    + + +
+
In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and
   
+
work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an
    In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept nor is it a
+
obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet,
    theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather, it is the living
+
when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our
    theanthropic hypostasis - the historical Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
+
anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is
    Before Christ men could only conjecture about the Truth since they
+
reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in
    did not possess it. With Christ as the incarnate divine Logos the
+
our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but
    eternally complete divine Truth enters into the world. For this
+
by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires
    reason the Gospel says: "Truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
+
money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms
   
+
are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites
    St. Justin Popovich
+
was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all.
   
+
:St. John Chrysostom
    + + +
+
----
   
+
Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from
    Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being
+
failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily
    afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at
+
nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your
    the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they
+
spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is
    take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning
+
going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going
    creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms
+
to die.
    against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute
+
:St. [[Gregory the Great]]
    fighter.
+
----
   
+
I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I
    St. John Climacus
+
said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I
   
+
heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."
    + + +
+
:St. [[Anthony the Great]]
   
+
----
    God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts.
+
"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your
    Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the
+
Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the
    devil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will
+
sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are
    come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but
+
terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers
    also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will
+
ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in
    flee before the heat of His countenance.
+
laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off,
   
+
my beloved soul, holy repentence, contrition of heart and penance
    St. Seraphim of Sarov
+
for your sins."
   
+
:St. [[Paisius Velichkovsky]]
    + + +
+
----
   
+
This is the mark of Christianity—however much a man toils, and
    In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and
+
however many righteousnesses he performs, to feel that he has done
    work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an
+
nothing, and in fasting to say, "This is not fasting," and in
    obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet,
+
praying, "This is not prayer," and in perseverance at prayer, "I
    when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our
+
have shown no perseverance; I am only just beginning to practice
    anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is
+
and to take pains"; and even if he is righteous before God, he
    reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in
+
should say, "I am not righteous, not I; I do not take pains, but
    our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but
+
only make a beginning every day."
    by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires
+
:St. Macarius the Great
    money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms
+
----
    are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites
+
Be strong in Me; and you, too, Andrew; just as you were the first
    was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all.
+
to find Me, you were found by me; so find the one who has
   
+
wandered;
    St. John Chrysostom
+
Do not forget your first skill; from it I shall educate you for
   
+
this new art.
    + + +
+
Formerly, naked into the deep sea, now naked into life;
   
+
Formerly, hunting with a fishing-rod, now taught to fish with the
    Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from
+
cross;
    failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily
+
Formerly, you used a worm as bait; now I order you to hunt with My
    nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your
+
flesh.
    spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is
+
I alone know what is in the heart.
    going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going
+
:Kontakia of St. Romanos, On the Mission of the Apostles.
    to die.
+
----
   
+
Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let
    St. Gregory the Great
+
the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your
   
+
departure from hence.
    + + +
+
:St. Isaac the Syrian
   
+
----
    I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I
+
Beguiling and deceptive is the life of the world, fruitless its
    said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I
+
labor, perilous its delight, poor its riches, delusive its honors,
    heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."
+
inconstant, insignificant; and woe to those who hope in its
   
+
seeming goods: because of this many die without repentance.
    St. Anthony the Great
+
Blessed and mos blessed are those who depart from the world and
   
+
its desires.
    + + +
+
:Elder Nazarius
   
+
----
    "Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your
+
Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great
    Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the
+
and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with
    sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are
+
joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this,
    terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers
+
the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the
    ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in
+
world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses
    laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off,
+
them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them.
    my beloved soul, holy repentence, contrition of heart and penance
+
But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his
    for your sins."
+
learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and
   
+
worshipper of the world.
    St. Paisius Velichkovsky
+
:St. [[Innocent of Irkutsk]], ''Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven''
   
+
----
    + + +
+
The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I
   
+
am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Thy creature perish, for Thou
    This is the mark of Christianity--however much a man toils, and
+
carest for me in my misery.
    however many righteousnesses he performs, to feel that he has done
+
:St. Peter of Damascus
    nothing, and in fasting to say, "This is not fasting," and in
+
----
    praying, "This is not prayer," and in perseverance at prayer, "I
+
You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He
    have shown no perseverance; I am only just beginning to practice
+
will destroy them, if this is profitable for you.
    and to take pains"; and even if he is righteous before God, he
+
:St. Anatoly of Optina
    should say, "I am not righteous, not I; I do not take pains, but
+
----
    only make a beginning every day."
+
The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten
   
+
thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought
    St. Macarius the Great
+
nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though
   
+
it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its
    + + +
+
attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to
   
+
labour for them.
    Be strong in Me; and you, too, Andrew; just as you were the first
+
:St. Macarius the Great
    to find Me, you were found by me; so find the one who has
+
----
    wandered;
+
Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith
    Do not forget your first skill; from it I shall educate you for
+
to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in re
    this new art.
+
membrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be
    Formerly, naked into the deep sea, now naked into life;
+
deprived of the heavenly desire and of passionate affection to the
    Formerly, hunting with a fishing-rod, now taught to fish with the
+
Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ,
    cross;
+
they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual
    Formerly, you used a worm as bait; now I order you to hunt with My
+
advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom.
    flesh.
+
:St. Macarius the Great
    I alone know what is in the heart.
+
----
   
+
An old man was asked, 'How can I find God?' He said, 'In fasting,
    Kontakia of St. Romanos, On the Mission of the Apostles.
+
in watching, in labours, in devotion, and, above all, in
   
+
discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without
    + + +
+
discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing.
   
+
Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by
    Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let
+
heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that
    the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your
+
which God seeks: charity and humility.'
    departure from hence.
+
:''Apophthegmata Patrum''
   
+
----
    St. Isaac the Syrian
+
The hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall
   
+
not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf.
    + + +
+
John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he
   
+
comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us.
    Beguiling and deceptive is the life of the world, fruitless its
+
Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his
    labor, perilous its delight, poor its riches, delusive its honors,
+
lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with
    inconstant, insignificant; and woe to those who hope in its
+
many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).
    seeming goods: because of this many die without repentance.
+
:St. Hesychius the Priest
    Blessed and mos blessed are those who depart from the world and
+
----
    its desires.
+
Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is
   
+
not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross
    Elder Nazarius
+
of Christ.
   
+
:St. Mark the Ascetic
    + + +
+
----
   
+
Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but
    Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great
+
stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who
    and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with
+
guards you will honour your patience.
    joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this,
+
:St. John of the Ladder
    the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the
+
----
    world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses
+
Behold, this is the true and the Christian humility. In this you
    them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them.
+
will be able to achieve victory over every vice, by attributing to
    But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his
+
God rather than to yourself the fact that you have won.
    learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and
+
:St. Martin of Braga
    worshipper of the world.
+
----
   
+
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that "the
    St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of
+
eyes of the Lord are looking on the good and the evil in every
    Heaven.
+
place." But we should believe this especially without any doubt
   
+
when we are assisting at the Work of God. To that end let us be
    + + +
+
mindful always of the Prophet's words, "Serve the Lord in fear"
   
+
and again, "Sing praises wisely" and "In the sight of the Angels I
    The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I
+
will sing praise to Thee." Let us therefore consider how we ought
    am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Thy creature perish, for Thou
+
to conduct ourselves in the sight of the Godhead and of His
    carest for me in my misery.
+
Angels, and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way that
   
+
our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
    St. Peter of Damascus
+
:St. [[Benedict]]
   
+
----
    + + +
+
Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having
   
+
virtues other than humility—but with humility one does not
    You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He
+
fall.
    will destroy them, if this is profitable for you.
+
:Elder Herman of [[Mt. Athos]]
   
+
----
    St. Anatoly of Optina
+
When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you
   
+
are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as
    + + +
+
always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter
   
+
than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and
    The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten
+
all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God,
    thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought
+
and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither
    nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though
+
also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.
    it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its
+
:St. [[John of Kronstadt]]
    attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to
+
----
    labour for them.
+
God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into
   
+
the valleys.
    St. Macarius the Great
+
:St. Tikhon of Voronezh
   
+
----
    + + +
+
Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and
   
+
concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the
    Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith
+
heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily
    to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in re
+
attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue
    membrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be
+
can be firmly established.
    deprived of the heavenly desire and of passionate affection to the
+
:St. Symeon the New Theologian
    Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ,
+
----
    they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual
+
If you are praised, be silent. If you are scolded, be silent. If
    advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom.
+
you incur losses, be silent. If you receive profit, be silent. If
   
+
you are satiated, be silent. If you are hungry, also be silent.
    St. Macarius the Great
+
And do not be afraid that there will be no fruit when all dies
   
+
down; there will be! Not everything will die down. Energy will
    + + +
+
appear; and what energy!
   
+
:St. Feofil, the [[Fool-for-Christ]]
    An old man was asked, 'How can I find God?' He said, 'In fasting,
+
----
    in watching, in labours, in devotion, and, above all, in
+
When anyone is disturbed or saddened under the pretext of a good
    discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without
+
and soul-profiting matter, and is angered against his neighbour,
    discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing.
+
it is evident that this is not according to God: for everything
    Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by
+
that is of God is peaceful and useful and leads a man to humility
    heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that
+
and to judging himself.
    which God seeks: charity and humility.'
+
:St. Barsanuphius the Great
   
+
----
    Apophthegmata Patrum
+
What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who
   
+
wait for Him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy
    + + +
+
One, Himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive
   
+
to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may
    The hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall
+
receive a share of the promised gifts.
    not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf.
+
:St. Clement of Rome
    John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he
+
----
    comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us.
+
Even if an angel should indeed appear to you, do not receive him
    Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his
+
but humiliate yourself, saying, 'I am not worthy to see an angel,
    lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with
+
for I am a sinner.'
    many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).
+
:''Apophthegmata Patrum''
   
+
----
    St. Hesychius the Priest
+
We should zealously cultivate watchfulness, my brethren; and when,
   
+
our mind purified in Christ Jesus, we are exalted by the vision it
    + + +
+
confers, we should review our sins and our former life, so that
   
+
shattered and humbled at the thought of them we may never lose the
    Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is
+
help of Jesus Christ our God in the invisible battle.
    not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross
+
:St. Hesychius the Presbyter
    of Christ.
+
----
   
+
Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed,
    St. Mark the Ascetic
+
who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how
   
+
He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the
    + + +
+
darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we
   
+
were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from Him, we ought
    Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but
+
in everything to give Him thanks, to Whom be glory for ever and
    stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who
+
ever. Amen.
    guards you will honour your patience.
+
:St. Clement of Rome
   
+
----
    St. John of the Ladder
+
Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds.
   
+
:St. Callistus Xanthopoulos
    + + +
+
----
   
+
What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does
    Behold, this is the true and the Christian humility. In this you
+
each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are
    will be able to achieve victory over every vice, by attributing to
+
those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain
    God rather than to yourself the fact that you have won.
+
the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it
   
+
be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which
    St. Martin of Braga
+
the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is
   
+
like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom
    + + +
+
dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.
   
+
:St. Nicon, ''Repent Ye''
    We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that "the
+
----
    eyes of the Lord are looking on the good and the evil in every
+
It depends on us whether we wish to be saved.
    place." But we should believe this especially without any doubt
+
:''Apophthegmata Patrum''
    when we are assisting at the Work of God. To that end let us be
+
----
    mindful always of the Prophet's words, "Serve the Lord in fear"
+
When the blessed Eulogius saw an angel distributing gifts to the
    and again, "Sing praises wisely" and "In the sight of the Angels I
+
monks who toiled at all-night vigils, to one he gave a gold piece
    will sing praise to Thee." Let us therefore consider how we ought
+
with the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to another a silver piece
    to conduct ourselves in the sight of the Godhead and of His
+
with a cross, to another a copper piece, to another a bronze
    Angels, and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way that
+
piece, and to another nothing. The others who had remained in the
    our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
+
church, left the church empty-handed. It was revealed to him that
   
+
the ones who had obtained the gifts are those who toil at vigils
    St. Benedict
+
and are diligent in prayers, supplications, psalms, chants, and
   
+
readings. Those who received nothing or who left the church
    + + +
+
empty-handed are those who are heedless of their salvation, are
   
+
enslaved to vainglory and the clamors of life, and stand feebly
    Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having
+
and lazily at vigils and whisper and jest.
    virtues other than humility -- but with humility one does not
+
:St. Joseph of Volokalamsk
    fall.
+
----
   
+
Chastise your soul with the thought of death, and through
    Elder Herman of Mt. Athos
+
remembrance of Jesus Christ concentrate your scattered intellect.
   
+
:St. Philotheus of Sinai
    + + +
+
----
   
+
Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us
    When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you
+
in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to
    are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as
+
forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us.
    always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter
+
The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence
    than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and
+
also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man.
    all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God,
+
For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see
    and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither
+
for yourself how terrible it is.
    also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.
+
:St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, ''Journey to Heaven''
   
+
----
    St. John of Kronstadt
+
What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to
   
+
climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend
    + + +
+
to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is
   
+
less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting
    God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into
+
life is offered; the Lord promises His Kingdom.
    the valleys.
+
:St. Cyprian
   
+
----
    St. Tikhon of Voronezh
+
A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning
   
+
others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who
    + + +
+
talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is,
   
+
he says nothing that is not profitable.
    Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and
+
:Abba Pimen
    concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the
+
----
    heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily
+
The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking
    attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue
+
yourself inferior to all creatures.
    can be firmly established.
+
:Abba Tithoes
   
+
----
    St. Symeon the New Theologian
+
The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due
   
+
to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby
    + + +
+
the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed,
   
+
bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions.
    If you are praised, be silent. If you are scolded, be silent. If
+
:St. Seraphim of Sarov, ''Spiritual Instructions''
    you incur losses, be silent. If you receive profit, be silent. If
+
----
    you are satiated, be silent. If you are hungry, also be silent.
+
Make glad, O Jerusalem, and all ye who love Sion, keep feast.
    And do not be afraid that there will be no fruit when all dies
+
Today the ancient bond of the condemnation of Adam is loosed.
    down; there will be! Not everything will die down. Energy will
+
Paradise is opened to us: the serpent is laid low; for of old he
    appear; and what energy!
+
deceived the woman in Paradise, but now he seeth a woman become
   
+
the Mother of the Creator. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom
    St. Feofil, the Fool for Christ
+
and knowledge of God! The instrument of sin that brought death
   
+
upon all flesh hath become the first fruits of salvation for the
    + + +
+
whole world through the Theotokos. For God the All-perfect is born
   
+
a babe of her, and by His birth He doth set a seal upon her
    When anyone is disturbed or saddened under the pretext of a good
+
virginity. By His swaddling bands he doth loose the bands of sin,
    and soul-profiting matter, and is angered against his neighbour,
+
and by becoming a child He doth heal Eve's pangs in travail.
    it is evident that this is not according to God: for everything
+
Wherefore, let all creation sing and dance for joy, for Christ
    that is of God is peaceful and useful and leads a man to humility
+
hath come to restore it and to save our souls.
    and to judging himself.
+
:Glory of the Aposticha of the Feast
   
+
----
    St. Barsanuphius the Great
+
Christ is Risen!
   
+
O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness!
    + + +
+
The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant,
   
+
And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle.
    What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who
+
Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time.
    wait for Him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy
+
Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts,
    One, Himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive
+
Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy,
    to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may
+
Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience,
    receive a share of the promised gifts.
+
Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden
   
+
Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry,
    St. Clement of Rome
+
'Thou art our Lord and God.'"
   
+
:Kontakia of Romanos, v. 1, On Doubting Thomas
    + + +
+
----
   
+
There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and
    Even if an angel should indeed appear to you, do not receive him
+
unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of
    but humiliate yourself, saying, 'I am not worthy to see an angel,
+
an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles
    for I am a sinner.'
+
are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for
   
+
God's Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were
    Apophthegmata Patrum
+
incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. "Shall
   
+
their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom. 3:3).
    + + +
+
Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and
   
+
mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor
    We should zealously cultivate watchfulness, my brethren; and when,
+
our infirmity God's omnipotence.
    our mind purified in Christ Jesus, we are exalted by the vision it
+
:St. John of Kronstadt, ''My Life in Christ''
    confers, we should review our sins and our former life, so that
+
----
    shattered and humbled at the thought of them we may never lose the
+
It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his
    help of Jesus Christ our God in the invisible battle.
+
older brother: I want to be free from care and not to work but to
   
+
worship God without interruption. And he took his robe off, and
    St. Hesychius the Presbyter
+
went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to
   
+
his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked
    + + +
+
without opening it: Who is it? He replied: It's John, your
   
+
brother. The brother said: John has become an angel and is not
    Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed,
+
among people anymore. Then he begged and said: It's me! But his
    who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how
+
brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until
    He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the
+
the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: If you
    darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we
+
are a human being, you have to work again in order to live. Then
    were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from Him, we ought
+
John repented, saying: Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong.
    in everything to give Him thanks, to Whom be glory for ever and
+
:''Sayings of the Desert Fathers''
    ever. Amen.
+
----
   
+
Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed
    St. Clement of Rome
+
him;
   
+
Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man.
    + + +
+
But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men,
   
+
he did not destroy their spirits.
    Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds.
+
He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words,
   
+
but not even by deeds, the noble ones.
    St. Callistus Xanthopoulos
+
Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the
   
+
latter:
    + + +
+
For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor.
   
+
He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not
    What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does
+
in his authority.
    each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are
+
Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme,
    those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain
+
You gained crowns.
    the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it
+
:Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.
    be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which
+
----
    the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is
+
First of all it must be understood that it is the duty of all
    like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom
+
Christians—especially of those whose calling dedicates them to
    dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.
+
the spiritual life—to strive always and in every way to be
   
+
united with God, their creator, lover, benefactor, and their
    St. Nicon "Repent Ye"
+
supreme good, by Whom and for Whom they were created. This is
   
+
because the center and the final purpose of the soul, which God
    + + +
+
created, must be God Himself alone, and nothing else—God whom
   
+
Whom the soul has received its life and its nature, and for Whom
    It depends on us whether we wish to be saved.
+
it must eternally live.  
   
+
:St. Dimitry of Rostov
    Apophthegmata Patrum
+
----
   
+
Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice
    + + +
+
the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ,
   
+
mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me,
    When the blessed Eulogius saw an angel distributing gifts to the
+
a sinner.
    monks who toiled at all-night vigils, to one he gave a gold piece
+
:St. Seraphim of Sarov
    with the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to another a silver piece
+
----
    with a cross, to another a copper piece, to another a bronze
+
Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul
    piece, and to another nothing. The others who had remained in the
+
fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined
    church, left the church empty-handed. It was revealed to him that
+
together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us
    the ones who had obtained the gifts are those who toil at vigils
+
to heaven. What do I mean? A spiritual heaven, with sun, moon and
    and are diligent in prayers, supplications, psalms, chants, and
+
stars, is formed in the blessed heart of one who has reach a state
    readings. Those who received nothing or who left the church
+
of watchfulness, or who strives to attain it.
    empty-handed are those who are heedless of their salvation, are
+
:St. Philotheus of Sinai
    enslaved to vainglory and the clamors of life, and stand feebly
+
----
    and lazily at vigils and whisper and jest.
+
My poor soul! Sigh, pray and strive to take upon you the blessed
   
+
yoke of Christ, and you will live on earth in a heavenly manner.
    St. Joseph of Volokalamsk
+
Lord, grant that I may carry the light and goodly yoke, and I
   
+
shall be always at rest, peaceful, glad and joyous; and I shall
    + + +
+
taste on earth of crumbs which fall from the celestial feast, like
   
+
a dog that feeds upon the crumbs which fall from the master's
    Chastise your soul with the thought of death, and through
+
table.
    remembrance of Jesus Christ concentrate your scattered intellect.
+
:St. Tikhon of Voronezh
   
+
----
    St. Philotheus of Sinai
+
When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather,
   
+
fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great
    + + +
+
courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who
   
+
are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil?
    Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us
+
You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has
    in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to
+
dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are
    forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us.
+
made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we
    The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence
+
trample on your head."
    also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man.
+
:St. Seraphim of Sarov
    For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see
+
----
    for yourself how terrible it is.
+
Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does
   
+
not have a wise guide—either a living person or a spiritual
    St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven.
+
writer. This sickness is called ''prelest'', or spiritual delusion,
   
+
imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine
    + + +
+
and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are
   
+
sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are
    What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to
+
zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more
    climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend
+
frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer
    to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is
+
and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions,
    less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting
+
or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their
    life is offered; the Lord promises His Kingdom.
+
lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their
   
+
guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's
    St. Cyprian
+
elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers
   
+
armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this
    + + +
+
sickness—prelest.
   
+
:Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
    A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning
+
----
    others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who
+
Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of
    talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is,
+
speech before God.
    he says nothing that is not profitable.
+
:Abba Pambo
   
+
----
    Abba Pimen
+
We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing
   
+
away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of
    + + +
+
trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . . I was an
   
+
infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too
    The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking
+
has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The
    yourself inferior to all creatures.
+
strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white,
   
+
I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will
    Abba Tithoes
+
go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I
   
+
may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!
    + + +
+
:St. Tikhon of Voronezh
   
+
----
    The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due
+
It is better to eat meat and drink wine and not to eat the flesh
    to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby
+
of one's brethren through slander.
    the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed,
+
:Abba Hyperechius
    bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions.
+
----
   
+
'Wine makes glad the heart of man' (Ps. 104:15). But you who have
    St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions
+
professed sorrow and grief should turn away from such gladness and
   
+
rejoice in spiritual gifts. If you rejoice in wine, you will live
    + + +
+
with shameful thoughts and distress will overwhelm you.
   
+
:St. Theodore of Edessa
    Make glad, O Jerusalem, and all ye who love Sion, keep feast.
+
----
    Today the ancient bond of the condemnation of Adam is loosed.
+
Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not
    Paradise is opened to us: the serpent is laid low; for of old he
+
suppress the arrogance of the heart; but noetic meditation, the
    deceived the woman in Paradise, but now he seeth a woman become
+
labor of repentance, contrition and humility—these humble the
    the Mother of the Creator. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom
+
proud mind.
    and knowledge of God! The instrument of sin that brought death
+
:Elder Joseph the Hesychast
    upon all flesh hath become the first fruits of salvation for the
+
----
    whole world through the Theotokos. For God the All-perfect is born
+
Oh, what great happiness and bliss, what exaltation it is to
    a babe of her, and by His birth He doth set a seal upon her
+
address oneself to the Eternal Father. Always, without fail, value
    virginity. By His swaddling bands he doth loose the bands of sin,
+
this joy which has been accorded to you by God's infinite grace
    and by becoming a child He doth heal Eve's pangs in travail.
+
and do not forget it during your prayers; God, the angels and
    Wherefore, let all creation sing and dance for joy, for Christ
+
God's holy men listen to you.
    hath come to restore it and to save our souls.
+
:St. John of Kronstadt
   
+
----
    Glory of the Aposticha of the Feast
+
What we need is a little labor! Let us endure this labor that we
   
+
may obtain mercy.
    + + +
+
:St. Dorotheus of Gaza
   
+
----
    Christ is Risen!
+
For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the
    O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness!
+
stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man
    The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant,
+
better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority
    And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle.
+
granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we
    Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time.
+
know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are
    Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts,
+
kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.
    Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy,
+
:St. John Chrysostom
    Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience,
+
----
    Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden
+
They went down to Egypt and provided food when famine reigned;
    Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry,
+
they came to the obstinate sea, and taught it wisdom with a rod;
    `Thou art our Lord and God.'"
+
they went out into the hostile desert and adorned it with a
   
+
pillar;
    Kontakia of Romanos, V. 1, On Doubting Thomas
+
they entered the furnace, fiercely heated, and sprinkled it with
   
+
their dew;
    + + +
+
into the pit where they had been thrown an angel entered and
   
+
taught its wild beasts to fast.
    There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and
+
:St. Ephrem
    unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of
+
----
    an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles
+
While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept:
    are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for
+
Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light.
    God's Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were
+
All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise --
    incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. "Shall
+
Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the
    their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom. 3:3).
+
resurrection.
    Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and
+
The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to
    mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor
+
say,
    our infirmity God's omnipotence.
+
That death is the same for all creation without distinction.
   
+
One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish,
    St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ
+
For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners.
   
+
The good die, as the wise virgins slept;
    + + +
+
And the bad die, as the foolish also slept.
   
+
Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom,
    It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his
+
Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels.
    older brother: I want to be free from care and not to work but to
+
But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep
    worship God without interruption. And he took his robe off, and
+
With the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.
    went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to
+
:''A Homily on the Ten Virgins'' by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh
    his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked
+
----
    without opening it: Who is it? He replied: It's John, your
+
Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should
    brother. The brother said: John has become an angel and is not
+
not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue
    among people anymore. Then he begged and said: It's me! But his
+
the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the
    brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until
+
withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on
    the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: If you
+
doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a
    are a human being, you have to work again in order to live. Then
+
righteous man falls down seven times'—that is, repeatedly
    John repented, saying: Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong.
+
throughout his life—'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov.
   
+
24:16].
    Sayings of the Desert Fathers
+
:John of Karpathos
   
+
----
    + + +
+
No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the
   
+
afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them
    Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed
+
beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because
    him;
+
they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will
    Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man.
+
of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are
    But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men,
+
given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude
    he did not destroy their spirits.
+
for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are
    He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words,
+
glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this
    but not even by deeds, the noble ones.
+
world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears
    Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the
+
tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord,
    latter:
+
and so his tribulations pass.
    For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor.
+
:Archimandrite [[Sophrony (Sakharov)|Sophrony]]
    He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not
+
----
    in his authority.
+
The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the
    Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme,
+
spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us
    You gained crowns.
+
and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must
   
+
struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.
    Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.
+
:Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
   
+
----
    + + +
+
For those who believe in Him, Christ will become all this and even
   
+
more, beyond enumeration, not only in the age to come but first i
    First of all it must be understood that it is the duty of all
+
this life, and then in the world to come. Thou in an obscure way
    Christians - especially of those whose calling dedicates them to
+
here below and in a perfect manner in the Kingdom, those who
    the spiritual life - to strive always and in every way to be
+
believe see clearly nonetheless and receive as of now the
    united with God, their creator, lover, benefactor, and their
+
first-fruits of everything they will have in the future life.
    supreme good, by Whom and for Whom they were created. This is
+
Indeed, if they do not receive on earth everything that was
    because the center and the final purpose of the soul, which God
+
promised to them, they do not have any part of foretaste of the
    created, must be God Himself alone, and nothing else - God whom
+
blessings to come, their higher hope being set on the hereafter.
    Whom the soul has received its life and its nature, and for Whom
+
However, it is through death and the resurrection that God in His
    it must eternally live.
+
foresight has given us the Kingdom, incorruptibility, the totality
   
+
of life eternal. Given these conditions, we unquestionably become
    St. Dimitry of Rostov
+
partakers of the good things to come, that is, incorruptible,
   
+
immortal, sons of God, sons of the light and of the day,
    + + +
+
inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, since we carry the Kingdom
   
+
within.
    Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice
+
:St. Symeon the New Theologian
    the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ,
+
----
    mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me,
+
Self-accusation before God is something that is very necessary for
    a sinner.
+
us; and humility of heart is extremely advantageous in our lives,
   
+
above all at the time of prayer. For prayer requires great
    St. Seraphim of Sarov
+
attention and needs a proper awareness, otherwise it will turn out
   
+
to be unacceptable and rejected, and `it will be turned back
    + + +
+
empty' to our bosom.
   
+
:Martyrius of Edessa
    Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul
+
----
    fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined
+
The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart
    together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us
+
and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and
    to heaven. What do I mean? A spiritual heaven, with sun, moon and
+
endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something
    stars, is formed in the blessed heart of one who has reach a state
+
irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you
    of watchfulness, or who strives to attain it.
+
pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life,
   
+
and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness.
    St. Philotheus of Sinai
+
:St. John of Kronstadt
   
+
----
    + + +
+
There was a man who at a lot and was till hungry, and another who
   
+
ate little and was satisfied. The one who ate a lot and was still
    My poor soul! Sigh, pray and strive to take upon you the blessed
+
hungry received a greater reward than he who ate little and was
    yoke of Christ, and you will live on earth in a heavenly manner.
+
satisfied.
    Lord, grant that I may carry the light and goodly yoke, and I
+
:''Apophthegmata Patrum''
    shall be always at rest, peaceful, glad and joyous; and I shall
+
----
    taste on earth of crumbs which fall from the celestial feast, like
+
For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things,
    a dog that feeds upon the crumbs which fall from the master's
+
unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our
    table.
+
neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with
   
+
patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to
    St. Tikhon of Voronezh
+
give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to
   
+
esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who
    + + +
+
are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to
   
+
exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new
    When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather,
+
creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye
    fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great
+
amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new
    courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who
+
creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are
    are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil?
+
made new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
    You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has
+
:St. Gregory the Great
    dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are
+
----
    made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we
+
The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the
    trample on your head."
+
Cross.
   
+
:St. Isaac the Syrian
    St. Seraphim of Sarov
+
----
   
+
The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the
    + + +
+
special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity,
   
+
nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners,
    Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does
+
releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the
    not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual
+
brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty,
    writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion,
+
fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are
    imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine
+
good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and
    and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are
+
humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and
    sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are
+
become friends of God—yet these things do not present us
    zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more
+
directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A
    frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer
+
person praying acts towards God like a friend—conversing,
    and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions,
+
confiding, requesting—and through this becomes one with our
    or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their
+
Maker Himself.
    lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their
+
:St. Symeon of Thessalonica
    guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's
+
----
    elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers
+
He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every
    armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this
+
day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in
    sickness -- prelest.
+
it.
   
+
:St. John of the Ladder
    Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
+
----
   
+
We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain
    + + +
+
ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to
   
+
unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts
    Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of
+
Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly,
    speech before God.
+
whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the
   
+
more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated
    Abba Pambo
+
from heavenly love.
   
+
:St. Gregory the Great
    + + +
+
----
   
+
A greedy appetite for food is terminated by satiety and the
    We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing
+
pleasure of drinking ends when our thirst is quenched. And so it
    away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of
+
is with the other things. . . But the possession of virtue, once
    trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . . I was an
+
it is solidly achieved, cannot be measured by time nor limited by
    infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too
+
satiety. Rather, to those who are its disciples it always appears
    has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The
+
as something ever new and fresh.
    strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white,
+
:St. Gregory of Nyssa
    I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will
+
----
    go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I
+
Observe your thoughts, and beware of what you have in your heart
    may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!
+
and your spirit, knowing that the demons put ideas into you so as
   
+
to corrupt your soul by making it think of that which is not
    St. Tikhon of Voronezh
+
right, in order to turn your spirit from the consideration of your
   
+
sins and of God.
    + + +
+
:Abba Elias
   
+
----
    It is better to eat meat and drink wine and not to eat the flesh
+
Have unfeigned love among yourselves, keep the tradition, and may
    of one's brethren through slander.
+
the God of peace be with you and confirm you in love.
   
+
:St. Paul of Obnora
    Abba Hyperechius
+
----
   
+
Bringing doxology to the One born of the Virgin in church hymns
    + + +
+
and spiritual songs, we must, outside the church as well,
   
+
unceasingly praise Him and give Him thanks for His ineffable
    Wine makes glad the heart of man' (Ps. 104:15). But you who have
+
lovingkindness to us sinners, who are atoned by His honourable
    professed sorrow and grief should turn away from such gladness and
+
blood and who have received through this promise life eternal,
    rejoice in spiritual gifts. If you rejoice in wine, you will live
+
blessed, and unceasing.
    with shameful thoughts and distress will overwhelm you.
+
:St. Amvrosy of Optina
   
+
----
    St. Theodore of Edessa
+
If we wear our heavenly robe, we shall not be found naked, but if
   
+
we are found not wearing this garment, what shall we do, brethren?
    + + +
+
We, even we also, shall hear the voice that says, "Cast them into
   
+
outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Matt.
    Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not
+
22:13) And, brethren, there will be great shame in store for us,
    suppress the arrogance of the heart; but noetic meditation, the
+
if, after having worn this habit for so long, we are found in the
    labor of repentance, contrition and humility -- these humble the
+
hour of need not having put on the wedding garment. Oh what
    proud mind.
+
compunction will seize us! What darkness will fall upon us, in the
   
+
presence of our fathers and our brethren, who will see us being
    Elder Joseph the Hesychast
+
tortured by the angels of punishment!
   
+
:Abba Dioscorus
    + + +
+
----
   
+
When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first
    Oh, what great happiness and bliss, what exaltation it is to
+
takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately
    address oneself to the Eternal Father. Always, without fail, value
+
with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to
    this joy which has been accorded to you by God's infinite grace
+
shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for
    and do not forget it during your prayers; God, the angels and
+
the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of
    God's holy men listen to you.
+
inner thoughts.
   
+
:St. John Chrysostom
    St. John of Kronstadt
+
----
   
+
Lord God, have mercy on me a sinner: I am not worthy to stand
    + + +
+
before Thee, seeing that I have never tried to embellish my soul
   
+
for Thy presence. What that prostitute accomplished in a single
    What we need is a little labor! Let us endure this labor that we
+
day in beautifying herself surpasseth everything I have ever
    may obtain mercy.
+
achieved during all the years of my life. How can I have the face
   
+
to look upon Thee, my God? I do not know what words to use in the
    St. Dorotheus of Gaza
+
attempt to justify myself in Thy presence, Lord. What excuse have
   
+
I before Thee, seeing that all my hidden secrets are laid open
    + + +
+
before Thee? No, alas for me the sinner who, as I enter the
   
+
threshold of Thy sacred temple and appear before Thy glorious
    For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the
+
altar, have failed to offer the beauty in my soul that Thou
    stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man
+
wantest.
    better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority
+
:St. Nonnus (''Life of St. Pelagia'', the former harlot)
    granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we
+
----
    know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are
+
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit,
    kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.
+
our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His
   
+
love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is
    St. John Chrysostom
+
by mercy that we shall be saved.
   
+
:St. John Chrysostom
    + + +
+
----
   
+
Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and
    They went down to Egypt and provided food when famine reigned;
+
uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate
    they came to the obstinate sea, and taught it wisdom with a rod;
+
state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This,
    they went out into the hostile desert and adorned it with a
+
then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your
    pillar;
+
powers towards it.
    they entered the furnace, fiercely heated, and sprinkled it with
+
:St. Theophan the Recluse
    their dew;
+
----
    into the pit where they had been thrown an angel entered and
+
If the soul is vigilant and withdraws from all distraction and
    taught its wild beasts to fast.
+
abandons its own will, then the spirit of God invades it and it
   
+
can conceive because it is free to do so.
    St. Ephrem
+
:Abba Cronius
   
+
----
    + + +
+
The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest
   
+
miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary.
    While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept:
+
How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple
    Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light.
+
bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very
    All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise --
+
Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed
    Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the
+
for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are
    resurrection.
+
but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has
    The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to
+
continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who
    say,
+
communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility.
    That death is the same for all creation without distinction.
+
:St. Ambrose of Optina
    One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish,
+
----
    For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners.
+
Strive as well as you can to enter deeply with the heart into the
    The good die, as the wise virgins slept;
+
church reading and singing and to imprint these on the tablets of
    And the bad die, as the foolish also slept.
+
the heart.
    Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom,
+
:Abbot Nazarius
    Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels.
+
----
    But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep
+
The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he
    With the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.
+
who praises Christ amid the congregation of men.
   
+
:St. Isaac the Syrian
    A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh
+
----
   
+
For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things,
    + + +
+
unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our
   
+
neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with
    Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should
+
patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to
    not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue
+
give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to
    the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the
+
esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who
    withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on
+
are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to
    doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a
+
exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new
    righteous man falls down seven times' - that is, repeatedly
+
creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye
    throughout his life - 'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov.
+
amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new
    24:16].
+
creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are
   
+
made new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
    John of Karpathos
+
:St. Gregory the Great
   
+
----
    + + +
+
Blessed is he who always has before his eyes that "the earth is
   
+
the Lord's and the fulness thereof" (Ps. 23:1 [24:1 in the NIV]), and keeps in mind that God is powerful to arrange for His servants as is pleasing to Him.
    No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the
+
:St. Barsanuphius
    afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them
+
----
    beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because
+
As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks
    they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will
+
homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As
    of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are
+
God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal
    given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude
+
life.
    for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are
+
:St. Ignatius the God-bearer
    glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this
+
----
    world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears
+
Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your
    tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord,
+
light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life
    and so his tribulations pass.
+
has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain
   
+
pursuits.
    Archimandrite Sophrony
+
:St. Isaac the Syrian
   
+
----
    + + +
+
The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but
   
+
just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold
    The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the
+
it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do
    spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us
+
both.
    and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must
+
:St. Ephraim the Syrian
    struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.
+
----
   
+
I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned
    Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
+
because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I
   
+
contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy
    + + +
+
saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant.
   
+
For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything,
    For those who believe in Him, Christ will become all this and even
+
speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything
    more, beyond enumeration, not only in the age to come but first i
+
more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I
    this life, and then in the world to come. Thou in an obscure way
+
fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . .
    here below and in a perfect manner in the Kingdom, those who
+
:St. Peter of Damascus
    believe see clearly nonetheless and receive as of now the
+
----
    first-fruits of everything they will have in the future life.
+
At the Last Judgment the righteous will be recognized only by
    Indeed, if they do not receive on earth everything that was
+
their humility and their considering themselves worthless, and not
    promised to them, they do not have any part of foretaste of the
+
by good deeds, even if they have done them. This is the true
    blessings to come, their higher hope being set on the hereafter.
+
attitude.
    However, it is through death and the resurrection that God in His
+
:Holy New Hieromartyr Barlaam
    foresight has given us the Kingdom, incorruptibility, the totality
+
----
    of life eternal. Given these conditions, we unquestionably become
+
Death's awful mystery comes upon us suddenly, and soul and body
    partakers of the good things to come, that is, incorruptible,
+
are violently severed, divorced from their natural union by the
    immortal, sons of God, sons of the light and of the day,
+
will of God. What shall we do at that hour if we have not thought
    inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, since we carry the Kingdom
+
of it beforehand, if we have not been instructed concerning this
    within.
+
eventuality and find ourselves unprepared?
   
+
:St. Nil Sorsky
    St. Symeon the New Theologian
+
----
   
+
The Holy Spirit often visits us; but if He does not find rest how
    + + +
+
can He remain? He departs. Joy is in the hearts of those who are
   
+
cleansed and who are able to maintain within themselves the grace
    Self-accusation before God is something that is very necessary for
+
of the Holy Spirit of the All-holy Trinity. There is no greater
    us; and humility of heart is extremely advantageous in our lives,
+
joy and happiness for man. I am not able to describe to you how
    above all at the time of prayer. For prayer requires great
+
one feels then.
    attention and needs a proper awareness, otherwise it will turn out
+
:Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
    to be unacceptable and rejected, and `it will be turned back
+
----
    empty' to our bosom.
+
Keep the body properly slim so that you reduce the burden of the
   
+
heart's warfare, with full benefit to yourself.
    Martyrius of Edessa
+
:St. Philotheus of Sinai
   
+
----
    + + +
+
I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have
   
+
not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a
    The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart
+
result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection.
    and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and
+
:St. John of the Ladder
    endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something
+
----
    irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you
+
I shall tell you something strange, but do not be surprised by it.
    pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life,
+
Should you fail to attain dispassion because of the
    and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness.
+
predispositions dominating you, but at the time of your death be
   
+
in the depths of humility, you will be exalted above the clouds no
    St. John of Kronstadt
+
less than the man who is dispassionate.
   
+
:St. Theognostus
    + + +
+
----
   
+
One of the old men said, "It is written concerning Solomon that he
    There was a man who at a lot and was till hungry, and another who
+
loved women, but every male loveth the females, and we must
    ate little and was satisfied. The one who ate a lot and was still
+
restrain and draw onwards our nature by main force to purity."
    hungry received a greater reward than he who ate little and was
+
:''Paradise of the Fathers''
    satisfied.
+
----
   
+
O monk, take thou the greatest possible care that thou sin not,
    Apophthegmata Patrum
+
lest thou disgrace God Who dwelleth in thee, and thou drive Him
   
+
out of thy soul.
    + + +
+
:Abba Epiphanius
   
+
----
    For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things,
+
We were created for eternal life by our Creator, we are called to
    unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our
+
it by the word of God, and we are renewed by holy Baptism. And
    neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with
+
Christ the Son of God came into the world for this, that He should
    patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to
+
call us and take us there, and He is the one thing needful. For
    give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to
+
this reason your very first endeavor and care should be to receive
    esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who
+
it. Without it everything is as nothing, though you have the whole
    are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to
+
world under you.
    exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new
+
:St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
    creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye
+
----
    amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new
+
My soul, seek the Only One . . . My soul, you have no part with
    creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are
+
the earth; for you are from heaven. You are the image of God: seek
    made new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
+
your First Image. For like strives after like. Each object finds
   
+
its rest in its center and element—fish in water, fire in its
    St. Gregory the Great
+
upward movement everything strives to its center. My soul, you are
   
+
an immaterial spirit, immortal. . . In Him alone you will find
    + + +
+
your rest.
   
+
:St. Tikhon of Voronezh
    The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the
+
----
    Cross.
+
It is by warfare that the soul makes progress.
   
+
:Abba John the Short
    St. Isaac the Syrian
+
----
   
+
Why do you beat the air and run in vain? Every occupation has a
    + + +
+
purpose, obviously. Tell me then, what is the purpose of all the
   
+
activity of the world? Answer, I challenge you! It is vanity of
    The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the
+
vanity: all is vanity.
    special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity,
+
:St. John Chrysostom
    nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners,
+
----
    releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the
+
When you pray to God in time of temptation do not say, 'Take this
    brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty,
+
or that away from me', but pray like this: 'O Jesus Christ,
    fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are
+
sovereign Master, help me and do not let me sin against Thee. . .'
    good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and
+
:Abba Isaiah the Solitary
    humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and
+
----
    become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us
+
The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the
    directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A
+
spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us
    person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing,
+
and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must
    confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our
+
struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.
    Maker Himself.
+
:Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
   
+
----
    St. Symeon of Thessalonica
+
For now is the time to labour for the Lord, for salvation is found
   
+
in the day of affliction: for it is written: 'In your patience
    + + +
+
gain ye your souls' (Luke 21:19).
   
+
:Abba Isidore of Skete
    He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every
+
----
    day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in
+
But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the
    it.
+
contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon
   
+
God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman
    St. John of the Ladder
+
whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I
   
+
ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent,
    + + +
+
and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before
   
+
the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them
    We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain
+
from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as
    ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to
+
exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should
    unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts
+
be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did
    Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly,
+
not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending
    whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the
+
life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this
    more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated
+
reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since
    from heavenly love.
+
within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not
   
+
do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also
    St. Gregory the Great
+
was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was
   
+
in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from
    + + +
+
exhausting labors and sweat...
   
+
:St. Symeon the New Theologian
    A greedy appetite for food is terminated by satiety and the
+
----
    pleasure of drinking ends when our thirst is quenched. And so it
+
Fortunate is the man who has come to have God as his helper and
    is with the other things. . . But the possession of virtue, once
+
to have his hopes in Him alone. Let the Devil bear malice towards
    it is solidly achieved, cannot be measured by time nor limited by
+
him, let all men persecute him and plot against him, let all his
    satiety. Rather, to those who are its disciples it always appears
+
adversaries fight against him—he never fears anyone, because his
    as something ever new and fresh.
+
has God as his helper. He remains always a victor, always
   
+
glorified, always happy, always rich, always cheerful and joyful,
    St. Gregory of Nyssa
+
even if he happens to fall into extreme poverty and into a great
   
+
many adverse and grievous circumstances of this present life. For
    + + +
+
inasmuch as he hopes in Almighty God, he does not despair, he is
   
+
not sorry, is not anxious, but expects help from Above. Fortunate,
    Observe your thoughts, and beware of what you have in your heart
+
then, is such a man and worthy to be deemed happy, just as the
    and your spirit, knowing that the demons put ideas into you so as
+
Prophet-king David regards such a man as happy, saying: "Blessed
    to corrupt your soul by making it think of that which is not
+
is he whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose hoe is in the Lord
    right, in order to turn your spirit from the consideration of your
+
his God." Such were all the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs,
    sins and of God.
+
the Holy Ascetics and all the Saints from the beginning of time.
   
+
:St. Nikephoros of Chios
    Abba Elias
+
----
   
+
The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving
    + + +
+
as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses her
   
+
represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads
    Have unfeigned love among yourselves, keep the tradition, and may
+
the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by
    the God of peace be with you and confirm you in love.
+
crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the
   
+
enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life
    St. Paul of Obnora
+
deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed
   
+
bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of
    + + +
+
sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the
   
+
beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled
    Bringing doxology to the One born of the Virgin in church hymns
+
itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within
    and spiritual songs, we must, outside the church as well,
+
itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host—a
    unceasingly praise Him and give Him thanks for His ineffable
+
victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus
    lovingkindness to us sinners, who are atoned by His honourable
+
foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go
    blood and who have received through this promise life eternal,
+
on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.
    blessed, and unceasing.
+
St. Gregory of Nyssa
   
+
</linebreak>
    St. Amvrosy of Optina
+
----
   
+
Do not be despondent when fighting against the incorporeal enemy,
    + + +
+
but even in the midst of your afflictions and oppression praise the
   
+
Lord, Who has found you worthy to suffer for Him, by struggling
    If we wear our heavenly robe, we shall not be found naked, but if
+
against the subtlety of the serpent, and to be wounded for Him at
    we are found not wearing this garment, what shall we do, brethren?
+
every hour; for had you not lived piously, and endeavored to become
    We, even we also, shall hear the voice that says, "Cast them into
+
united to God, the enemy would not have attacked and tormented you.
    outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Matt.
+
:St. John of Kronstadt [source unknown]
    22:13) And, brethren, there will be great shame in store for us,
+
----
    if, after having worn this habit for so long, we are found in the
+
We should not desire the death of a sinner but his repentance. Nothing so grieves the Lord, Who suffered on the Cross for sinners, than when we pray to Him for the death of a sinner, thereby to remove the sinner from our path. It happened that the Apostle Carpus lost his patience and began to pray that God would send down death upon two sinful men: one a pagan and the other an apostate from the Faith. Then the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Carpus and said: ‘Strike me; I am prepared to be crucified again for the salvation of mankind.’ St. Carpus related this event to St. Dionysius the Areopagite, who wrote it down as a lesson to all in the Church that prayers are needed for sinners to be saved and not for them to be destroyed, for the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
    hour of need not having put on the wedding garment. Oh what
+
—St. Nikolai, ''The Prologue of Ohrid''
    compunction will seize us! What darkness will fall upon us, in the
+
 
    presence of our fathers and our brethren, who will see us being
+
 
    tortured by the angels of punishment!
+
 
   
+
{{Fairuse}}
    Abba Dioscorus
+
 
   
+
[[Category:Quotes]]
    + + +
+
   
+
    When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first
+
    takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately
+
    with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to
+
    shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for
+
    the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of
+
    inner thoughts.
+
   
+
    St. John Chrysostom
+
   
+
    + + +
+
   
+
    Lord God, have mercy on me a sinner: I am not worthy to stand
+
    before Thee, seeing that I have never tried to embellish my soul
+
    for T ¾?Ä 2¿ µh
+

Revision as of 14:29, December 28, 2005

O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again, but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us, that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship of His pain He vouchsafed salvation.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, On the Christian Sacraments

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance isself-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is theinflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John Climacus

<linebreak>Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one, and that they are even more pitiable than the demons, since they are slaves to the demons. You will also profit if you say this to yourself: how do I know what or how many other people's sins are, or whether they are greater than or equal to my own? In our ignorance you and I , my soul, are worse than all men, we are dust and ashes under their feet. How can I not regard myself as more despicable than all other creatures, for they act in accordance with the nature they have been given, while I, owing to my innumerable sins, am in a state contrary to nature.

St. Gregory of Sinai, Philokalia, Vol. IV.

He, therefore, who sets himself to act evilly and yet wishes others to be silent, is a witness against himself, for he wishes himself to be loved more than the truth, which he does not wish to be defended against himself. There is, of course, no man who so lives as not sometimes to sin, but he wishes truth to be loved more than himself, who wills to be spared by no one against the truth. Wherefore, Peter willingly accepted the rebuke of Paul; David willingly hearkened to the reproof of a subject. For good rulers who pay no regard to self-love, take as a homage to their humility the free and sincere words of subjects. But in this regard the office of ruling must be tempered with such great art of moderation, that the minds of subjects, when demonstrating themselves capable of taking right views in some matters, are given freedom of expression, but freedom that does not issue into pride, otherwise, when liberty of speech is granted too generously, the humility of their own lives will be lost.

St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care

The Lord of all gave to His apostles the power of the gospel, and by them we also have learned the truth, that is, the teaching of the Son of God—as the Lord said to them, 'He who hears you hears Me, and he who despises you despises Me, and Him Who sent Me' [Lk.10:16]. For we learned the plan of our salvation from no other than from those through whom the gospel came to us. The first preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it down to us in Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our faith. For it is not right to say that they preached before they had come to perfect knowledge, as some dare to say, boasting that they are the correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord had risen from the dead, and they were clothed with the power from on high when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with all things and had perfect knowledge. They went out to the ends of the earth, preaching the good things that come to us from God, and proclaiming peace from heaven to all men, all and each of them equally being in possession of the gospel of God.

St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, III

The Lord's Day is a mystery of the knowledge of the truth that is not received by flesh and blood, and it transcends speculations. In this age there is no eighth day, nor is there a true Sabbath. For he who said that `God rested on the seventh day,' signified the rest [of our nature] from the course of this life, since the grave is also of a bodily nature and belongs to this world. Six days are accomplished in the husbandry of life by means of keeping the commandments; the seventh is spent entirely in the grave; and the eighth is the departure from it.

St. Isaac of Syria, The Ascetical Homilies, I

When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or impossible to most people. Such a man is like a giant surrounded by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the Word in wisdom.

St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters

When we lay bare the hidden meaning of the history, scripture is seen to teach that the birth which distresses the tyrant is the beginning of the virtuous life. I am speaking of the kind of birth in which free will serves as the midwife, delivering the child amid great pain. For no one causes grief to his antagonist unless he exhibits in himself those marks which give proof of his victory over the other.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily slept. He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched away The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber. So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour, Thou who dost will that all men be saved.

Kontakia of St. Romanos, A Prayer.

The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are absolutely useless without the roof—no help to any living creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the practice of the commandments, and the observance of these commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies... A clear rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are satisfied.

St. John Cassian

In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept nor is it a theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather, it is the living theanthropic hypostasis—the historical Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Before Christ men could only conjecture about the Truth since they did not possess it. With Christ as the incarnate divine Logos the eternally complete divine Truth enters into the world. For this reason the Gospel says: "Truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

St. Justin Popovich

Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter.

St. John Climacus

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet, when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all.

St. John Chrysostom

Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die.

St. Gregory the Great

I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

St. Anthony the Great

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentence, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

This is the mark of Christianity—however much a man toils, and however many righteousnesses he performs, to feel that he has done nothing, and in fasting to say, "This is not fasting," and in praying, "This is not prayer," and in perseverance at prayer, "I have shown no perseverance; I am only just beginning to practice and to take pains"; and even if he is righteous before God, he should say, "I am not righteous, not I; I do not take pains, but only make a beginning every day."

St. Macarius the Great

Be strong in Me; and you, too, Andrew; just as you were the first to find Me, you were found by me; so find the one who has wandered; Do not forget your first skill; from it I shall educate you for this new art. Formerly, naked into the deep sea, now naked into life; Formerly, hunting with a fishing-rod, now taught to fish with the cross; Formerly, you used a worm as bait; now I order you to hunt with My flesh. I alone know what is in the heart.

Kontakia of St. Romanos, On the Mission of the Apostles.

Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your departure from hence.

St. Isaac the Syrian

Beguiling and deceptive is the life of the world, fruitless its labor, perilous its delight, poor its riches, delusive its honors, inconstant, insignificant; and woe to those who hope in its seeming goods: because of this many die without repentance. Blessed and mos blessed are those who depart from the world and its desires.

Elder Nazarius

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world.

St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Thy creature perish, for Thou carest for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus

You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He will destroy them, if this is profitable for you.

St. Anatoly of Optina

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great

Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in re membrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be deprived of the heavenly desire and of passionate affection to the Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ, they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom.

St. Macarius the Great

An old man was asked, 'How can I find God?' He said, 'In fasting, in watching, in labours, in devotion, and, above all, in discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing. Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility.'

Apophthegmata Patrum

The hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf. John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us. Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).

St. Hesychius the Priest

Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross of Christ.

St. Mark the Ascetic

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 honour your patience.

St. John of the Ladder

Behold, this is the true and the Christian humility. In this you will be able to achieve victory over every vice, by attributing to God rather than to yourself the fact that you have won.

St. Martin of Braga

We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that "the eyes of the Lord are looking on the good and the evil in every place." But we should believe this especially without any doubt when we are assisting at the Work of God. To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words, "Serve the Lord in fear" and again, "Sing praises wisely" and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to Thee." Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves in the sight of the Godhead and of His Angels, and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.

St. Benedict

Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having virtues other than humility—but with humility one does not fall.

Elder Herman of Mt. Athos

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt

God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into the valleys.

St. Tikhon of Voronezh

Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

If you are praised, be silent. If you are scolded, be silent. If you incur losses, be silent. If you receive profit, be silent. If you are satiated, be silent. If you are hungry, also be silent. And do not be afraid that there will be no fruit when all dies down; there will be! Not everything will die down. Energy will appear; and what energy!

St. Feofil, the Fool-for-Christ

When anyone is disturbed or saddened under the pretext of a good and soul-profiting matter, and is angered against his neighbour, it is evident that this is not according to God: for everything that is of God is peaceful and useful and leads a man to humility and to judging himself.

St. Barsanuphius the Great

What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who wait for Him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy One, Himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may receive a share of the promised gifts.

St. Clement of Rome

Even if an angel should indeed appear to you, do not receive him but humiliate yourself, saying, 'I am not worthy to see an angel, for I am a sinner.'

Apophthegmata Patrum

We should zealously cultivate watchfulness, my brethren; and when, our mind purified in Christ Jesus, we are exalted by the vision it confers, we should review our sins and our former life, so that shattered and humbled at the thought of them we may never lose the help of Jesus Christ our God in the invisible battle.

St. Hesychius the Presbyter

Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from Him, we ought in everything to give Him thanks, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Clement of Rome

Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds.

St. Callistus Xanthopoulos

What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.

St. Nicon, Repent Ye

It depends on us whether we wish to be saved.

Apophthegmata Patrum

When the blessed Eulogius saw an angel distributing gifts to the monks who toiled at all-night vigils, to one he gave a gold piece with the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to another a silver piece with a cross, to another a copper piece, to another a bronze piece, and to another nothing. The others who had remained in the church, left the church empty-handed. It was revealed to him that the ones who had obtained the gifts are those who toil at vigils and are diligent in prayers, supplications, psalms, chants, and readings. Those who received nothing or who left the church empty-handed are those who are heedless of their salvation, are enslaved to vainglory and the clamors of life, and stand feebly and lazily at vigils and whisper and jest.

St. Joseph of Volokalamsk

Chastise your soul with the thought of death, and through remembrance of Jesus Christ concentrate your scattered intellect.

St. Philotheus of Sinai

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven

What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting life is offered; the Lord promises His Kingdom.

St. Cyprian

A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.

Abba Pimen

The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking yourself inferior to all creatures.

Abba Tithoes

The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed, bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions.

St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions

Make glad, O Jerusalem, and all ye who love Sion, keep feast. Today the ancient bond of the condemnation of Adam is loosed. Paradise is opened to us: the serpent is laid low; for of old he deceived the woman in Paradise, but now he seeth a woman become the Mother of the Creator. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! The instrument of sin that brought death upon all flesh hath become the first fruits of salvation for the whole world through the Theotokos. For God the All-perfect is born a babe of her, and by His birth He doth set a seal upon her virginity. By His swaddling bands he doth loose the bands of sin, and by becoming a child He doth heal Eve's pangs in travail. Wherefore, let all creation sing and dance for joy, for Christ hath come to restore it and to save our souls.

Glory of the Aposticha of the Feast

Christ is Risen! O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness! The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant, And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle. Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time. Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts, Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy, Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience, Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry, 'Thou art our Lord and God.'"

Kontakia of Romanos, v. 1, On Doubting Thomas

There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for God's Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. "Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom. 3:3). Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence.

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption. And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: Who is it? He replied: It's John, your brother. The brother said: John has become an angel and is not among people anymore. Then he begged and said: It's me! But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live. Then John repented, saying: Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong.

Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed him; Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man. But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men, he did not destroy their spirits. He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words, but not even by deeds, the noble ones. Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the latter: For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor. He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not in his authority. Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme, You gained crowns.

Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.

First of all it must be understood that it is the duty of all Christians—especially of those whose calling dedicates them to the spiritual life—to strive always and in every way to be united with God, their creator, lover, benefactor, and their supreme good, by Whom and for Whom they were created. This is because the center and the final purpose of the soul, which God created, must be God Himself alone, and nothing else—God whom Whom the soul has received its life and its nature, and for Whom it must eternally live.

St. Dimitry of Rostov

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us to heaven. What do I mean? A spiritual heaven, with sun, moon and stars, is formed in the blessed heart of one who has reach a state of watchfulness, or who strives to attain it.

St. Philotheus of Sinai

My poor soul! Sigh, pray and strive to take upon you the blessed yoke of Christ, and you will live on earth in a heavenly manner. Lord, grant that I may carry the light and goodly yoke, and I shall be always at rest, peaceful, glad and joyous; and I shall taste on earth of crumbs which fall from the celestial feast, like a dog that feeds upon the crumbs which fall from the master's table.

St. Tikhon of Voronezh

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head."

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide—either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called prelest, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness—prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky

Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of speech before God.

Abba Pambo

We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . . I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!

St. Tikhon of Voronezh

It is better to eat meat and drink wine and not to eat the flesh of one's brethren through slander.

Abba Hyperechius

'Wine makes glad the heart of man' (Ps. 104:15). But you who have professed sorrow and grief should turn away from such gladness and rejoice in spiritual gifts. If you rejoice in wine, you will live with shameful thoughts and distress will overwhelm you.

St. Theodore of Edessa

Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not suppress the arrogance of the heart; but noetic meditation, the labor of repentance, contrition and humility—these humble the proud mind.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Oh, what great happiness and bliss, what exaltation it is to address oneself to the Eternal Father. Always, without fail, value this joy which has been accorded to you by God's infinite grace and do not forget it during your prayers; God, the angels and God's holy men listen to you.

St. John of Kronstadt

What we need is a little labor! Let us endure this labor that we may obtain mercy.

St. Dorotheus of Gaza

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom

They went down to Egypt and provided food when famine reigned; they came to the obstinate sea, and taught it wisdom with a rod; they went out into the hostile desert and adorned it with a pillar; they entered the furnace, fiercely heated, and sprinkled it with their dew; into the pit where they had been thrown an angel entered and taught its wild beasts to fast.

St. Ephrem

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep With the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh

Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls down seven times'—that is, repeatedly throughout his life—'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov. 24:16].

John of Karpathos

No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Archimandrite Sophrony

The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.

Elder Ieronymos of Aegina

For those who believe in Him, Christ will become all this and even more, beyond enumeration, not only in the age to come but first i this life, and then in the world to come. Thou in an obscure way here below and in a perfect manner in the Kingdom, those who believe see clearly nonetheless and receive as of now the first-fruits of everything they will have in the future life. Indeed, if they do not receive on earth everything that was promised to them, they do not have any part of foretaste of the blessings to come, their higher hope being set on the hereafter. However, it is through death and the resurrection that God in His foresight has given us the Kingdom, incorruptibility, the totality of life eternal. Given these conditions, we unquestionably become partakers of the good things to come, that is, incorruptible, immortal, sons of God, sons of the light and of the day, inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, since we carry the Kingdom within.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

Self-accusation before God is something that is very necessary for us; and humility of heart is extremely advantageous in our lives, above all at the time of prayer. For prayer requires great attention and needs a proper awareness, otherwise it will turn out to be unacceptable and rejected, and `it will be turned back empty' to our bosom.

Martyrius of Edessa

The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life, and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness.

St. John of Kronstadt

There was a man who at a lot and was till hungry, and another who ate little and was satisfied. The one who ate a lot and was still hungry received a greater reward than he who ate little and was satisfied.

Apophthegmata Patrum

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

St. Gregory the Great

The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the Cross.

St. Isaac the Syrian

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God—yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend—conversing, confiding, requesting—and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica

He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in it.

St. John of the Ladder

We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly, whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated from heavenly love.

St. Gregory the Great

A greedy appetite for food is terminated by satiety and the pleasure of drinking ends when our thirst is quenched. And so it is with the other things. . . But the possession of virtue, once it is solidly achieved, cannot be measured by time nor limited by satiety. Rather, to those who are its disciples it always appears as something ever new and fresh.

St. Gregory of Nyssa

Observe your thoughts, and beware of what you have in your heart and your spirit, knowing that the demons put ideas into you so as to corrupt your soul by making it think of that which is not right, in order to turn your spirit from the consideration of your sins and of God.

Abba Elias

Have unfeigned love among yourselves, keep the tradition, and may the God of peace be with you and confirm you in love.

St. Paul of Obnora

Bringing doxology to the One born of the Virgin in church hymns and spiritual songs, we must, outside the church as well, unceasingly praise Him and give Him thanks for His ineffable lovingkindness to us sinners, who are atoned by His honourable blood and who have received through this promise life eternal, blessed, and unceasing.

St. Amvrosy of Optina

If we wear our heavenly robe, we shall not be found naked, but if we are found not wearing this garment, what shall we do, brethren? We, even we also, shall hear the voice that says, "Cast them into outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Matt. 22:13) And, brethren, there will be great shame in store for us, if, after having worn this habit for so long, we are found in the hour of need not having put on the wedding garment. Oh what compunction will seize us! What darkness will fall upon us, in the presence of our fathers and our brethren, who will see us being tortured by the angels of punishment!

Abba Dioscorus

When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of inner thoughts.

St. John Chrysostom

Lord God, have mercy on me a sinner: I am not worthy to stand before Thee, seeing that I have never tried to embellish my soul for Thy presence. What that prostitute accomplished in a single day in beautifying herself surpasseth everything I have ever achieved during all the years of my life. How can I have the face to look upon Thee, my God? I do not know what words to use in the attempt to justify myself in Thy presence, Lord. What excuse have I before Thee, seeing that all my hidden secrets are laid open before Thee? No, alas for me the sinner who, as I enter the threshold of Thy sacred temple and appear before Thy glorious altar, have failed to offer the beauty in my soul that Thou wantest.

St. Nonnus (Life of St. Pelagia, the former harlot)

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

St. John Chrysostom

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.

St. Theophan the Recluse

If the soul is vigilant and withdraws from all distraction and abandons its own will, then the spirit of God invades it and it can conceive because it is free to do so.

Abba Cronius

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility.

St. Ambrose of Optina

Strive as well as you can to enter deeply with the heart into the church reading and singing and to imprint these on the tablets of the heart.

Abbot Nazarius

The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men.

St. Isaac the Syrian

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

St. Gregory the Great

Blessed is he who always has before his eyes that "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof" (Ps. 23:1 [24:1 in the NIV]), and keeps in mind that God is powerful to arrange for His servants as is pleasing to Him.

St. Barsanuphius

As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life.

St. Ignatius the God-bearer

Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits.

St. Isaac the Syrian

The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do both.

St. Ephraim the Syrian

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . .

St. Peter of Damascus

At the Last Judgment the righteous will be recognized only by their humility and their considering themselves worthless, and not by good deeds, even if they have done them. This is the true attitude.

Holy New Hieromartyr Barlaam

Death's awful mystery comes upon us suddenly, and soul and body are violently severed, divorced from their natural union by the will of God. What shall we do at that hour if we have not thought of it beforehand, if we have not been instructed concerning this eventuality and find ourselves unprepared?

St. Nil Sorsky

The Holy Spirit often visits us; but if He does not find rest how can He remain? He departs. Joy is in the hearts of those who are cleansed and who are able to maintain within themselves the grace of the Holy Spirit of the All-holy Trinity. There is no greater joy and happiness for man. I am not able to describe to you how one feels then.

Elder Ieronymos of Aegina

Keep the body properly slim so that you reduce the burden of the heart's warfare, with full benefit to yourself.

St. Philotheus of Sinai

I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection.

St. John of the Ladder

I shall tell you something strange, but do not be surprised by it. Should you fail to attain dispassion because of the predispositions dominating you, but at the time of your death be in the depths of humility, you will be exalted above the clouds no less than the man who is dispassionate.

St. Theognostus

One of the old men said, "It is written concerning Solomon that he loved women, but every male loveth the females, and we must restrain and draw onwards our nature by main force to purity."

Paradise of the Fathers

O monk, take thou the greatest possible care that thou sin not, lest thou disgrace God Who dwelleth in thee, and thou drive Him out of thy soul.

Abba Epiphanius

We were created for eternal life by our Creator, we are called to it by the word of God, and we are renewed by holy Baptism. And Christ the Son of God came into the world for this, that He should call us and take us there, and He is the one thing needful. For this reason your very first endeavor and care should be to receive it. Without it everything is as nothing, though you have the whole world under you.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

My soul, seek the Only One . . . My soul, you have no part with the earth; for you are from heaven. You are the image of God: seek your First Image. For like strives after like. Each object finds its rest in its center and element—fish in water, fire in its upward movement everything strives to its center. My soul, you are an immaterial spirit, immortal. . . In Him alone you will find your rest.

St. Tikhon of Voronezh

It is by warfare that the soul makes progress.

Abba John the Short

Why do you beat the air and run in vain? Every occupation has a purpose, obviously. Tell me then, what is the purpose of all the activity of the world? Answer, I challenge you! It is vanity of vanity: all is vanity.

St. John Chrysostom

When you pray to God in time of temptation do not say, 'Take this or that away from me', but pray like this: 'O Jesus Christ, sovereign Master, help me and do not let me sin against Thee. . .'

Abba Isaiah the Solitary

The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.

Elder Ieronymos of Aegina

For now is the time to labour for the Lord, for salvation is found in the day of affliction: for it is written: 'In your patience gain ye your souls' (Luke 21:19).

Abba Isidore of Skete

But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from exhausting labors and sweat...

St. Symeon the New Theologian

Fortunate is the man who has come to have God as his helper and to have his hopes in Him alone. Let the Devil bear malice towards him, let all men persecute him and plot against him, let all his adversaries fight against him—he never fears anyone, because his has God as his helper. He remains always a victor, always glorified, always happy, always rich, always cheerful and joyful, even if he happens to fall into extreme poverty and into a great many adverse and grievous circumstances of this present life. For inasmuch as he hopes in Almighty God, he does not despair, he is not sorry, is not anxious, but expects help from Above. Fortunate, then, is such a man and worthy to be deemed happy, just as the Prophet-king David regards such a man as happy, saying: "Blessed is he whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose hoe is in the Lord his God." Such were all the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Holy Ascetics and all the Saints from the beginning of time.

St. Nikephoros of Chios

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses her represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host—a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being. St. Gregory of Nyssa </linebreak>


Do not be despondent when fighting against the incorporeal enemy, but even in the midst of your afflictions and oppression praise the Lord, Who has found you worthy to suffer for Him, by struggling against the subtlety of the serpent, and to be wounded for Him at every hour; for had you not lived piously, and endeavored to become united to God, the enemy would not have attacked and tormented you.

St. John of Kronstadt [source unknown]

We should not desire the death of a sinner but his repentance. Nothing so grieves the Lord, Who suffered on the Cross for sinners, than when we pray to Him for the death of a sinner, thereby to remove the sinner from our path. It happened that the Apostle Carpus lost his patience and began to pray that God would send down death upon two sinful men: one a pagan and the other an apostate from the Faith. Then the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Carpus and said: ‘Strike me; I am prepared to be crucified again for the salvation of mankind.’ St. Carpus related this event to St. Dionysius the Areopagite, who wrote it down as a lesson to all in the Church that prayers are needed for sinners to be saved and not for them to be destroyed, for the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). —St. Nikolai, The Prologue of Ohrid



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