Difference between revisions of "User:Flux"

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“Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy. But maintain the same faith in times of persecution. Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy. But maintain the same faith in times of persecution. Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“The Cross is a symbol of Christ. It is a symbol of Christianity too. It is the banner of the Christian Church. It is also a symbol of salvation. It means both death and victory. ‘The Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,’ said Paul. There were three crucifixes on Golgotha: that of the Innocent One, that of the penitent thief, and that of the impenitent malefactor. The penitent thief took his cross as he had deserved and followed Christ in the very last moment of his life. He thereby became worthy of Him. The impenitent malefactor not only considered his own suffering as undeserved, but mocked Him who suffered innocently. There are only three crosses, and a fourth is not to be.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Universe as Symbols and Signs, Places, Things, Tools, and Constructions as Symbols, 8:11, pp.39-40
“Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special. Don't justify your sins and weaknesses, but see yourself as you really are. And, especially, love one another.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
“Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special. Don't justify your sins and weaknesses, but see yourself as you really are. And, especially, love one another.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

Revision as of 03:33, June 20, 2024

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

welcome… me… just the sinner… a listener, an observer, a thinker, an admirer… I am an Orthodox Catholic Christian interested in computers, electronics, automation, soccer, music, freedom, life, love, Truth, Holy Tradition, the Holy Trinity, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Holy Bible/Holy Scripture, ethics, morality, philosophy, religion, spirituality, asceticism, Creation, and pro-life.

The Orthodox Church in America - Archdiocese of Canada received me into membership by Holy Chrismation by priest/monk Fr. Rev. E.A. (Simeon) Weare, Memory Eternal, in the parish St. Nicholas the Wonder-Maker in 1992.

—the unworthy servant and chief of sinners, th

Orthodoxy [one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church] is the true faith believed by all the Saints, everywhere, at all times.

We are Orthodox… but not Jewish… We are Evangelical… but not Protestant… We are Catholic… but not Papist… We are Pre-Denominational… but not Divided… We are the Christian Church… but not a Church… We have believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Saints… We are the HOLY ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH…

Favorite Quotations:

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” —Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen (Le Spleen de Paris)

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present.” —Bill Watterson

“The future is not what it once was.” —Yogi Berra

“I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.” —Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant's Child

“Infomania erodes our capacity for significance. With a mind-set fixed on information, our attention span shortens. We collect fragments. We become mentally poorer in overall meaning. We get into the habit of clinging to knowledge bits and lose our feel for the wisdom behind knowledge. In the information age, some people even believe that literacy or culture is a matter of having the right facts at our fingertips.

We expect access to everything NOW, instantly and simultaneously. We suffer from a logic of total management in which everything must be at our disposal. Eventually out madness will cost us. There is a law of diminishing returns: the more information accessed, the less significance is possible.” —M. Heim, (1994) The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, OUP

“In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.” —Ray Bradbury

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” —Albert Einstein

“When two men [in business] always agree, one of them is unnecessary.” —William Wrigley Jr., The American Magazine, 1931

“Assume the person you're listening to knows something you don't.” —Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

“I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Inequality is the price of civilization.” —George Orwell

“When a clown moves into a palace, he doesn't become a king, the palace becomes a circus.” —Turkish Proverb

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” —George Orwell

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” —George Orwell

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” —George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” —George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” —George Orwell

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” —George Orwell

“People will never come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” —Aldous Huxley

“The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he's in prison.” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.” — Potter Stewart

“Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.” —Mark Twain

“Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.” —Heinrich Heine

“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” —Friedrich Hegel

“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” —Edmund Burke

“Those who forget the past, they lose an eye. Those who dwell on the past, they lose both eyes.” —Hungarian Proverb

“According to Hegel, man will be completely free only ‘by surrounding himself with a world entirely created by himself.’ But this is precisely what he has done, and man has never been so enchained, so much a slave as now.” —E. M. Cioran

“Hard men make good times, good times make soft men, soft men make bad times.” —Alex Jones, Tucker on X, Ep. 46

“[Behold] I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” —J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11 verse 32

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” —John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” —H. L. Mencken

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.” —Mark Twain

“There's nothing that divides nations like a common language.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Democracy is the dictatorship of the ignorant masses.” —Plato

“The biggest argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.” —Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” —Plato

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” —John F. Kennedy

“We're losing our way as a society. If we don't stand up, if we don't say what we think those rights should be, and if we don't protect them, we will very soon find out that we do not have them.” —Edward Snowden

“Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.” —Henry David Thoreau

“So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind – it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact – I can only submit to the edict of others.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” —G. K. Chesterton

“That the dead are as much a part of the present as the unborn is a fundamental conservative idea.” —Armin Mohler

“Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” —William Wilberforce

“He who strikes terror in others is himself continually in fear.” —Claudius Claudianus

“Ignorance is the cause of fear.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Who feareth to suffer suffereth already, because he feareth.” —Michel de Montaigne

“…the brain, in and of its physical self, does not think, any more than a musical instrument can give forth melody without the touch of the musician's hand. The brain is indeed the instrument of thinking, but the mind is the skillful player that makes it give forth the beautiful harmony of thought… … It is because of the disastrous results of fear thought not only on the individual but on the nation, that it becomes the duty of every sane man and woman to establish quarantine against fear. Fear is a psychic disease which is highly contagious and extraordinarily infectious. Fear though is most dangerous when it parades as forethought. Combat fear by replacing it with faith. Resist worry with confidence.” —William Samuel Sadler (1875-1969), M.D., F.A.C.S. Director of the Chicago Institute of Research and Diagnosis

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” —Thomas Jefferson

“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” —Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005), founder of the Hospice Palliative Care movement

“Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect - Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:-- We murder to dissect.” —William Wordsworth

“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” —Terry Pratchett

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.” —Albert Einstein

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” —Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

“Time is a violent torrent; no sooner is a thing brought to sight then it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” —Marcus Aurelius

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” —Marcus Aurelius

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habbit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” —Lao Tzu

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You can either regret or rejoice.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Men are, unfortunately generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.” —William Penn

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” —Fred Astaire

“Like father, like son.” —Traditional Proverb

“Politeness has become so rare that people mistake it for flirtation.” —unknown

“Political correctness is tyranny with manners.” —Charlton Heston

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” —C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.” —George Orwell

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” —William Pitt the Younger

“In the time of heroes and tyrants, the true heroes are the small men.” —unknown

“All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us.” —Albert Einstein

“It doesn't take an expert to be an expert on experts.” —Dr. Bruce Dovey

“In the genius lies the defect.” —Imposter (2001)

“You were born an original. Don't die a copy.” —John Mason

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.” —unknown

“Don't try to do two things at once and expect to do justice to both.” —Traditional Proverb

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln

“One today is worth two tomorrows.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” —John W. Gardner

“Art like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” —G. K. Chesterton

“A painter paints pictures on canvas, but musicians paint their pictures on silence.” —Leopold Stokowski

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” —Maria Robinson

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” —André Gide

“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life.” —Rachel Carson

“You've got to love life to have life, and you've got to have life to love life.”—Thornton Wilder (Our Town, Act II, Part I)

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” —John Wooden

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” —Nelson Henderson

“One who can laugh at himself will never be without entertainment.” —Chinese Proverb

“Blood is thicker than water.” —German Proverb

“Birds of a feather flock together.” —English Proverb

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” —William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 2

“You can want a women for her body, but you can only love her for her character.” —Spanish Proverb

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” —English Proverb

“One picture is worth a thousand words.” —Traditional Proverb

“Silence speaks volumes.” —Traditional Proverb

“Silence is golden.” —Traditional Proverb

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.” —Thomas Carlyle

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” —Mark Twain

“It's easier to fool people then to convince them they have been fooled.” —Mark Twain

“The wise speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.” —Plato

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“We should pray, flat on our faces, that we never become so craven as to suppress evidence of injustice, for fear of persecution. Ephesians 5:11 commands us, without qualification, to ‘expose the deeds of darkness,’ not to show them only privately, and only as a last resort. Responsibility for the terrible longevity of history’s most horrific slaughter does not rest entirely upon our adversaries. We will be judged for our timidity, perhaps as harshly as they will be judged for their barbarity – by history and by Providence.” —Gregg Cunningham

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.” —Fulton J. Sheen

“We must always takes sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” —Elie Wiesel

“The reason it is difficult is that we have been conditioned to laugh at conspiracy theories, and few people will risk public ridicule by advocating them. On the other hand, to endorse the accidental view is absurd. Almost all of history is an unbroken trail of one conspiracy after another. Conspiracies are the norm, not the exception.” —G. Edward Griffin

​“Facts don't care about feelings.” —Ben Shapiro

“There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” —Jim Hightower

“People are funny, they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.” —Debbie Macomber, Call Me Mrs. Miracle

“Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” —Edward Snowden

“[The best solution to offensive speech is] more speech, not enforced silence.” —Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice

“I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” —Voltaire

“The holocaust has to be thought as a chapter in the long history of man's inhumanity to man. One cannot ignore the discrimination inflicted on many people because of race, color, or creed. One cannot ignore slavery. One cannot ignore the burning of witches. One cannot ignore the killing of Christians in the Roman period. The holocaust perhaps is the culmination of the kind of horror that can occur when man loses his integrity, his belief in the sanctity of human life.” —Dr. Randolph Braham, Holocaust Survivor

“You never miss the water 'till the well runs dry.” —English Proverb

“Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” —Scottish Proverb

“Don't talk to me of female beauty, rather virtues of her soul. A beautiful woman who has not decorated herself with virtue is like a painted coffin.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A wife is appealing not in the beauty of her body, rather for the virtues of her soul, neither in creams and cosmetics, nor gold and expensive clothes, rather chastity, meekness, and abiding awe before God.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The beauty of woman is the greatest snare. Or rather, not the beauty of woman, but unchastened gazing! For we should not accuse the objects, but ourselves, and our own carelessness. Nor should we say, ‘Let there be no women’, but ‘Let there be no adulteries’. We should not say, ‘Let there be no beauty’, but ‘Let there be no fornication’. We should not say, ‘Let there be no belly’, but ‘Let there be no gluttony’; for the belly makes not the gluttony, but our negligence. We should not say, that it is because of eating and drinking that all these evils exist; for it is not because of this, but because of our carelessness and insatiableness. Thus the devil neither ate nor drank, and yet he fell! Paul ate and drank, and ascended up to heaven!” —St. John Chrysostom, Homily 15 on the Statues, 10

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” —Margaret Mead

“A fool and his money are soon parted.” —English Proverb

“The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food.” —Russian Proverb

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

“Before managing to make poverty history, we have to consider the history of poverty.” —Vandana Shiva

“In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” —Anatole France

“First the man takes a drink; then the drink takes a drink; then the drink takes the man.” —Japanese Proverb

“Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.” —Russian Proverb

“Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.” —Lu Xun

“Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“It has been said that for the truth to exist it takes two people… one to speak it and another to hear it.” —The Outer Limits (1995)

“Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.” —Plato

“A liberal is someone who only wants to be free from the consequences of freedom.” —Mike Adams

“The sins ye do by two and two, ye must pay for one by one!” —Rudyard Kipling

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.” —Bruce Lee

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” —Bruce Lee

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” —Bruce Lee

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“The root of all wisdom is knowing what an asshole you are.” —Tucker Carlson, Tucker on X, Ep. 46

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” —Alexander Pope

“It is through error that man tries and rises. It is through tragedy he learns. All the roads of learning begin in darkness and go out into the light.” —Hippocrates of Kos

“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” —Albert Einstein

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.” —Abraham Lincoln

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” —Woody Allen

“Loneliness belongs to all the things of the past.” —unknown

“Two purposes in human nature rule. Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain.” —Alexander Pope

“There is no task more difficult for human beings than the victory over themselves.” —Bulgakov

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” —Voltaire

“A man is still a slave who is afraid to speak his heart.” —Raiders of the Seven Seas (1953)

“There's no mask for a treacherous heart like an honest face.” —Captain Kidd (1945)

“[S]he has an honest face even if it is the result of triumph of plastic surgery.” —The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), s2e13

“Sometimes when you're troubled and hurt, you pour yourself into things that can't hurt back.” —Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

“Do not allow the pain of loss, to stop the process of living.” —Trent Thomas

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest: The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” —Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

“Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen.” —Ambrose Bierce

“A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and a common fear of its neighbors.” —W.R. Inge

“Patriotism means unqualified and unwavering love for the nation, which implies not uncritical eagerness to serve, not support for unjust claims, but frank assessment of its vices and sins, and penitence for them.” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.” —George Jean Nathan

“They knew that the tree is known by its fruit and that injustice corrupts a tree, that its fruit withers and shrivels and falls at last to that dark ground of history where other great hopes have rotted and died, where equality and freedom remains still the only choice for wholeness and soundness in a man or in a nation.” —Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

“Freedom – truthful free speech, open discourse, and debate – is the soil for real science to emerge from which we may uncover truth to identify real problems so as to innovate real solutions for the health of our body, community and world.” —Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” —Abraham Lincoln

“A coward is incapable of showing love, it is reserved for the brave.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“Only the courteous can love, but it is love that makes them courteous.” —C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love

“How long is love blind? Love has eyes and sees. And if love can see, and seeing, you love anyway, that's love.” —Gertrude Berg, The Goldbergs, s1e10, 1955

“You never receive love until you learn how to accept it.” —Mr. Roarke, Fantasy Island, s4e7

“You never deny love until you learn how to reject it.” —th

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” —Oscar Wilde

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” —Charles Caleb Colton

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” —G. K. Chesterton

“Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed.” —William Blake

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of… We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.” —Blaise Pascal

“The human heart can see what is hidden to the eyes, and the heart knows things that the mind does not begin to understand.” —They Might Be Giants (1971)

“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us… It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely…I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.” —Thomas Merton

“I myself am nothing; all that is good in me is accomplished by the grace of God.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to plunge from himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.” —Frank A. Clark

“When we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.” —Henri Nouwen

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” —K'ung Fu-Tzu (Confucius)

“If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things.” —K'ung Fu-Tzu (Confucius)

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” —Albert Einstein

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” —K'ung Fu-Tzu (Confucius)

“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” ——K'ung Fu-Tzu (Confucius)

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” —K'ung Fu-Tzu (Confucius)

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“And she [Athens] has brought it about that the name "Hellenes" suggests no longer a race but an intelligence, and that the title "Hellenes" is applied rather to those who share our culture then to those who share a common blood.” —Isocrates

“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” —Plato

“He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare; and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.” —William Butler Yeats

“I teach them all the good I can, and recommend them to others from whom I think they will get some moral benefit. And the treasures that the wise men of old have left us in their writings I open and explore with my friends. If we come on any good thing, we extract it, and we set much store on being useful to one another.” —Socrates

“We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea.” —T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

“What a lot of things there are a man can do without.” —Socrates

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” —Aristotle

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” —Aristotle

“We walk by the light we are given.” —Frank Shaeffer

“Beware the wrath of a patient man.” —John Dryden

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” —William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, spoken by Zara in Act III, Scene VIII

“Control thy passions lest they take vengeance on thee.” —Epictetus

“Give me that man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2, Page 3

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” —C. S. Lewis

“There are more things in heaven and earth, … Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5, Page 8

“A philosophical vogue is as irresistible as a gastronomic one: an idea is no better refuted than a sauce.” —E. M. Cioran

“No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind, And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” —John Donne

“All men are born brothers, and anything that hurts my brother hurts me. If my brother commits a crime, I am a criminal; if he sings, there is music in my heart. Before you have dealings with any man, ask yourself: ‘Am I my brother's keeper?’ The answer is ‘Yes.’” —Henry Hassett Browne

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.” —William James

“It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.” —Aeschylus

“Mankind is made of two kinds of people: wise people who know they're fools, and fools who think they are wise.” —Socrates

“I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.” —René Descartes

“…a…transparent mind, …in no way implies clear thinking.” —Columbo (1971)

“If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: ‘He obviously doesn't know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.’” —Epictetus

“As I have said so many times, God doesn't play dice with the world.” —Albert Einstein

“It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause.” —Samuel Clark

“While the admission of a design for the universe ultimately raises the question of a Designer (a subject outside of science), the scientific method does not allow us to exclude data which lead to the conclusion that the universe, life and man are based on design. To be forced to believe only one conclusion--that everything in the universe happened by chance would violate the very objectivity of science itself.” —Werner Von Braun, Ph.D., the father of the NASA space program

“With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.” —Charles Darwin

“Evolutionary naturalism implies that we should not take any of our convictions seriously, including the scientific world picture on which evolutionary naturalism depends.

That is, naturalism, and therefore atheism, undermines the foundations of the very rationality that is needed to construct or understand or believe in any kind of argument whatsoever, let alone a scientific one.” —Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.” —C. S. Lewis

“Do not say, ‘this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.’ In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance… … How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?” —St. Basil the Great

“There are no coincidences in life. All things are providential. They are allowed for our salvation, in correspondence with our inner state and needs.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.” —Albert Einstein

“Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” —Mark Twain

“When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing – they believe in anything.” —G. K. Chesterton

“Those who stand for nothing, fall for everything.” —Alexander Hamilton

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” —Rick Warren

“Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it tries to silence good.” —Charles J. Chaput

“If everyone has his own truth, where is falsehood? Falsehood hides behind the guise of truth. They say to us: Every person has his own truth, we should respect everyone's opinion and have no right to express any opposition to his error because that would be ‘intolerant’. Then where is Truth? Have we erased it? God is absolute Truth.” —Archbishop Stephan (Kalaidjishvili) of Tsageri and Lentekhi, Georgia

“Tolerance of falsehood is intolerance to Truth.” —th

“Orthodox Christianity is not true because I believe It, I believe It because It is Truth.” —th

“Faithful copies of a counterfeit original yield only more counterfeits.” —unknown

“Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It's where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more.” —Terry Pratchett

“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark – that is faith.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.” —Malachi 1:11

“God tends the pagans too, but the Christian knows the donor.” —St. Tikhon of Voronezh

“We do not worship a created thing, but the Master of created things, the Word of God made flesh. Although the flesh itself, considered separately, is a part of created things, yet it has become the body of God. We do not worship this body after having separated it from the Word. Likewise, we do not separate the Word from the body when we wish to worship Him. But knowing that ‘the Word was made flesh,’ we recognise the Word existing in the flesh as God.” —St. Athanasius the Great, Ep. ad Adelph., par. 3

“Take, in the next place, the subjection by which you subject the Son to the Father. What, you say, is He not now subject, or must He, if He is God, be subject to God? You are fashioning your argument as if it concerned some robber, or some hostile deity. But look at it in this manner: that as for my sake He was called a curse, who destroyed my curse; and sin, who taketh away the sin of the world; and became a new Adam to take the place of the old, just so He makes my disobedience His own as Head of the whole body.

As long then as I am disobedient and rebellious, both by denial of God and by my passions, so long Christ also is called disobedient on my account. But when all things shall be subdued unto Him on the one hand by acknowledgment of Him, and on the other by a reformation, then He Himself also will have fulfilled His submission, bringing me whom He has saved to God. For this, according to my view, is the subjection of Christ; namely, the fulfilling of the Father's Will. But as the Son subjects all to the Father, so does the Father to the Son; the One by His Work, the Other by His good pleasure, as we have already said. And thus He Who subjects presents to God that which he has subjected, making our condition His own. Of the same kind, it appears to me, is the expression, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ It was not He who was forsaken either by the Father, or by His own Godhead, as some have thought, as if It were afraid of the Passion, and therefore withdrew Itself from Him in His Sufferings (for who compelled Him either to be born on earth at all, or to be lifted up on the Cross?) But as I said, He was in His own Person representing us. For we were the forsaken and despised before, but now by the Sufferings of Him Who could not suffer, we were taken up and saved. Similarly, He makes His own our folly and our transgressions; and says what follows in the Psalm, for it is very evident that the 22nd Psalm refers to Christ.” —St. Gregory the Theologian, On God and Christ, Oration 30, V

“The Lord calls the Holy Spirit the 'voice of a gentle breeze'. For God is breath, and the breath of the wind is shared by all.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“We neither call the Holy Spirit unbegotten, for we know but one unbeggoten and one source of all things, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor do we call Him begotten, for we are taught by the tradition of the faith that there is one only-begotten. Rather, we have been taught that the Spirit of Truth proceeds from the Father and confess that He comes from God in an uncreated fashion.” —St. Basil the Great, Letter 125, PG 32.549c

“The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not in the manner of being begotten, but in the manner of procession (οὐ γεννητῶς, ἀλλ ἐκπορευτῶς). This is a different way of existence as incomprehensible and unknown as the generation of the Son.” —St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition on the Orthodox Faith, 1, 8, PG 94.816c

“The Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, whilst the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and resteth in the Son. But at the same time each Person has Its own particular properties: God the Father is not begotten, not created, does not proceed; the Son is begotten; the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, whilst the substance of the three Persons is one, a Divine, incomplex substance. This similarity is based upon the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who calls Himself the Light of the world, and thus speaks of the Holy Ghost, comparing It in Its actions to the element water: ‘He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.’ 415 He also compared the Holy Ghost to the air or wind: ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“For the Father only is Unbegotten, the Son only is Begotten, and the Holy Ghost from Father Proceeding, Co-eternal to the Father and the Son, for there is One Work, and there is One Operation of the Will in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Father Unbegotten, the Son Begotten, and the Holy Ghost from the Father Proceeding, Co-Eternal to the Father and Son; but That One [i.e. the Son] is Born, yet This One [i.e. the Holy Ghost] Proceeds, just as in the Gospel of Blessed John ye read: ‘The Spirit, Who Proceeds from the Father, He shall announce all things to you.’ Therefore the Holy Ghost is neither to be the Father Unbegotten, nor held to be the Son Begotten; but the Holy Ghost, Who from the Father Proceeds.” —St. Mochta of Ireland, "Profession of Faith" of St. Mochta

“For when we mention the Omnipotent Father, the appelation of this Fatherly Name is directed to the Person of the Son, and when we mention the Eternal Son, He is referred to the Person of the Eternal Father; and when we name the Holy Ghost we demonstrate Him to Proceed from the Person of the Eternal Father.” —St. Mansuetus, Letter of St. Mansuetus (Archbishop of Milan) at 679 Synod of Milan to Emperor Constantine IV

“This I give you to share, and to defend all your life, the one Godhead and power, found in the three in unit, and comprising the three separately; not unequal, in substances or natures, neither increased nor diminished by superiorities nor inferiorities; in every respect equal, in every respect the same; just as the beauty and the greatness of the heavens is one; the infinite conjunction of three infinite ones, each God when considered in himself; as the Father, so the Son; as the Son, so the Holy Spirit; the three one God when contemplated together; each God because consubstantial; one God because of the monarchia. No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendor of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one. When I think of anyone of the three I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that one so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided light.” —St. Gregory the Theologian, Orations 40.41, as quoted by Robert Letham, The Holy Trinity, 378

“God – who is truly none of the things that exist, and who, properly speaking, is all things, and at the same time beyond them – is present in the logos of each thing in itself, and in all the logoi together, according to which all things exist… God is whole in all things commonly, and in each being particularly, without separation or being subject to division…but on the contrary is truly all things in all, never going out of His own indivisible simplicity.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Perhaps you will say: ‘Then tell me, did the virgin become the mother of the Godhead?’ And to this we reply: There can be no doubt that the living and enhypostatic Word was begotten from Originator the very essence of God his Father, and has his existence without beginning in time, eternally co-existing with his Begetter. He is conceived of as existing in him and with him, but in these last times of the age since he became flesh, that is was united to flesh endowed with a rational soul, he is also said to have been born of a woman in a fleshly manner. This mystery concerning him is in some ways like the mystery of our own birth, for earthly mothers, assisting nature as regards the birth, have the embryonic flesh in their wombs, which in a short time by certain ineffable workings of God, increases and is perfected into the human form. Then God introduces the spirit to this living creature in a manner known to him alone; for ‘he fashions the spirit of a man within him’ (Zech.12.1), as the prophet says. Nonetheless, the Word is different to the flesh, and equally different to the soul. But even if these mothers have produced only the earthly bodies, nonetheless they are said to have given birth to the whole living creature, I mean that of soul and body, and not to have given birth to just a part. To take an example, surely no one would say that Elizabeth was only the mother of the flesh, but not the mother of the soul, since she gave birth to the Baptist who was already endowed with a soul? Surely she is the mother of one thing constituted from both realities; that is a man, of soul and body. We take it, then, that something like this happened in the birth of Emmanuel.” —St. Cyril of Alexandria, the chief opponent of Nestorianism, Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy

“The power to bear Mysteries, which the humble man has received, which makes him perfect in every virtue without toil, this is the very power which the blessed apostles received in the form of fire. For its sake the Saviour commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they should receive power from on high, that is to say, the Paraclete, which, being interpreted, is the Spirit of consolation. And this is the Spirit of divine visions. Concerning this it is said in divine Scripture: ‘Mysteries are revealed to the humble’ (Ecclus 3:19). The humble are accounted worthy of receiving in themselves this Spirit of revelations Who teaches mysteries.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 77

“‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ (John 14:23). My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God's coming as a guest into our hearts! If some rich and influential friend were to come to your home, you would promptly put it all in order for fear something there might offend your friend's eyes when he came in. Let all of us then who are preparing our inner homes for God cleanse them of anything our wrongdoing has brought into them.” —St. Gregory the Great, on Pentecost in Be Friends of God

“If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the Apostles ordaining their successors, and these successors ordaining others, and so on, the grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their shepherds and teachers.” —St. Gregory Palamas, On how the Holy Spirit was manifested and shared out at Pentecost

“‘And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:3-4). They partook of fire, not of burning but of saving fire; of fire which consumes the thorns of sins, but gives luster to the soul. This is now coming upon you also, and that to strip away and consume your sins which are like thorns, and to brighten yet more that precious possession of your souls, and to give you grace; for He gave it then to the Apostles. And He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, that they might crown themselves with new and spiritual diadems by fiery tongues upon their heads. A fiery sword barred of old the gates of Paradise; a fiery tongue which brought salvation restored the gift.” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Book Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“The Church is without beginning, without end and eternal, just as the Triune God, her founder, is without beginning, without end and eternal. She is uncreated just as God is uncreated. She existed before the ages, before the angels, before the creation of the world – before the foundation of the world as the Apostle Paul says. She is a divine institution and in her dwells the whole fullness of divinity. She is an expression of the richly varied wisdom of God. She is the mystery of mysteries. She was concealed and was revealed in the last of times. The Church remains unshaken because she is rooted in the love and wise providence of God.

The three persons of the Holy Trinity constitute the eternal Church.” —St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia, Wounded by Love

“Christ, invisible to the bodily eye, manifests Himself on earth clearly through His Church … The Church is the Body of Christ both because its parts are united to Christ through His divine mysteries and because through her Christ works in the world.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“How does the Liturgy begin? ‘Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’ …What is this kingdom, which is blessed, glorified, honored…? It is the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God. It is paradise, in which Christ has placed us; it is our holy Church. Its king is the God of three suns: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The servants of the king are the angels and archangels, along with the thrones, principalities, authorities, dominions, powers, the many-eyed cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim. The king's generals are the saints. Our Lady the Theotokos is the queen. The faithful soldiers of this kingdom are all those Christians who are ready to follow Christ, whatever the cost; all those who are ready to bear His honorable Name, all those who make up His Church. All of them… are with us during the celebration of the Liturgy…

During the celebration of the Liturgy, Christ is with us exactly as he was when he was teaching, when he made the lame leap and walk, the blind see, and the dead return to life. And this is not simply having the memory of Christ within our thoughts, but having Christ Himself truly and concretely present before us. He is present – He, the teacher, the prophet, the miracle-worker. Christ Who was crucified, Who was raised from the dead, Who ascended into heaven, is now before us! …

The priest turns his eyes to heaven, and calls the things of heaven down to earth. He commands the cherubim, the seraphim, even the Holy Trinity, because God gives the priest the power to have rights over Jesus Christ. Because He is not visibly present, Christ delegates His work to His priests. And when the priest is in the sanctuary, he is beyond every earthly ruler, for he does not govern men, but rather the choirs of saints and the armies of angels…

…Saint Gregory Palamas said that the church ‘resides on high, being an angelic and transcendent place’ which ‘raises man to heaven and presents him to the God who is above all’ …When we enter church… we are traversing the distance from earth to heaven. We pass beyond the stars, we leave the angels below us, and we rise up to the heights of the Holy Trinity.

Don't think that when we go to church, we are simply entering and exiting an ordinary building. Instead, we go up to, and make our entrance into, the Holy of Holies, into the heavens themselves… we sinners open the doors of heaven and enter! Although we are sinners, when we enter into the Liturgy, we go up to the heavenly Jerusalem… So we have come to the church… Let nothing disturb the tranquility of your soul. God is present. Wherever we look, God is before us!” —Archimandrite Aimilianos, The Church at Prayer, pp. 54, 56-57, 69, 71-72.

“Whosoever should ever call himself a bishop over all bishops or a universal bishop shall be the forerunner to the Antichrist.” —Pope St. Gregory (I) the Great (Gregory the Dialogist), Forty Gospel Homilies

“And so I, by the will of God Allmighty the Bishop of Rome, am the Universal Bishop, the Bishop over Bishops, the only Vicar of Christ on Earth.” —Pope Gregory VII, Dictatus Papae

“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” —Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam

“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom.

He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope.

I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: ‘They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!’ But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” —Catherine of Siena, ‘St. Catherine of Siena’, SCS, pp. 201-202, p. 222 (‘Canonized’ by the RC ‘Church’ in 1461)

“In the history of the human race there have been three principal falls: that of Adam, that of Judas, and that of the pope.” —St. Justin Popovich

“But the Church of God is not subject to a wicked pope; nor even absolutely, and on all occasions, to a good one.” —Archbishop Arnulf of Orléans, Synod of Verzy, 991

“They [Rome] do not know and do not wish to know the truth; they argue with those who proclaim the truth to them, and assert their heresy.” —St. Basil the Great, letter to Eusebius of Samosata

“The Greeks [Orthodox]… are not heretics or schismatics but the most Christian people and the best followers of the gospel on earth.” —Martin Luther, Luther, Martin (1999), Luther's Works, Vol. 32: Career of the Reformer II, J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed., 59, Philadelphia: Fortress Press

“When we Greeks find fault with the filioque, they shake Peter's keys at us… … Nevertheless differences of custom and usage are no sufficient ground for schism. Experience shows that arguing about azyma and Lenten fasts gets nowhere. The Greeks should be accommodating and make concessions to the ignorant western barbarians, hoping that in time they will correct their errors to conform to the apostolic tradition stemming from Jerusalem.” —Blessed Theophylact of Ochrid, The Errors of the Latins in Ecclesiastical Matters

“For Petra (Rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from Petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, ‘On this Rock will I build my Church,’ because Peter had said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ On this Rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this Foundation was Peter himself also built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, Tractate, CXXIV

“There is nothing more serious than the sacrilege of schism because there is no just cause for severing the unity of the Church.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Do not fear sorrows, but fear the stubbornness of heretics who try to separate a man from Christ, which is why Christ commanded us to consider them as pagans and pharisees.” —St. Anatoly of Optina

“This is how you have union with the Roman Catholics and Protestants: you baptize them.” —Bishop Luke of Syracuse

“…anyone joining the Church ought to become renewed [by baptism], in order that within, through the holy elements, he become sanctified… There being but one baptism, and there being but one Holy Spirit, there is also but one Church, founded by Christ our Lord… And for this reason whatever they [heterodox] do is false and empty and vain, everything being counterfeit and unauthorized… And to those who from error and crookedness come for knowledge of the true and ecclesiastic faith we ought to give freely the mystery of divine power, of unity as well as of faith, and of truth.” —St. Cyprian of Carthage, Third Holy Council held under St. Cyprian of Carthage, On the Reception of the Heterodox, p. 81

“Holy priests, you must have large baptismal fonts in your churches so that the entire child can be immersed. The child should be able to swim in it so that not even an area as large as a tick's eye remains dry. Because it is from there (the dry area) that the devil advances, and this is why your children become epileptics, are possessed by demons, have fear, suffer misfortune; they haven't been baptized properly.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos, On the Reception of the Heterodox, p. 49

“One Baptism has been handed down to us Orthodox Christians (Ephesians 4:4) by our Lord as well as by the divine Apostles and the holy Fathers; because the Cross and the Death of the Lord, in the type or similitude of which baptism is celebrated, were but one.

For this reason the present Apostolic Canon prescribes that any Bishop or Priest will be deposed should he baptize a second time anew and beginning all over again someone who has been truly baptize as though he were dealing with one utterly unbaptized.

This is in accordance with the order given by the Lord and which was spoken of by the Apostles and divine Fathers. He shall be deposed if he rebaptizes someone who has been baptized in the very same manner as Orthodox Christians, because with this second baptism he is re-crucifying and publicly ridiculing the Son of God, which St. Paul says is impossible, and he is offering a second death to the Lord, over whom death no longer has dominion (Hebrews 6:4; Romans 6:5), according to the same St. Paul.

Likewise in the event that any Bishop or Priest should refuse to baptize with the regular Orthodox baptism of the Catholic Church one who has been polluted, that is a person who has been baptized by the impious, or in plain language, baptized by heretics. Such a Bishop is to be deposed, since he is mocking the Cross and death of the Lord.” —St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

“This food is called among us the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the one who believes that the things we teach are true, and who has been washed with baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and who is living his life as Christ has commanded.” —St. Justin the Martyr

“Even if the whole universe holds communion with the [heretical] patriarch, I will not communicate with him. For I know from the writings of the holy Apostle Paul: the Holy Spirit declares that even the angels would be anathema if they should begin to preach another Gospel, introducing some new teaching.” —St. Maximus the Confessor, The Life of St. Maximus the Confessor

“Those who do not belong to the Truth do not belong to the Church of Christ either; and all the more so, if they speak falsely of themselves by calling themselves, or calling each other, holy pastors and hierarchs; [for it has been instilled in us that] Christianity is characterized not by persons, but by the truth and exactitude of Faith.” —St. Gregory Palamas

“Faith is the unreserved acceptance of divine revelation and the full conviction that all things preached by the grace of God constitute the only truth.” —St. Basil the Great, On Faith, PG 31.677D-680A.

“Chrysostomos loudly declares not only heretics, but also those who have communion with them, to be enemies of God.” —St. Theodore the Studite, Epistle of Abbot Theophilus

“Some have suffered final shipwreck with regard to the faith. Others, though they have not drowned in their thoughts, are nevertheless perishing through communion with heresy.” —St. Theodore the Studite

“Guard yourselves from soul-destroying heresy, communion with which is alienation from Christ.” —St. Theodore the Studite

“It is better to have discord for piety’s sake, than harmony full of the passions.” —St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 6, PG 35, 736

“All the teachers of the Church, and all the Councils, and all the Divine Scriptures advise us to flee from the heterodox and separate from their communion.” —St. Mark of Ephesus

“Therefore, in so far as this is what has been commanded you by the Holy Apostles, stand aright, hold firmly to the traditions which you have received, both written and by word of mouth (2 Thessalonians 2:15), that you be not deprived of your firmness if you are led away by the delusions of the lawless.

May God, Who is all-powerful, make them also to know their delusion; and having delivered us from them as from evil tares, may He gather us into His granaries like pure and useful wheat, in Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom belongs all glory, honor, and worship, with His Father Who is without beginning, and His All-holy and Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” —St. Mark of Ephesus

“‘But if,’ they say, ‘we had devised some middle ground between the dogmas (of the Papists and the Orthodox), then thanks to this we would have united with them and accomplished our business superbly, without at all having been forced to say anything except what corresponds to custom and has been handed down (by the Fathers).’ This is precisely the means by which many, from of old, have been deceived and persuaded to follow those who have led them off the steep precipice of impiety; believing that there is some middle ground between the two teachings that can reconcile obvious contradictions, they have been exposed to peril.” —St. Mark of Ephesus, Encyclical Letter, Orthodox Word, March-April-May, 1967

“Whoever preserves himself from them (the Latins) and keeps his faith pure will stand rejoicing at the right hand of God, but whoever willfully draws close to them will stand weeping bitterly with them on the left. For there is no eternal life for those living in the faith of the Latins or the Saracens…

My son, it is not appropriate to praise another's faith. Whoever praises an alien faith is like a detractor of his own Orthodox faith. If anyone should praise his own and another's faith, then he is a man of dual faith and is close to heresy. If anyone should say to you: ‘Your faith and our faith is from God,’ you, my son, should reply: ‘Who are you, you heretic? Do you consider God to be of two faiths? Have you not heard, accursed and perverted as you are by an evil faith that which is written: Thus saith the Lord: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5)?…

Thus they of evil faith, after holding to the Orthodox faith for so many years, have turned away to an evil faith and to Satan's teaching…

They have renounced the preaching of the apostles and the edification of the holy fathers, and have accepted a faith based on error and a perverted dogma leading to perdition. Therefore, they have been torn away from us and set apart…” —St. Theodosius of Kiev Caves, Testament to the Great Prince Izyaslav of Kiev

“It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism – the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.” —St. Mark of Ephesus

“The Holy Spirit is nowhere to be found among them (the Papists), because their mysteries are graceless.” —Dositheos of Jerusalem

“Holy Orthodoxy has two eternal enemies: Mecca and Rome.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos

“You should curse the Pope, because he will be the cause.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos

“We do not have merely ‘a group of Orthodox that consider Roman Catholics and Protestants to be heretics’ or ‘only pronouncements by particular ecclesiastical writers’, as some erroneously contend, but the totality of the Saints of our Church who dealt with this issue unanimously conclude that Papism is heresy. There is not one Saint of our Church – no, not one – who contends that Papism is not a heresy.” —Fr. Anastasios Gotsopoulos, On Common Prayer with the Heterodox

“The Anglican Communion ignores the Orthodox Church's dogmas and teachings, such as the invocation of Saints, prayers for the dead, special honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God, and reverence for sacred relics, holy pictures and icons. They say of such teaching that it is ‘a foul thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God’ (Article of Religion, XXII).

There is a striking variance between their wording of the Nicene Creed and that of the Holy Orthodox Church; but sadder still, it contains the heresy of the ‘filioque.’

I do not deem it necessary to mention all the striking differences between the Holy Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion in reference to the authority of Holy Tradition, the number of the General Councils, etc. Sufficient has already been said and pointed out to show that the Anglican Communion differs but little from all other Protestant bodies, and, therefore, there cannot be any intercommunion until she returns to the ancient Holy Orthodox Faith and practices, and rejects Protestant omissions and commissions.

Therefore, as the official head of the Syrian Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church in North America and as one who must ‘give an account’ (Hebrews 13:17) before the judgment throne of the ‘Shepherd and Bishop of Souls’ (I St Peter 2:25), that I have fed the ‘flock of God’ (I St. Peter 5:2), as I have been commissioned by the Holy Orthodox Church, and inasmuch as the Anglican Communion (Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States) does not differ in things vital to the well being of the Holy Orthodox Church from some of the most errant Protestant sects, I direct all Orthodox people residing in any community not to seek or to accept the ministrations of the Sacraments and rites from any clergy excepting those of the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church, for the Apostolic command, that the Orthodox should not commune in ecclesiastical matters with those who are not of ‘the same household of Faith’ (Galatians 6:10), is clear: ‘Any Bishop; or presbyter or deacon who will pray with heretics, let him be anathematized; and if he allows them as clergymen to perform any service, let him be deposed’ (Apostolic Canon 45). ‘Any bishop, or presbyter, who accepts baptism or the Holy Sacrifice from heretics, we order such to be deposed, for ‘what concord hath Christ with Belial, or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?’’ (Apostolic Canon 46).”—St. Raphael of Brooklyn, On the Anglican Communion

“If a Bishop or Priest baptize anew anyone that has had a true baptism, or fail to baptize anyone that has been polluted by the impious, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is mocking the Cross and Death of the Lord and for failing to distinguish priests from pseudo-priests.” —Apostolic Canon 47

“Your teachers disagree among themselves. But the founders of the faith did not teach from private opinions, nor differ with one another, nor try to overturn one another. Without arguing, they received from God the knowledge which they also taught to us.” —St. Justin the Martyr

“Whosoever has fallen from the True Faith cannot be called a Christian.” —St. Athanasius the Great

“The heretics obey the demons; they honor falsehood, and at every moment they provoke God to anger.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“Ecumenism is the common name for the pseudo-Christianity of the pseudo-churches of Western Europe. Within it is the heart of European humanism, with Papism as its head. All of pseudo-Christianity, all of those pseudo-churches, are nothing more than one heresy after another. Their common evangelical name is: ‘pan-heresy.’ Why? This is because through the course of history various heresies denied or deformed certain aspects of the God-Man and Lord Jesus Christ; these European heresies remove Him altogether and put European man in His place. In this there is no essential difference between Papism, Protestantism, ecumenism, and other heresies, whose name is ‘Legion’.” —St. Justin Popovich

“For Western Christendom God is indeed dead, and its leaders only prepare for the advent of the enemy of God, Antichrist. But Orthodox Christians know the living God and dwell within the saving enclosure of His True Church. It is here, in faithful and fervent following of the unchanging Orthodox path – and not in the dazzling ‘Ecumenical’ union with the new unbelievers that is pursued by Orthodox modernists – that our salvation is to be found.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Orthodoxy has one thing to say to the ecumenical movement: here is the truth, join yourself to it; to remain to ‘discuss’ this truth not merely weakens the Orthodox witness, it destroys it.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“The Ecumenism is a huge lie; they speak in the name of a love outside of Christ, which excludes you from the Truth. If the Ecumenists really loved the world, they would not disown the truth of the value and the spiritual richness of Church Tradition and of the Holy Fathers. They disown Christianity from the gracious beauty. God has left from them, what remains is only their ego. No, we don’t need You. We lead the world, we rule the world, we give the bread, we give the happiness on this earth. Jesus must be arrested again not to disturb our march. Eliminating God from the world and of the soul in any way – this is the goal of the Ecumenism also repelled by Saint Justin Popovich. The Ecumenism and the globalization are at the forefront of the apocalyptic times. They want to accustom the eye and the spirit of the Orthodox with the habit to serve together with these heretics, until they get to have Communion from the same chalice. Because this could give them the right to build their own churches. But no, they want strategically to compromise the shrines and the faint hearted priests who are quick to ‘obedience’. The Ecumenists have the false impression that they will bring something new in the Church of Christ. Let us not forget that the Church is the body whose head is Christ. You can not break it from Christ Who is the Path, the Truth and the Life. The Ecumenists will not fulfill anything. You can not change the reality according to the human interests. The divine reality remains the same in every age. The Holy Spirit speaks through the mouths of the bearers of God, not of the bearers of human interests. The Christian Church has never gone after the crowd; not the many lead or hold the truth, but the few, chosen, as the carriers of the Holy Spirit. We do work only under this Father’s truth, the Gospel of our Lord and the Orthodox Church Tradition. All this falsehood which has appeared in our world has no other purpose than to embarrass and undermine the whole tradition and the beliefs of a nation. Questions are not posed and answers are not given, and people take for granted everything that has been written at the official level. But, by not solving these dogmatic problems the untruth slowly settles in our Orthodox Christian Church. All the Ecumenical attempts of unifying the other Christian communities found in heresy, the dialogues which have developed in our Orthodox Christian Church, since I know, haven’t got any result because they have false basis, they are untrue and do nothing but disturb the authentic Christian life.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania, Din învățăturile și minunile Părintelui Justin

“We must prepare for martyrdom and beyond this, I would not have to speak if people were not powerless in spirit and mind to understand. It's not easy to live these days. But if the Lord has so pleased that we should suffer these times, then we must obey and receive with joy all that comes upon us, as from the hand of God, and not from the enemy…

Therefore, please stop looking for solutions. Human solutions are not existent, my dears! The solution is to die for Christ. Fathers will give up their sons, mothers, their daughters, unto death. Behold, we witness the fulfillment of this prophecy. If the mother will let the child be vaccinated, it's as if giving him over to die…

Therefore I say to you, trust that the Lord will give you power to confess Him. We live in an anarchic world, the entire political class is an enemy of Christ and a servant of evil, that is why even living our simple life without abdicating our Christian principles is a daily confession and martyrdom.

So: do not receive this vaccine or anything that the new political powers bring you today. The Zionists rule the world and the Americans work for them and they think they have come to own it because they have no shyness. Everything is in sight and they are aware that they have no opponent to fear and they fight to depopulate the world, with the few who will remain to worship them. Now they're studying and sorting, and the way they're going to distinguish people from each other is the chips. Do you or do you not have a chip? For what is the chip after all? A weapon against Man. And we have no weapons; our youth is weary, that even if they want to rise from the spell in which they live, they have no power.

Our only weapons are spiritual ones: prayer, humility, love, but also confession [of Faith]. You can't love without confession [of Faith]. Love is sacrificial, and if we fear to confess the truth, what sacrifice do we have? Or if we do not care about our neighbor who is unaware and we do not inform him and we let him fall prey to this system, what love do we have? Those who still struggle today to awaken their brother, who have not remained indifferent to the future of a nation and a church, those are the children of the love of God, who lay their lives down for their brethren…

It is important to oppose all antichrists and die with dignity; not to have a cowardly position.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania

“Modern man lives on the dregs of Christianity, on Christian experience digested and turned into ‘ideas’ for mass consumption. Hence the parody of Christianity is to be seen in modern ideas like ‘equality’, ‘brotherhood’, ‘charity.’ … And Christian messianism - the coming Kingdom which is not of this world (Jon 18:36) - has been perverted into the coming Kingdom in this world that practically everyone believes in today. Even those who see through the delusion of idealism… fall prey to the second idea, the idea that Truth can somehow be realized in this world, in the coming age of the ‘spirit,’ or in the relation of ‘man with man.’ But this world cannot hold the Truth in its fullness, any more than it could tolerate the presence in it of the God-Man; for man is called upon to be more than man, he is called to deification, and this can only happen fully in the ‘other world’ - which, though it constantly impinges on this world, never does so more than partially, giving us warnings and indications of what is to come. This world must end, man as we know him must die, must be crucified before that ‘other’ world can come into being.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Let not us, who would be Christians, expect anything else from it than to be crucified. For to be Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example – and warning – to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. If we would rise with Christ, we must first be humbled with Him – even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world. And we must be crucified outwardly, in the eyes of the world; for Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, and the world cannot bear it, even a single representative of it, even for a single moment. The world can only accept Antichrist, now or at any time. No wonder then, that it is hard to be a Christian – it is not hard, it is impossible. No one can knowingly accept a way of life which, the more truly it is lived, lead the more surely to one’s own destruction. And that is why we constantly rebel, try to make life easier, try to be half-Christian, try to make the best of both worlds. We must ultimately choose – our felicity lies in one world or the other, not in both. God give us the strength to pursue the path to crucifixion; there is no other way to be Christian.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, from his journal as printed in the biography Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene

“One who merely knows these truths in the mind will be helpless to resist the temptations of those times, and many who recognize the Antichrist when he comes will nonetheless worship him – only the power of Christ given to the heart will have strength to resist him.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“A lukewarm clergy lulls the people to sleep, leaves them in their former condition so they won't be upset. ‘Look’, they say. ‘By all means don't say that there'll be a war, or the Second Coming, that one must prepare oneself for death. We must not make people alarmed!’

And others speak with a false kindness, saying: ‘We mustn't expose heretics and their delusions, so as to show our love for them.’ Today's people are water-soluble. There's no leaven in them.

If I avoid upsetting myself to protect my fleshly comfort then I'm indifferent to holiness! Spiritual meekness is one thing, and softness and indifference are quite another. Some say: ‘I'm a Christian and therefore I have to be joyful and calm.’ But they're not Christian. They're simply indifferent. And their joy is only a worldly joy.

He in whom these worldly seeds are present is no spiritual person. A spiritual person consists of nothing but pain. In other words, he's in pain at what's going on, he's in pain for people's condition. And divine comfort is bestowed upon him for his pain.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“You have grown soft. So the worthless have risen up against the honourable, the disreputable against the renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against the aged. Righteousness and peace are far from you, inasmuch as you have abandoned the fear of God and become blind in faith.” —St. Clement of Rome

“In our evil time, when the servants of the coming Antichrist are putting forth all their efforts so as to undermine and replace authentic Orthodoxy with a false ‘Orthodoxy’ - an Orthodoxy only in name, there have appeared not a few ‘pastors’ also who bear only the name of Orthodox but deny the authentic power and spirit of true Orthodoxy. Precisely such false pastors filled up the ranks of the (Soviet) ‘Living Church’ and the ‘Renovationist Church’ clergy in our Russia.

But the ‘Living Church’ and ‘Renovationalism’ were not recognized by the believing Russian people, who felt in their hearts their whole falsity; and they brilliantly collapsed on the Russian soil, ceasing their official existence. However, the spirit of the ‘Living Church’ and ‘Renovationalism’ has not died, but has continued and up until now continues to live among us also in the Russian homeland, which has been enslaved by the godless, and also abroad among all the Orthodox Local Churches who have become infected with this pestilential spirit, not without, of course, the most strenuous cooperation of those same servants of the coming Antichrist.

These pseudo-pastors, modernists and ecumenists, in place of true Orthodoxy, preach and insistently propagandize a false Orthodoxy, flattering all the sinful passions and vices of fallen man - striving in everything to go in step with the times and to adapt the Christian to the ‘world which lies in evil,’ under all possible cunning and well sounding pretexts. Everywhere now they are seizing the reigns of government in the contemporary Orthodox Local Churches. They are striving to play everywhere the leading guiding role, and often they have success, for they skillfully and cunningly make themselves seem to be zealots of Orthodoxy.

But their actual aim is to undermine true Orthodoxy by a false ‘Orthodoxy,’ in order to make it come about, in the expression of Christ the Savior, ‘that the salt has lost its savor’ (Matthew 5:13), that it might lose its saltiness - that it might lose its spirit and power. This is a special kind of battle against the Church!

Behold of what a frightful undertaking (of which) we are the living and immediate witnesses! By all means there is being conducted in the world a frightful battle against the Faith of Christ, by a path of falsification and imitations!

…(this) truly most frightful and nightmarish phenomenon (is) something more frightful than open atheism and warfare against God, (for it) threatens to destroy our holy Orthodoxy from the root, having corrupted it from within…” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“The fundamental task of the servants of the coming Antichrist is to destroy the old world with all its former concepts and ‘prejudices’ in order to build in its place a new world suitable for receiving its approaching ‘new owner’ who will take the place of Christ for people and give them on earth that which Christ did not give them…

One must be completely blind spiritually, completely alien to true Christianity not to understand all this!” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“Those forces that are preparing the appearance of Antichrist will have a leading significance in public life. Antichrist will be a man and not the devil incarnate. … That man wants to be in place of Christ, to occupy His place and possess that which Christ ought to possess. He wants to possess the same attraction and authority over the whole world.

And he will receive that authority before his own destruction and that of the whole world. He will have a helper, a Magus, who, by the power of false miracles, will fulfill his will and kill those that do not recognize the authority of Antichrist.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, The Antichrist and the Signs of the End of the World, Homily on the Last Judgement

“The miracles of Antichrist will be chiefly manifested in the aerial realm, where Satan chiefly has dominion.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Without sanctification and illumination from above, our love – if it indeed is within us – lacks Gospel purity and holiness. It is poisoned by our self-love and egoism, which is so subtle and hard to grasp that we do not even notice it. We think that we truly love God and our neighbor, but in reality this is self-love, not love for God and neighbor.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“The faithful remnant of Christians in the last days, as our Lord has told us, will be very small; the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians will welcome Antichrist as the Messiah … those who are not true Orthodox Christians belong the ‘new Christianity’, the ‘Christianity’ of Antichrist.

The Pope of Rome and practically everyone else today speaks of ‘transforming the world’ by Christianity: priests and nuns take part in demonstrations for ‘racial equality’ and similar causes. These have nothing to do with Christianity: they do nothing but distract men from their true goal, which is the Kingdom of Heaven.

The coming age of ‘peace’, ‘unity’, and ‘brotherhood’, if it comes, will be the reign of Antichrist: it will be Christian in name, but Satanic in spirit.

Εveryone today seeks happiness on earth, and they think this is ‘Christianity’; true Orthodox Christians know that the age of persecutions, which began again under the Bolsheviks, is still with us, and that only by much sorrow and tribulation are we made fit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“It may be, brethren, that soon you will again experience a time of turmoil, and some of you will be called to take the path of denying those sacred laws and to submit to laws established by mere human authority. Beware of such a path! Beware of the path taken by the thief on the left, for by the weight of blasphemy, by the weight of reviling Christ he went to his eternal perdition. Those who revile the laws of the Church revile Christ Himself, Who is the Head of the Church, for the laws of the Church were given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. And the laws of local Churches are based on those same laws and canons of the Church. Let us not consider ourselves wiser than those saints and hierarchs who established the rules of the Church; let us not imagine ourselves to be great sages. Rather, let us humbly call out together with the wise thief: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom!” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy

“Brothers and sisters! Let us aspire towards ascetic labor, in which is expressed precisely the essence of our Orthodox Christian faith, which is the labor of imitating Christ in bearing the cross and self-crucifixion – a faith of labor and, laboring lawfully as the Word of God teaches, let us suffer all things for the Truth, not moving away from it, as do many because of their poverty of spirit or self-interest. And let us remember well: where there is no labor, where there is no steadfastness in the faith – there is neither Orthodoxy nor true faith in God and in His Christ. Amen.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“Being born, then, of the light of truth, shun division and bad doctrines. Where the shepherd is, there you, being sheep, must follow. For many wolves there are, apparently worthy of confidence, who with the bait of baneful pleasure seek to capture the runners in God's race; but if you stand united they will have no success…” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“We must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them we offend God.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” —St. Anthony the Great

“There will come a time when corruption and lewdness among the youth will reach the utmost point. There will hardly be any virgin youth left. They will see their lack of punishment and will think that everything is allowable for them to satisfy their desires. God will call them, however, and they will realize that it will not be possible for them to continue such a life.

Then in various ways they will be led to God… that time will be beautiful. That today they are sinning greatly, will lead them to a deeper repentance. Just like the candle before it goes out, it shines strongly and throws sparks; with its light, it enlightens the surrounding darkness; thus, it will be the Church’s life in the last age.

And that time is near.” —St. Seraphim of Vyritsa

“When I remember the evil sins from which the Lord has delivered me, I have imperishable food for salvation.” —St. Mary of Egypt

“We all want God to give unity of faith to the world. But you are confusing things.

The reconciliation of people is one thing, while the reconciliation of religions is another. Christianity requires all of us to love everyone with all our hearts, whatever faith they may have.

At the same time we are ordered to keep our faith and doctrines intact. As Christians you must be merciful to the whole world, to all people. Even your life you should give on their behalf.

But you have no right to touch the truths of Christ. Because they are not yours. The faith of Christ is not our property to do with it as we wish.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“We do not change the boundaries marked out by our Fathers. We keep the Tradition we have received. If we begin to lay down the Law of the Church even in the smallest things, the whole edifice will fall to the ground in no short time.” —St. John of Damascus

“At this dawn of modern history, the thirteenth century, all the seeds of modern mentality are present. And modern history follows logically from these seeds. Essentially, it is one thing – the search for a new Christianity which is better than Orthodoxy, better than the Christianity of the Holy Fathers, which Christ gave to us.

Later on, this will take forms which go through atheism and all kinds of wild beliefs, but essentially the search remains the same, and in the end the world will be Christian, because it's Antichrist who gives them a new religion, which is not something foreign to Christianity. It will not be some kind of paganism. It will be something which everyone will accept as Christianity, but will be anti-christian. A substitute for Christianity which denies the very essence of Christianity.

And that is why the main history of the rebellion against Christ is no less than the apostasy which St. Paul talks about. It is not by means of persecution as it was in the beginning, but by means of taking Christianity and changing it so that it will no longer be Christian. And this is what we can call the Unfolding of the Mystery of Iniquity in preparation for Antichrist.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, excerpt from Orthodox Survival Course

“We who wish to remain in the true tradition of Orthodoxy will have to be zealous and firm in our Orthodoxy without being fanatics, and without presuming to teach our bishops what they should do. Above all we must strive to preserve the true fragrance of Orthodoxy, being at least a little ‘not of this world’, detached from all the cares and politics even of the Church, nourishing ourselves on the otherworldly food the Church gives us in such abundance.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Test your bishops in only one respect: try and find out whether they are Orthodox, whether they teach dogmas contrary to the true Faith, and whether they concelebrate with heretics, or schismatics. As far as other things, they act out of ignorance or because the days are evil and they will give an account to God only.” —St. Gennadios (II) Scholarios, Patriarch of Constantinople

“Regarding the affairs of the Church, in the words of the Saviour, one of the most awesome phenomena of the last days is that at that time ‘the stars shall fall from heaven’ (Matt. 24.29). According to the Saviour’s own explanation, these ‘stars’ are the Angels of the Churches, in other words, the Bishops (Rev. 1.20). The religious and moral fall of the Bishops is, therefore, one of the most characteristic signs of the last days. The fall of the Bishops is particularly horrifying when they deviate from the doctrines of the faith, or, as the Apostle put it, when they ‘would pervert the Gospel of Christ’ (Gal. 1.7). The Apostle orders that such people be pronounced ‘anathema’. He said, ‘If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which ye have received, let him be accursed (anathema)’ (Gal. 1.9). And one must not be slow about this, for he continues, ‘A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, being condemned of himself’ (Titus 3.10-11). Moreover, you may be subject to God’s judgement if you are indifferent to deviation from the truth: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth’ (Rev. 3.16).” —Archbishop Theophan of Poltava

“The bishops of the end times will be subservient [obedient and compliant] to the powerful of the world, and they will make decisions according to the gifts they receive from everywhere, and consulting the rational logic of the academics.” —St. Pambo

“Do not show obedience to bishops who exhort you to do and to say and to believe in things which are not to your benefit. What pious man would hold his tongue? Who would remain completely calm? In fact, silence equates to consent.” —St. Meletios of Antioch

“Geronda, is the silence of the Church an indication of approval? Yes. Someone wrote some blasphemous things about Panaghia and no one spoke up. Then I told someone, ‘Did you see what so-and-so has written?’ And he told me, ‘Well, what can you do with those people? You'll get soiled if you try to deal with them.’ They're afraid to speak up.

What did he have to fear, Geronda? That people might write something about him and ridicule him in the press. And so he tolerates blasphemous things about Panaghia! We want others to pull the chestnuts out of the fire so that we can have our peace of mind. This indicates a lack of love. Then man begins to act out of self-interest.”—Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos, Spiritual Counsels II, Spiritual Awakening, p. 40

“If Christians don't begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then the destroyers will become even more insolent. But today's Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the Metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?” —Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos

“When they are blaspheming your faith, and you stay silent, you become worse than that blasphemer.” —St. Gabriel Urgebadze of Georgia, Confessor and Fool for Christ

“The clergy in the last years will become an instrument of the Antichrist. They will teach blind obedience as a virtue of peace and salvation. A satanic obedience, which will require from the believer ‘ignorance’ and contempt for the teachings of the Saints and indifference to the truth and superficial piety.” —St. Niphon of Constantia (Cyprus)

“Christian shepherds, that is, bishops and priests, are going to be filled with vainglory (with some exceptions), utterly failing to distinguish the right way from the left… The Churches of God are going to be deprived of godly and pious shepherds.” —St. Nilus the Myrrhgusher of Mt. Athos

“Just as the unskilled doctor sends many people to the gates of Hades [physical death], similarly, the incompetent and irresponsible spiritual father sends many souls to Hades. O, what a terrible evil for someone to find [spiritual] death while seeking treatment.” —St. Nektarios of Aegina

“The time will come when you will be sold by your shepherds. They will watch you being ripped apart by the wild beasts and they will not come to your help.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania

“In the last days, evil and heresy will have spread so widely that the faithful will not be able to find a priest or shepherd to protect them from delusion and guide them to salvation. At that time, the faithful will not receive safe guidance from men; but their guide will be the writings of the Holy Fathers. Especially at this time, every believer will be responsible for the whole fulness of the Church. Brethren, it is time for us all to undertake our responsibility to God and to history. Do not tolerate any more foolishness or misguidance from priests or archpriests. Do not turn a blind eye for you will be co-responsible. The Saints are forewarning you.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“The last days are starting. Soon, there will be an ecumenical council called ‘holy’. But that will be the very ‘eighth council’ which will be the assembly of the godless. All religions will unite into one at that council. Then, all fasts will be canceled, monasticism will be completely destroyed, bishops will be married. The new calendar will be implimented in the Universal Church.

Be vigilant. Try to go to God's church while they are still ours. Soon, you won't be able to go there. Everything will change. Only the chosen will see this. They will be forcing people to go to church, but we should not go there under any circumstances. Stand in the Orthodox Faith until the end and you will be saved!” —St. Kuksha (Velichko) of Odessa

“When the traces of the past historical order have become extinguished, and the new order has taken ground, the Holy Mount will have no peace. Monastic dignity will be destroyed or disposed of for the freedom of the state and the bishops to squander its priceless treasures and relics.” —Elder Costas the Caveot and Fool for Christ of Mt. Athos

“But woe to the monks in those days who will be bound with possessions and riches, who because of love of peace will be ready to submit to the heretics. They will lull to sleep their conscience, saying, ‘We are preserving and saving the monastery and the Lord will forgive us.’ The unfortunate and blind ones do not at all consider that through heresy the demons will enter the monastery and then it will no longer be a holy monastery, but merely walls from which grace will depart.” —St. Anatoly the Younger of Optina

“Let us flee from those who reject patristic interpretations and attempt by themselves to deduce the complete opposite. While pretending to concern themselves with the literal sense of the passage, they reject its godly meaning. We should run away from them more than we would from a snake, for when a snake bites it kills the body temporarily, separating it from the immortal soul, but when these evil men get their teeth into a soul, they separate it from God, which is eternal death for that soul. Let us escape as far as we can from such people, and take refuge with those who teach piety and salvation in accordance with the traditions of the Fathers.” —St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 34, On the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus

“Brother Christians! Raise your voices in defense of the Church's Apostolic Faith, the holy things of the Church, the Church's heritage. Defend your right to believe and confess your faith as you learned it in days of old, as you were taught it by the holy apostles, the holy martyrs, the God-wise fathers of the Church, the Christian ascetics. Take care of the holiness of your souls, the freedom of your consciences. Say loudly that you have been accustomed to pray and save yourselves in the churches, that the holy things of the Church are dearer to you than life itself, that without them salvation is impossible. No power can demand from you that which is against your faith, your religious conscience: ‘We must obey God rather than men’, said the holy apostles. That is what we, too, must say. The apostles joyfully suffered for the faith. Be you also ready for sacrifice, for podvig, and remember that physical arms are powerless against those who arm themselves with powerful faith in Christ. Faith moves mountains, ‘the faith of the Christians has conquered the pagan boldness’. May your faith be bold and courageous! Christ destroyed Hades. He will also destroy the snares of the enemies of our Church. Believe - and the enemy will flee from before your face. Stand in defense of your faith and with firm hope say: ‘Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered!’” —St. Hermogenes, Hieromartyr and Bishop of Tobolsk, response to the Bolshevik tyranny in 1918

“The times ahead, more perhaps than ever before in the Church's history, are a time of what St. Gregory the Theologian called ‘suffering Orthodoxy.’ We truly live in apocalyptic times: atheism is conquering the public sphere in the whole world, false religion increases as never before and captures many of those who awaken from the sleep of unbelief, the ecumenical movement draws nearer its goal of a false world church (the harlot of the Apocalypse), and the spirit of the coming Antichrist begins to place its seal on everywhere. Those who would be faithful to Christ in these terrible times must be prepared for sufferings and trials which will truly test the faithfulness of our hearts to Him. And yet, greater than these sufferings and the prince of this world who will inflict them upon us is He Who has promised to be with us even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse, The Apocalypse, translated by Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Satan has spread 666 traps. His seal will be made not only invisibly but also visibly, on the forehead and arm. If the seal impression is made by force, in God’s sight it will be considered like a virgin disgraced. The hardest trial for Christians will be their relatives who accepted the seal. The seal won’t affect if made against someone's will. But imagine the trap set by the antichrist for a mother having left with five children. How to feed them if she does not accept the seal?

At first, the seal will be offered to volunteers. However, within the enthronement of Antichrist everyone will be forced to accept the seal. Disobedience will be claimed a treachery. People will flee to the forests. Precautions should be taken to move in groups of about ten-fifteen, as the demons might try to nudge single people from the cliffs. The believers will be protected by the Holy Spirit. Whatever happens, never lose your hope. Help each other. God will clear your mind and you will know how to react. The one who endures will be saved. No true believer will feel either hunger, or thirst. The believers won't wither in the time of disasters. The Lord will work miracles for them. One leaf of a plant will be enough food for a month. Even the lump of the earth will be changed into the bread by making a sign of the cross over it.” —St. Gabriel Urgebadze of Georgia, Confessor and Fool for Christ

“Everyone is under the influence of a power that masters the mind, the will, and all the powers of the soul. And this power is cunning, because its source is the devil, and his tools are cunning people. Through them work the Antichrist and his forerunners. The Apostle said, ‘Because of that, God delivered them into the spirit of delusion, of deception, because they did not accept the love of the truth’. Something dark and scary is coming over the world. The human will stay more or less under his mastery, and the more the power of that cunning one has on the human under his mastery, the less the human will be aware of what he is doing.” —St. Barsanuphius

“The servants of Antichrist more than anything else strive to force God out of the life of men, so that men, satisfied with their material comfort, might not feel any need to turn to God in prayer, might not remember God, but might live as though He did not exist. Therefore, the whole order of today's life in the so-called ‘free’ countries, where there is no open bloody persecution against faith, where everyone has the right to believe as he wishes, is an even greater danger for the soul of a Christian (than open persecution), for it chains him entirely to the earth, compelling him to forget about heaven. The whole of contemporary ‘culture’, directed to purely earthly attainments and the frantic whirlpool of life bound up with it, keeps a man in a constant state of emptiness and distraction which gives no opportunity for one to go at least a little deeper into his soul, and so the spiritual life in him gradually dies out.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse, True Orthodoxy and the Contemporary World

“Those who desire unnecessary comforts and pleasures in this temporal world – which sooner or later will perish – these people prefer other laws, not the laws of the Church but those which allow them to live as they want, to think what they want, to place their own will above the spirit of the Church, that spirit given by the Lord God Himself; and they invite others to follow this same path.

It may be, brethren, that soon you will again experience a time of turmoil, and some of you will be called to take the path of denying those sacred laws and to submit to laws established by mere human authority. Beware of such a path! Beware of the path taken by the thief on the left, for by the weight of blasphemy, by the weight of reviling Christ he went to his eternal perdition.

Those who revile the laws of the Church revile Christ Himself, Who is the Head of the Church, for the laws of the Church were given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. And the laws of local Churches are based on those same laws and canons of the Church. Let us not consider ourselves wiser than those saints and hierarchs who established the rules of the Church; let us not imagine ourselves to be great sages. Rather, let us humbly call out together with the wise thief: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom!” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“They have built a church career for themselves on a false but attractive premise: that the chief danger to the Church today is lack of strictness. No – the chief danger is something much deeper – the loss of the savor of Orthodoxy, a movement in which they themselves are participating, even in their ‘strictness.’… ‘Strictness’ will not save us if we don't have any more the feeling and taste of Orthodoxy.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“We ourselves have a feeling–based on nothing very definite as yet–that the best hope for preserving true Orthodoxy in the years ahead will lie in such small gatherings of believers, as much as possible ‘one in mind and soul.’ The history of the twentieth century has already shown us that we cannot expect too much from the ‘Church organization’; there, even apart from heresies, the spirit of the world has become very strong. Archbishop Averky, and our own Bishop Nektary also, have warned us to prepare for catacomb times ahead, when the grace of God may even be taken away from the ‘Church organization’ and only isolated groups of believers will remain. Soviet Russia already gives us an example of what we may expect–only worse, for the times do not get better.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Hope, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene

“In those days the remnant of the faithful are to experience in themselves something like that which was experienced once by the Lord Himself when He, hanging on a cross, felt Himself so forsaken by His Divinity, that He cried out ‘My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ The last Christians will experience in themselves a similar abandonment of humanity by the Grace of God, but only for a short time.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Finally, in the twilight of history, the dictator of the world will come, the son of perdition… whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth (2 Thess. 2:8). And in all that time of peace, happiness and prosperity, there ‘will be great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world, nor will ever be after’ (Mat. 24:21). Because of these troubles, many will repent and turn to God the Saviour. And in them the Lord will have His last harvest.

The countries of the world will lead the fight against Christ and His Church… The Church of Christ will be put outside the law, and public commemoration of Christ's name will be proscribed with severe penalties. But only those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And the Son of Man, when He suddenly comes and destroys the ‘son of perdition’ [i.e. Antichrist], that last tyrant, will He find faith on the earth?

It will be found, but not in public. It will be found, but not in magnificent temples, such as are present, but in the caves and deserts. It will be found, but not as approved and protected, but as something tossed to and fro. It will be found, but not in lavish liturgies and psalmody but in the temples of the human heart and in whispered speakings. For the Church began in Martyrdom, and in the end there She will find Martyrdom, O holy brethren.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Orthodox Church in the "twilight of history"

“During the days of Antichrist, the strongest temptation will be the anticipation of salvation coming from the cosmos, from humanoids–that is from extraterrestrials, who are actually demons. One should rarely look up to search the skies with the naked eye, since the signs might be deceptive and one might be deceived.” —St. Gabriel Urgebadze of Georgia, Confessor and Fool for Christ

“So mine is a little flock? But it is not being carried over a precipice. So mine is a narrow fold? But it is unapproachable by wolves; it cannot be entered by a robber, nor overcome by thieves and strangers. I shall yet see it, I know well, grow wider… I fear not for the little flock; for it is seen at a glance. I know my sheep and am known of mine. Such are they that know God and are known of God. My sheep hear from my voice that which I have heard from the oracles of God, which I have been taught by the Holy Fathers, which I have taught in like manner on all occasions, not conforming myself to fashion, and which I will never cease to teach; in which I was born, and in which I will depart.” —St. Gregory the Theologian

“If it should happen that a patriarch, metropolitan, or bishop is a heretic, and such a heretic publicly professes heresy and disseminates heretical opinions boldly and confidently among the people, whoever separates from him will not only not be punished, but rather honored, for they deserve recognition for separating from an association with a certain faith.” —Fr. Joannes Zonaras (9th century Byzantine canonist and historian on Canon 15)

“If every Orthodox Christian is commanded by the canons to depart from a heretical bishop even before he is officially condemned, or be guilty also of his heresy, how much more must we depart from those who are worse (and more unfortunate) than heretics, because they openly serve the cause of Antichrist?” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Letter 40, 1970

“Concerning the Patriarch I shall say this, lest it should perhaps occur to him to show me a certain respect at the burial of this my humble body, or to send to my grave any of his hierarchs or clergy or in general any of those in communion with him in order to take part in prayer or to join the priests invited to it from amongst us, thinking that at some time, or perhaps secretly, I had allowed communion with him. And lest my silence give occasion to those who do not know my views well and fully to suspect some kind of conciliation, I hereby state and testify before the many worthy men here present that I do not desire, in any manner and absolutely, and do not accept communion with him or with those who are with him, not in this life nor after my death, just as (I accept) neither the Union nor Latin dogmas, which he and his adherents have accepted, and for the enforcement of which he has occupied this presiding place, with the aim of overturning the true dogmas of the Church. I am absolutely convinced that the farther I stand from him and those like him, the nearer I am to God and all the saints, and to the degree that I separate myself from them am in union with the Truth and with the Holy Fathers, the Theologians of the Church; and I am likewise convinced that those who count themselves with them stand far away from the Truth and from the blessed Teachers of the Church. And for this reason I say: just as in the course of my whole life I was separated from them, so at the time of my departure, yea and after my death, I turn away from intercourse and communion with them and vow and command that none (of them) shall approach either my burial or my grave, and likewise anyone else from our side, with the aim of attempting to join and concelebrate in our Divine services; for this would be to mix what cannot be mixed. But it befits them to be absolutely separated from us until such time as God shall grant correction and peace to His Church.” —St. Mark of Ephesus, The Example of, [as quoted in The Orthodox Word, June-July, 1967, pp. 103ff.]

“With all our strength, therefore, let us beware lest we receive Communion from or give it to heretics. ‘Give not what is holy to the dogs,’ saith the Lord. ‘Neither cast ye your pearls before swine’, lest we become partakers in their dishonour and condemnation.” —St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, IV, 13

“And, you see, people are not at all aware that we are living during the signs of the times, that the sealing is already advancing. This is why the Sacred Scripture says that even the elect will be deceived.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, Spiritual Counsels, Vol. II, Spiritual Awakening, p. 198

“The Church is suffering today because Divine illumination is missing and people understand things as it suits them. The human element gets involved; passions are aroused, and then, the devil comes and thrashes about. That is why people who are governed by their passions should not seek to govern others.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“In sum, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in theory embracing almost the whole universe and in fact extending its authority only over several dioceses, and in other places having only a higher superficial supervision and receiving certain revenues for this, persecuted by the government at home and not supported by any governmental authority abroad: having lost its significance as a pillar of truth and having itself become a source of division, and at the same time being possessed by an exorbitant love of power--represents a pitiful spectacle which recalls the worst periods in the history of the See of Constantinople.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, from Orthodox Word, vol. 8, no. 4 (45), July-August 1972, pp. 166-168, 174-175.

“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 of Lyons, Against Heresies, III

“Those that wish to discern the truth may observe the apostolic tradition made manifest in every church throughout the world. We can enumerate those who were appointed bishops in the churches by the apostles, and their successors (or successions) down to our own day, who never taught, and never knew, absurdities such as these men produce. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries which they taught the perfect in private and in secret, they would rather have committed them to those to whom they entrusted the churches. For they wished those men to be perfect and unbelievable whom they laughed as their successors and to whom they handed over their own office of authority. But as it would be very tedious, in a book of this sort, to enumerate the successions in all the churches, we can found all those who in any way, whether for self-pleasing, or vainglory, or blindness, or evil mindedness, hold on authorized meetings. This we do by pointing to the apostolic tradition and the faith that is preached to men, which has come down to us through the successions of bishops; the tradition and creed of the greatest, and most ancient church, the church known to all men, which was founded and set up at Rome by the two men most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul. For with this church, because of its position of leadership and authority, must needs agree every church, that is, the faithful everywhere; for in her the apostolic tradition has always been preserved by the faithful from all parts.” —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, III

“If you wait for the perfect conditions to work out your salvation, then you will never begin a God-pleasing life.” —St. Nikon of Optina

"True Christianity is glorifying God with our own lives. To glorify God with our own life is possible only when we have true faith and when that faith indeed exists, we express it in words and in deeds.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“When I, while still in Australia, began to receive information from America already post factum that here [in New York City] there had been protests, demonstrations, and even molebens in front of the Soviet consulate, I became quite alarmed and regretted that I was not here, since I would have decisively opposed much of what took place. In particular, holding a moleben in such a place. Did they not sing the Lord's song in a strange land? What cause was there to display the holy things of the Church's services before the gaze of the frenzied servants of Antichrist? Was it really not possible to pray in church?

I must say frankly that I am always seized by dismay when I hear of protests, demonstrations, and the like. In the USSR, life is governed by him (the one with horns) who fears only Christ and His Cross; and who fears nothing else in the world. And he merely chortles over protests and demonstrations. Public opinion? Why, the antichrist regime has nothing but the uttermost contempt for it! They wanted to seize Czechoslovakia and they seized it, paying no heed to the commotion that was raised. They wanted to invade Afghanistan and they invaded it, again paying no attention to the protests and threats of the various Carters & Co. All attempts to shape public opinion in the so-called Free World in favor of those suffering from Communism are powerless and fruitless, since the Free World stubbornly closes its eyes and imitates the ostrich, which hides its head under its wing and imagines that it cannot be seen…” —Metropolitan Philaret of New York, A letter from Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) to ROCOR Priest Victor Potapov concerning Father Dimitry Dudko and the Moscow Patriarchate

“That only the canonical Scriptures have infallibility is testified by Blessed Augustine in the words which he writes to Jerome: ‘It is fitting to bestow such honour and veneration only to the books of Scripture which are called 'canonical,' for I absolutely believe that none of the authors who wrote them erred in anything. … As for other writings, no matter how great was the excellence of their authors in sanctity and learning, in reading them I do not accept their teaching as true solely on the basis that they thus wrote and thought.’ Then, in a letter to Fortunatus [St. Mark continues in his citations of Augustine] he writes the following: ‘We should not hold the judgment of a man, even though this man might have been orthodox and had an high reputation, as the same kind of authority as the canonical Scriptures, to the extent of considering it inadmissible for us, out of the reverence we owe such men, to disapprove and reject something in their writing if we should happen to discover that they taught other than the truth which, with God's help, has been attained by others or by ourselves. This is how I am with regard to the writings of other men; and I desire that the reader will act thus with regard to my writings also.’” —St. Mark of Ephesus, Second Homily on Purgatorial Fire, chs. 15-16; Pogodin, pp. 127-132

“All who foolishly and proudly reject the Holy Fathers, who approach the Gospels directly with foolish brazenness and unclean mind and heart, fall into lethal self-deception. The Gospel has rejected them, for it only accepts those who are humble.” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus, The Field, Chapter 3

“The holy scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them in our hearts.” —St. John Chrysostom

“I will tell you my opinion briefly and without reserve. We ought to remain in that Church which was founded by the Apostles and continues to this day. If ever you hear of any that are called Christians taking their name not from the Lord Jesus Christ, but from some other, for instance, Marcionites, Valentinians, Men of the mountain or the plain, you may be sure that you have there not the Church of Christ, but the synagogue of Antichrist. For the fact that they took their rise after the foundation of the Church is proof that they are those whose coming the Apostle foretold.

And let them not flatter themselves if they think they have Scripture authority for their assertions, since the devil himself quoted Scripture, and the essence of the Scriptures is not the letter, but the meaning. Otherwise, if we follow the letter, we too can concoct a new dogma and assert that such persons as wear shoes and have two coats must not be received into the Church.” —St. Jerome

“The key [to interpreting Holy Scripture]… is the Tradition of the Church… Now if you want to interpret the way you want, due to your satanic pride, then you will most certainly fail. You will become a heretic, and heresy is nothing other than the logical interpretation of dogma. When I attempt to interpret things that cannot be interpreted with logic and intellect, when I attempt to interpret a deep mystery using my mere mind and my intellect, then I go astray.” —Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, Homiles on the Book of the Revelation, Vol. I, p. 46

“Christianity did not come from Judaism: rather, Judaism is a perversion of Christianity.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Jesus Christ is King of Israel. Christians are the Israelite race.” —St. Justin the Martyr

“The synagogue is a refuge for demons, and it is more correct to say not only the synagogue but also Jewish souls; if you consider yourself a true Jew, then why are you burdening the Church.” —St. John Chrysostom, Against the Jews (Adversus Judeos), Homily 1 IV:2

“So it is that I exhort you to flee and shun their gatherings. The harm they bring to our weaker brothers is not slight; they offer no slight excuse to sustain to the folly of the Jews. For when they see that you, who worship the Christ whom they crucified, are reverently following their rituals, how can they fail to think that the rites they have performed are the best and that our ceremonies are worthless? For after you worship and adore at our mysteries, you run to the very men who destroy our rites. Paul said: ‘If a man sees you that have knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not his conscience, being weak, be emboldened to eat those things which are sacrificed to idols’? And let me say: If a man sees you that have knowledge come into the synagogue and participate in the festival of the Trumpets, shall not his conscience, being weak, be emboldened to admire what the Jews do? He who falls not only pays the penalty for his own fall, but he is also punished because he trips others as well. But the man who has stood firm is rewarded not only because of his own virtue but people admire him for leading others to desire the same things.” —St. John Chrysostom, Against the Jews (Adversus Judeos), Homily 1 V:7

“But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them aside and were at great pains to reject them. The morning Sun of Justice arose for them, but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness.” —St. John Chrysostom, Against the Jews (Adversus Judeos)

“Certainly it is the time for me to show that demons dwell in the synagogue, not only in the place itself but also in the souls of the Jews. As Christ said: ‘When an unclean spirit is gone out, he walks through dry places seeking rest. If he does not find it he says: I shall return to my house. And coming he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter into him and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this generation.’ Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous than the ones of old? And this is very reasonable.” —St. John Chrysostom, Against the Jews (Adversus Judeos)

“The teachers of Judaism refuse to admit that the Septuagint is correct. They attempt to frame another translation of the Scriptures. Observe that they have taken away many Old Testament Scriptures, by which the proof of Christ's crucifixion is set forth.” —St. Justin the Martyr

“The Jews are wise only in doing evil, and are thus unable to know the hidden plan of God.” —St. Justin the Martyr

“It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism. For Christ is one, in whom every nation that believes, and every tongue that confesses, is gathered unto God. And those that were of a stony heart have become the children of Abraham, the friend of God and in his seed all those have been blessed who were ordained to eternal life in Christ.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, On the Delusion of Being a ‘Jewish’ Christian, Epistle to the Magnesians, Chapter X

“Jews are slayers of the Lord, murderers of the prophets, enemies of God, adversaries of Grace, enemies of their Fathers’ faith, advocates of the devil, a brood of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men of darkened minds, the leaven of Pharisees, a congregation of demons, sinners, wicked men, haters of Goodness!” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“It is true that Muhammad started from the east and came to the west, as the sun travels from east to west. Nevertheless he came with war, knives, pillaging, forced enslavement, murders, and acts that are not from the good God but instigated by the chief manslayer, the devil.” —St. Gregory Palamas

“They furthermore accuse us of being idolaters, because we venerate the cross, which they abominate. And we answer them: ‘How is it, then, that you rub yourselves against a stone in your Ka'ba and kiss and embrace it?’ Then some of them say that Abraham had relations with Agar upon it, but others say that he tied the camel to it, when he was going to sacrifice Isaac. And we answer them: ‘Since Scripture says that the mountain was wooded and had trees from which Abraham cut wood for the holocaust and laid it upon Isaac, [108] and then he left the asses behind with the two young men, why talk nonsense? For in that place neither is it thick with trees nor is there passage for asses.’ And they are embarrassed, but they still assert that the stone is Abraham's. Then we say: ‘Let it be Abraham's, as you so foolishly say. Then, just because Abraham had relations with a woman on it or tied a camel to it, you are not ashamed to kiss it, yet you blame us for venerating the cross of Christ by which the power of the demons and the deceit of the Devil was destroyed.’ This stone that they talk about is a head of that Aphrodite whom they used to worship and whom they called Khabár. Even to the present day, traces of the carving are visible on it to careful observers.

As has been related, this Mohammed wrote many ridiculous books, to each one of which he set a title. For example, there is the book On Woman, in which he plainly makes legal provision for taking four wives and, if it be possible, a thousand concubines—as many as one can maintain, besides the four wives. He also made it legal to put away whichever wife one might wish, and, should one so wish, to take to oneself another in the same way. Mohammed had a friend named Zeid. This man had a beautiful wife with whom Mohammed fell in love. Once, when they were sitting together, Mohammed said: ‘Oh, by the way, God has commanded me to take your wife.’ The other answered: ‘You are an apostle. Do as God has told you and take my wife.’ Rather—to tell the story over from the beginning—he said to him: ‘God has given me the command that you put away your wife.’ And he put her away. Then several days later: ‘Now,’ he said, ‘God has commanded me to take her.’ Then, after he had taken her and committed adultery with her, he made this law: ‘Let him who will put away his wife. And if, after having put her away, he should return to her, let another marry her. For it is not lawful to take her unless she have been married by another. Furthermore, if a brother puts away his wife, let his brother marry her, should he so wish.’ [110] In the same book he gives such precepts as this: ‘Work the land which God hath given thee and beautify it. And do this, and do it in such a manner’ –not to repeat all the obscene things that he did.” —St. John of Damascus, Fount of Knowledge, Heresies in Epitome: How They Began and Whence They Drew Their Origin

“Sometimes Japanese protestants come to me and ask me to clarify some place in the Holy Scriptures. ‘You have your own missionary teachers,’ I tell them, ‘Go ask them. What do they say?’ ‘We have asked them. They say: understand as you know how. But I need to know the real thought of God, not my own personal opinion.’ … It's not like that with us [Orthodox]. Everything is clear, trustworthy and simple, since we accept Holy Tradition in addition to the Holy Scriptures. And Holy Tradition is a living, unbroken voice of our Church from the time of Christ and His Apostles until now, and which will exist until the end of the world. In it all the meaning of the Holy Scriptures are preserved.” —St. Nicholas of Japan, Diary, January 15, 1897

“It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, Who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him. We must not use the Bible as a sort of encyclopedia out of which texts can be taken for use as weapons.” —C. S. Lewis

“If Scripture is perfect and sufficient for everything, why is the Church's interpretation necessary? Because, quite plainly, Scripture is not accepted by everyone as having the same meaning.” —St. Vincent of Lérins

“The humility of Jesus is not a superfluous detail in the gospel narrative. The humility of Jesus is essential to the gospel. If Jesus lacked humility, there would be no incarnation, no crucifixion, and no redemption.” —Jack Wisdom

“When they are refuted by the Scriptures, they take to maligning the Scriptures themselves. … But when we refer them to that tradition which originates with the apostles and which is pre­served in the churches through the succession of the presbyters, they attack the tradition, claiming that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters but even than the apostles. [However] anyone who wants to see the truth can look to the tradition of the Apostles which is clearly manifested throughout the whole world; and we can list those who were set up as bishops in the different churches as well as their successors right down to our own time, men who neither taught nor knew anything like what these [Gnostics] are raving about. For if the apostles had known secret doctrines which they were in the habit of teaching to the “perfect” clandestinely and apart from the rest, they would most certainly have communicated these things to those to whom they were entrusting the churches themselves.

And if a dispute should arise over some point or other, should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches, in which the apostles were actively interested, and find out from them what is certain and clear with regard to the point at issue? What if, in fact, the apostles had left us no Writings? Would it not be necessary to follow the line indicated by the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?” —St. Irenaeus of Lyons

“[Heretics] should not be admitted to any discussion of the Scriptures…

The Lord Jesus sent the apostles to preach. … Now what they actually preached can, as I must here likewise prescribe, be proved only by those very same churches which the apostles themselves founded by preaching to them both viva voce, as they say, and later by letters. Such being the case, it is consequently certain that any doctrine which agrees with [what is held by] these apostolic churches, moulds and original sources of the faith, must be considered the truth, undoubtedly containing that which these churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God; but any other doctrine must be presumed false, since it smacks of opposition to the truth of the churches, of the apostles, of Christ, of God.

Come now! Would they all have fallen into error? Would the steward of God, the Vicar of Christ [the Holy Spirit] have neglected His duty by allowing the churches to understand and believe otherwise than what He Himself taught the apostles? Is it likely that so many and such outstanding churches would all have strayed into the one [false] faith? No chance happening ever has the same outcome in the case of many different individuals. A doctrinal error in so many different churches would of necessity have taken different forms. But when unity exists amid diversity, this can be the result, not of error, but only of Tradition.

Let us inquire, therefore, whether tradition, unless it be written, should be accepted. Certainly we shall say that it ought not to be accepted if we can allege as precedent no cases of other practices which we justify without any written document, but solely on the grounds of tradition and because of the approval of subsequent custom… If you demand scriptural justification for these and other such practices, you will find none. Tradition will be held out to you as their author, custom as their consolidator, and faith as their observer.” —Tertullian

“Since there are many who think they share the mind of Christ and yet some of them think differently from their predecessors, let the preaching of the Church be held fast, that preaching which has been handed down from the apostles through the ranks of succession and perdures in the churches to the present day. That alone is to be believed as the truth which varies in no wise from ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.” —Origen

“It suffices as proof of our thesis that we have a tradition coming to us from the fathers, like a legacy handed down from the apostles through the saints who followed them in succession.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“Of the beliefs and practices [disciplinary regulations] preserved in the Church, some we possess from teaching handed down in written form; others we have received as delivered to us in a mystery from the tradition of the Apostles, and both of these have the same force as far as religion is concerned.” —St. Basil the Great

“There is need of tradition also; for not everything can be found in Scripture. That is why the most holy apostles left some things in writing and others in tradition. Paul affirms this very fact as follows: ‘as I handed it on to you.’ Likewise in another passage: ‘This is my teaching and thus have I handed it on to the churches.’ Similarly: ‘If you continue to cling firmly to it, as I preached it to you—unless your faith has all been for nothing.’” —St. Epiphanius

“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them.” —St. Hippolytus of Rome, The Apostolic Tradition, 21:16

“We baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by sins, so they too may be given holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and membership in Him.” —St. John Chrysostom

“We believe the first man created by God to have fallen in Paradise, when, disregarding the Divine commandment, he yielded to the deceitful counsel of the serpent. And as a result hereditary sin flowed to his posterity; so that everyone who is born after the flesh bears this burden, and experiences the fruits of it in this present world. But by these fruits and this burden we do not understand [actual] sin, such as impiety, blasphemy, murder, sodomy, adultery, fornication, enmity, and whatever else is by our depraved choice committed contrarily to the Divine Will, not from nature. For many both of the Forefathers and of the Prophets, and vast numbers of others, as well of those under the shadow [of the Law], as well as under the truth [of the Gospel], such as the divine Precursor, and especially the Mother of God the Word, the ever-virgin Mary, did not experience these [sins], or such like faults. But only what the Divine Justice inflicted upon man as a punishment for the [original] transgression, such as sweats in labor, afflictions, bodily sicknesses, pains in child-bearing, and, finally, while on our pilgrimage, to live a laborious life, and lastly, bodily death.” —Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem, 1672, Decree 6

“We believe Holy Baptism, which was instituted by the Lord, and is conferred in the name of the Holy Trinity, to be of the highest necessity. For without it none is able to be saved, as the Lord says, ‘Whoever is not born of water and of the Spirit, shall in no way enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens.’ {John 3:5} And, therefore, baptism is necessary even for infants, since they also are subject to original sin, and without Baptism are not able to obtain its remission. Which the Lord showed when he said, not of some only, but simply and absolutely, ‘Whoever is not born [again],’ which is the same as saying, ‘All that after the coming of Christ the Savior would enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens must be regenerated.’ And since infants are men, and as such need salvation, needing salvation they need also Baptism. And those that are not regenerated, since they have not received the remission of hereditary sin, are, of necessity, subject to eternal punishment, and consequently cannot without Baptism be saved. So that even infants should, of necessity, be baptized. Moreover, infants are saved, as is said in Matthew; {Matthew 19:12} but he that is not baptized is not saved. And consequently even infants must of necessity be baptized. And in the Acts {Acts 8:12; 16:33} it is said that the whole houses were baptized, and consequently the infants. To this the ancient Fathers also witness explicitly, and among them Dionysius in his Treatise concerning the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; and Justin in his fifty-sixth Question, who says expressly, ‘And they are guaranteed the benefits of Baptism by the faith of those that bring them to Baptism.’ And Augustine says that it is an Apostolic tradition, that children are saved through Baptism; and in another place, ‘The Church gives to babes the feet of others, that they may come; and the hearts of others, that they may believe; and the tongues of others, that they may promise;’ and in another place, ‘Our mother, the Church, furnishes them with a particular heart.’

Now the matter of Baptism is pure water, and no other liquid. And it is performed by the Priest only, or in a case of unavoidable necessity, by another man, provided he is Orthodox, and has the proper intention to Divine Baptism. And the effects of Baptism are, to speak concisely, firstly, the remission of the hereditary transgression, and of any sins of any kind that the baptized may have committed. Secondly, it delivers him from the eternal punishment, to which he was liable, as well for original sin and for mortal sins he may have individually committed. Thirdly, it gives to the person immortality; for in justifying them from past sins, it makes them temples of God.

And it cannot be said that there is any sin which may have been previously committed that remains, though not imputed, that is not washed away through Baptism, For that were indeed the height of impiety, and a denial, rather than a confession of piety. Indeed, truly, all sin existing, or committed before Baptism, is blotted out, and is to be regarded as never existing or committed. For the forms of Baptism, and on either hand all the words that precede and that perfect Baptism, do indicate a perfect cleansing. And the same thing even the very names of Baptism do signify. For if Baptism is by the Spirit and by fire, {Matthew 3:11} it is obvious that it is in all a perfect cleansing; for the Spirit cleanses perfectly. If it is light, {Hebrews 6:4} it dispels the darkness. If it is regeneration, {Titus 3:5} old things are passed away. And what are these except sins? If the baptized puts off the old man, {Colossians 3:9} then sin also. If he puts on Christ, {Galatians 3:27} then in effect he becomes free from sin through Baptism. For God is far from sinners. This Paul also teaches more plainly, saying: ‘As through one [man] we, being many, were made sinners, so through one [are we made] righteous.’ {Romans 5:19} And if righteous, then free from sin. For it is not possible for life and death to be in the same [person]. If Christ truly died, then remission of sin through the Spirit is true also. Hence it is evident that all who are baptized and fall asleep while babes are undoubtedly saved, being predestinated through the death of Christ. Forasmuch as they are without any sin; – without that common [to all], because delivered from it by the Divine laver, and without any of their own, because as babes they are incapable of committing sin; – and consequently are saved. Moreover, Baptism imparts an indelible character, as does also the Priesthood. For as it is impossible for any one to receive twice the same order of the Priesthood, so it is impossible for any once rightly baptized, to be again baptized, although he should fall even into myriads of sins, or even into actual apostasy from the Faith. For when he is willing to return unto the Lord, he receives again through the Mystery of Penance the adoption of a son, which he had lost.” —Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem, 1672, Decree 16

“A dangerous lie is preached by sectarians when they say that children should not be baptized, but when children grow up and know what faith is, then they should be baptized. Man and son of man, shut your ears from such crazy words. Because if your child dies unbaptized, he will enter the other world as unclean and undone by God. With whom, then, will he be in eternity, and whose name will he be? Look, you don't wait for your child to grow up and find out what water and milk and honey and bread and medicine are, and only then can you give him all that. But you give it to him even though he doesn't know it. You know what's good and life saving for her, does she have to know that in the cradle? And if your child has cough, will you treat it, or will you wait until it grows up and find out what cough is? And hereditary sin is an unequally heavier pain than gout. So when you are treating your child from gout, treat him also from that more serious illness, for which the cure is baptism. Don't let your unbaptized child die, because otherwise you will never and anywhere in eternity meet his soul.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“…[T]here were no New Testamental writings for the earliest Christians and yet they possessed the fullness of the truth and faith of Christianity. On the day of Pentecost the Church was born and yet there were no Gospels as we know them today. It would not be a theological exaggeration to assert that the Church would be the Church in Her fullness even if She did not possess the New Testament. For many raised on the Reformational principle of ‘sola scriptura’ this may seem a radical – even heretical – statement. …[T]here was a time when the Church did not possess this corpus of inspired writing and yet the Church existed in Her fullness, Christians experienced the truth of the faith in all its fullness.” —Fr. Georges Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century

“… Word and sacrament long ago lost touch with each other and became subjects of independent study and definition … I daresay that the gradual ‘decomposition’ of scripture, its dissolution in more and more specialized and negative criticism, is a result of its alienation from the Eucharist - and practically from the Church herself - as an experience of a spiritual reality.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist, p. 66

“Anti-sacramental, anti-ritual evangelicalism emphasizes a personal relationship with God, but tends to encourage what Anthony Giddens calls ‘pure relationship,’ a relationship that is not tacked down with external anchors and supports. A live-in relationship, without benefit of the rites and legalities of marriage, is a pure relationship. Evangelicalism tends to encourage a live-in relationship with Jesus. This is wrong, a departure from Christian tradition, and unbiblical. It also places unbearable burdens on the soul. Tempted by the devil, Luther slapped his forehead to remind himself of his baptism. His standing before God was anchored in Christ, to whom he had been joined by baptism. For evangelicals, assurance cannot be grounded in anything so external and objective. Spontaneous enthusiasm is the test of sincerity, and the source of assurance. But eternal, self-scrutinizing vigilance is necessary to ensure that the enthusiasm is really spontaneous. Enthusiasm was supposed to liberate the soul from all the dead forms, but it comes with its own set of chains.” —Rev. Dr. Peter J. Leithard

“In the Orthodox approach to Scripture, it is the job of the individual not to strive for originality in interpretation, but rather to understand what is already present in the traditions of the Church. We are obliged not to go beyond the boundary set by the Fathers and Creeds of the Church, but to faithfully pass on the Tradition just as we have received it. To do this requires a great deal of study and thought–but even more, if we are to truly understand the Scriptures, we must enter deeply into the mystical life of the Church.” —ibid., p. 44

“The scriptures and the Church are reduced here to the category of two formal authorities, two ‘sources of faith’ – as they are called in the scholastic treatises, for which the only question is which authority is the higher: which ‘interprets’ which…” —Ibid., p. 66

“For if we proclaim holy scripture to be the supreme authority for teaching the faith in the Church, then what is the ‘criterion’ of scripture? Sooner or later it becomes ‘biblical science’ – i.e., in the final analysis, naked reason…” —Ibid., p. 66-67

“It is therefore clear that [the apostles] did not teach everything in epistolary form, but that they taught many things besides in unwritten form, and these things, too, are worthy of acceptance. Wherefore we should consider the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. If there is a tradition, look no further.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Certain men who hold different opinions (i.e. heretics) misuse these passages. They essentially destroy free will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.” —Origen

“A false interpretation of Scripture causes that the gospel of the Lord becomes the gospel of man, or, which is worse, of the devil.” —St. Jerome

“Truth cannot be acquired, the flesh with its passions and lusts cannot be crucified, the heart cannot be filled with the Light of Christ and united with Him, through salvation, unless these are preceded by frequent prayer.” —The Way of a Pilgrim

“How long shall we continue in this manner, our intellect reduced to futility, failing to make the spirit of the Gospel our own, not knowing what it means to live according to our conscience, making no serious effort to keep it pure?” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth… They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, ‘Who will have all men to be saved’ (I Tim. 2:4) and ‘Who enlightens every man born into the world’ (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation in His own way.” —Metropolitan Philaret of New York

“You ask, will the heterodox be saved… Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins… I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“The Orthodox confess that SHE IS the One, Holy, Universal (katholikos) and Apostolic Ecclesia! Any other model is gnostic.” —St. Irenaeus of Lyons

“Orthodoxy is what Christ taught, the apostles preached, and the Fathers kept.” —St. Athanasius the Great

“He is ‘the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Orthodox Christians are committed to the truth claim of the Christian Faith not as ideology but as an expression of holiness.” —Rev. Dr. George C. Papademetriou, An Orthodox Reflection on Truth & Tolerance

“The beginning of theology is not the card catalogue, but doing battle against the passions; and the end of theology is not becoming a professor, but becoming a saint.” —Dr. David Fagerberg

“Men are converted to God not because someone was able to give brilliant explanations, but because they saw in him that light, joy, depth, seriousness, and love which alone reveal the presence and power of God in the world.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann

“When conversion does take place, the process of revelation occurs in a very simple way: a person is in need, he suffers, and then somehow the other world opens up. The more you are in suffering and difficulties and are desperate for God, the more He is going to come to your aid, reveal Who He is, and show you the way to get out.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene, p. 98

“We think we know a lot, but what we know is very little. Even all those who have striven all their life to bring progress to mankind – learned scientists and highly educated people – all realize in the end that all their knowledge is but a grain of sand on the seashore. All our achievements are insufficient.” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

“Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul; and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent.” —St. Anthony the Great, On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life: One Hundred and Seventy Texts, Text 1, The Philokalia: The Complete Text, Vol. 1

“It is impossible to replace the spiritual with the emotional. If anyone tries to forcibly replace one with the other, then he will assimilate lies instead of truth, falsehood masquerading as truth.” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus, The Refuge, Chapter 9, p. 119

“Not knowledge that you learn, but knowledge that you suffer: that is Orthodox spirituality.” —Gerontissa Gabrielia, Sayings of Gerontissa Gabrielia

“Our religion is founded on spiritual experience, seen and heard as sure as any physical fact in this world. Not theory, not philosophy, not human emotions, but experience.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“Only the Religion of Christ unites and all of us must pray that they come to this. Thus union will occur, not by believing that all of us are the same thing and that all religions are the same. They are not the same… our Orthodoxy is not related to other religions.” —St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

“Orthodoxy is life, one must not talk about it, one must live it.” —St. Nektary of Optina

“Orthodoxy can't be comfortable unless it is fake.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“As for all those who pretend to confess sound Orthodox Faith, but are in communion with people who hold different opinion, if they are forewarned and still remain stubborn, you must not only be in communion with them, but you must NOT even call them brothers.” —St. Basil the Great

“It is a commandment of the Lord that we should not be silent when the Faith is in peril. So, when it is a matter of the Faith, one cannot say, ‘Who am I? A priest, a ruler, a soldier, a farmer, a poor man? I have no say or concern in this matter.’ Alas! The stones shall cry out, and you remain silent and unconcerned?” —St. Theodore the Studite

“At the present time of universal wavering, disturbance of minds and corruption, it is especially demanded of us that we should confess the true teaching of the Church no matter what might be the person of those who listen and despite the unbelief which surrounds us. If for the sake of adaptation to the errors of this age we shall be silent about the truth or give a corrupt teaching in the name of pleasing this world, then we would actually be giving to those who seek the truth a stone in place of bread. The higher is the standing of one who acts in this way, the greater the scandal that is produced by him, and the more serious can be the consequences.” —Metropolitan Philaret of New York

“Today, while the overall teachings of the Fathers is under attack and the shipwrecks of Faith are numerous, the mouths of the faithful are silent. Anyone who is capable of speaking the truth but remains silent, will be heavily judged by God, especially in this case, where the faith and the very foundation of the entire Church of the Orthodox is in danger. To remain silent under these circumstances is to betray these, and the appropriate witness belongs to those that reproach (stand up for the faith).” —St. Basil the Great, ep. 92

“I beseech you to do and to carry out good to all men with care and assiduity, becoming all things to all men, as the need of each is shown to you; I want and pray you to be wholly harsh and implacable with the heretics only in regard to cooperating with them or in any way whatever supporting their deranged belief. For I reckon it hatred towards man and a departure from Divine love to lend support to error, so that those previously seized by it might be even more greatly corrupted.” —St. Maximus the Confessor, Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 91

“Be aware not to be corrupted from love of the heretics; for this reason do not accept any false belief (dogma) in the name of love.” —St. John Chrysostom

“If anyone prays with heretics, he is a heretic.” — Pope St. Agatho I

“Genuine love is displayed, not by the common table, nor by lofty addresses or flattering words, but by the correcting and the seeking of the benefit of one's neighbour and the lifting up of the one who has fallen.” —St. John Chrysostom

“It is not the case that there is one church at Rome and another in all the world beside. Gaul and Britain, Africa and Persia, India and the East worship one Christ and observe one rule of truth. If you ask for authority, the world outweighs its capital. Wherever there is a bishop, whether it be at Rome or at Engubium, whether it be at Constantinople or at Rhegium, whether it be at Alexandria or at Zoan, his dignity is one and his priesthood is one. Neither the command of wealth nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more a bishop or less a bishop. All alike are successors of the apostles.” —St. Jerome, Letter CXLVI to Evangelus

“Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“Where the bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and with the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians 2, 6:1

“Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense ‘Catholic,’ which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.” —St. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitory, For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against the Profane Novelties of All Heresies., Chapter II (circa 434 AD)

“‘Shun profane novelties of words,’ which to receive and follow was never the part of Catholics; of heretics always was. In truth, what heresy ever burst forth save under a definite name, at a definite place, at a definite time? Who ever originated a heresy that did not first dissever himself from the consentient agreement of the universality and antiquity of the Catholic Church? That this is so is demonstrated in the clearest way by examples. For who ever before that profane Pelagius attributed so much antecedent strength to Free-will, as to deny the necessity of God's grace to aid it towards good in every single act? Who ever before his monstrous disciple Cœlestius denied that the whole human race is involved in the guilt of Adam's sin?” —St. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitory, 62

"But if neither injunctions nor ecclesiastical decrees may be violated, by which, in accordance with the sacred consent of universality and antiquity, all heretics always, and, last of all, Pelagius, Cœlestius, and Nestorius have been rightly and deservedly condemned, then assuredly it is incumbent on all Catholics who are anxious to approve themselves genuine sons of Mother Church, to adhere henceforward to the holy faith of the holy Fathers, to be wedded to it, to die in it; but as to the profane novelties of profane men— to detest them, abhor them, oppose them, give them no quarter.” —St. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitory, 86

“Roman Catholics teach that original sin robbed Adam of the original righteousness, grace-filled perfection, but did not harm his very nature. And the original righteousness, according to their teachings, was not an organic part of the spiritual and moral nature of man, but an external gift of grace, a special addition to the natural forces of man. Hence the sin of the first man, which consists in rejecting this purely external, supernatural grace, separating man from God, is nothing more than depriving a person of this grace, depriving a person of primitive righteousness and returning man to a purely natural state, a state of grace. The very same human nature remained after the fall as it was before the fall. Before sin, Adam was like a royal courtier, from whom external glory was taken away because of a crime, and he returned to the original state in which he had been before.

The decrees of the Council of Trent concerning original sin state that the progenitor sin consisted in the loss of the holiness and righteousness granted to them, but it did not define exactly what kind of holiness and righteousness they were. There it is stated that there is absolutely no trace of sin or anything in a regenerated person that would be unpleasant to God. Only lust remains, which, due to its motivation of a person to fight, is more useful than harmful to people. In any case, it is not sin, although it itself from sin and entails sin. The fifth decree says: ‘The Holy Council confesses and knows that lust remains among baptized persons; but she, as left to fight, cannot bring harm to those who disagree with her, and those who bravely fight by the grace of Jesus Christ, but, on the contrary, crowns the one who will gloriously struggle. The Holy Council declares that this lust, which the Apostle sometimes calls sin, the Universal Church never called sin in the sense that it is true and proper to the regenerated, but that it is from sin and entails sin.’

This Roman Catholic teaching is unfounded, since it represents the original righteousness and perfection of Adam as an external gift, as an advantage, which is added to nature from the outside and from nature separable. Meanwhile, it is clear from the ancient apostolic-church doctrine that this primitive righteousness of Adam was not an external gift and advantage, but an integral part of his divinely-created nature. The Holy Scripture claims that sin has shaken and upset human nature so deeply that a person is weak for good and when he wants, he cannot do good ( Romans 7: 18-19 ), but he cannot commit it just because sin has a strong influence on the nature of man. In addition, if sin did not damage human nature so much, there would be no need for the Only Begotten Son of God to incarnate, come into the world as the Savior and demand from us a complete bodily and spiritual rebirth ( John 3: 3, 3: 5-6 ). In addition, Roman Catholics can not give the correct answer to the question: how can the intact nature carry lust in itself? What is the relation between this lust and the healthy nature?

In the same way, there is an inaccurate Roman Catholic statement that in a regenerated person nothing remains sinful and unpleasant to God and that all this gives way to that which is immaculate, holy and pleasing to God. For we know from Holy Revelation and the teachings of the ancient Church that the grace given to a fallen man through Jesus Christ does not act mechanically, does not give sanctification and salvation immediately, in the blink of an eye, but gradually penetrates all the psychophysical powers of man, in proportion to his personal feat in the new thus he simultaneously heals from all sinful ailments, and sanctifies in all thoughts, feelings, desires and deeds. It is an unreasonable exaggeration to think and argue that the regenerated have absolutely no remnants of sinful ailments when the mystery beloved by Christ clearly teaches: ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’ ( 1 John 1: 8 ); and the great Apostle of the Nations writes: ‘I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil that I do not want. But if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but the sin that lives in me’ ( Romans 7: 19-20, Romans 8: 23-24 ).” —St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox philosophy of truth (Dogma of the Orthodox Church)

“In all the Eastern Churches, candles are lit even in the daytime when one is to read the Gospels, in truth not to dispel the darkness, but as a sign of joy…in order under that factual light to feel that Light of which we read in the Psalms (119:105): Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” —St. Jerome, Works, part IV, 2nd ed., Kiev, 1900, pp.301-302

“The candles lit before icons of saints reflect their ardent love for God for Whose sake they gave up everything that man prizes in life, including their very lives, as did the holy apostles, martyrs and others. These candles also mean that these saints are lamps burning for us and providing light for us by their own saintly living, their virtues and their ardent intercession for us before God through their constant prayers by day and night. The burning candles also stand for our ardent zeal and the sincere sacrifice we make out of reverence and gratitude to them for their solicitude on our behalf before God.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“The saints of God live even after their death. Thus, I often hear in church the Mother of God singing her wonderful, heart-penetrating song which she said in the house of her cousin Elizabeth, after the Annunciation of the Archangel. At times, I hear the song of Moses; the song of Zacharias--the father of the Forerunner; that of Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel; that of the three children; and that of Miriam. And how many holy singers of the New Testament delight until now the ear of the whole Church of God! And the Divine service itself--the sacraments, the rites? Whose spirit is there, moving and touching our hearts? That of God and of His saints.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“Each person is an icon of God, of God in heaven and of God on the cross. Yet, each person is also an icon of the Mother of God, who bears Christ through the Holy Spirit. Our soul, therefore, unites itself in two images; participating in the principles and realities of both Christ and his Mother. These are age old archetypes, symbols by which the soul orients itself on the journey.” —St. Maria Skobtsova, On The Imitation of the Mother of God

“The Christian who does not feel that the Virgin Mary is his or her mother is an orphan.” —Jorge Mario Bergoglio ("Pope Francis")

“Creating man according to his image, God diffused into man's very being the longing for the divine infinitude of life, of knowledge, and of perfection. It is precisely for this reason that the immeasurable longing and thirst of humanity is not able to be completely satisfied by anything or anyone except God. Declaring divine perfection as the main purpose for humanity's existence in the world – ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father who is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matth. 5: 48) – Christ, the Savior, answered the most elemental demand and need of our God-like and God-longing humanity.” —St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, Highest Value and Last Criterion in Orthodoxy

“He who refuses to give in to his passions does the same as he who refuses to bow down and worship idols.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“Concerning the charge of idolatry: Icons are not idols but symbols. Therefore, when an Orthodox venerates an icon, he is not guilty of idolatry. He is not worshiping the symbol, but merely venerating it. Such veneration is not directed toward wood, or paint or stone, but towards the person depicted. Therefore relative honor is shown to material objects, but worship is due to God alone.” —St. John of Damascus

“We do not bow before the nature of wood, but we revere and bow before the one who is depicted.” —St. John of Damascus

“We do not make obeisance to the nature of wood, but we revere and do obeisance to Him who was crucified on the Cross… When the two beams of the Cross are joined together I adore the figure because of Christ who was crucified on the Cross, but if the beams are separated, I throw them away and burn them.” —St. John of Damascus

“We do not worship the relics of the martyrs, but honor them in our worship of Him Whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants in order that the respect paid to them may be reflected back to the Lord.” —St. Jerome

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. … I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation. Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation! I honor it, but not as God. Because of this I salute all remaining matter with reverence, because God has filled it with his grace and power. Through it my salvation has come to me.” —St. John of Damascus

“That which the word communicates by sound, the painting shows silently by representation.” —St. Basil the Great, On the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste

“We depict Christ as our King and Lord, and do not deprive Him of His army. The saints constitute the Lord's army. Let the earthly king dismiss his army before he gives up his King and Lord. Let him put off the purple before he takes honour away from his most valiant men who have conquered their passions. For if the saints are heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ, (Rom. 8.17) they will be also partakers of the divine glory of sovereignty.” —St. John of Damascus

“We define that the holy icons should be exhibited in the holy churches of God… and in houses and along the roads, namely the icons of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, that of our Lady the Theotokos, those of the venerable angels and those of all saintly people… We define also that they should be kissed and that they are an object of veneration and honor… He who venerates the icon, venerates in it the reality for which it stands.” —The Seventh Ecumenical Council

“In the radiance of His light the world is not commonplace. The very floor we stand on is a miracle of atoms whizzing about in space. The darkness of sin is clarified, and its burden shouldered. Death is robbed of its finality, trampled down by Christ's death. In a world where everything that seems to be present is immediately past, everything in Christ is able to participate in the eternal present of God.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann

“Christ surpasses both ends of the world, where the drama ends and where it began. Of all the mysteries, the greatest mystery is He. From His Nativity to His Crucifixion on the Cross, From His Crucifixion on the Cross to His Resurrection, He is the true measure of all God's creation.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“Let no one think that there is anything interpretive in the works of the six days.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“It is [the Lord] that sitteth upon the orb (חוּג, γῦρον, gyrum) of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts: he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” —Isaiah 40:22

“For if the world, being made spherical, is confined within the circles of heaven, and the Creator of the world is above the things created, managing that by His providential care of these, what place is there for the second god, or for the other gods? … Beautiful without doubt is the world, excelling, as well in its magnitude as in the arrangement of its parts, both those in the oblique circle and those about the north, and also in its spherical form.” —St. Athenagoras of Athens, A Plea for the Christians, Ch. 8 and 16 (Father of the Church, Ante-Nicene Christian apologist, c. 175, E)

“Let's start with the earth: you see how big it is and how many every creature is on it – living and soulless. Looking at the earth in all directions, you notice that it seems to be flat; in fact, it is round like a ball: land surveyors have found this out as surely as possible, and we ourselves can be sure of this. You are often by the sea – look into the distance for departing ships or steam ships. At first you see the whole ship, but the farther it goes, the more the bottom of the ship is hidden from you, so that at last you see only the sails or one smoke from the steam ship, and finally this also disappears, as if the ship had sunk into a hole. Why does this happen? Because the earth is spherical. If at first glance it seems flat to us, it is because we are very small in comparison with the earth, and the earth is too large and, with its size, its sloping is imperceptible to us, insignificant ones. So, brethren, the earth is round.” —St. John of Kronstadt, Diaries of Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt, 1857–1858

“You often see, brethren, that the Lord Almighty is mostly written on icons with a ball, on top of which is a cross. This ball means the globe of the earth and is called the power – from the fact that in ancient times the Roman kings had the custom, on solemn occasions, to hold it in their hands. Our Lord Jesus Christ holds in his hand the globe of the earth, as the king of heaven and earth, as the Almighty. We say this in order to show you that our earth is round like a ball. But how is the sphericity of the earth proved by the phenomena at the rising and setting of the sun? As follows: if the earth were not spherical, but flat; then the sun would now hide under the earth, or come out from under it, and immediately leave us either in the full shadow of the earth, or illuminate us with full light. Now, since the earth is round, we use the remnants of light from the sun even when it illuminates the sloping side of the earth, when the sun, so to speak, is under the mountain and produces a dawn for us, as if the glow of a huge fire. This dawn happens because the rays of the setting or rising sun, illuminating the sloping side of the earth, at the same time illuminate the air that is near the earth and surrounds it like water, and thus makes the light of dawn. Watching the dawn, we see from the gradual decrease in light – from the way it gradually becomes paler and paler from light pink - that the earth is exactly round, and the sun, as it were, glides, step by step, evenly, in a circle.” —St. John of Kronstadt, Catechetical Talks

“How does the sun rule by day? Because carrying everywhere light with it, it is no sooner risen above the horizon than it drives away darkness and brings us day. Thus we might, without self deception, define day as air lighted by the sun, or as the space of time that the sun passes in our hemisphere… Those who have written about the nature of the universe have discussed at length the shape of the earth. If it be spherical or cylindrical, if it resemble a disc and is equally rounded in all parts, or if it has the forth of a winnowing basket and is hollow in the middle; all these conjectures have been suggested by cosmographers, each one upsetting that of his predecessor. It will not lead me to give less importance to the creation of the universe, that the servant of God, Moses, is silent as to shapes; he has not said that the earth is a hundred and eighty thousand furlongs in circumference; he has not measured into what extent of air its shadow projects itself while the sun revolves around it, nor stated how this shadow, casting itself upon the moon, produces eclipses. He has passed over in silence, as useless, all that is unimportant for us.” —St. Basil the Great, Hexaemeron, Homily 6:8; 9:1

“Verily, it is most true what one of heathen culture is recorded to have said, that it is the mind that sees and the mind that hears. Else, if you will not allow this to be true, you must tell me why, when you look at the sun, as you have been trained by your instructor to look at him, you assert that he is not in the breadth of his disc of the size he appears to the many, but that he exceeds by many times the measure of the entire earth. Do you not confidently maintain that it is so, because you have arrived by reasoning through phenomena at the conception of such and such a movement, of such distances of time and space, of such causes of eclipse? And when you look at the waning and waxing moon you are taught other truths by the visible figure of that heavenly body, viz. that it is in itself devoid of light, and that it revolves in the circle nearest to the earth, and that it is lit by light from the sun; just as is the case with mirrors, which, receiving the sun upon them, do not reflect rays of their own, but those of the sun, whose light is given back from their smooth flashing surface. Those who see this, but do not examine it, think that the light comes from the moon herself. But that this is not the case is proved by this; that when she is diametrically facing the sun she has the whole of the disc that looks our way illuminated; but, as she traverses her own circle of revolution quicker from moving in a narrower space, she herself has completed this more than twelve times before the sun has once travelled round his; whence it happens that her substance is not always covered with light. For her position facing him is not maintained in the frequency of her revolutions; but, while this position causes the whole side of the moon which looks to us to be illumined, directly she moves sideways her hemisphere which is turned to us necessarily becomes partially shadowed and only that which is turned to him meets his embracing rays; the brightness, in fact, keeps on retiring from that which can no longer see the sun to that which still sees him, until she passes right across the sun's disc and receives his rays upon her hinder part; and then the fact of her being in herself totally devoid of light and splendour causes the side turned to us to be invisible while the further hemisphere is all in light; and this is called the completion of her waning. But when again, in her own revolution, she has passed the sun and she is transverse to his rays, the side which was dark just before begins to shine a little, for the rays move from the illumined part to that so lately invisible. You see what the eye does teach; and yet it would never of itself have afforded this insight, without something that looks through the eyes and uses the data of the senses as mere guides to penetrate from the apparent to the unseen. It is needless to add the methods of geometry that lead us step by step through visible delineations to truths that lie out of sight, and countless other instances which all prove that apprehension is the work of an intellectual essence deeply seated in our nature, acting through the operation of our bodily senses.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection

“As, when the sun shines above the earth, the shadow is spread over its lower part, because its spherical shape makes it impossible for it to be clasped all round at one and the same time by the rays, and necessarily, on whatever side the sun's rays may fall on some particular point of the globe, if we follow a straight diameter, we shall find shadow upon the opposite point, and so, continuously, at the opposite end of the direct line of the rays shadow moves round that globe, keeping pace with the sun, so that equally in their turn both the upper half and the under half of the earth are in light and darkness.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection

“Further, some hold that the Earth is in the form of a sphere, others that it is in that of a cone. At all events it is much smaller than the heaven, and suspended almost like a point in its midst. And it will pass away and be changed. But blessed is the man who inherits the Earth promised to the meek.” —St. John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith, Book 2, Ch 10

“Thus, by His transcendent might He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible understanding He ordered them: the earth He separated from the water now encircling it, and firmly grounded it on the unshakable foundation of His own will … about antipodes: ‘The ocean, impassable for men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same decrees of the Master’…” —St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians

“Clement indeed, a disciple of the apostles, mentions those whom the Greeks call ‘people of the opposite earth’, and speaks of other parts of the world which none of our people can reach, nor can any of those who live there cross over to us; and these parts themselves he called ‘worlds’, when he says, ‘The ocean is impassable to men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same ordinances of God the Ruler’…” —Origen, On First Principles

“But if the light first created enveloped the earth on all sides, whether it was motionless or travelling round, it could not be followed anywhere by night, because it did not vacate any place to make room for night. But was it made on one side, so that as it travelled it would permit the night to follow after from the other? Although water still covered all the earth, there was nothing to prevent the massive watery sphere from having day on one side by the presence of light, and on the other side, night by the absence of light. Thus, in the evening, darkness would pass to that side from which light would be turning to the other … These writers are then asked why Saturn is cold. Its temperature should be higher in proportion to the rapid movement it has by reason of its height in the heavens. For surely when a round mass is rotating, the parts near the center move more slowly, and those near the edge more rapidly, so that the greater and lesser distances may be covered simultaneously in the same circular motion…” —St. Augustine of Hippo, On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis

“The prophet David, our Saints, Basil the Great, who wrote about creation, all of them, with the Grace of God knew everything about the creation by God. The Holy Spirit took them to the depths of the waters, He showed them and they saw the earth revolving around the sun, and many other things. The Saints, however, spoke to people according to the knowledge of their age. This is so that they wouldn't look like fools by revealing everything to their age that they saw with the Grace of God. Since simple people were not able to see all those things and understand them, they would not have believed them!” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, «ΣΚΕΥΟΣ ΕΚΛΟΓΗΣ: ΓΕΡΩΝ ΠΑΙΣΙΟΣ», 1924-1994, p. 142

“Truly, is this necessary? No, not at all, for we know that many and great scientists were at the same time great believers. For example, such was the Polish astronomer Copernicus who laid the foundation of all contemporary astronomy. Copernicus was not only a believer but was also a cleric. Another great scientist, Newton, whenever he mentioned the word God, he removed his hat. He was a great believer… Would Haeckel therefore dare say that these men did not have enlightened minds because they believed in God?” —St. Luke the Surgeon, On Science and Religion

“The faithful have little need for scientists now, the world is full of them! They are in need of holy men, of those who live the holy life; of those who can attract the Grace of God to them.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania

“Once, when standing before a window at night, St. Barsanuphius (of Optina) pointed to the moon and said to his spiritual children: "Look – what a picture! This is left to us as a consolation. It is no wonder the Prophet David said, ‘Thou hast gladdened me’, he says, although this is only a hint of that wondrous beauty, incomprehensible to human thought, which was originally created. We don't know what kind of moon there was then, what kind of sun, what kind of light… All of this changed after the fall."” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Genesis, Creation, and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision, p. 44

“As for the ‘scientific’ information given in the book of Genesis – and since it talks about the formation of the world we know, there cannot but be some scientific information there – contrary to popular belief, there is nothing ‘out-of-date’ about it. Its observations, it is true, are all made as seen from earth and as affecting mankind; but they do not put forth any particular teaching, for example, on the nature of the heavenly bodies or their relative motions, and so the book can be read by each generation and understood in the light of its own scientific knowledge. The discovery in recent centuries of the vastness of space and the immensity of many of its heavenly bodies does nothing but add grandeur in our minds to the simple account of Genesis. When the Holy Fathers talk about Genesis, of course, they try to illustrate it with examples taken from the natural science of their time; we do the same thing today. All this illustrative material is open to scientific criticism, and some of it, in fact, has become out-of-date. But the text of Genesis itself is unaffected by such criticism, and we can only wonder at how fresh and timely it is to each new generation. And the theological commentary of the Holy Fathers on the text partakes of this same quality.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision, p. 87

“One who has the judgment of Christ before his eyes, who has seen the great danger that threatens those who dare to subtract from or add to those things which have been handed down by the Spirit, must not be ambitious to innovate, but must content himself with those things which have been proclaimed by the saints.” —St. Basil the Great, Against Eunomius 2, PG 29.573-652

“Our afflictions are well known without my telling; the sound of them has now gone forth over all Christendom. The doctrines of the fathers are despised; apostolical traditions are set at nought; the speculations of innovators hold sway in the churches. Men have learned to be theorists instead of theologians. The wisdom of the world has the place of honour, having dispossessed the boasting of the cross. The pastors are driven away, grievous wolves are brought in instead, and plunder the flock of Christ, Houses of prayer are destitute of preachers; the deserts are full of mourners: the old bewail, comparing what is with what was; more pitiable are the young, as not knowing what they are deprived of. What has been said is sufficient to kindle the sympathy of those who are taught in the love of Christ, yet compared with the facts, it is far from reaching their seriousness.” —St. Basil the Great, ep. 90

“I urge you not to faint in your afflictions, but to be risen by the love of God and to increase every day to your zeal, knowing that it is necessary to preserve in you this relic of the true religion that the Lord will find when He comes to the earth. Even if the bishops are trained out of their churches, don't be dismayed. If traitors have appeared among the clergy, do not betray your trust in God. We are saved not by names, but by our mind and by our purpose, and by a true love to our Creator. Think that in the attack of our Lord, the great priests and the scribes and the elders have designed the conspiracy, and that few people have been found getting the Word. Remember that it is not the multitude that is being saved, but the elected ones of God. So don't be scared by the multitude of people who are swept away by the winds like the waters of the sea. If one is saved, as a Lot in Sodom, he must remain in a fair judgment, keeping his hope in Christ steadfast, for the Lord will not abandon His saints. Say hello to all the brothers in Christ from me. Pray with fervor for my miserable soul.” —St. Basil the Great

“So, to the question, ‘Do we believe in conspiracy theories?’, the answer is, ‘We don't believe in them, we have long experience of them.’” —Fr. Peter Heers, On Demonic Methodology, Part II: Q & A, May 6, 2020

“Let us be firm, my brothers, on the rock of faith, in the tradition of the Church, and not remove or change the boundaries established by our Holy Fathers. Let us close the road to innovators and not permit them to demolish the structure of the holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of God. If we allow, however, the introduction of any innovation, we unconsciously support the collapse of the Church. No, my brothers, you who love Christ, no, you children of the Church, you will never want to surround your Mother Church with confusion.” —St. John of Damascus, Concerning Images, III.41

“Therefore, brethren, let us stand on the rock of faith and on the tradition of the Church, and not remove the boundaries which our Holy Fathers have set. Thus, we will not give the opportunity to those who wish to innovate and destroy the edifice of the holy, catholic and apostolic Church of God. For if permission is granted to everyone who wants it, little by little the whole body of the Church will be destroyed. Do not, brethren, do not, oh Christ-loving children of the Church of God …” —Jeremiah II (Jeremias II) Tranos, Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop of Constantinople, letter to the Most Wise Theologians, Residents of the Famous City of Tübingen, in the month of May, 1579, Indiction 7, pp. 197-8 (prophetic warning of to the Lutheran scholars)

“For to err is human, but the correction is angelic and salvific.” —Jeremiah II (Jeremias II) Tranos, Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop of Constantinople, letter to the Most Wise Theologians, Residents of the Famous City of Tübingen, in the month of May, 1579, Indiction 7, p. 210

“Unbelief is an evil offspring of an evil heart; for the guileless and pure of heart discovers God everywhere, everywhere discerns Him, and always unhesitatingly believes in His existence.” —St. Nectarios of Aegina

“He who learns must suffer And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget Falls drop by drop upon the heart, And in our own despite, against our will, Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” —Aeschylus

“The greatest wisdom often emerges from the deepest wounds.” —Jane Lee Logan

“Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. … Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead: … For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.” —C. S. Lewis

“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

“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The thronèd monarch better than his crown. His scepter shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptered sway. It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings; It is an attribute to God Himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this: That in the course of justice none of us Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy, And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea, Which, if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.” —William Shakespeare, Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” —unknown

“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” —unknown

“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” —unknown

“If we could look into each others hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” —Marvin J. Ashton

“Teach me to feel another's woe, to hide the fault I see; that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.” —Alexander Pope

“Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality.” —Dennis James Kennedy

“The greatest thing a man can do to a woman is to lead her closer to God than to himself.” —unknown

“A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!” —unknown

“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.” —C. S. Lewis

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.” —Victor Hugo

“It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose him as an alternative to hell.” —C. S. Lewis

“Hell can't be made attractive, so the devil makes attractive the road that leads there.” —St. Basil the Great

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“If you die before you die, than when you die, you will not die.” —written on a cell wall, St. Paul's Monastery, Mt. Athos

“War in the name of religion is war against religion.” —His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

“Believe me, if God revealed to us the disasters to which we were exposed and from which He protected us, our whole lives would not suffice to offer Him thanks.” —H.H. Pope Shenouda

“In heaven, God will not ask us why we have sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.” —H.H. Pope Shenouda III

“Even if all spiritual fathers, patriarchs, hierarchs, and all the people forgive you, you are unforgiven if you don’t repent in action.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos

“Nobody is as gracious and merciful, as the Lord is, but even He does not forgive the sins of the man who does not repent; … we are being condemned not because of the multitude of our evils, but because we do not want to repent.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“As a handful of sand thrown into the ocean, so are the sins of all flesh as compared with the mercy of God.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked up by a handful of earth, so the compassion of the Creator is not overcome by the wickedness of his creatures.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“God is loving to man, and loving in no small measure. For say not, I have committed fornication and adultery: I have done dreadful things, and not once only, but often: will He forgive? Will He grant pardon? Hear what the Psalmist says: ‘How great is the multitude of Your goodness, O Lord!’ Your accumulated offenses surpass not the multitude of God's mercies: your wounds surpass not the great Physician's skill. Only give yourself up in faith: tell the Physician your ailment: say thou also, like David: ‘I said, I will confess me my sin unto the Lord’: and the same shall be done in your case, which he says immediately: ‘And you forgave the wickedness of my heart.’” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 2, On Repentance and Remission of Sins and Concerning the Adversary, Ezekiel xviii. 20-23

“The Lord calls to Him all sinners; He opens His arms wide, even to the worst among them. Gladly He takes them in His arms, if only they will come to Him.” —St. Macarius of Optina

“Repentance is the daughter of hope and the refusal to despair.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent

“Years are not needed for true repentance, and not days, but only an instant.” —St. Ambrose of Optina

“There is no sin which cannot be pardoned except that one which lacks repentance, and there is no gift which is not augmented save that which remains without acknowledgement. For the portion of the fool is small in his eyes.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“When a man abandons his sins and returns to God, his repentance regenerates him and renews him entirely.” —St. Isaiah the Solitary

“Through repentance the filth of our foul actions is washed away. After this, we participate in the Holy Spirit, not automatically, but according to the faith, humility and inner disposition of the repentance in which our soul is engaged. For this reason it is good to repent each day as the act of repentance is unending.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Philokalia

“There is nothing higher than what is called repentance and confession. The sacrament is the offering of God's love to mankind. In this perfect way a person is free of evil. We go and confess and we sense our reconciliation with God; Joy enters us and guilt departs. In the Orthodox Church there is no impasse.” —St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

“…confession is such a potent treatment that it immediately neutralizes every poison of pardonable and mortal sin, which is an infinite evil, and causes every invisible illness to disappear, restoring to the soul its initial health and grace. It is such a wondrous treatment that it instantly changes the sinner into a beautiful angel from that which it was before…” —St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, Exomologetarion: A Manual of Confession, p. 234

“And so it is incumbent upon us to strive, rather, to correct our faults and to improve our behavior.” —St. John Cassian

“If the grace of God doesn't enlighten man, though you say many words, they won't be beneficial. The person listens to you for a moment, but soon after returns to that which holds him captive. If, however, grace works immediately, together with your words, then a change is effected at that moment, corresponding to the person's predisposition. And from that moment on, his life is changed. This happens with those who haven't hardened their hearing and conscience.” —Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit

“Let us strive to purify ourselves through repentance and humility, and to unite all our senses as one to the God who is good, and transcends the good. Then, truly, everything which I have not quite been able to say or to demonstrate with my many words, you will be taught in an instant, all at once. You will hear with your sight, and see with your hearing. You will be taught while seeing and, again, hear what is unveiled.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“Where there is God, there is no evil. Everything coming from God is peaceful, healthy and leads a person to the judgment of his own imperfections and humility.

When a person accepts anything Godly, then he rejoices in his heart, but when he has accepted anything devilish, then he becomes tormented.

The devil is like a lion, hiding in ambush (Ps 10:19, 1Pe 5:8). He secretly sets out nets of unclean and unholy thoughts. So, it is necessary to break them off as soon as we notice them, by means of pious reflection and prayer.

It is necessary that the Holy Spirit enter our heart. Everything good that we do, that we do for Christ, is given to us by the Holy Spirit, but prayer most of all, which is always available to us.

A sign of spiritual life is the immersion of a person within himself and the hidden workings within his heart.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“There is nothing better than peace in Christ, for it brings victory over all the evil spirits on earth and in the air. When peace dwells in a man's heart it enables him to contemplate the grace of the Holy Spirit from within. He who dwells in peace collects spiritual gifts as it were with a scoop, and he sheds the light of knowledge on others. All our thoughts, all our desires, all our efforts, and all our actions should make us say constantly with the Church: ‘O Lord, give us peace!’ When a man lives in peace, God reveals mysteries to him.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“The Spirit offers its own light to every mind, to help it in its search for truth.” —St. Basil the Great

“Sometimes a man's happiness is so deep inside him that he may forget it's there and start looking elsewhere hunting a fantasy, an illusion.” —Mr. Roarke (Fantasy Island, s2e14)

“If he seeks answers to questions related to his faith, his purpose in life, he will find happiness.” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania

“The person who loves God values knowledge of God more than anything created by God, and pursues such knowledge ardently and ceaselessly.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Adorn yourself with truth, try to speak truth in all things; and do not support a lie, no matter who asks you. If you speak the truth and someone gets mad at you, don’t be upset, but take comfort in the words of the Lord: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of truth, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:10).” —St. Gennadios (II) Scholarios, Patriarch of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, 26,2

“You that are strong with all might in the inner man ought by rights to carry on the struggle against the enemies of the truth, and not to shrink from the task, that we fathers may be gladdened by the noble toil of our sons; for this is the prompting of the law of nature: but as you turn your ranks, and send against us the assaults of those darts which are hurled by the opponents of the truth, and demand that their hot burning coals and their shafts sharpened by knowledge falsely so called should be quenched with the shield of faith by us old men.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“Be the bee and not the fly… The fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful flowers are!” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“I shall set forth the best contributions of the philosophers of the Greeks, because whatever there is of good has been given to men from above by God, since ‘every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights’ (Js. 1.17). If, however, there is anything that is contrary to the truth, then it is a dark invention of the deceit of Satan and a fiction of the mind of an evil spirit, as that eminent theologian Gregory once said (Homily 39.3). In imitation of the method of the bee, I shall make my composition from those things which are conformable with the truth and from our enemies themselves gather the fruit of salvation. But all that is worthless and falsely labeled as knowledge I shall reject. Then, next, after this, I shall set forth in order the absurdities of the heresies hated of God, so that by recognizing the lie we may more closely follow the truth. Then, with God's help and by His grace I shall expose the truth–that truth which destroys deceit and puts falsehood to flight and which, as with golden fringes, has been embellished and adorned by the sayings of the divinely inspired prophets, the divinely taught fishermen, and the God-bearing shepherds and teachers–that truth, the glory of which flashes out from within to brighten with its radiance, when they encounter it, them that are duly purified and rid of troublesome speculations. However, as I have said, I shall add nothing of my own, but shall gather together into one those things which have been worked out by the most eminent of teachers and make a compendium of them, being in all things obedient to your command.” —St. John of Damascus, The Fount of Knowledge

“If we have obtained the grace of God, none shall prevail against us, but we shall be stronger than all who oppose us.” —St. John Chrysostom

“But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion.” —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, 4:18:5

“The Eucharist is the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, in his loving-kindess, raised from the dead.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnians, 7:1

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you, turn to the Eucharist; and that Bread, Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself, will teach you humility. If the fever of selfish greed rages in you, feed on this Bread; and you will learn generosity. If the cold wind of coveting withers you, hasten to the Bread of Angels; and charity will come to blossom in your heart. If you feel the itch of intemperance, nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ, Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life; and you will become temperate. If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things, strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food; and you will grow fervent. Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity, go to the banquet of the Angels; and the spotless Flesh of Christ will make you pure and chaste.” —St. Cyril of Alexandria

“Don't be anxious about what you have, but about what you are.” —St. Gregory the Great

“Teach your child this lesson: the rewards of evil are temporary; the rewards of Godliness (good character) are eternal.” —St. Cyprian of Carthage

“Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have greater wealth and glory than riches can provide. If a child learns a trade, or is highly educated for a lucrative profession, all this is nothing compared to the art of detachment from riches; if you want to make your child rich, teach him this. He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions, or surrounds himself with wealth, but who requires nothing…Don’t think that only monks need to learn the Bible; Children about to go out into the world stand in greater need of Scriptural knowledge.” —St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians, Homily 21

“If a man really sets his heart upon the will of God, God will enlighten a little child to tell that man what is His will. But if a man does not truly desire the will of God, even if he goes in search of a prophet, God will put into the heart of the prophet a reply like the deception in his own heart.” —Abba Dorotheos of Gaza

“Learn from small children: if a child is attacked by someone in the presence of his parent, he does not respond to the attacker himself, but looks at the parent and cries. He knows that the parent will protect him. And how can you not know what the little child knows? Your heavenly Parent is continually beside you. Therefore do not revenge, do not repay evil for evil, but look at the Parent and cry. Only in this way will you secure your victory in a clash with evil people.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“The soul that is in all things devoted to the will of God rests quiet in Him, for she knows of experience and from the Holy Scriptures that the Lord loves us much and watches over our souls, quickening all things by His grace in peace and love. Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God, be it illness, poverty or persecution. He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us. The Holy Spirit, whom the soul knows, is witness therefore. But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will because they like their own way, and that is harmful for the soul.” —St. Silouan the Athonite (From the Life and Teachings of Elder Siluan by Bishop Alexander and Natalia Bufius translated by Anatoly Shmelev)

“The man who cries out against evil men, but does not pray for them will never know the grace of God.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“Begin to pray with those whom you love most, for example, for your children. Then pray for the rest of the family. Then for the people around you, then bless the city in which you live…bless the residents of other cities… Then ask God to calm the hearts of other countries so that there is no war. Then, when you have already prayed for the whole world, you only have to pray for enemies. And to not miss them, ask God to fill their hearts with kindness, and the mind with wisdom. You see, it turns out that you can pray for enemies too.” —St. Gabriel Urgebadze of Georgia, Confessor and Fool for Christ

“True faith is found in one's heart, not mind. People who have faith in their mind will follow the antichrist. But the ones who have it in their heart will recognize him.” —St. Gabriel Urgebadze of Georgia, Confessor and Fool for Christ

“When people are so steeped in evil that they do not yield to any admonishment and continue doing evil, a Christian cannot and should not take refuge in this teaching of the forgiveness of all, sit indifferently with his arms crossed, and apathetically watch evil abuse good, as it increases and destroys people, his close ones. To indifferently watch the ruin of a close one by one who has lost his senses and become a bearer of evil is nothing other than the breaking of the commandment of love for one's neighbor.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“Those who dislike and reject their fellow-man are impoverished in their being. They do not know the true God, who is all-embracing love.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“If we detect hatred in our hearts against any man whatsoever for committing any fault, we are utterly estranged from love for God, since love for God absolutely precludes us from hating any man.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“One must not harbour anger nor hatred towards a person that is hostile towards us. On the contrary. You must love him and do as much good as possible towards him. Following the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“As fire is not extinguished by fire, so anger is not conquered by anger, but is made even more inflamed. But meekness often subdues even the most beastly enemies, softens them and pacifies them.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“For wherever love disappears, hatred immediately appears in its place. And if God is love, then hatred is the devil. Therefore, at one who has love has God within himself, so he who has hatred within himself nurtures the devil within him.” —St. Basil the Great

“Do not ask for love from your neighbor, for if you ask and he does not respond, you will be troubled. Instead show your love for your neighbour and you will be at rest, and so will bring your neighbour to love.” —St. Dorotheos of Gaza

“Love should never be sacrificed for the sake of some dogmatic difference.” —St. Nektarios of Aegina

“No term is used–and misused–among the Orthodox people in America more often than the term canonical.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann, The Problems of Orthodoxy in America, The Canonical Problem

“Even the slightest thought that is not founded on love destroys peace.” —Archimandrite Thaddeus Strabulovich

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Your Lord is love: love Him and in Him all men, as His Children in Christ. Your Lord is fire: do not let your heart be cold, but burn with faith and love. Your Lord is light: do not walk in darkness of mind, without reasoning or understanding, or without faith. Your Lord is a God of mercy and bountifulness: be also a source of mercy and bountifulness to your neighbors. If you will be such, you will find salvation yourself with everlasting glory.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“To love our brothers is a need that is endemic to our nature. Contemporary man does not recognize this need, because it is suppressed and suffocated by egoism.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev), The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society, p.54

“Many think that love is a feeling, but this is not the case. It is a state of the will. If love were a feeling it would not be a commandment. Naturally, love is accompanied by certain feelings, but in essence it is a state of the will.” —Fr. Daniel Sysoev, How Can I Learn God's Will?

“Love is – the bond of life, the mother of the poor and the teacher of the rich. It is the nurse of orphans, the attendant of the elderly, the treasure of the indigent and the common port of all the afflicted.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“I guard you in advance against beasts in the form of men, whom you must not only not receive, but if it is possible not even meet, but only pray for them, if perchance they may repent…” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, A.D. 117

“If the Christian recognizes and understands under what condition, under what law he has believed, he will know that he must labor more in the world than others, as he must carry on a greater struggle against the assault of the devil. Divine Scripture teaches and forewarns, saying: ‘Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice, and in fear, and prepare thyself for temptation’ (Sirach 2:1), and again: ‘in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience, for gold and silver are tried in the fire’ (Sirach 2:4,5).” —St. Cyprian of Carthage, Mortality

“The person who has surrendered himself entirely to sin indulges with enjoyment and pleasure in unnatural and shameful passions – licentiousness, unchastity, greed, hatred, guile and other forms of vice – as though they were natural. The genuine and perfected Christian, on the other hand, with great enjoyment and spiritual pleasure participates effortlessly and without impediment in all the virtues and all the supranatural fruits of the Spirit – love, peace, patient endurance, faith, humility and the entire truly golden galaxy of virtue – as though they were natural.” —St. Symeon Metaphrastis

“When a man is given over to the passions, he does not see them in himself and does not fight against them, because he lives in them and by them. But when the grace of God becomes active in him, he begins to discern the passionate and sinful in himself, acknowledge them, and to repent and decide to guard against them. A struggle begins. At first, the struggle begins with deeds, but when released from shameful deeds, then the struggle begins with shameful thoughts and feelings. And here the struggle encounters many steps … The struggle continues. The passions increasingly are torn out of the heart. It even happens that they are entirely torn out … The sign that the passions are torn out of the heart is that the soul begins to feel repulsion and hatred for the passions.” —St. Theophan the Recluse, Unseen Warfare, How the Spiritual Life Proceeds

“Until you have eradicated evil, do not obey your heart; for it will seek more of what it already contains within itself.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Whatever of that which is best has flowed into the heart, we should not pour out without need; for that which has been gathered can be free of danger from visible and invisible enemies only when it is guarded in the interior of the heart.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“No one professing faith sins, nor does anyone possessing love hate. The tree is known by its fruit; thus those who profess to be Christ's will be recognized by their actions. For the work is a matter not of what one promises now, but of persevering to the end in the power of faith.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians

“Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“The evil powers love the darkness and tremble at every light, especially at that which belongs to God and to those who please Him.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“There is no benefit to be gained from a pure life when one possesses heretical dogma. And likewise the opposite is true. Correct dogma is of no benefit when one leads a corrupt life. Let us not think that holding faith alone is alone sufficient for salvation if we do not also show forth a pure life.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The one who has not yet obtained divine knowledge activated by love makes a lot of the religious works he performs. But the one who has been deemed worthy to obtain this says with conviction the words which the patriarch Abraham spoke when he was graced with the divine appearance, ‘I am but earth and ashes.’” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Do not say that ‘mere faith in our Lord Jesus Christ can save me’, for this is impossible unless you acquire love for Him through works. For in what concerns mere believing, ‘even the demons believe and tremble’ (James 2:19). The action of love consists in heartfelt good deeds towards one's neighbor, magnanimity, patience, and sober use of things.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Our faith then must be different from the faith of devils. For our faith purifies the heart; but their faith makes them guilty. For they do wickedly, and therefore say they to the Lord, ‘What have we to do with You?’ When you hear the devils say this, do you think that they do not acknowledge Him? ‘We know,’ they say, ‘who You are: You are the Son of God.’ This Peter says, and is commended; the devil says it, and is condemned. Whence comes this, but that though the words be the same, the heart is different? Let us then make a distinction in our faith, and not be content to believe. This is no such faith as purifies the heart. ‘Purifying their hearts,’ it is said, ‘by faith.’ But by what, and what kind of faith, save that which the Apostle Paul defines when he says, ‘Faith which works by love.’ That faith distinguishes us from the faith of devils, and from the infamous and abandoned conduct of men. ‘Faith,’ he says. What faith? ‘That which works by love,’ and which hopes for what God does promise. Nothing is more exact or perfect than this definition. There are then in faith these three things. He in whom that faith is which works by love, must necessarily hope for that which God does promise. Hope therefore is the associate of faith. For hope is necessary as long as we see not what we believe, lest perhaps through not seeing, and by despairing to see, we fail. That we see not, does make us sad; but that we hope we shall see, comforts us. Hope then is here, and she is the associate of faith. And then charity also, by which we long, and strive to attain, and glow with desire, and hunger and thirst. This then is taken in also; and so there will be faith, hope, and charity. For how shall there not be charity there, since charity is nothing else but love? And this faith is itself defined as that ‘which works by love.’ Take away faith, and all you believe perishes; take away charity, and all that you do perishes. For it is the province of faith to believe, of charity to do. For if you believe without love, you do not apply yourself to good works; or if you do, it is as a servant, not as a son, through fear of punishment, not through love of righteousness. Therefore I say, that faith purifies the heart, which works by love.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermon III on the New Testament, Section XI

“Refuse to listen to the Devil when he whispers to you: ‘Give me now, and you will give tomorrow to God.’ No, no! Spend all the hours of your life in a way pleasing to God. Keep in your mind the thought that after the present hour, you will not be given another, and that you will have to render a strict account for every minute of this present hour.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“Human life is but of brief duration. ‘All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever’ (Isa. 40:6). Let us hold fast to the commandment that abides, and despise the unreality that passes away.” —St. Basil the Great

“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. 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

“You should look downward. Remember: you are earth and you will return to the earth.” —St. Ambrose of Optina

“Just as a pauper, seeing the royal treasures, all the more acknowledges his own poverty; so also the spirit, reading the accounts of the great deeds of the Holy Fathers, involuntarily is all the more humbled in its way of thought.” —St. John Climacus

“Do not shun poverty and affliction, the fuel that gives wings to prayer.” —Evagrios the Solitary

“Prayer is a refuge for those who are shaken, an anchor for those tossed by waves, a walking stick for the infirm, a treasure house for the poor, a stronghold for the rich, a destroyer of sicknesses, a preserver of health. He who can sincerely pray is richer than everyone else, even though he is the poorest of all. On the contrary, he who does not have recourse to prayer, even though he sit on a king's throne, is the poorest of all…” —St. John Chrysostom

“What is the meaning of the exclamation so often sung in church: ‘Lord, have mercy upon us’? It is the lament of the guilty, condemned sinner, imploring forgiveness of an irritated justice. We are all under the eternal curse and doomed to eternal fire for our innumerable sins, and it is only the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, interceding for us before the Heavenly Father, that saves us from eternal punishment. It is the lament of the repentant sinner, expressing his firm intention to amend and begin a new life, becoming for a Christian. It is the lament of the repentant sinner, ready to forgive others, as he himself was and is immeasurably forgiven by God, the Judge of his deeds.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, pg. 406

“It seems that we do not understand one thing: it is not good when we return the love of those who love us, yet hate those who hate us. We are not on the right path if we do this. We are the sons of light and love – the sons of God, his children. As such, we must have His qualities and His attributes of love, peace, and kindness towards all.” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“Pride is trying to imagine a world and live in it. Humility receives the world as God created it.” —St. Sophrony of Essex

“We suffer because we have no humility and we do not love our brother. From love of our brother comes the love of God. People do not learn humility, and because of their pride cannot receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, and therefor the whole world suffers.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“Some suffer much from poverty and sickness, but are not humbled, and so they suffer without profit. But one who is humbled will be happy in all circumstances, because the Lord is his riches and joy, and all people will wonder at the beauty of his soul.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“My joy, I beg you, acquire the Spirit of Peace. That means to bring oneself to such a state that our spirit will not be disturbed by anything. For one must go through many sorrows to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the way all righteous men were saved and inherited the Heavenly Kingdom…” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“My will, therefore, He took to Himself, my grief. In confidence I call it grief, because I preach His Cross. Mine is the will which He called His Own, for as Man He bore my grief, as Man He spake, and therefore said, ‘Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.’ Mine was the grief, and mine the heaviness with which He bore it, for no man exults when at the point to die. With me and for me He Suffers, for me He is sad, for me He is heavy. In my stead therefore, and in me He grieved Who had no cause to grieve for Himself.

Not Thy Wound, but mine, hurt Thee, Lord Jesus; not Thy Death, but our weakness, even as the Prophet saith: ‘For He is afflicted for our sakes’--and we, Lord, esteemed Thee afflicted, when Thou grievedst not for Thyself, but for me.

And what wonder if He grieved for all, Who wept for one? What wonder if, in the hour of death, He is heavy for all, Who wept when at the point to raise Lazarus from the dead? Then, indeed, He was moved by a loving sister's tears, for they touched His human heart,--here by secret grief He brought it to pass that, even as His Death made an end of death, and His Stripes healed our scars, so also His Sorrow took away our sorrow.” —St. Ambrose of Milan, (+397), Ch. 7, Book II, Exposition on the Christian Faith

“Peace is not absence of struggle, but absence of uncertainty and confusion.” —Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart, it is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.” —Andrew Murray

“However great the afflictions we suffer, what are they compared with the promised future reward.” —St. Macarius the Great

“Shun the praise of men and love the one who, in the fear of the Lord, reprimands you.” —St. Pachomius

“When people begin to praise us, let us hurry to remember the multitude of ours transgressions, and we will see that we are truly unworthy of that which they say and do in our honor.” —St. John Climacus

“…Don't be frightened at your burden; our Lord will help you to carry it.” —St. John Vianney

“Every tribulation reveals the state of our will.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Every affliction tests our will, showing whether it is inclined to good or evil. That is why an unforeseen affliction is called a test, because it enables a man to test his hidden desires.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Many are the wiles of the enemy to despoil us of inner peace, so watch!” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“In every situation confusion is from the devil, from whom may the Lord shield and protect us.” —St. Leo of Optina

“It should be noted that when the fallen spirit wants to get dominion over Christ's ascetics, he does not act imperiously or domineeringly, but tries to draw a man to consent to the proposed delusion, and after getting his consent he takes possession of the person who has given his consent. Holy David, in describing his the fallen angel attacks man, has very rightly said: "He lurketh in secret as a lion in his den, that he may ravish the poor; to ravish the poor, when he getteth him into his net."” —St. Ignaty Bryanchaninov, The Arena, chapter 11, On the Solitary Life

“The devil presents minor sins as insignificant in our eyes, because otherwise he would not be able lead us into major ones.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Do not leave unobliterated any fault, however small, for it may lead you on to greater sins.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Obedience is necessary not only for monks, but for all people. Even the Lord was obedient. The proud and self-regarding do not allow grace to live in them, and therefore they never have spiritual peace, while in the obedient soul the grace of the Holy Spirit enters easily and gives joy and peace. Whoever bears even a little grace in himself joyfully submits himself to all direction. He knows that God directs even the heavens and the netherworld, and himself, and his business, and everything in the world, and therefore he is always at peace.” —St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, XV.2

“The fact that I am a monk and you are a layman is of no importance. The Lord listens equally to the monk and to the man of the world provided both are true believer. He looks for a heart full of true faith into which to send his Spirit. For the heart of a man is capable of containing the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God are one.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“He who honours the Lord does what the Lord bids. When he sins or is disobedient, he patiently accepts what comes as something he deserves.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“It is a great error to think that you must undertake important and great labors, whether for heaven, or, as the 'progressives' think, in order to make one's contribution to humanity. That is not necessary at all. It is necessary only to do everything in accordance with the Lord's commandments.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“When we are immersed in sins, and our mind is occupied solely with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent to who we are inwardly, and we persist along a false path without being aware of it.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“We have to be aware that what is being pounded in upon us is all of one piece; it has a certain rhythm, a certain message to give us, this message of self-worship, of relaxing, of letting go, of enjoying yourself, of giving up any thought of the other world … It is actually an education in atheism. We have to fight back by knowing just what the world is trying to do to us…” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“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

“Learn to love humility, for it will cover all your sins. All sins are repugnant before God but the most repugnant of all is pride of the heart.

Do not consider yourself learned and wise; otherwise, all your effort will be destroyed and your boat will reach the harbor empty.

If you have great authority, do not threaten anyone with death. Know, that according to nature, you too are susceptible to death and that every soul sheds its body from itself as the final garment.

In Byzantium there existed an unusual and instructive custom during the crowning of the emperors in the Church of the Divine Wisdom [St. Sophia]. The custom was that when the patriarch placed the crown on the emperor's head, at the same time, he handed him a silk purse filled with dirt from the grave.

Then, even the emperor would recall death and to avoid all pride and become humble.” —St. Anthony the Great, The Prologue of Ochrid

“What made our Lord Jesus Christ lay aside His garments, gird Himself with a towel, and, pouring water into a basin, begin to wash the feet of those who were below Him, if not to teach us humility? For it was humility He showed us by the example of what He then did. And indeed those who want to be accepted into the foremost rank cannot achieve this otherwise than through humility; for in the beginning, the thing that caused downfall from heaven was a movement of pride. So, if a man lacks extreme humility, if he is not humble with all his heart, all his mind, all his spirit, all his soul and body – he will not inherit the kingdom of God.” —St. Anthony the Great, Early Fathers from the Philokalia, E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, 1954, pp. 45-46

“People who are filled with egoism and pride because of their education, resemble satellites that orbit in the sky, giving one the impression that they are stars. If, however, you observe them carefully you will see their crooked steps and see that it is all a human sham… Internally-oriented people, on account of their humility, are the true stars that move at dizzying speeds, but noiselessly and humbly, without anyone understanding how they move even though they are immense planets. They hide in the depths of heaven and give men the impression that they are little oil lamps aflame with a humble light.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“Wouldst thou comprehend the height of God? First comprehend the lowliness of God. Condescend to be humble for thine own sake, seeing that God condescended to be humble for thy sake too, for it was not for his own.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“The greatness of a man consisteth of humility, for in proportion as a man descendeth to humility, he becometh exalted to greatness.” —Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. 2

“It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp God's ineffable greatness with the human mind.” —St. Basil the Great

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” —C. S. Lewis

“This is the wisdom and power of God: to be victorious through weakness, exalted through humility, rich through poverty.” —St. Gregory Palamas

“You will lose nothing of what you have renounced for the Lord’s sake. For in its own time it will return to you greatly multiplied.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“God often isolates those whom He chooses, so that we have nowhere to turn except to Him, then He reveals Himself to us.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Where can I flee? A place cannot save you because there is no place you can flee from yourself.” —St. Nikon of Optina

“No one and nothing can harm a man if he does not harm himself; on the contrary, if one does not avoid sin, a thousand means of salvation will not help him. Consequently, the only evil is sin: Judas fell while in the presence of the Savior, but the righteous Lot was saved while living in Sodom.” —St. Nikon of Optina, November 15-16/28-29, 1922, Optina Monastery, The Orthodox Word, 1980, vol. 16, no. 2 (91), March-April

“If our purpose is to fight the spiritual fight and to defeat, with God's help, the demons of malice, we should take every care to guard our heart from the demon of dejection, just as a moth devours clothing and a worm devours wood, so dejection devours a man’s soul. It persuades him to shun every helpful encounter and stops him accepting advice from his true friends or giving them a courteous and peaceful reply. Seizing the entire soul, it fills it with bitterness and listlessness. Then it suggests to the soul that we should go away from other people, since they are the cause of its agitation. It does not allow the soul to understand that its sickness does not come from without, but lies hidden within, only manifesting itself when temptations attack the soul because of our ascetic efforts.

A man can be harmed by another only through the causes of the passions which lie within himself. It is for this reason that God, the Creator of all and the Doctor of men’s souls, who alone has accurate knowledge of the soul’s wounds, does not tell us to forsake the company of men; He tells us to root out the causes of evil within us and to recognize that the soul’s health is achieved not by a man’s separating himself from his fellows, but by his living the ascetic life in the company of holy men. When we abandon our brothers for some apparently good reason, we do not eradicate the motives for dejection but merely exchange them, since the sickness which lies hidden within us will show itself again in other circumstances.” —St. John Cassian

“A life lived in the world can be as good, in the eyes of God, as one spent in a monastery. It is indeed only the keeping of God's commandments, love of all, and a true sense of humility that matter, wherever we are.” —Elder Macarius of Optina

“Those who, because of the rigor of their own ascetic practice, despise the less zealous, think that they are made righteous by physical works. But we are even more foolish if we rely on theoretical knowledge and disparage the ignorant.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“When you get bitter and annoyed, even if only in thought, you ruin the spiritual atmosphere. You stop the Holy Spirit from working and you allow the devil to increase evil. You should always pray, love and forgive, rejecting each and every bad thought within you.” —St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

“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.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“A remedy against straying thoughts is mental attention, attention to the fact that the Lord is before us and we are before Him.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“The roots of evil thoughts are the obvious vices, which we keep trying to justify in our words and actions.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Guard your speech from boasting and your thoughts from presumption; otherwise you may be abandoned by God and fall into sin. For man cannot do anything good without the help of God, who sees everything.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

"The higher a person’s position in society the more he should help others without ever reminding them of his position.” —Tsar St. Nicholas II

“If you want your sins to be absolved by Christ, then don't speak to others about any virtue that you may have, because God will treat our sins the same way we treat our virtues.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“If any man is able in power to continue in purity, to the honour of the flesh of our Lord, let him continue so without boasting; if he boasts, he is undone; if he become known apart from the bishop, he has destroyed himself.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Guarding the mouth wakes up the conscience to God, if it is with knowledge that a man keeps silence.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Silence is more profitable than speech, for as it has been said, ‘The words of wise men are heard even in quiet.’” —St. Basil the Great

“Never give your opinion if you are not asked for it, even if you think that your view is the best.” —Josemaria Escriva

“Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence.” —St. Ambrose of Milan

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.” —Henri Nouwen

“Let your mouth continually administer blessing; then the scorn of anyone will never hurt you.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Just as swine run to a place where there is mire, and bees dwell where there are fragrances and incense, likewise demons gather where there are carnal songs and the grace of the Holy Spirit settles where there are spiritual melodies, sanctifying both mouth and soul.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A psalm implies serenity of soul; it is the author of peace, which calms bewildering and seething thoughts. For, it softens the wrath of the soul, and what is unbridled it chastens. A psalm forms friendships, unites those separated, conciliates those at enmity. Who, indeed, can still consider as an enemy him with whom he has uttered the same prayer to God?

So that psalmody, bringing about choral singing, a bond, as it were, toward unity, and joining the people into a harmonious union of one choir, produces also the greatest of blessings, charity. A psalm is a city of refuge from the demons, a means of inducing help from the angels, a weapon in fears by night, a rest from toils by day, a safeguard for infants, an adornment for those at the height of their vigor, a consolation for the elders, a most fitting ornament for women.

It peoples the solitudes; it rids the market place of excesses; it is the elementary exposition of beginners, the improvement of those advancing, the solid support of the perfect, the voice of the Church. It brightens the feast days; it creates a sorrow which is in accordance with God.

For, a psalm is the work of angels, a heavenly institution, the spiritual incense.” —St. Basil the Great

“Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all ‘fullness of blessing,’ both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment.” —St. Basil the Great

“Humility consists, not in condemning our conscience, but in recognizing God's grace and compassion.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“The source of self-delusion and demonic deception is the false thought…” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus

“Spiritual deception is the state of all men without exception, and it has been made possible by the fall of our original parents. All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it.” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus

“Knowing the perpetual impurity of our spiritual state must bring us humility of heart.” —Tonia Howell

“Where there is pride and at the same time one has a vision – it can not be from God, but by all means – from the evil one.” —Archimandrite Seraphim Alexiev

“If you are silent in a good way, desiring to be with God, never accept any physical or spiritual appearances, either outside or inside yourself, even if it might be an image of Christ, or an angel, or some Saint, or if light should appear, or imprint itself in the mind...Be attentive, that you may not come to believe something, even if it is something good, and be not captivated by it before consulting those who are experienced and are able to analyze the matter, so that you do not suffer harm...God is not displeased with the person who is attentive to himself, even if he, out of fear of deception, does not accept even that which is from Him, without consulting and testing…” —St. Gregory of Sinai

“Children, I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God. Let us therefore strive to preserve the holiness of our souls and to guard the purity of our bodies with all fervor. Ye are the temple of God, says the divine Apostle Paul; If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.” —St. Nicholas of Myra

“Those who suffer for the sake of true devotion receive help. This must be learnt through obeying God's law and our own conscience.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Struggle to become immortal from now, by dying here on the earth to your bad self. In this way, you won't be sad, but you'll be very glad, living together with Christ.” —Elder Porphyrios

“On the one hand He is Being, eternally Being of the Eternal Being, above every cause and word…And on the other hand for our sake he is also Becoming, so that He who gives us our being might also give us our well-being.” —St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38

“For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His Spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit that He may save me.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been inplanted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels. Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive.” —St. John Chrysostom, Homily on the Nativity

“This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world; So let no one threaten. This is the night of the Most Gentle One; Let no one be cruel. This is the night of the Humble One; Let no one be proud. Now is the day of joy; Let us not revenge. Now is the day of good will; Let us not be mean. In this day of peace -- Let us not be conquered by anger. Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake; So, rich one, invite the poor to your table. Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask; So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us. This present day throws open the doors of heaven to our prayers; Let us open our doors to those who ask our forgiveness. Today the Divinity took upon himself the seal of our humanity, In order for humanity to be decorated by the seal of Divinity.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily on the Nativity

“This being He placed in Paradise, whatever the Paradise may have been, having honoured him with the gift of Free Will (in order that God might belong to him as the result of his choice, no less than to Him who had implanted the seeds of it), to till the immortal plants, by which is meant perhaps the Divine Conceptions, both the simpler and the more perfect; naked in his simplicity and inartificial life, and without any covering or screen; for it was fitting that he who was from the beginning should be such. Also He gave him a Law, as a material for his Free Will to act upon. This Law was a Commandment as to what plants he might partake of, and which one he might not touch. This latter was the Tree of Knowledge; not, however, because it was evil from the beginning when planted; nor was it forbidden because God grudged it to us…Let not the enemies of God wag their tongues in that direction, or imitate the Serpent…But it would have been good if partaken of at the proper time, for the tree was, according to my theory, Contemplation, upon which it is only safe for those who have reached maturity of habit to enter; but which is not good for those who are still somewhat simple and greedy in their habit; just as solid food is not good for those who are yet tender, and have need of milk. (Hebrews 5:12) But when through the Devil's malice and the woman's caprice, to which she succumbed as the more tender, and which she brought to bear upon the man, as she was the more apt to persuade, alas for my weakness! (for that of my first father was mine), he forgot the Commandment which had been given to him; (Genesis 3:5) he yielded to the baleful fruit; and for his sin he was banished, at once from the Tree of Life, and from Paradise, and from God; and put on the coats of skins…that is, perhaps, the coarser flesh, both mortal and contradictory. This was the first thing that he learned – his own shame; (Romans 1:22-31) and he hid himself from God. Yet here too he makes a gain, namely death, and the cutting off of sin, in order that evil may not be immortal. Thus his punishment is changed into a mercy; for it is in mercy, I am persuaded, that God inflicts punishment.” —St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38, XII, On Theophany, On the Birth of our Saviour (On the Nativity of Christ)

“It is no wonder that the shepherds were able to know of the world's redemption before rulers, for the Angels made their announcement not to kings or judges but to countryfolk. It is not to be wondered at, then, if innocence merited to know the Grace of Christ before power did and simple country manners merited to recognize the Truth before proud dominion. For what the Shepherds recognized the rulers were unable to recognize; hence the Blessed Apostle says: 'What none of the rulers of this age recognized,' and so forth. At the Birth of Christ, therefore, the Angels rejoiced together with the Shepherds, giving God high glory, for in close and even joined choruses, so to speak, they preached the glory of God.” —St. Maximus of Turin, Homily on the Nativity, sec. 2

“The Angel-Messenger of the pre-eternal Counsel of the Holy Trinity comes to the earth. This is not an ordinary messenger; it is the Only-begotten Son of God Himself. He brings peace to men. ‘Peace be unto you’, he said more than once to His disciples. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you’, He says to the apostles at the Mystical Supper, ‘not as the world giveth, give I unto you’. And appearing after His Resurrection, again He says: ‘Peace be unto you’. ‘For he is our peace’, the holy Apostle Paul says concerning Him: ‘He came to the earth to reconcile man unto God by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. And having come, He preached peace to those afar off and to those near, because through Him we both have access unto the Father’.

The wall that separated heaven and earth is destroyed; the sword that barred the way to the tree of life disappears. Unto man that had sinned comes his Creator, calling him into His embrace! By the mouths of the apostles, the Holy Spirit cries out: ‘In Christ, be ye reconciled to God’. You that had sinned came not to God, but the Son of God, before Whom you sinned, came to you! He calls everyone to Himself; He gives forgiveness to everyone who merely thirsts for this. For without the desire of man himself, without at least his little effort, God's peace cannot settle in him. The Lord forces no one to come to Him, but calls everyone: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. Come all ye who are heavy laden with sins, who are exhausted from your labours and who do not find rest! You shall find that inner peace, which you will find nothing on earth more desirable than. The soul will feel unearthly peace and joy.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, Epistle on the Nativity, 1962

“I saw that there was no tragedy in God. Tragedy is to be found solely in the fortunes of the man whose gaze has not gone beyond the confines of this earth.” —Archimandrite Sophrony

“The Christian world nowadays presents a terrifying and cheerless picture of profound religious and moral decay. The servants of Antichrist do their utmost to completely displace God from people’s lives, in order that mankind, content with its material well-being, would not feel any need to turn to God in prayer, would not think of God at all, but would live as though God did not exist. Thus the entire structure of contemporary life in the so-called ‘free’ world, where there is no open and bloody persecution of faith, where everyone has the right to believe as he wishes, represents a far greater danger to a Christian’s soul by drawing the Christian wholly down to earth and making him forget heaven.

The entire modern culture, which is aimed at purely worldly achievements, and the resultant whirlwind of everyday life, keep a person in such a state of constant bustle and absent-mindedness that he has no opportunity for any soul-searching, and spiritual life within him gradually becomes extinguished.” —Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse

“In advising against being carried away by artificial practices such as Transcendental Meditation I am but repeating the age-old message of the Church … The way of the Fathers requires firm faith and long patience, whereas our contemporaries want to seize every spiritual gift, including even direct contemplation of the Absolute God, by force and speedily, and will often draw a parallel between prayer in the Name of Jesus and yoga or Transcendental Meditation and the like. I must stress the danger of such errors … He is deluded who endeavors to divest himself mentally of all that is transitory and relative in order to cross some invisible threshold, to realize his eternal origin, his identity with the Source of all that exists, in order to return and merge with him, the nameless transpersonal Absolute. Such exercises have enabled many to rise to suprarational contemplation of being, to experience a certain mystical trepidation, to know the state of silence of mind, when mind goes beyond the boundaries of time and space. In such like states man may feel the peacefulness of being withdrawn from the continually changing phenomena of the visible world, may even have a certain experience of eternity. But the God of Truth, the Living God, is not in all this.

It is man's own beauty, created in the image of God, that is contemplated and seen as divinity, whereas he himself still continues within the confines of his creatureliness. This is a vastly important concern. The tragedy of the matter lies in the fact that man sees a mirage which, in his longing for eternal life, he mistakes for a genuine oasis. This impersonal form of ascetics leads finally to an assertion of the divine principle in the very nature of man. Man is then drawn to the idea of self-deification—the cause of the original Fall. The man who is blinded by the imaginary majesty of what he contemplates has in fact set his foot on the path to self-destruction. He has discarded the revelation of a personal God … The movement into the depths of his own being is nothing else but attraction towards the non-being from which we were called by the will of the Creator.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Mt. Athos, His Life is Mine, 115-116

“Blessed is the mind that prays, worships God without imagination, for Christ had no imagination, being God. Adam lost his paradise after falling into imagination, because he imagined, at the instigation of Lucifer, that if he tasted from the forbidden tree, he would never die. The Holy Fathers say that the greatest disease and temptation during prayer is the imagination of the mind, which they called the ‘soul cuttlefish with eight tentacles’ or ‘octopus’. Imagination is also called the ‘bridge for demons’. During the prayer offered from the heart, it is most difficult to preserve the imagination; it is even harder than keeping the mind away from thoughts. Let's not forget that everything limited, represented is not God. In the meantime, if we stop at the images, we are being deceived and we can neither pass through the narrow gate to the heart nor reach God.” —Archimandrite Cleopas (Ilie) of Romania

“Yes, one must disregard doubts, just like lustful and blasphemous thoughts; pay no attention to them. Disregard them, and your enemy, the devil, will not be able to withstand it; he'll leave you, since he's proud and cannot bear the disdain. But if you enter into conversation with them – since the lustful thoughts, blasphemies and doubts are not yours – he'll bombard you, swamp you, kill you.” —Elder Barsanuphius of Optina

“Christ said, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword' and 'division'. Christ summoned us to war on the plane of the spirit, and our weapon is 'the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.' Our battle is waged in extraordinarily unequal conditions. We are tied hand and foot. We dare not strike with fire or sword: our sole armament is love, even for enemies. This unique war in which we are engaged is indeed a holy war. We wrestle with the last and only enemy of mankind death. Our fight is the fight for universal resurrection.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Mt. Athos, His Life is Mine

“But since our discourse has now turned to the subject of blasphemy, I desire to ask one favour of you all, in return for this my address, and speaking with you; which is, that you will correct on my behalf the blasphemers of this city. And should you hear anyone in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow; and if they are accused, and be brought to court, go. And if a judge before the court demands an answer, boldly say that he blasphemed the King of angels, for if those who blaspheme the earthly king are to be punished, how much more insulting is it to Him (the King)…” —St. John Chrysostom, Conversations on Statues, address to the people of Antioch, Conversation 1, pt. 1 12

“I ask you to try something. If someone grieves you, or dishonors you, or takes something of yours, then pray like this: ‘Lord, we are all your creatures. Pity your servants, and turn them to repentance,’ and then you will perceptibly bear grace in your soul. Induce your heart to love your enemies, and the Lord, seeing your good will, shall help you in all things, and will Himself show you experience. But whoever thinks evil of his enemies does not have love for God and has not known God.” —St. Silouan the Athonite, Writing, IX.21

“Where there is pride there cannot be grace, and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer. The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that she must humble herself and love her enemies, for there is no other way to please God.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“The whole therapeutic method of the Orthodox Church is not aimed simply at making human beings morally and socially balanced, but at re-establishing their relationship with God and one another. This comes about through the healing of the soul's wounds and the cure of the passions through the Sacraments and the Church's ascetic practice.” —Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, The Science of Spiritual Medicine: Orthodox Psychotherapy in Action

“The acquisition of of holiness is not the exclusive business of monks, as certain people think. People with families are also called to holiness, as are those in all kinds of professions, who live in the world, since the commandment about perfection and holiness is given not only to monks, but to all people.” —Hieromartyr Onuphry Gagaluk

“Many passions are hidden in our souls; they can be brought to light only when the objects that rouse them are present.” —St. Maximus the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love

“What is holiness? Freedom from every sin and the fullness of every virtue. This freedom from sin and this virtuous life are only attained by a few zealous persons, and that not suddenly, but gradually, by prolonged and manifold sorrows, sicknesses, and labors, by fasting, vigilance, prayer, and that not by their own strength, but by the grace of Christ…” —St. John of Kronstadt

“A wise heart can transfer an affliction into a blessing, even sin!! He benefits from it: contrition, humility, keenness and sympathy for sinners.” —H.H. Pope Shenouda III

“Humility and suffering free a man from all sin; for the first cuts out spiritual passions, and the latter bodily.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C. S. Lewis

“Christ did not come into the world to eliminate suffering, Christ has not even come into the world to explain it. Rather, He came to fill human suffering with His presence.” —Fr. George Calciu

“The soul of man is not impure at birth, but pure.” —Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos

“By nature the soul is passionless… so you must believe that the passions do not belong to the soul by nature.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Just as in legal marriage, the pleasure derived from procreation cannot exactly be called a gift of God, because it is carnal and constitutes a gift of nature and not of grace (even though that nature has been created by God); even so the knowledge that comes from profane education, even if well used, is a gift of nature, and not of grace-a gift which God accords to all without exception through nature, and which one can develop by exercise. This last point-that no one acquires it without effort and exercise-is an evident proof that it is a question of a natural, not a spiritual, gift.

It is our sacred wisdom that should legitimately be called a gift of God and not a natural gift, since even simple fishermen who receive it from on high become, as Gregory the Theologian says, sons of Thunder, whose word has encompassed the very bounds of the universe. By this grace, even publicans are made merchants of souls; and even the burning zeal of persecutors is transformed, making them Pauls instead of Sauls, turning away the earth to attain ‘the third heaven’ and ‘hear ineffable things’. By this true wisdom we too can become conformed to the image of God and continue to be such after death.” —St. Gregory Palamas, Triads in Defence of the Holy Hesychasts, Philosophy does not save, pages 29-30

“We know that even the facts that a marriage means relations between a man and a woman and that a choice of gender is not an intellectual and volitional one, but a Divine choice, are now being disputed. Children are already being taught this. They are told: ‘You should choose yourself whether you are a boy or a girl’; that is, what was founded by God is being destroyed by people, ostensibly for the sake of freedom.

But then, what is freedom like? If freedom ruins the Divine plan of the world and of mankind, then it is not freedom, but slavery. And we know that the devil enslaves a man, because the most dangerous captivity is to be not free from sin, when a person cannot live in accordance with his or her calling.” —His Holiness Patriarch Kirill

“Fiery lust, the desire for marriage, sexual union … and all the other things that, as most people think, the body seeks for - it is not the body as such … but the soul, which through the body seeks pleasure by their means… Let no one think he is being driven towards these things and compelled by his own body… the body cannot be moved to anything apart from the soul.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“Often this demon [of lust] goes away altogether for a while, and one can have a false sense of security that one is ‘above’ this passion; but all the Holy Fathers warn that one cannot consider this passion conquered before the grave. Continue your struggle and take refuge in humility, seeing what base sins you are capable of and how you are lost without the constant help of God Who calls you to a life above these sins.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene, p. 803

“Pornography is the devil's iconography.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Just as the virtues are begotten in the soul, so are the passions. But the virtues are begotten in accordance with nature, the passions in a mode contrary to nature. For what produces good or evil in the soul is the will's bias… For our inner disposition is capable of operating in one way or another, since it bears within itself both virtue and vice, the first as its natural birthright, the second as the result of the self-incurred proclivity of our moral will.” —St. Gregory of Sinai

“Afflictions, illness, ill health and the pains that our bodies experience are counted for the remission of our trespasses. They are the furnace in which we are purified…” —St. John Chrysostom

“The heart of a perfectly healthy man becomes weakened for faith and love to God and his neighbor, and easily gives itself up to carnal desires: to slothfulness, negligence, coldness, gluttony, avarice, fornication, pride. Whilst the heart of a sick man, or a wounded, oppressed, weary heart, is strengthened in faith, hope, and love, and is far removed from carnal passions. This is why the Heavenly Father, Who careth for our salvation, chastises us by various sicknesses. The oppression and afflictions of sickness make us turn again to God.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Gluttony says that her child is war against chastity.” —St. John Climacus

“You can't stop smoking tobacco? What is impossible for man is possible with God's help. Just firmly decide to quit, realizing how harmful it is for the soul and the body, since tobacco weakens the soul, and increases and strengthens the passions, darkens the mind, and destroys physical health with a slow death.” —St. Ambrose of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina, pg. 70

“If you wish to live long on the earth, do not hurry to live in a carnal manner, to satiate yourself, to get drunk, to smoke, to commit fornication, to live in luxury, to indulge yourself. The carnal way of life constitutes death, and therefore, in the Holy Scripture, our flesh is called mortal, or, ‘the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.’ If you wish to live long, live through the spirit; for life consists in the spirit: ‘If ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live,’ both here on earth and there in heaven.

One cannot eat and drink and smoke continually. One cannot turn human life into constant eating, drinking, and smoking, although there are men who do eat, drink, and smoke almost uninterruptedly; and thus the spirit of evil has turned life into smoking, and made the mouth, which ought to be employed in thanking and praising the Lord, into a smoking furnace. The less and lighter the food and drink you take, the lighter and more refined your spirit will become.

Smoking is a whim. From this comes foot pain and depression. That the devil is the father of the cigarette I especially figured out today: something impacted negatively upon me from head to toe. I felt that the enemy nested in my sides and in my heart and he opposed me strongly, preventing me from saying the prayer, scaring me, paralyzing me and saddening me to the point of sin.

By smoking an unclean spirit enters a person. Last night after smoking the devil made his presence felt through continuous hiccups which pestered me from the time of the Cherubic Hymn until a little before Holy Communion. My nerves were stretched, my voice was ‘escaping’ me, I was shivering and I was exhausted. That's why smoking is futile. It is a silly whim, a desecration of the lips, a large and unnecessary irritation, a fog that covers voluntarily.

The taste of a cigarette I cannot compare to anything but something diabolical. And how do I know this smoking? How do I allow myself to do something like this?

I came to church, falling on my knees with a contrite heart before the Holy Altar. How could I serve my enemy every day and not the Lord with zeal? Lord, help me to be free from all evil, because I am an evil man, dirty, full of sins.

The Lord knows our weaknesses. He is ready to forgive us everything, as long as we repent and seek forgiveness. The essential thing is that our hearts not become petrified, that is to stop hesitating to think of our committed sin, to immediately repent, and to leave ourselves to the mercy of God.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“Suffering is an indication of another Kingdom which we look to. If being a Christian meant being ‘happy’ in this life, we wouldn't need the Kingdom of Heaven.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Suffering reminds the wise man of God, but crushes those who forget Him.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“God permits tribulations and adversities to befall people – even the saintly – so that they may persist in humility. But if we harden our hearts against adversities and tribulations, He also hardens these tribulations against us. On the other hand if we accept them in humility and with a contrite heart, God will mingle tribulation with mercy.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“But do not be troubled or sad. The Lord sometimes allows people who are devoted to Him to fall into such dreadful vices; and this is in order to prevent them from falling into a still greater sin – pride. Your temptation will pass and you will spend the remaining days of your life in humility. Only do not forget your sin.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“We must be prepared to accept the will of God. The Lord permits all sorts of things to happen to us contrary to our will, for if we always have it our way, we will not be prepared for the Kingdom of Heaven.” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives"

“Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, Who created and arranged all things for your benefit--to have you know, love, and praise their Creator.” —St. Basil the Great

“The Lord gives Himself freely, for His mercy's sake alone. I did not know this before but now every day and every hour every minute, I see clearly the mercy of God. The Lord gives peace even in sleep, but without God there is no peace in the soul.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“What should not be heard by little ears, should not be said by big mouths.” —unknown

“I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” —G. K. Chesterton

“What is slander? It is every sort of wicked word we would dare not speak in front of the person whom we are complaining about.” —St. Anthony the Great

“If you want to overcome the spirit of slander, blame not the person who falls, but the demon that prompted them to sin.” —St. John Climacus

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“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 Poemen

“If your tongue is used to chattering, your heart will remain dim and foreign to the luminous intuitions of the Holy Spirit.” —St. John of Dalyatha

“He who does not control his tongue when he is angry, will not control his passions either.” —Abba Hyperchius

“Are you angry? Be angry at your sins, beat your soul, afflict your conscience, be strict in judgement and a terrible punisher of your own sins. This is the benefit of anger, wherefore God placed it in us.” —St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians 2

“These eight passions should be destroyed as follows: gluttony by self-control; unchastity by desire for God and longing for the blessings held in store; avarice by compassion for the poor; anger by goodwill and love for all men; worldly dejection by spiritual joy; listlessness by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God; self-esteem by doing good in secret and by praying constantly with a contrite heart; and pride by not judging or despising anyone in the manner of the boastful Pharisee (cf. Luke 18 : 11–12), and by considering oneself the least of all men. When the intellect has been freed in this way from the passions we have described and been raised up to God, it will henceforth live the life of blessedness, receiving the pledge of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 1 : 22). And when it departs this life, dispassionate and full of true knowledge, it will stand before the light of the Holy Trinity and with the divine angels will shine in glory through all eternity.” —St. John of Damascus, On the Virtues and the Vices, from The Philokalia: The Complete Text, Vol. 2

“We must consider all evil things, even the passions which war against us, to be not our own, but of our enemy the devil. This is very important. You can only conquer a passion when you do not consider it as part of you.” —St. Nikon of Optina

“To reach satisfaction in all desire its possession in nothing. To come to possession in all desire the possession of nothing. To arrive at being all desire to be nothing. To come to the knowledge of all desire the knowledge of nothing. To come to the pleasure you have not you must go by the way in which you enjoy not. To come to the knowledge you have not you must go by the way in which you know not. To come to the possession you have not you must go by the way in which you possess not. To come by the what you are not you must go by a way in which you are not. When you turn toward something you cease to cast yourself upon the all. For to go from all to the all you must deny yourself of all in all. And when you come to the possession of the all you must possess it without wanting anything. Because if you desire to have something in all your treasure in God is not purely your all.” —St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel

“How we debase our God-like immortal soul by attaching ourselves to the perishable, tarnishable, fleeting glitter of gold and silver, and by averting our gaze from the higher eternal, all-rejoicing light, or by attaching ourselves to corruptible sweetness that soon passes away, and is harmful and weakening both to soul and body, and turning away our gaze from the eternal, spiritual sweetness; from the sweetness of the intuition of God, or to vain earthly glory, turning away our eyes from the glory of the higher heavenly calling: from the glory of God's children, the heirs of the eternal Kingdom of God. O, earthly vanity! O, attachment to worldly things! Look upwards, Christian!” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“As in the theater, when the audience departs, and the kings remove their costumes, they are revealed to be what they are; so also when death arrives and the theater of this life is dissolved, everyone puts off their masks of wealth or poverty and departs. Some are revealed as truly wealthy, others poor.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A sinful soul, full of passions, cannot have peace and rejoice in the Lord, even if it had charge over all earthly riches, even if it ruled over the whole world. If it was suddenly said to such a king, happily feasting and sitting on his throne, 'King, now you will die,' his soul would be troubled and he would tremble with fear, and he would see his powerlessness. But how many beggars there are, whose only wealth is love for God, and who, if you said to them, 'You will die now,' would answer peacefully, 'Let God's will be done. Glory to the Lord, that He has remembered me and wants to take me to Himself.'” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“Sometimes in the affliction of your soul you wish to die. It is easy to die, and does not take long; but are you prepared for death? Remember that after death the Judgment of your whole life will follow. You are not prepared for death, and if it were to come to you, you would shudder all over. Therefore do not waste words in vain. Do not say: ‘It is better for me to die,’ but say rather, ‘How can I prepare for death in a Christian manner?’ By means of faith, by means of good works, and by bravely bearing the miseries and sorrows that happen to you, so as to be able to meet death fearlessly, peacefully, and without shame, not as a rigorous law of nature, but as a fatherly call of the eternal, heavenly, holy, and blessed Father unto the everlasting kingdom.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Nevertheless one who regards only the dissolution of the body is greatly disturbed, and makes it a hardship that this life of ours should be dissolved by death; it is, he says, the extremity of evil that our being should be quenched by this condition of mortality. Let him, then, observe through this gloomy prospect the excess of the Divine benevolence.”” —St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, §VIII

“Man is, by nature, afraid of both death and the dissolution of the body; but there is this most startling fact: that he who has put on the faith of the Cross despises even what is naturally fearful, and for Christ's sake is not afraid even of death.” —St. Athanasius the Great

“Limitless and without consolation would have been our sorrow for close ones who are dying, if the Lord had not given us eternal life. Our life would be pointless if it ended with death. What benefit would there then be from virtue and good deed? Then they would be correct who say: ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ But man was created for immortality, and by His resurrection Christ opened the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom, of eternal blessedness for those who have believed in Him and have lived righteously. Our earthly life is a preparation for the future life, and this preparation ends with our death. ‘It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment’ (Heb 9:27). Then a man leaves all his earthly cares; the body disintegrates, in order to rise anew at the General Resurrection. Often this spiritual vision begins in the dying even before death, and while still seeing those around them and even speaking with them, they see what others do not see.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily on Life After Death

“Let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones; let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Man’s will, out of cowardice, tends away from suffering, and man, against his own will, remains utterly dominated by the fear of death, and, in his desire to live, clings to his slavery to pleasure.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Sin makes man a coward; but a life in the Truth of Christ makes Him bold.” —St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Statues, VIII. 2

“Of all the good things in the world, life is dearest to men, and men love life better than truth, although there is no life in truth. The highest good, then, is life, but truth is the foundation of life. He who loves life must also love truth. But what is the way to truth? 'I am the way', says the Lord. 'I am the way', that none should think that there is some other way to the truth besides the Lord Jesus. It was for that He was born as a man: to show men the way. And for this that He was crucified, to make the way plain by His blood.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“Beneath the brittle surface, the vain, self-interested, clinging love, the maddening longing, which only obscures what lies below, there is a silently flowing river: A river of compassion, bowels of mercy, a feeling of the other's pain, flowing into a vast, vast ocean of sadness. Although it is a sadness, one enters it willingly, with joy, for there is such tenderness in its pain. And at last, in this sadness, there is perfect freedom.

This is the love that never dies: a proof of immortality. This is the pain that the Crucified One embraced willingly, sharing our pain. This is the Cross that He asks us to bear. This is the death that He asks us to die. And at last, in this death, there is perfect peace.” —Elder Michael the Blind, The Only Way Out

“See how many and great the evils it has brought on us – this self-justification, this holding fast to our own will, this obstinacy in being our own guide. All this was the product of that hateful arrogance towards God. Whereas the products of humility are self-accusation, distrust in our own sentiments, hatred of our own will. By these one is made worthy of being redeemed, of having his human nature restored to its proper state, through the cleansing operation of Christ's holy precepts. Without humility it is impossible to obey the Commandments or at any time to go towards anything good. As Abba Mark says: without a contrite heart it is impossible to be free from wickedness or to acquire virtue.” —St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

“Begin gradually, do not trust yourself. Do not depend on your own understanding, reject your will, and the Lord will give you true understanding.” —St. Macarius of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy

“If you deny yourself and constantly renounce your own opinions, your own will, your own righteousness-or what amounts to the same thing: the knowledge, understanding, will, and righteousness of fallen nature-in order to plant within you the knowledge of God, the will of God, and the righteousness of God taught us in the holy Gospel by God Himself, then fallen nature will open fire within you and declare a savage war against the Gospel and against God. Fallen spirits will come to the help of fallen nature.

Do not fall into despondency on this account. By your firmness in the struggle, show the tenacity of your purpose and the stability of your free will. When thrown down, get up. When duped and disarmed, rearm yourself afresh. When defeated, again rush to the fight. It is extremely good for you to see within yourself both your own fall and the fall of the whole of mankind. It is essential for you to recognize and study this fall in your own experience, in your heart and mind. It is essential for you to see the infirmity of your knowledge and intellect, and the weakness of your will.” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus, The Arena, chapter 8

“Do not fall into despair because of stumbling. I do not mean that you should not feel contrition for them, but that you should not think them incurable. For it is more expedient to be bruised than dead. There is, indeed, a Healer for the man who has stumbled, even He Who on the Cross asked that mercy be shown to His crucifiers, He Who pardoned His murders while He hung on the Cross. ‘All manner of sin’, He said, ‘and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men’, that is, through repentance.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Do not say: ‘I have sinned much, and therefore I am not bold enough to fall down before God.’ Do not despair. Simply do not increase your sins in despair and, with the help of the All-merciful One, you will not be put to shame. For He said, ‘he who comes to Me I will not cast out.’ (John. 6:37) And so, be bold and believe that He is pure and cleanses those who draw near to Him. If you want to accomplish true repentance, show it with your deeds. If you have fallen into pride, show humility; if into drunkenness, show sobriety; if into defilement, show purity of life. For it is said, ‘Turn away from evil and do good.’ (I Pet. 3:11)” —St. Gennadios (II) Scholarios, Patriarch of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, The Golden Chain, 87-89

“The natural passions become good in those who struggle when, wisely unfastening them from the things of the flesh, use them to gain heavenly things. For example they can change appetite into the movement of a spiritual longing for divine things; pleasure into pure joy for the cooperation of the mind with divine gifts; fear into care to evade future misfortune due to sin and sadness into corrective repentance for present evil.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“How good it is to conquer the passions! After the victory one feels such lightness of heart, such peace and greatness of spirit!” —St. John of Kronstadt

“He who believes, fears; he who fears is humble; he who is humble becomes gentle.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“For every humble person is gentle, and every gentle person is invariably humble. A person is humble when he knows that his very being is on loan to him.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“A humble person lives on earth as if in the Kingdom of Heaven - always happy, peaceful and satisfied with everything.” —St. Anthony of Optina

“Not every quiet man is humble, but every humble man is quiet.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“If you wish to be truly humble, then consider yourself lower than all, worthy of being trampled on by all; for you yourself daily, hourly trample upon the law of the Lord, and therefore upon the Lord Himself.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“You wish to be great, begin from the least. You are thinking to construct some mighty fabric in height; first think of the foundation of humility. And how great soever a mass of building one may wish and design to place above it, the greater the building is to be, the deeper does he dig his foundation.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“In them [the Lives of the Saints] it is clearly and obviously demonstrated: There is no spiritual death from which one cannot be resurrected by the Divine power of the risen and ascended Lord Christ; there is no torment, there is no misfortune, there is no misery, there is no suffering which the Lord will not change either gradually or all at once into quite, compunctionate joy because of faith in Him.” —St. Justin Popovich

“A servant of the Lord is he who in body stands before men, but in mind knocks at Heaven with prayer.” —St. John Climacus

“In the Christian East – in fact, in the East in general – we love old age because we think that it is made for praying. When one is old, and feels the nearness of God across the increasingly transparent surface of biological life, one becomes in consciousness a child, returned to the Father, made light in spirit by the proximity of death, transparent to another kind of light.

A civilization in which one no longer prays is a civilization in which old age has no meaning. One walks backward towards death, pretending to be young; it’s an agonizing spectacle, because a wonderful possibility is offered, a journey towards ultimate relinquishment, and it is not taken advantage of.

We need old people who pray, who smile, who live with a disinterested love, who marvel; they alone can show young people that that living is worth the effort, and that oblivion is not the last word.

Every monk whose spiritual practice has born fruit is called in the East, whatever his age, 'a beautiful old man.' He is beautiful with the beauty that rises from the heart. In him all the periods of his life have come into harmony, as with a symphony, one might say. And especially the original child is found again: shining with a transfigured shining, the beautiful old man has the eyes of a child.” —Olivier Clément

“It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God's grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“A Christian should never and for no reason worry, for God's Providence carries him in its arms. Our only care should be that we would ever remain faithful to the Lord.” —St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Bryanchaninov) of Caucasus

“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.” —St. John Chrysostom

“He who angers you, controls you!” —Bishop Melchisedek Pleska

“[The desire for] equality is from the Devil, because it comes entirely from envy.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann

“In your prayer seek only righteousness and the kingdom of God, that is, virtue and spiritual knowledge; and everything else 'will be given to you' (Matt. 6:33).” —St. Evagrius of Ponticus

“Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The goodness of God is so rich in graces, that it seeks a cause to have mercy on a person.” —St. Anthimus of Chios

“The Holy Spirit has accomplishing in each believer the work of Christ. Each Christian is a communicant of the spirit. This is something so necessary, that in fact whoever does not have the Spirit is not of Christ.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“The Church is nothing but the world on the way to deification; for the Church, the world is no longer a tomb but a womb.” —Olivier Clément

“The church is an earthly heaven in which the super-celestial God dwells and walks about. ” —St. Germanus of Constantinople

“Nothing is more abiding than the Church: she is your salvation; she is your refuge.” —St. John Chrysostom

“There is no need to weep much over the destruction of a church; after all, each of us, according to God's mercy, has or should have his own church - the heart - go in there and pray, as much as you have strength and time. If this church is not well made and is abandoned (without inward prayer), then the visible church will be of little benefit.” —Archbishop Barlaam

“Our prayer reflects our attitude towards God. He who is careless of salvation has a different attitude toward God from him who has abandoned sin and is zealous for virtue but has not yet entered within himself and works for the Lord only outwardly. Finally, he who has entered within and carries the Lord within himself, standing before Him, has yet another attitude. The first man is negligent in prayer, just as he is negligent in life, and he prays in church and at home merely according to the established custom, without attention or feeling. The second man reads many prayers and goes often to church, trying at the same time to keep his attention from wandering and to experience feelings in accordance with the prayers which are read, although he is seldom successful. The third man, wholly concentrated within, stands with his mind before God, and prays to Him in his heart without distraction, without long verbal prayers, even when standing for a long time at prayer in his home or in church. … Every prayer must come from the heart and any other prayer is no prayer at all. Prayer-book prayers, your own prayers and very short prayers, all must issue forth from the heart to God, seen before you.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“It is very important to know how to pray. Many times even we, the monks in the monasteries, pray, but we only think we pray. It is not enough to attend the church services and just be there like that would be enough. We have to work the prayer from the inside out. No matter how many prayers we say with our mouth, it is nothing if the prayer is not coming from the heart and if we don't apply the teachings of Orthodoxy in our everyday life. Now more than ever, lay people have to pray from the heart, because this will be our only salvation. In the heart is the root of all passions and that is where we need to direct our struggles. If in the later years Christianity became lukewarm and superficial, we have to end all that now, this is not going to be enough anymore. If we will not pray from the heart, we will not be able to sustain the psychological attacks, because the evil one has hidden brainwashing methods that are unknown to us. The greatest sin today is carelessness. We pray carelessly, we repent carelessly, even if we do it. Times will come when only the ones that have the Spirit of God will be able to know good from evil. The human mind itself on its own will not be able to tell the difference. There will be great deceptions and only the Holy Spirit will give us the discernment we need so we can save ourselves. Pray that you will not be deceived! Only through prayer can we receive the Holy Spirit. If we don't pray and just persevere in our laziness and unrepentant ways, we will completely lose the Holy Spirit and His guidance. May it not be that we lose the guidance of the Holy Spirit!” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania, The truth about the times–Spirituality of the end of times, 2010

“It is sometimes well during prayer to say a few words of your own, breathing fervent faith and love to the Lord. Yes, let us not always converse with God in the words of others, not always remain children in faith and hope; we must also show our own mind, indite a good matter from our own heart also. Moreover, we grow too accustomed to the words of others and grow cold in prayer. And how pleasing this lipsing of our own is, coming from a believing, loving, and thankful heart. It is impossible to explain this; it is only needful to say that when you are praying to God with your own words the soul trembles with joy, it becomes wholly inflamed, vivified, and beatified. You will utter few words, but you will experience such blessedness as you would not have obtained saying the longest most touching prayers of others, pronounced out of habit and insincerely.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“This is how you pray continually – not by offering prayer in words, but by joining yourself to God through your whole way of life, so that your life becomes one continuous and uninterrupted prayer.” —St. Basil the Great

“Chastisement through the trials imposed on us is a spiritual rod, teaching us humility when in our foolishness we think too much of ourselves.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan

“Goodness is not confirmed without trial. Every Christian is tested by something: one by poverty, another by illness, a third by various thoughts, a fourth by some calamity or humiliation, while another by various doubts. And, through this, firmness of faith, hope and love of God are tested.” —St. Ambrose of Optina

“Sometimes men are tested by pleasure, sometimes by distress or by physical suffering. By means of His prescriptions the Physician of souls administers the remedy according to the cause of the passions lying hidden in the soul.” —St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia

“If you want, or rather intend, to take a splinter out of another person, then do not hack at it with a stick instead of a lancet, for you will only drive it in deeper.” —St. John Climacus

“To exalt oneself is one thing, not to do so another, and to humble oneself is something less entirely. A man may always be passing judgement on others, while another man passes judgement neither on others nor on himself. A third, however, though actually guiltless, may always be passing judgement on himself.” —St. John Climacus

“If a man accuses himself, he is protected on all sides.” —St. Poemen

“It is not then wealth that is the foundation of pleasure, nor poverty of sadness, but our own judgment and the fact that the eyes of our mind neither see clearly nor remain fixed in one place, but flutter abroad.” —St. John Chrysostom

“One who knows oneself, knows God: and one who knows God is worthy to worship Him as is right. Therefore, my beloveds in the Lord, know yourselves.” —St. Anthony the Great

“God is truth and light, God's judgement is nothing else than our coming into contact with truth and light. In the day of the Great Judgement all men will appear naked before this penetrating light of truth. The ‘books’ will be opened. What are these ‘books’? They are our hearts. Our hearts will be opened by the penetrating light of God, and what is in these hearts will be revealed. If in those hearts there is love for God, those hearts will rejoice in seeing God's light. If, on the contrary, there is hatred for God in those hearts, these men will suffer by receiving on their opened hearts this penetrating light of truth which they detested all their life. So that which will differentiate between one man and another will not be a decision of God, a reward or a punishment from Him, but that which was in each one's heart; what was there during all our life will be revealed in the Day of Judgement. If there is a reward and a punishment during this revelation – and there really is – it does not come from God but from the love or hate which reigns in our heart. Love has bliss in it, hatred has despair, bitterness, grief, affliction, wickedness, agitation, confusion, darkness, and all the other interior conditions which compose hell.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“In whatever state a person is, he sometimes finds himself making pure and intense prayers. For even from that first and lowest sort, which has to do with recalling the future judgment, the one who is still subject to the punishment of terror and the fear of judgment is occasionally so struck with compunction that he is filled with no less joy of spirit from the richness of his supplication than the one who, examining the kindnesses of God and going over them in the purity of his heart, dissolves into unspeakable gladness and delight. For, according to the words of the Lord, the one who realizes that more has been forgiven him begins to love more.” —St. John Cassian

“If a man's self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred.” —C. S. Lewis

“The pure heart sees God as in a mirror.” —Abba Philemon

“The blessedness of seeing God is justly promised to the pure of heart. For the eye that is unclean would not be able to see the brightness of the true light, and what would be happiness to clear minds would be a torment to those that are defiled. Therefore, let the mists of worldly vanities be dispelled, and the inner eye be cleansed of all the filth of wickedness, so that the soul's gaze may feast serenely upon the great vision of God.” —St. Leo the Great

“God rests within gentle hearts. The gentle and merciful shall sit fearless in His regions, and will inherit Heavenly glory.” —St. John Climacus

“That which the word communicates by sound, the painting shows silently by representation.” —St. Basil the Great, on the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste

“Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright (cf. Ps. 24:8, 144:17), His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good,’ He says, ‘to the evil and to the impious’ (cf. Luke 6:35). How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? ‘Friend, I do thee no wrong I will give unto this last even as unto thee. Is thine eye evil because I am good?’ (Matt. 20:12-15). How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? (Luke 15:11 ff.). None other but His very Son said these things concerning Him, lest we doubt it; and thus He bare witness concerning Him. Where, then, is God's justice, for whilst we are sinners Christ died for us! (cf. Rom. 5:8). But if here He is merciful, we may believe that He will not change.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily LX

“God chastises with love, not for the sake of revenge---far be it!---but in seeking to make whole his image. And he does not harbour wrath until such time as correction is no longer possible, for he does not seek vengeance for himself. This is the aim of love. Love's chastisement is for correction, but does not aim at retribution. … The man who chooses to consider God as avenger, presuming that in this manner he bears witness to His justice, the same accuses Him of being bereft of goodness. Far be it that vengeance could ever be found in that Fountain of love and Ocean brimming with goodness!” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Among all God's actions there is none which is not entirely a matter of mercy, love and compassion: this constitutes the beginning and end of His dealings with us.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“We must hate avarice, self-esteem and sensual pleasure, as mothers of the vices and stepmothers of the virtues. Because of them we are commanded not to love ‘the world’ and ‘the things that are in the world’ (1 John 2:15); not so that we should hate God's creation through lack of discernment, but so that we should eliminate the occasions for these three passions.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“‘The world’ is the general name for all the passions. When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. But when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them the passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure from which comes sexual passion, love of honour which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancour and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead… Someone has said of the Saints that while alive they were dead; for though living in the flesh, they did not live for the flesh. See for which of these passions you are alive. Then you will know how far you are alive to the world and how far you are dead to it.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Always have the fear of God before your eyes. Remember Him who gives death and lives. Hate the world and all that is in it. Hate the peace that comes from the flesh. Renounce this life, so that you may be alive to God.” —St. Anthony the Great

“Thus let us live to Him Who while He dies for us is Life; and let us die to ourselves that we may live to Christ; for we cannot live to Him unless first we die to ourselves, that is, to our wills. Let us be Christ's and not our own; ‘for we are not our own, for we are bought at a Great Price’ (1 Cor. 6. 19-20), and truly a Great One, when the Lord is given for a slave, the King for a servant, and God for man. What ought we to render ourselves, if the Creator of the universe for us ungodly men, yet His creation, is unjustly put to death? Do you think you ought not to die to sin? Certainly you ought. Therefore let us die, let us die for the sake of life, since Life dies for the dead, so that we may be able to say with Paul, ‘I live, yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me’ (Gal. 2. 20), He Who for me has died; for that is the cry of the elect. But none can die to himself, unless Christ lives in him; but if Christ be in him, he cannot live to himself. Live in Christ, that Christ may live in you.” —St. Columbanus of Bobbio, Sermons of Columbanus of Bobbio, Sermon X:2

“Just as a man whose head is under water cannot inhale pure air, so a man whose thoughts are plunged into the cares of this world cannot absorb the sensation of the world to come.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“We don't understand that happiness is in eternity and not in vanity.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“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

“Many times we call ourselves sinners, not in truth, but for showing off and vainglory, so that others will praise us for being humble, for if someone calls us a sinner, we become upset.” —St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

“An evident sinner will turn towards good more easily than a secret sinner hiding under the cloak of visible virtues.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“The sun shines on all alike, and vanity springs out in front of each virtue. When, for example, I keep a fast – I am given over to vanity, and when I in concealing the fasting from others permit myself food, I am again given over to vanity – by my prudence. Dressing up in bright clothing, I am vanquished by love of honour and, having changed over into drab clothing – I am overcome by vanity. If I stand up to speak – I fall under the power of vanity. If I wish to keep silence, I am again given over to it. Wherever this thorn comes up, it everywhere stands with its points upwards. It is vainglorious…, on the surface to honour God, and in deed to strive to please people rather than God… People of lofty spirit bear insult placidly and willingly, but to hear praise and feel nothing of pleasure is possible only for the saints and for the unblameworthy… When thou hearest, that thy neighbour or friend either afront the eyes or behind the eyes slandereth thee, praise and love him… Does this not shew humility, and who can reproach himself, and be intolerant with himself? But who, having been discredited by another, would not diminish in his love for him… Whoever is exalted by natural gifts – a felicitous mind, a fine education, reading, pleasant elocution and other similar qualities, which are readily enough acquired, that person might yet never obtain to supernatural gifts. Wherefore whoever is not faithful in the small things, that one also is not faithful in the large, and is vainglorous. It often happens, that God Himself humbles the vainglorious, sending a sudden misfortune… If prayer does not destroy a proud thought, we bring to mind the leaving of the soul from this life. And if this does not help, we threaten it with the shame of the Last Judgement. ‘Rising up to humble oneself’ even here, before the future age. When praisers, or better – flatterers, start to praise us, immediately we betake ourselves to recollection of all our iniquities and we find, that we are not at all worth that which they impute to us.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 22

“The whole year will be fortunate for you, not if you are drunk on the new-moon [New Year' Day], but if both on [that day] and each day, you do those things approved by God. For days come wicked and good, not from their own nature; for a day differs nothing from another day, but from our zeal and sluggishness. If you perform righteousness, then the day becomes good to you; if you perform sin, then it will be evil and full of retribution. If you contemplate these things, and are so disposed, you will consider the whole year favourable, performing prayers and charity every day; but if you are careless of virtue for yourself, and you entrust the contentment of your soul to beginnings of months and numbers of days, you will be desolate of everything good unto yourself.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Let your demeanour, your dress, your walking, your sitting down, the nature of your food, the quality of your being, your house and what it contains, aim at simplicity. And let your speech, your singing, your manner with your neighbour, let these things also be in accord with humility rather than with vanity. In your words let there be no empty pretense, in your singing no excess sweetness, in conversation be not ponderous or overbearing. In everything refrain from seeking to appear important. Be a help to your friends, kind to the ones with whom you live, gentle to your servant, patient with those who are troublesome, loving towards the lowly, comforting those in trouble, visiting those in affliction, never despising anyone, gracious in friendship, cheerful in answering others, courteous, approachable to everyone, never speaking your own praises, nor getting others to speak of them, never taking part in unbecoming conversations, and concealing where you may whatever gifts you possess.” —St. Basil the Great

“For what purpose does the Lord add day after day, year after year, to our existence? In order that we may gradually put away, cast aside, evil from our souls, each one his own, and acquire blessed simplicity; in order that we may become, for instance, gentle as lambs, simple as infants; in order that we may learn not to have the least attachment to earthly things, but like loving, simple children, may cling with all our hearts to God alone, and love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our strength, and all our thoughts, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us hasten, therefore, to pray to the Lord, fervently and tearfully, to grant us simplicity of heart, and let us strive by every means to cast out the evil from our souls - for instance, evil suspiciousness, malevolence, malignity, malice, pride, arrogance, boastfulness, scornfulness, impatience, despondency, despair, irascibility and irritability, fearfulness and faint-heartedness, envy, avarice, gluttony, and satiety; fornication, mental and of the heart, and actual fornication; the love of money, and in general the passion for acquisition; slothfulness, disobedience, and all the dark horde of sins. Lord, without Thee we can do nothing! Bless us Thyself in this work, and give us the victory over our enemies and our passions. So be it!” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“If you are a scholar, a student in any educational establishment, or an official in some ministry, an officer in any of the branches of the military service, or a technologist, a painter, a sculptor, a manufacturer, a mechanic – remember that the first science for each one of you is to be a true Christian, to believe sincerely in the Holy Trinity, to converse daily with God in prayer, to take part in the Divine service, to observe the rules and regulations of the Church, and to bear in your heart, before your work, during your work, and after your work, the name of Jesus, for He is our light, our strength, our holiness, and our help.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ: Part II, Holy Trinity Monastery, pg. 286

“Watch your heart during all your life – examine it, listen to it, and see what prevents its union with the most blessed Lord. Let this be for you the science of all sciences, and with God’s help, you will easily observe what estranges you from God, and what draws you towards Him and unites you to Him. It is the evil spirit more than anything that stands between our hearts and God; he estranges God from us by various passions, or by the desire of the flesh, by the desires of the eyes, and by worldly pride.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“Have you ever observed the life of the heart? Try it even for a short time and see what you find. Something unpleasant happens, and you get irritated; some misfortune occurs, and you pity yourself; you see someone whom you dislike, and animosity wells up within you; you meet one of your equals who has now outdistanced you on the social scale, and you begin to envy him; you think of your talents and capabilities, and you begin to grow proud… All this is rottenness: vainglory, carnal desire, gluttony, laziness, malice – one on top of the other, they destroy the heart.” —St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

“Always to want your own way, becoming accustomed to having it, always to seek the easy path – all this leads straight to depression. But love, quietness, and contemplation of the inner life cleanse our hearts.” —Sayings of the Egyptian Fathers

“As water and fire oppose one another when combined, so are self-justification and humility opposed to one another.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Fire and water do not mix, neither can you mix judgment of others with the desire to repent. If a man commits a sin before you at the very moment of his death, pass no judgment, because the judgment of God is hidden from men. It has happened that men have sinned greatly in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes.” —St. John Climacus

“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. God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Pride is denial of God, an invention of the devil, the despising of men, the mother of contamination, the offspring of praise, a foothold for Satan, a source of anger, a door of hypocrisy, the support of demons, the guardian of sins, the rejection of compassion, an opponent of God, a root of blasphemy.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent

“I have seen pride lead to humility. And I remembered him who said: Who hath known the mind of the Lord? The pit and offspring of conceit is a fall; but a fall is often an occasion of humility for those who are willing to use it to their advantage.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 15, Section 38

“Humility is the only thing that no devil can imitate.” —St. John Climacus

“It was pride that changed angels into devils.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“An angel fell from Heaven without any other passion except pride, and so we may ask whether it is possible to ascend to Heaven by humility alone, without any other of the virtues.” —St. John Climacus

“Run from pride, for it is a passion more treacherous than any other.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Pride more than anything else, deprives people of both their good deeds and help from God. Where there is no humility, pride takes its place.” —St. Macarius of Optina

“‘Exile is separation from everything in order to keep the mind inseparable from God. An exile loves and produces continual weeping.’ From Paradise, we must become exiled from the world if we hope to return.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Prayer is superior to all good works. It begets tears of repentance, greatly contributes to peace in one’s thoughts, leads one to think only of God Who is the ultimate Peace, and brings forth the love of God. Prayer alone purifies the rational part of the soul through the vision of God, Who causes the purification of the angels; it also preserves the desiring part of the soul in purity before God.” —St. Kallistos Telikoudes, On the Practice of Hesychasm, The Philokalia, Vol. 5

“Time is continually passing; it is decreasing more and more. Every day that passes is another step toward death. We should know that even one tear of repentance is equivalent to a spiritual bath. Just as the body feels refreshed when it bathes, and just as clothes become clean when they are washed, similarly, the tears of a repentant soul purify the heart, purify the mind, purify the body, purify life, purify speech, and purify a person’s every action. Let us kneel and pray with extreme humility! Every repentant soul is given words: it is granted enlightened prayer.” —Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona

“Day and night I pray the Lord for love, and the Lord gives me tears to weep for the whole world. But if I find fault with any man, or look on him with an unkind eye, my tears will dry up, and my soul sink into despondency. Yet do I begin again to entreat forgiveness of the Lord, and the Lord in His mercy forgives me, a sinner.

Brethren, before the face of my God I write: Humble your hearts, and while yet on this earth you will see the mercy of the Lord, and know your Heavenly Creator, and your souls will never have their fill of love.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“Here are those of whom I speak and who are called heretics by me. They are the ones who say that in our present age there is no one in our midst who is able to observe the commandments and be like the holy fathers…. Those who declare this is impossible have fallen not into one particular heresy but into all of them, so to speak – a heresy surpassing all others in its impiety and greatest blasphemy. They are buried underneath it…. The one who speaks in such a manner turns all of Scripture upside down…. These antichrists affirm, ‘It is impossible, impossible’. Why then is it impossible? Tell me. In what other way did the saints shine on earth and did they become lamps of the world? If it were impossible, they would never have succeeded in it. For they were men like us, and possessed no more than we do except a will directed toward the good. They had zeal, patience, humility, and love for God. Therefore, acquire all this and your soul which today is as hard as rock shall become a fountain of tears inside you. However, if you refuse to suffer such anguish and affliction, at least do not say that all this is impossible.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Discourses, Discourse XXIX: The Heresy of Pusillanimity

“There is yet another special, most terrible and destructive type of sin. This is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. Even the prayers of the Church cannot help one who is found in this condition. The Apostle John the Theologian speaks of this directly when he entreats us to pray for a brother who has sinned, but points out the uselessness of prayer for the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says that this sin – the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – is not forgiven and will not be forgiven either in this age or in the future. He pronounced these terrible words against the Pharisees who, though they clearly saw that he worked everything according to the will of God and by God's power, nevertheless distorted the truth. They perished in their own blasphemy and their example is instructive and urgent for all those who would sin mortal sin: by an obdurate and conscious adversity to the undoubted Truth and thereby blaspheming the Spirit of truth – God's Holy Spirit.

We must note that even blasphemy against the Lord Jesus Christ can be forgiven man (according to His own words) since it can be committed in ignorance or temporary blindness. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit could be forgiven, says St Athanasios the Great, only if a man ceased from it and became repentant. But the very nature of the sin is such that it makes it virtually impossible for a man to return to the truth. One who is blind can regain his sight and love the one who revealed the truth to him and one who is soiled with vices and passions can be cleansed by repentance and become a confessor of the Truth, but who and what can change a blasphemer who has seen and known the Truth and who has stubbornly refused and hated it? This horrible condition is similar to the condition of the devil himself who believes in God and trembles but who nevertheless hates Him, blasphemes Him and is in adversity to Him.” —Metropolitan Philaret of New York

“…The ambition of men, who have no fear of God, rushes into high posts, and exalted office is now publicly known as the prize of impiety. The result is, that the worse a man blasphemes, the fitter the people think him to be a bishop. Clerical dignity is a thing of the past. There is a complete lack of men shepherding the Lord’s flock with knowledge.

Ambitious men are constantly throwing away the provision for the poor on their own enjoyment and the distribution of gifts. There is no precise knowledge of canons. There is complete immunity in sinning; for when men have been placed in office by the favour of men, they are obliged to return the favour by continually showing indulgence to offenders. Just judgment is a thing of the past; and everyone walks according to his heart’s desire. Vice knows no bounds; the people know no restraint. Men in authority are afraid to speak, for those who have reached power by human interest are the slaves of those to whom they owe their advancement. And now the very vindication of Orthodoxy is looked upon in some quarters as an opportunity for mutual attack; and men conceal their private ill-will and pretend that their hostility is all for the sake of the truth. Others, afraid of being convicted of disgraceful crimes, madden the people into fratricidal quarrels, that their own doings may be unnoticed in the general distress. Hence the war admits of no truce, for the doers of ill deeds are afraid of a peace, as being likely to lift the veil from their secret infamy.

All the while unbelievers laugh; men of weak faith are shaken; faith is uncertain; souls are drenched in ignorance, because adulterators of the word imitate the truth. The mouths of true believers are dumb, while every blasphemous tongue wags free; holy things are trodden under foot; the better laity shun the churches as schools of impiety; and lift their hands in the deserts with sighs and tears to their Lord in heaven. Even you must have heard what is going on in most of our cities, how our people with wives and children and even our old men stream out before the walls, and offer their prayers in the open air, putting up with all the inconvenience of the weather with great patience, and waiting for help from the Lord.” —St. Basil the Great, Letter 92, To the Italians and Gaul

“He who in his heart is proud of his tears and secretly condemns those who do not weep is like a man who asks the king for a weapon against his enemy and then commits suicide with it.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 7

“Do not grow conceited if you shed tears when you pray. For it is Christ who has touched your eyes.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“And here also we have diligently to consider, that it is far more secure and safe that every man should do that for himself whiles he is yet alive, which he desireth that others should do for him after his death. For far more blessed it is, to depart free out of this world, than being in prison to seek for release: and therefore reason teacheth us, that we should with our whole soul contemn this present world, at least because we see that it is now gone and past: and to offer unto God the daily sacrifice of tears, and the daily Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. For this Sacrifice doth especially save our souls from everlasting damnation, which in mystery doth renew unto us the death of the Son of God: who although being risen from death, doth not now die any more, nor death shall not any further prevail against him: yet living in himself immortally, and without all corruption, he is again sacrificed for us in this mystery of the holy oblation: for there his body is received, there his flesh is distributed for the salvation of the people: there His Blood is not now shed betwixt the hands of infidels, but poured into the mouths of the faithful. Wherefore let us hereby meditate what manner of sacrifice this is, ordained for us, which for our absolution doth always represent the passion of the only Son of God: for what right believing Christian can doubt, that in the very hour of the sacrifice, at the words of the Priest, the heavens be opened, and the quires of Angels are present in that mystery of Jesus Christ; that high things are accompanied with low, and earthly joined to heavenly, and that one thing is made of visible and invisible?” —St. Gregory the Great, Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, Book 4, ch. 58

“Reflect, O brother: For this sacred food and drink, which are the Body and Blood of Christ, all our forefathers from the first-created Adam, and all the prophets hungered and thirsted, but did not receive them; but you, so distant from them by your unworthiness, partake of this Divine meal. Thank God for His unspeakable mercy, that He makes you worthy of this. And at the same time understand this also: that even if you had or shall have the purity of angels or the holiness and sanctity of St. John the Baptist– even then, without the special mercy of God, you could not be worthy of this Divine Mystery.” —Abbot Nazarius, Little Russian Philokalia Vol. II, p. 65

“… One must clean the royal house from every impurity and adorn it with every beauty, then the king may enter into it. In a similar way one must first cleanse the earth of the heart and uproot the weeds of sin and the passionate deeds and soften it with sorrows and the narrow way of life, sow in it the seed of virtue, water it with lamentation and tears, and only then does the fruit of dispassion and eternal life grow. For the Holy Spirit does not dwell in a man until he has been cleansed from passions of the soul and body.” —St. Paisius Velichkovsky, ‘Field Flowers’

“God, Who is by nature good and dispassionate, loves all men equally as His handiwork. But He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time, in His goodness he is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the path of virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also loves all men equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention; and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“I do not know how I came into the world; Nor what the things here in it are. What my sight is, O my God, And what the objects that I see, I cannot tell. How all we men are vain, And have no proper judgement of reality! Yesterday at least I came and tomorrow I shall go, And I think to be immortal yonder. That Thee are my God I confess to everyone, and yet deny Thee daily in my deeds. I teach that Thee have made each living thing; And yet without Thee struggle to have all. Thy rule extends above, below And yet I am not feared to strive against Thee. Let me the needy one, me most miserable; Disburden all the sickness of my soul Crushed, alas and broken into bits. By vanity, by foolish arrogance. Grant me to be humble, grant me a hand of help; And cleanse my soul’s pollution. And give me tears of repentance; Love’s tears, tears of liberty; Tears cleansing my mind’s darkness. And filling me with heavenly radiance! For Thee it is, the world’s Light; The Light of my poor eyes, I wish to see – I who fill my heart with life’s evils, Suffering much of affliction and of envy. From those who have worked my exiles: From those, rather, who are my benefactors; Who are my masters, my true friends: To whom, O Christ, instead of ill give blessing: Eternal, rich, divine; Prepared by Thee for all the ages; For those who deeply long for Thee, love Thee.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the right attitude to Life

“Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience. For thus he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” —St. John Climacus

“The passions of the flesh may be described as belonging to the left hand, self-conceit as belonging to the right hand.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“When the soul leaves the body, the enemy advances to attack it, fiercely reviling it and accusing it of its sins in a harsh and terrifying manner. The devout soul, however, even though in the past it has often been wounded by sin, is not frightened by the enemy’s attacks and threats. Strengthened by the Lord, winged by joy, filled with courage by the holy angels that guide it, and encircled and protected by the light of faith, it answers the enemy with great boldness: ‘Fugitive from heaven, wicked slave, what have I to do with you? You have no authority over me; Christ the Son of God has authority over me and over all things. Against Him have I sinned, before Him shall I stand on trial, having His Precious Cross as a sure pledge of His saving love towards me. Flee from me, destroyer! You have nothing to do with the servants of Christ.’ When the soul says all this fearlessly, the devil turns his back, howling aloud and unable to withstand the name of Christ. Then the soul swoops down on the devil from above, attacking him like a hawk attacking a crow. After this it is brought rejoicing by the holy angels to the place appointed for it in accordance with its inward state.” —St. Theognostos, On the Practice of the Virtues, Philokalia, Vol. 2

“If you wish to be saved, O my soul, to go first on the most sorrowful path which has been indicated here, to enter into the Heavenly Kingdom and receive eternal life – then refine your flesh, taste voluntary bitterness, and endure difficult sorrows, as all the Saints tasted and endured. And when a man is preparing himself and gives himself the command to endure for the sake of God all sorrows and pain which come upon him, then light and painless seem for him all sorrows, unpleasantnesses and attacks of devils and men. He does not fear death, and nothing can separate such a one from the love of Christ. Have you heard, my beloved soul, how the Holy Fathers spent their lives? O my soul! Imitate them at least a little.” —St. Paisius Velichkovsky

“If you rebuke yourself, accuse yourself, and judge yourself before God for your sins, with a sensitive conscience, even for this you will be justified. If you are sorrowful for your sins, or you weep, or sigh, your sigh will not be hidden from Him and, as St. John Chrysostom says, ‘If you only lament for your sins, then He will receive this for your salvation.’” —St. Moses of Optina

“A good heart produces good thoughts: its thoughts correspond to what it stores up in itself.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan

“Fasting is for the purification of the soul and body.” —St. John Chrysostom

“It is a wonderful thing that, no matter how much we trouble about our health, however much care we take of ourselves, whatever wholesome and pleasant food we eat, whatever wholesome drinks we drink, however much we walk in the fresh air, still, notwithstanding all this, in the end we are subjected to maladies and corruption; whilst the saints, who despised their flesh, and mortified it by continual abstinence and fasting, by lying bare on the earth, by watchfulness, labours, unceasing prayer, have made both their souls and bodies immortal.” —St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, p. 286

“Fasting is wonderful, because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.” —St. Basil the Great

“Fasting is the mother of health; the friend of chastity; the partner of humility.” —St. Symeon the New theologian

“True fasting lies in rejecting evil, holding one's tongue, suppressing one's hatred, and banishing one's lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows.” —St. Basil the Great

“Many fast with body, but do not fast with soul: many fast from food and drink, but do not fast from evil thoughts, actions and words, and what is the benefit of it?! Many fast a day and two more, but from anger, resentment and vengeance will not fast; many refrain from wine, meat and fish, but with their tongue they eat people similar to themselves, and what is the benefit of it?! There are those who do not reach for food with their hands, but provide them for bribery, embezzlement and robbery, and what is the benefit of it?! True and true fasting is abstaining from every evil. If you want, Christian, to benefit from your fasting, fast carnally, fast mentally, and fast always!

When you instruct fasting to your stomach, impose it on your evil thoughts and lusts. Let your mind fast from vain thoughts and memory from resentment, and your will from evil wanting, and your eyes from evil looking. Turn away your eyes from beholding vanity, let your ears fast from shameful songs and whispers of slander, let your tongue fast from defamation, condemnation, blasphemy, lies, flattery, filth and every empty and rotten word. Let your hands fast from the robbery of another's goods, and your feet from the clothing of evil work. Repent and, abstaining from every evil word, deed and thought, learn every virtue and you will always fast before God.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“As salt is needed for all kinds of food, so humility is needed for all kinds of virtues.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Virtue is not the manifestation of many and various works performed by the body, but a heart that is most wise in its hope and unites a right aim to godly works. Often, the mind can accomplish that which is good without bodily works, but the body without wisdom of the heart can gain no profit for all it may do.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 40

“Let it be known to you that if in your life you have mastered every virtue and every good deed such as mercy, prayer, fast, and other virtues but have no humility in you, your toil will be in vain. For humility in all these virtues is the solid foundation. Without it, we cannot master any of the virtues and all these virtues will become impure, filthy, and discarded before God because they were not sown with humility and love.” —St. John Chrysostom

“What can sin do where there is penitence? And of what use is love where there is pride?” —Abba Elias

“Pride is poverty of the soul, which imagines itself to be rich, and being in darkness, thinks it has light.” —St. John Climacus

“Modern society calls the beggar bum and panhandler and gives him the bum's rush. But the Greeks used to say that people in need are the ambassadors of the gods.” —Peter Maurin

“Be like gods to the poor, imitating God's mercy. Humanity has nothing so much in common with God as the ability to do good.” —St. Gregory the Theologian

“Every family should have a room where Christ is welcome in the person of the hungry and thirsty stranger.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Who is the greedy man? One for whom plenty does not suffice. Who defrauds others? One who keeps for himself what belongs to everyone. Aren't you greedy, don't you defraud, when you keep for yourself what was given to give away? When someone steals a man's clothes, we call him a thief. Shouldn't we give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not?” —St. Basil the Great

“The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit.” —St. Basil the Great

“You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.” —St. Ambrose of Milan

“Do not consider your riches as belonging to yourselves alone; open wide your hand to those who are in need.” —St. Cyril of Alexandria

“The man who loves his neighbor as himself possesses no more than his neighbor…thus, as much as your wealth increases, so much does your love decrease.” —St. Basil the Great

“When you are weary of praying and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling, and have not listened to him.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Do not ever say: ‘These beggars annoy me!’ So many millions of men live on earth and all are beggars before the Lord; emperors as well as laborers, the wealthy as well as servants, all are beggars before the Lord and the Lord never said: ‘These beggars annoy me!’” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much. For what he gives away remains his forever.” —St. John Chrysostom

“A poor man when he reaches out to you does not beg, but offers you the kingdom of God.” —Elder Arsenie (Papacioc) of Romania

“No one in creation is rich but he that fears God; no one is truly poor but he that lacks the truth.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“Be careful not to despise one of the least of these who are scorned and sick in this world. For this contempt and affront of yours doesn’t stop at those unfortunate fellows, but ascends through them to the presence of the Creator and Fashioner, whose image they bear. You will be greatly astonished in that day, if you see the Holy Spirit of God resting in them more than in your heart.” —Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Monastic Wisdom, Seventh Letter, p. 67

“Do you fast? Then feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, do not forget the imprisoned, have pity on the tortured, comfort those who grieve and who weep, be merciful, humble, kind, calm, patient, sympathetic, forgiving, reverent, truthful and pious, so that God might accept your fasting and might plentifully grant you the fruits of repentance.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The Lord Himself said in the Gospel: ‘The last shall be first and the first, last’ (Matt 20:16). Thus, may Divine mercy shine forth with His love upon the poor, so that it may make great ones from the little, and that from the weak it may make co-inheritors with His Only Begotten Son. For it exhalts the poverty of this world to Heaven, to which the earthly kingdom cannot rise, so that the rustic comes to the place where he who wears the purple does not merit to come.” —St Gregory of Tours, Via Patrum

“In all your undertakings and in every way of life, whether you are living in obedience, or are not submitting your work to anyone, whether in outward or in spiritual matters, let it be your rule and practice to ask yourself: Am I really doing this in accordance with God's will?” —St. John Climacus

“Those who submit to the Lord with simple heart will run the good race. If they keep their minds on a leash, they will not draw the wickedness of the demons onto themselves.” —St. John Climacus

“A hypocrite is someone who teaches his neighbor something he makes no effort to do himself.” —St. Poemen

“I prefer a man who sins and repents to one who does not sin and does not repent. The first has good thoughts, for he admits that he is sinful. But the second has false, soul-destroying thoughts, for he imagines himself to be righteous.” —Abba Poemen the Great

“At meals don't speak about food: that's vulgar and unworthy of you. Speak about something noble -- of the soul or of the mind -- and you will have dignified this duty.” —Josemaria Escriva

“When someone learns to acknowledge every man as being better than himself, then he has attained humility.” —St. Sisoes the Great

“It is a spiritual gift from God for a man to perceive his sins.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“The man who is deemed worthy to see himself is greater than he who is deemed worthy to see angels.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“The truly blessed are not the ones who can work miracles or see angels; the truly blessed are the ones who can see their own sins.” —St. Anthony the Great

“The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself ‘a man of unclean lips.’” —St. Mateos

“The condition of peace among men is that each should keep a consciousness of his own wrongdoing.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“The way to perfection is through the realization that we are blind, naked and poor.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“Blessed is the man who knows his own weakness, because this knowledge becomes to him the foundation, root, and beginning of all goodness.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil. Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward. The perfect person does good through love. His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does. He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward. The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.” —St. Clement of Alexandria

“Every day at nightfall, before sleep comes upon you, excite the judgment of your conscience, demand an account from it, and whatever evil counsels you may have taken during the day … pierce them, tear them to pieces, and do penance for them.” —St. John Chrysostom

“As I became more wretched you drew nearer to me.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Sin is the fruit of free will. There was a time when sin did not exist, and there will be a time when it will not exist.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds.” —St. Callistus Xanthopoulos

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.” —Thérèse de Lisieux

“Do not leave unobliterated any fault, however small, for it may lead you on to greater sins.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Every day I lay a foundation for building my repentance, and again with my own hands I demolish it.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“The Lord is hidden in His commandments, and He is to be found there in the measure that He is sought.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Having fulfilled a commandment, expect temptations; because love toward Christ is tested by difficulties.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“Do not be surprised that when you draw near to virtue, grievous and intense tribulations come to you on all sides: for virtue is not considered virtue, if it does not involve hard work.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Directions on Spiritual Training, The Philokalia

“The purpose of temptations is to reveal hidden passions … so that you can battle against them in order to heal the soul. They are examples of divine mercy.” —St. Anatoly of Optina

“In one day, brethren, you can gain all eternity. And in one day, brethren, you can lose all eternity. You are given thousands of days on earth to determine your own personal, eternal salvation or your own personal, eternal damnation. But blessed a hundredfold be the day in which you repent of all your unclean deeds, words and thoughts, and return to God crying out for mercy! That day will be worth more to you than a thousand other days.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“A certain brother had succumbed to the sin of lust, repeating this sin every day, but every day he would also beseech the Lord's mercy, with tears and prayers. By acting this way, his bad habit always fooled him and he would repeat the sin again; but again, after sinning, he would go to the Church and, upon seeing the holy and venerable icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, would fall to his knees and with bitter tears would say: ‘Spare me, Lord, and rid of me this tortuous temptation, because it plagues me terribly and harms me with its bitter pleasures. My face is not worthy to look upon Your holy icon, so that my heart might be consoled.’

That was the sort of thing he would say, but whenever he left the Church, he would again fall in the mire. Yet he never lost his hopes for salvation, and immediately after sinning, he would again return to the Church and say the same things, praying to the benevolent Lord God: ‘Lord, be my warrantor that from now on I won't sin again; but please, Lord, forgive all of my sins, from the beginning, up to now.’ And after making these grandiose promises, he would again return to the same, terrible sin. And one could discern the sweet benevolence and infinite goodness of the Lord, in tolerating and enduring this incorrigible and grave violation and the ingratitude of this man, and how, in His great compassion, the Lord desired the repentance of this man and his definitive return; because this sin was being repeated, not for one, two or three years, but for ten and more.

Brothers, can you see the immeasurable tolerance and infinite benevolence of the Lord? How He shows forbearance and kindness every time, by enduring our gross iniquities and sins? What is more staggering and provokes our wonder with regard to God's wealth of compassion, is that although our brother kept promising and would agree to desist from that sin, he proved himself a liar.

One day, after our brother had fallen into that sin again, he went running to the Church, mourning and moaning and in tears, beseeching the compassion of the merciful God to spare him and save him from the mire of incontinence. While this brother was begging the benevolent God, the wicked devil, the destruction of our souls, realized that he had achieved nothing, because while he was sewing with sin, the man was fraying it with his repentance. So the devil impudently appeared before him visibly, and, turning his face towards the venerable icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, started to cry out, saying: ‘What ‘s it going to be with us two, Jesus Christ? Your infinite sympathy defeats me and degrades me, whenever you accept this lecher, this wanton, who lies to you every day and disregards your authority. Why then don't you burn him? Why are You so forbearing and tolerant towards him? You are supposed to be the one who will judge the adulterous and the licentious and will eliminate all sinners. In fact, You are not a fair judge, because, wherever Your authority considers it befitting, You judge unfairly and You overlook things. With me, because of the small infraction of pride, you cast me down from heaven, whereas with him, who is a liar, a lecher and a prodigal, because he merely knelt before You, You imperturbably grant him Your favor. So, why do they call You a fair judge? From what I can see, You simply give Yourself to people out of Your great goodness, and You overlook justice.’ As the devil was saying these, all choked up by his bitterness, flames and smoke came out of his nostrils.

After the devil had finished speaking, he became silent, and immediately, a voice was heard coming out of the altar saying: ‘You wicked and pestilent dragon, your wickedness wasn't satiated by swallowing the whole world, and now you are trying to grab and swallow this man who found refuge in the infinite mercy of My compassion? Can you present any sins that are heavier than the precious blood which I shed for this man, on the Cross? Mark well, that My crucifixion and My death forgave his sins. Besides, you didn't send him away when he headed towards sin, but you accepted him with joy and you neither abhorred him nor hindered him, because you hoped to win him. Well then, I, Who am so merciful and benevolent, who had instructed my high Apostle Peter to forgive any man who sins daily up to seventy times seven, will I not forgive and spare this man? Yes, I say to you, and because he sought refuge in Me, I will not turn away from him, until I have made him mine. Because I was crucified for the sinners and it was for them that I extended my immaculate arms, so that everyone who wants to be saved, will seek refuge in me and be saved. I do not avoid anyone, nor do I send anyone away, not even if someone sins a thousand times in one day and then comes to Me a thousand times; he won't leave dismayed. Because I did not come to call the righteous to repent, but the sinners.’

As soon as these words were heard, the devil stood fixed in place, trembling, unable to escape. And the voice spoke again: ‘Listen, impostor, with regard to what you said about me being unfair : because I am fair to everyone, and in whichever condition I might find them, I will judge them accordingly. Look at this man, I found him in repentance and returning back, fallen on his knees in front of Me, and your conqueror. I will therefore accept him and save his soul, because he did not despair about his salvation. And you, when seeing the honor that I grant him, will impale yourself out of envy and be put to shame.’

And just as the brother lay there, prone and weeping, he gave up his soul; instantly, a fury as great as a fire fell upon the devil, and it consumed him. Therefore my brothers let us learn from this incident of God's immeasurable compassion and philanthropy, what a kind God we have, and that we must never despair or not tend to our salvation.” ​—St. Amphilochios, On Masturbation and the Futility of Despair

“Do you see the thought of fornication forcefully stirred up within? Be aware that you have not yet crucified yourself. How can this be done? Flee from looking inquisitively at women, from unseemly familiarity with them, and from inappropriate conversation. Reduce the fuel which feeds this passion by giving up excessive drinking, drunkenness, eating your fill, and sleeping too much. To the renunciation of these evils add humblemindedness, and call upon God with a contrite heart for help against this passion.” —St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 11

“Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience. While a wound is still fresh and warm it is easy to heal, but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable. But with God all things are possible.” —St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 5, Section 30

“The life of the righteous was radiant. How did it become radiant if it wasn’t by patience? Love patience, O monk, as the mother of courage.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“Seek in everything the deep meaning. All the events that take place around us and with us have their meaning. Nothing happens without a cause…” —St. Nektary of Optina

“…should we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from the Lord's love. For if He so chooses, He can deal mercifully with our weakness. Only we should not cut ourselves off from Him or feel oppressed when constrained by His commandments, nor should we lose heart when we fall short of our goal…let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again. Only do not abandon your Physician, lest you be condemned as worse than a suicide because of your despair. Wait on Him, and He will be merciful, either reforming you, or sending you trials, or through some other provision of which you are ignorant.” —St. Peter of Damascus

“Faintness of heart is a sign of despondency, and negligence is the mother of both. A cowardly man shows that he suffers from two diseases: love of his flesh and lack of faith; for love of one's flesh is a sign of unbelief. But he who despises the love of the flesh proves that he believes in God with his whole heart and awaits the age to come … A courageous heart and scorn of perils comes from one of two causes: either from hardness of heart or from great faith in God. Pride accompanies hardness of heart, but humility accompanies faith. A man cannot acquire hope in God unless he first does His will with exactness. For hope in God and manliness of heart are born of the testimony of the conscience, and by the truthful testimony of the mind we possess confidence towards God.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 40

“Within the heart are unfathomable depths. The heart is a small vessel, and yet dragons and lions are there. And there also are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough and uneven paths are there and gaping chasms. Likewise, God is there; there are angels, there is life and the Kingdom, there is light and the apostles and the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace. All things lie within that little space.” —St. Macarius the Great

“Just as the Lord is solicitous about our salvation, so too the murder of men, the devil, strives to lead a man into despair.

A lofty and sound soul does not despair over misfortunes, of whatever sort they may be. Our life is as it were a house of temptations and trials; but we will not renounce the Lord for as long as He allows the tempter to remain with us and for as long as we must wait to be revived through patience and secure passionless!

Judas the betrayer was fainthearted and unskilled in battle, and so the enemy, seeing his despair, attacked him and forced him to hang himself, but Peter, a firm rock, when he fell into great sin, like one skilled in battle did not despair nor lose heart, but shed bitter tears from a burning heart, and the enemy, seeing these tears, his eyes scorched as by fire, fled far form him wailing in pain.

And so brothers, St. Antioch teaches, when despair attacks us let us not yield to it, but being strengthened and protected by the light of faith, with great courage let us say to the evil spirit: ‘What are you to us, estranged from God, a fugitive from heaven and evil servant? You dare do nothing to us. Christ, the Son of God, has authority both over us and over everything. It is against Him that we have sinned, and before Him that we will be justified. And you, destroyer, leave us. Strengthen by His venerable Cross, we trample under foot your serpent's head’ (St. Antioch Discourse 27).” —St. Seraphim of Sarov, Little Russian Philokalia

“Modern men have faith in machines, in material well-being, in the substantiality of all that seems obvious to common sense; this is a petty faith, the faith of petty men. The Christian has faith in God and the world to come, in the insubstantiality of all that is obvious, in the passing of this world and the coming of the new, transfigured world; if there is a faith worthy of men, it is surely this.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, The Orthodox Word, No. 128, 1986

“I think it needs to be pointed out with utmost charity that the religion of compromise is self-deception and that there exist today only two absolutely irreconcilable alternatives for man: faith in the world and the religion of self, whose fruit is death; and the faith in Christ the Son of God, in Whom alone is eternal life.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Keep your mind in hell and do not despair.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“Stand at the brink of the abyss of despair, and when you see that you cannot bear it anymore, draw back a little, and have a cup of tea.” —Elder Sophrony of Essex

“So in every test, let us say: "Thank you, my God, because this was needed for my salvation."” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“Only the benumbed soul doesn't pray. Preserve in yourselves the feeling of need, and you will always have stimulation for prayer.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“Make sure that you do not limit your prayer merely to a particular part of the day. Turn to prayer at anytime.” —St John Chrysostom

“The Lord knows that I love you all, but I cannot speak with God and people at the same time.” —St. Arsanius the Great

“A Christian…is not his own master; he puts his time at God's disposal.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch

“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

“The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the Cross.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“It is impossible to believe that Christ is Risen, while we are afraid of death…” —St. Gregory Palamas

“God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Everything will happen suddenly. It may even happen tonight. Maybe it has begun already? Today you are deprived of one thing, tomorrow of another. God is giving it to us a little at a time, and we stupid people don’t understand.

I say this to you and I counsel you, even if the sky were to fall down, even if the earth would rise up, even if the whole world were destroyed, as it is due to do so, today, tomorrow, don’t be concerned with what God is going to do. Let them burn your body, let them fry it, let them take your possessions – don’t concern yourself. Give them away – they are not yours.

You need your soul and Christ. Even if the whole world were to fall apart, no one can take these two things away from you against your will. Guard these two, and don’t loose them.” —St. Kosmas Aitolos

“Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy. But maintain the same faith in times of persecution. Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“The Cross is a symbol of Christ. It is a symbol of Christianity too. It is the banner of the Christian Church. It is also a symbol of salvation. It means both death and victory. ‘The Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,’ said Paul. There were three crucifixes on Golgotha: that of the Innocent One, that of the penitent thief, and that of the impenitent malefactor. The penitent thief took his cross as he had deserved and followed Christ in the very last moment of his life. He thereby became worthy of Him. The impenitent malefactor not only considered his own suffering as undeserved, but mocked Him who suffered innocently. There are only three crosses, and a fourth is not to be.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Universe as Symbols and Signs, Places, Things, Tools, and Constructions as Symbols, 8:11, pp.39-40

“Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special. Don't justify your sins and weaknesses, but see yourself as you really are. And, especially, love one another.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Remember that each of us has his own cross. The Golgotha of this cross is our heart: it is being lifted or implanted through a zealous determination to live according to the Spirit of God. Just as salvation of the world is by the Cross of God, so our salvation is by our crucifixion on our own cross.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

“Everyone carries their own cross, both Christians and non-Christians, believers and pagans. The difference is that for some, their crosses serve as a means of attaining the Kingdom of Heaven, while for the others they bring no such value. For the Christian, the cross gradually becomes lighter and more joyful, while for the nonbeliever it becomes heavier and more burdensome. Why is this so? Because where the one carries their cross with faith and devotion to God, the other carries it with grumbling and anger.

Therefore, Christian, do not shun your lifelong cross, but, on the contrary, thank Jesus Christ that He honored you to follow and imitate Him.” —St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication Of The Way Into The Kingdom Of Heaven

“Everyone has a cross to carry. Why? Since the leader of our faith endured the cross, we will also endure it. On one hand, the cross is sweet and light, but, on the other, it can also be bitter and heavy. It depends on our will. If you bear Christ’s cross with love then it will be very light; like a sponge or a cork. But if you have a negative attitude, it becomes heavy; too heavy to lift.” —Elder Ephraim of Katounakia, 20th Century staretz on Mt. Athos, Suffering; Trials

“When you meet with suffering, contempt, the Cross, your thought should be: what is this compared with what I deserve?” —Josemaria Escriva

“A Christian without a cross is no Christian at all.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Many people, finding daily life unsatisfying, try to live in a fantasy world of their own. Underlying the whole of modern culture is the common denominator of the worship of oneself and one's own comfort, which is deadly to any idea of spiritual life.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“A Christian should avoid unhealthy religiosity: both the feeling of superiority due to virtue, and the feeling of inferiority due to sinfulness.” —St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

“Understand two thoughts, and fear them. One says, 'You are a saint,' the other, 'You won't be saved.' Both of these thoughts are from the enemy, and there is no truth in them. But think this way: I am a great sinner, but the Lord is merciful. He loves people very much, and He will forgive my sins. Believe in this way, and you will see, the Lord will forgive you. But put no faith in feats of your own, however much you may have striven… Thus God has mercy on us, not for our achievements but gracious, because of His goodness.” —St. Silouan the Athonite

“He made Him who was righteous to be a sinner, that He might make sinners righteous.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Love sinners, but hate their deeds, and do not disdain sinners for their failings, so that you yourself do not fall into the temptation in which they abide… Do not be angry at anyone and do not hate anyone, neither for their faith, nor for their shameful deeds… Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty… Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies 57,90

“Love every man in spite of his falling into sin. Never mind the sins, but remember that the foundation of the man is the same - the image of God.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish reverie. But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Firmly purpose in your soul to hate every sin of thought, word, and deed, and when you are tempted to sin resist it valiantly and with a feeling of hatred for it; only beware lest your hatred should turn against the person of your brother who gave occasion for the sin. Hate the sin with all your heart, but pity your brother; instruct him, and pray for him to the Almighty, Who sees all of us and tries our hearts and innermost parts.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“For this reason, the man who lives by God's standards and not by man's, must needs be a lover of the good, and it follows that he must hate what is evil. Further, since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God's standards has a duty of ‘perfect hatred’ (Psalm 139:22) towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person. He should hate the fault, but love the man. And when the fault has been cured there will remain only what he ought to love, nothing that he should hate.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, 14:6, Penguin ed., transl. Bettenson

“As Jesus Christ is my Witness, I profess that I hate heresy, not the heretic; but as is proper, for the present I shun the heretics because of the heresy, since I have both convicted and rebuked him. Let him renounce his heresy and condemn it by word as well as by deed, and he will cling to all men by the bond of brotherhood, because it is written, ‘Bear ye one another's burden and so fulfill the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2).” —Orosius of Braga, Book in Defense Against the Pelagians

“Our life and our death is with our neighbor.

If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.

This is the great work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.” —St. Anthony the Great

“Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what he did was to call out this beauty.” —Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

“He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet even begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“As long as we pay attention to the negative sides of various people we meet, we will not find peace and repentance. As long as we keep in ourselves the thought of offense, caused to us by enemies, friends, family and neighbours, we will not find peace and quiet and we will live in a hellish state.” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“The genuineness of a friend is shown at a time of trial, if he shares the distress you suffer.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan

“If you are offended by anything, whether intended or unintended, you do not know the way of peace, which through love brings the lovers of divine knowledge to the knowledge of God.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Especially, do not be disturbed by blasphemous thoughts, which clearly come from the envy of the Enemy. They occur in a person either because of proud self-opinion or the condemnation of others.” —St. Ambrose of Optina

“In hell there is democracy and in Heaven there is a Kingdom.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“We shall not care what people think of us, or how they treat us. We shall cease to be afraid of falling out of favour. We shall love our fellow men without thought of whether they love us. Christ gave us the commandment to love others but did not make it a condition of salvation that they should love us. Indeed, we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit. It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer. Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect – it will not matter provided that the Lord accept us. And vice versa: it will profit us nothing if the whole world thinks well of us and sings our praises, if the Lord declines to abide with us. This is only a fragment of the freedom Christ meant when He said, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8.32). Our sole care will be to continue in the word of Christ, to become His disciples and cease to be servants of sin.” —Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex, His Life is Mine, Chapter 6; pg. 55

“Do not do anything without signing yourself with the sign of the Cross! When you depart on a journey, when you begin your work, when you go to study, when you are alone, and when you are with other people, seal yourself with the Holy Cross on your forehead, your body, your chest, your heart, your lips, your eyes, your ears. All of you should be sealed with the sign of Christ's victory over hell. Then you will no longer be afraid of charms, evil spirits, or sorcery, because these are dissolved by the power of the Cross like wax before fire and like dust before the wind.” —Archimandrite Cleopas (Ilie) of Romania

“The Church is a hospital, and not a courtroom, for souls. She does not condemn on behalf of sins, but grants remission of sins. Nothing is so joyous in our life as the thanksgiving that we experience in the Church. In the Church, the joyful sustain their joy. In the Church, those worried acquire merriment, and those saddened, joy. In the Church, the troubled find relief, and the heavy-laden, rest. ‘Come,’ says the Lord, ‘near me, all of you who labor and are heavy-laden (with trials and sins), and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). What could be more desirable than to meet this voice? What is sweeter than this invitation? The Lord is calling you to the Church for a rich banquet. He transfers you from struggles to rest, and from tortures to relief. He relieves you from the burden of your sins. He heals worries with thanksgiving, and sadness with joy. No one is truly free or joyful besides he who lives for Christ. Such a person overcomes all evil and does not fear anything!” —St. John Chrysostom, Homily XV, II Cor. VII VIII, paragraph 6, Themes of Life II, Life Issues II, Holy Monastery of the Paraclete

“The goal of human freedom is not in freedom itself, nor is it in man, but in God. By giving man freedom God has yielded to man a piece of His divine authority, but with the intention that man himself would voluntarily bring it as a sacrifice to God, as a most perfect offering.” —St. Theophan the Recluse, The Path to Salvation

“When you are depressed, bear in mind the Lord’s command to Peter to forgive a sinner seventy times seven. And you may be sure that He Who gave this command to another will Himself do very much more.” —St. John Climacus

“A person who suffers bitterly when slighted or insulted should recognize from this that he still harbours the ancient serpent in his breast. If he quietly endures the insult or responds with great humility, he weakens the serpent and lessens its hold. But if he replies acrimoniously or brazenly, he gives it strength to pour its venom into his heart and to feed mercilessly on his guts. In this way the serpent becomes increasingly powerful; it destroys his soul's strength and his attempts to set himself right, compelling him to live for sin and to be completely dead to righteousness.” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“The time of this present life is a time for harvesting, and each person gathers spiritual food - as pure as possible - and stores it up for the other life. It is not the clever, the noble, the polished speakers, or the rich who win, but whoever is insulted and forbears, whoever is wronged and forgives, whoever is slandered and endures, whoever becomes a sponge and mops up whatever they might say to him. Such a person is cleansed and polished even more. He reaches great heights. He delights in the theoria of mysteries. And finally, it is he who is already inside paradise, while still in this life.” —Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-dweller

“Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbours, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness or unforgiveness of your sins, then, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how serious it is.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“When you are ready to stand in the presence of the Lord, let your soul wear a garment woven from the cloth of your forgiveness of others. Otherwise, your prayer will be of no value whatsoever.” —St. John Climacus

“Forgiveness is better than revenge.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“When God forgave you, it means He forgave you for eternity.” —Elder Arsenie (Papacioc) of Romania

“Love alone harmoniously joins all created things with God and with each other.” —St. Thalassios the Libyan

“A monk is he who withdrawing from all men, is united with all mankind. … A monk is he who regards himself as existing with all men and sees himself in each man.” —St. Nilus of Sinai

“Love towards Christ is without limits, and the same is true of love towards our neighbour. It should radiate everywhere, to the ends of the earth, to every person. I wanted to go and live with the hippies at …… in order to show them the love of Christ and how great it is and how it could transfigure them. Love is above everything.” —Wounded by Love, Elder Porphyrios, pg 188

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” —Genesis 1:27

“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” —Genesis 3:5

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” —2 Corinthians 11:14

“You shall not murder.” —Exodus 20:13

“Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.” —Deuteronomy 27:25

“He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.” —Isaiah 2:4

“But Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.’” —Matthew 26:52

“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” —Luke 18:20

“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’” —John 8:7

“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” —1 John 3:15

“And the second commandment of the Teaching; Thou shalt not commit murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not commit paederasty, thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not practise magic, thou shalt not practise witchcraft, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten.” —Didache 2:2

“You shall not take the life of the child by obtaining an abortion. Nor, again, shall you destroy him after he is born.” —St. Barnabas, Epistle of St. Barnabas

“The mold in the womb may not be destroyed.” —Tertullian

“There is no question about that which is bred in the uterus, both growing, and moving from place to place. It remains, therefore, that we must think that the point of commencement of existence is one and the same for body and soul.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“We acknowledge, therefore, that life begins with conception, because we contend that the soul begins at conception. Life begins when the soul begins.

For us, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter when you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one: you have the fruit already in the seed.” —Tertullian, Apology 9:6

“Now the entire process of sowing, forming, and completing the human embryo in the womb is no doubt regulated by some power, which ministers herein to the will of God, whatever may be the method which it is appointed to employ. Even the superstition of Rome, by carefully attending to these points, imagined the goddess Alemona to nourish the foetus in the womb; as well as [the goddesses] Nona and Decima, called after the most critical months of gestation; and Partula, to manage and direct parturition; and Lucina, to bring the child to the birth and light of day. We, on our part, believe the angels to officiate herein for God. The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed (conception). The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being, which has imputed to it even now the condition of life and death, since it is already liable to the issues of both, although, by living still in the mother, it for the most part shares its own state with the mother.” —Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul, Ch. XXXVII, On the Formation and State of the Embryo, Its Relation with the Subject of this Treatise

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” —Tertullian

“…if we would not kill off the human race born and developing according to God's plan, then our whole lives would be lived according to nature. Women who make use of some sort of deadly abortion drug kill not only the embryo but, together with it, all human kindness.” —St. Clement of Alexandria, Christ the Educator, Volume II, page 10

“Those who use abortifacients commit homicide.” —St. Clement of Alexandria

“The woman who aborts her child to hide her immorality, aborts at the same time her own humanity.” —St. Clement of Alexandria

“Women who were reputed believers began to resort to drugs for producing sterility. They also girded themselves around, so as to expel what was being gestated. For they did not wish to have a child by either slave or by any common fellow - out of concern for their family and their excessive wealth. See what a great impiety the lawless one has advanced! He teaches adultery and murder at the same time!” —St. Hipploytus, Refutation Of All Heresies

“He [Novatian] struck the womb of his wife with his heel and produced a hurried an abortion, thereby causing parricide.” —St. Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 52 To Cornelius

“The wealthy, in order that their inheritance may not be divided among several, deny in the very womb their own progeny. By use of' parricidal mixtures they snuff out the fruit of their wombs in the genital organs themselves. In this way life is taken away before it is born… Who except man himself has taught us ways of repudiating children?” —St. Ambrose of Milan

“Sometimes their sadistic licentiousness goes so far that they procure poison to produce infertility, and when this is of no avail, they find one means or another to destroy the unborn and flush it from the mother's womb. For they desire to see their offspring perish before it is alive or, if it has already been granted life, they seek to kill it within the mother's body before it is born.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, Book One, Ch. 16

“A woman who has deliberately destroyed a fetus must pay the penalty for murder… those also who give drugs causing abortions are murderers themselves, as well as those who receive the poison which kills the fetus.” —St. Basil the Great, First Canonical Letter, 188:2 and 188:8

“Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses.” —St. Basil the Great, Letter CLXXXVIII: Canonica Prima, to Amphilochius, concerning the Canons, VII

“The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us.” —St. Basil the Great

“Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines of sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing. Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing? Yet such turpitude … the matter still seems indifferent to many men–even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks…” —St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, XXIV

“Some virgins [unmarried women] go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder.” —St. Jerome, Letter to Eustochium, 22:13

“The rich women, to avoid dividing the inheritance among many, kill their own unborn in the womb and with lethal extracts terminate their own offspring while yet in the womb.” —St. Ambrose, On the Hexaemeron

“For every argument there is a counter-argument, but who can argue against life?” —St. Gregory Palamas, Triads in Defence of the Holy Hesychasts

“If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one.” “I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.” “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” “If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.” “It is a poverty that a child must die, so that you may live as you wish.” “How can you say there are too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” “The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.” “Any Country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.” “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” “Do not look for big things, just do small things with great love… The smaller the thing the greater must be our love. “God did not call us to be successful, but to be faithful.” “Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.” “There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.” “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” —Teresa of Calcutta

“No one heals himself by wounding another.” —St. Ambrose of Milan

“Abortion is the anti-Christ's demonic parody of the Eucharist. That's why it uses the same holy words ‘This is my body’ with the blasphemous opposite meaning.” —Dr. Peter Kreeft

“An Irish pro-abortion leader described their vote as a decision to enter the ‘modern’ world. That was extremely well-said. Modernity suggests to us that we are the masters of history, the arbiters of life and death. Our compassion for the suffering is always expressed, ultimately, in our willingness to kill them, without remorse.

For many, abortion has become the sacrament of modernity, in which we learn to say in blasphemous irony: ‘This is my body.’” —Fr. Stephen Freeman

“Each child with special needs such as this does not come into the world in order to make our lives difficult and make us suffer. They each come into this world for a reason and have their secret inner voice. It remains to us to offer love; to ‘bear one another's burdens’; to experience a collective humbling – to realize, that is, that we are not as powerful and important as we think; and to try to lighten that person's burden and understand their language… These children are better at speaking the language of God.” —Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Labreotiki, When God is Not There, pg. 48

“O God, grant us a deeper sense of fellowship with all living things, our little brothers and sisters to whom in common with us you have given this earth as home. We recall with regret that in the past we have acted high-handedly and cruelly in exercising our domain over them. Thus, the voice of the earth which should have risen to you in song has turned into a groan of travail. May we realize that all these creatures also live for themselves and for you - not for us alone. They too love the goodness of life, as we do, and serve you better in their way than we do in ours. Amen.” —St. Basil the Great

“We follow the ways of wolves, the habits of tigers: or, rather we are worse than they. To them nature has assigned that they should be thus fed, while God has honoured us with rational speech and a sense of equity. And yet we are become worse than the wild beast.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water. Lay your bed where the cat sleeps. Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm. Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit. Plant the tree where the mole digs. Build your house where the snake sits to warm itself. Dig your fountain where the birds hide from the heat. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time with the birds – you will reap all of the days' golden grains. Eat more green – you will have strong legs and a resistant heart, like the beings of the forest. Swim often and you will feel on earth like the fish in the water. Look at the sky as often as possible and your thoughts will become light and clear. Be quiet a lot, speak little – and silence will come in your heart, and your spirit will be calm and full of peace.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov (Nature is talking to you, are you listening?)

“Nothing is without order and purpose in the animal kingdom; each animal bears the wisdom of the Creator and testifies of Him. God granted man and animals many natural attributes, such as compassion, love, feelings… for even animals bewail the loss of one of their own.” —St. John Climacus

“…surely we ought to show kindness and gentleness to animals for many reasons, and chiefly because they are of the same origin as ourselves.” —St. John Chrysostom

“For animals, man is like God. Just as we ask God for help, they ask man for help.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“…it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.” —Kallistos Ware

“Why not learn to enjoy the little things! There are so many of them.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The unspeakable and prodigious fire hidden in the essence of things, as in the bush, is the fire of divine love and the dazzling brilliance of His beauty inside every thing.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Blessed the one who observes with spiritual understanding the choirs of stars shining with glory and the beauty of the heavens and longs to contemplate the Maker of all things.” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“Leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that thou mayest arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all knowledge.” —St. Dionysius the Areopagite, Mystical Theology

“Supernal Triad, Deity above all essence, knowledge and goodness, Guide of Christians to Divine Wisdom: direct our path to the ultimate summit of Thy mystical Lore, most incomprehensible, most luminous and most exalted, where the pure, absolute and immutable mysteries of theology are veiled in the dazzling obscurity of the secret Silence, outshining all brilliance with the intensity of their Darkness, and surcharging our blinded intellects with the utterly impalpable and invisible fairness of glories surpassing all beauty.” —St. Dionysius the Areopagite, Mystical Theology

“TRINITY!! Higher than any being, any divinity, any goodness! Guide of Christians in the wisdom of heaven! Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture, where the mysteries of God’s Word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence. Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light on what is most manifest. Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen they completely fill our sightless minds with treasures beyond all beauty.

For this I pray; and, Timothy, my friend, my advice to you as you look for a sight of the mysterious things, is to leave behind you everything perceived and understood, everything perceptible and understandable, all that is not and all that is, and, with your understanding laid aside, to strive upward as much as you can toward union with Him who is beyond all being and knowledge. By an undivided and absolute abandonment of yourself and everything, shedding all and freed from all, you will be uplifted to the ray of the divine shadow which is above everything that is.” —St. Dionysius the Areopagite, Mystical Theology, What Is the Divine Darkness?

“We, therefore, so long as we are beset by the corruptions of the flesh, in no wise behold the brightness of the Divine Power, as it abides unchangeable in itself, in that the eye of our weakness cannot endure that which shines above us with intolerable lustre from the ray of His Eternal Being. And so when the Almighty shews Himself to us by the chinks of contemplation, He does not speak to us, but whispers, in that though He does not fully develope Himself, yet something of Himself He does reveal to the mind of man. But then He no longer whispers at all, but speaks, when His appearance is manifested to us in certainty. It is hence that Truth saith in the Gospel, ‘I shall shew you plainly of the Father’ (John 16, 25). Hence John saith, ‘For we shall see Him as He is’ (1 John 3, 2). Hence Paul saith, ‘Then shall I know even as also I am known’ (1 Cor. 13, 12). Now in this present time, the Divine whispering has as many veins for our ears as the works of creation, which the Divine Being Himself is Lord of; for while we view all things that are created, we are lifted up in admiration of the Creator. For as water that flows in a slender stream is sought by being bored for through veins, with a view to increase it, and as it pours forth the more copiously, in proportion as it finds the veins more open, so we, whilst we heedfully gather the knowledge of the Divine Being from the contemplation of His creation, as it were open to ourselves the ‘veins of His whispering’, in that by the things that we see have been made, we are led to marvel at the excellency of the Maker, and by the objects that are in public view, that issues forth to us, which is hidden in concealment. For He bursts out to us in a kind of sound as it were, whilst He displays His works to be considered by us, wherein He betokens Himself in a measure, in that He shews how Incomprehensible He is. Therefore, because we cannot take thought of Him as He deserves, we hear not His voice, yea, scarcely His whispering. For because we are not equal to form a full and perfect estimate of the very things that are created, it is rightly said, Mine ear as it were by stealth received the veins of whispering; in that being cast forth from the delights of paradise, and visited with the punishment of blindness, we scarcely take in ‘the veins of whispering’; since His very marvellous works themselves we consider but hastily and slightly. But we must bear in mind, that in proportion as the soul being lifted up contemplates His Excellency, so being held back it shrinks from His Righteous Perfectness.” —St. Gregory the Great (Gregory the Dialogist), Book V, Sec. 52, Morals on the Book of Job

“Look at the world around you. It supplies all your bodily needs. It feasts your eyes with its beauty. And its glory reflects the glory of God, so it feasts your soul also. Look at the plants and the trees. Can you count all the different species? Can you describe all the different shapes of the leaves, the color and fragrances of the flowers? Look, too, at the animals and the insects. Are you not enthralled by their different sizes and shapes, by the different colors and textures of their skin and fur, by the different ways in which they move about and gather food? And the wonder why God has created all this. Has he created the marvelous universe just to supply our needs and to feast our eyes and souls? or is there some other purpose in it all? The answer is that he has created all things--for their own sake. Each creature has its own purpose and destiny, which God in his infinite wisdom and love has planned. Do not try to understand God's plans; the human mind is hardly better than that of an ant in discerning the ways of God. Simply accept all his plans and rejoice in them.” —St. John Chrysostom, On Living Simply, pg 54

“When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God's feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.” —St. Basil the Great

“For as long as you are on earth, consider yourself a guest in the Household of Christ. If you are at the table, it is He who treats you. If you breathe air, it is His air you breathe. If you bathe, it is in His water you are bathing. If you are traveling, it is over His land that you are traveling. If you are amassing goods, it is His goods you are amassing. If you are squandering, it is His goods that you are squandering. If you are powerful, it is by His permission that you are strong. If you are in the company of men, you and the others are His guests. If you are out in nature, you are in His garden. If you are alone, He is present.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich

“Some people see the houses in which they live as their kingdom; and although in their minds they know that death will one day force them to leave, in their hearts they feel they will stay forever. They take pride in the size of their houses and the fine material with which they are built. They take pleasure in decorating their houses with bright colors, and in obtaining the best and most solid furniture to fill the rooms. They imagine that they can find peace and security by owning a house whose walls and roof will last for many generations. We, by contrast, know that we are only temporary guests on earth. We recognize that the houses in which we live serve only as hostels on the road to eternal life. We do not seek peace or security from the material walls around us or the roof above our heads. Rather we want to surround ourselves with a wall of divine grace; and we look upward to heaven as our roof. And the furniture of our lives should be good works, performed in a spirit of love.” —St. John Chrysostom, On Living Simply, pg 11

“What hinders you from fulfilling Christ’s commandments?

The flesh and the world: that is, pleasant food and drink which men like, in which they delight both in thought and in fact, which make the heart gross and hard—a partiality for elegant dress and adornment, or for distinctions and rewards; if the dress or adornments are made of very beautiful coloured and delicate materials, then care and anxiety arise how to avoid staining or soiling them, or getting them dusty or wet, whilst care and anxiety how to please God in thought, word, and deed vanish and the heart lives for dress and adornment, and becomes entirely engrossed in these things, ceasing to care about God and being united to Him; if such is the case with a priest, then he neglects praying for his people, and becomes not soul-loving, but money-loving and ambitious, seeking not the men themselves, but that which appertains to them, that is, money, food, drink, their favour, their good opinion and good word, and flattering them.

Therefore fight against every worldly enticement, against every material enticement that hinders you from fulfilling Christ’s commandments, love God with all your heart, and care with all your strength for the salvation of your own soul, and the souls of others, be soul-loving.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Let us be satisfied simply with what sustains our present life, not with what pampers it. Let us pray to God for this, as we have been taught, so that we may keep our souls unenslaved and absolutely free from domination by any of the visible things loved for the sake of the body. Let us show that we eat for the sake of living, and not be guilty of living for the sake of eating. The first is a sign of intelligence, the second proof of its absence.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“[R]eal Orthodox can never be chauvinists. I recall once, in a conversation with me in 1926, the blessedly reposed metropolitan [A. Khrapovitsky] related to me the following: "On Athos there is a custom that a monk who does not forgive offences is punished by being made to omit the words ‘and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,’ at the reading of the Lord’s Prayer, until such a time when he has forgiven the offence committed against him. And I myself have suggested," added the great saint, "that the chauvinist-nationalists not read the ninth article of the Symbol of Faith."

If we were to crystallize this principle of Vladyka, it would read as follows: the Russian, Serbian, and Bulgarian nations can be great only if the goal of their existence be the collective realization of the commandments of the Gospel. Otherwise, "Serbianism", "Russianism", and "Bulgarianism", are reduced to senseless and pernicious chauvinism. If "Serbianism" flourishes not by the power of evangelical podvigs and not to Orthodox catholicity, then it will choke in its own egoistic chauvinism. What is profitable for Serbdom is profitable for other nationalities as well. Nations pass, the Gospel is eternal. Only in so far as a nation is filled with the eternal evangelical truth and righteousness, does it exist, and itself becomes and remains eternal. Only such patriotism can be justified from an evangelical point of view. This is the patriotism of the holy apostles, the holy martyrs, the holy fathers. When the emperor-tormentor asked the holy martyrs Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus where they were from, they answered: "Are you asking us, O Emperor, about our homeland? Our homeland and our life is the most holy, consubstantial and undivided Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the one God." (On Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky)

The blessed Metropolitan Anthony is the most gifted contemporary representative of Russian Orthodox nationalism, a nationalism consecrated and enlightened by Christ; a nationalism by which all men are brothers in Christ; a nationalism by which the mighty must serve the weak, the wise the unwise, the humble the proud, the first the last. Growing out of patristic Orthodox universal patriotism, the blessed Vladyka can only be appreciated from the same apostolic patristic perspective. We can apply to him what St. Gregory of Nyssa said about his own brother, St. Basil, after his death: "Wherein lies Basil's noble origin? Where is his homeland? His origin is his affinity to divinity, and his homeland is virtue."” —St. Justin Popovich

“Worldly glory does not lead God's children to heaven.” —St. Raphael, the Newly-revealed Martyr of Lesvos

“Satan has no need to tempt those who tempt themselves, and are continually dragged down by worldly affairs.” —St. John of Karpathos

“The devil does not hunt after those who are lost; he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, criticism. Therefore we should not trust our logical minds.” —St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

“The fundamental Christian eschatology has been destroyed by either the optimism leading to the Utopia, or by the pessimism leading to the Escape. If there are two heretical words in the Christian vocabulary, they would be "optimism" and "pessimism." These two things are utterly anti-biblical and anti-Christian.” —Fr. Alexander Schmemann

“Christ is the only exit from this world; all other exits – sexual rapture, political utopia, economic independence – are but blind alleys in which rot the corpses of the many that have tried them.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Everything in this life passes away – only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Let the hearing of worldly tales be to you as a bitter taste in your mouth, but the discourse of holy men as a honeycomb.” —St. Basil the Great

“All the things of this world are no more than earth. Place them in a heap under your feet and you will be so much nearer to heaven.” —Josemaria Escriva

“A man who has dedicated himself once and for all to God goes through life with a restful mind.” —St. Isaac the Syrian

“Do you seek any further reward beyond that of having pleased God? In truth, you know not how great a good it is to please Him.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 22:37-40

“And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"” —John 20:28

“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” —John 5:22-23

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” —Matthew 5:44

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” —Psalm 14:1

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” —Proverbs 3:5

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.” —Proverbs 10:12

“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.” —Proverbs 11:2

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.” —Proverbs 12:15

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” —Proverbs 14:12

“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” —Proverbs 16:18

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” —Proverbs 27:2

“Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” —Proverbs 27:5-6

“If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.” —Proverbs 29:9

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. … I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” —Ecclesiastes 1:2,14

“For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” —Ecclesiastes 1:18

“The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” —Isaiah 32:17

“Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.” —Proverbs 17:6

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” —Proverbs 20:7

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.” —Proverbs 23:24

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” —Psalm 127:3-5

“The sons of wisdom are the church of the just: and their generation, obedience and love.

Children, hear the judgment of your father, and so do that you may be saved.

For God hath made the father honourable to the children: and seeking the judgment of the mothers, hath confirmed it upon the children.

He that loves God, shall obtain pardon for his sins by prayer, and shall refrain himself from them, and shall be heard in the prayer of days.

And he that honours his mother is as one that lays up a treasure.

He that honours his father shall have joy in his own children, and in the day of his prayer he shall be heard.

He that honours his father shall enjoy a long life: and he that obeys the father, shall be a comfort to his mother.

He that fears the Lord, honours his parents, and will serve them as his masters that brought him into the world.” —Sirach 3:1-8

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” —Matthew 19:14

“Reflect on the statutes of the Lord, and meditate at all times on his commandments. It is he who will give insight to your mind, and your desire for wisdom will be granted.” —Sirach 6:37

“Childless with virtue is better than this, For immortality is in its memory; Because it is known both by God and by man.” —Wisdom of Solomon 4:1

“Jesus wept.” —John 11:35

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” —Matthew 5:3-10

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” —James 4:7-10

“But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” —Luke 12:48

“Then Abraham answered and said, ‘Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord.’” —Genesis 18:27

“The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.’” —Matthew 8:8

“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” —Luke 18:13

“Pray without ceasing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:17

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” —1 Timothy 1:15

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” —Romans 3:23

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” —Matthew 16:18

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” —Matthew 28:19

“Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."” —Acts 2:38

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’” —John 8:58

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” —John 15:26

“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” —John 17:21

“I and My Father are one.” —John 10:30

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

“So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."” —John 20:19-23

“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” —Luke 10:1

“Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."” —Acts 6:2-4

“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” —Acts 20:7

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.“ —John 6:53-56

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.“ —1 Corinthians 10:16-17

“Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed…” —2 Corinthians 10:7-8

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” —Ephesians 5:11

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” —James 2:14-17

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” —Matthew 12:33-35

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” —Luke 6:43-45

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” —James 3:10

“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No,’ lest you fall into judgment.” —James 5:12

“Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.” —2 Corinthians 10:11

“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” —Acts 8:30-31

“…but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” —1 Timothy 3:15

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” —John 21:25

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” —Jeremiah 1:5

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” —1 Timothy 4:12

“But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church…” —1 Corinthians 12:20-28

“Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.” —Proverbs 22:28

“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” —Acts 20:29-30

“Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” —Titus 3:10-11

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” —Matthew 10:14

“And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” —Matthew 15:9

“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” —Hebrews 13:17

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” —2 Thessalonians 2:15

“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” —Matthew 12:8

“Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” —Colossians 2:14

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” —Colossians 2:16-17

“…where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” —Colossians 3:11

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” —Romans 6:14

“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” —Romans 14:5-6

“…and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law.” —1 Corinthians 9:20

“For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.” —2 Corinthians 9:12

“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” —Acts 17:11

“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"” —Acts 8:30

“So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.” —Nehemiah 8:8

“And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” —Acts 11:26

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” —1 John 4:1

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” —1 John 2:19

“…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” —1 Corinthians 3:3

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” —1 Corinthians 1:13

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” —Matthew 12:25

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” —1 Corinthians 3:16-17

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” —1 Corinthians 1:10

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” —Hebrews 4:14-16

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” —Ephesians 1:15-23

“…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;” —Ephesians 4:3-5

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” —1 Corinthians 3:11

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” —Galatians 2:20

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” —Colossians 3:1-2

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” —John 15:18-19

“Thus says the Lord:

"Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"” —Jeremiah 6:16

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. ” —John 17:9-11

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” —Psalm 23

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” —Psalm 34:18

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down. For my iniquities have gone over my head; My wounds are foul and festering Because of my foolishness. Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” —Psalm 38:1,2,4,5,21,22

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” —Psalm 46:10

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love"; and, "You reward everyone according to what they have done."” —Psalm 62:1-2,11,12

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” —John 15:13

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” —John 13:35

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” —Matthew 24:36-39

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” —Matthew 25:34-36,40

“…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” —Matthew 5:45

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” —James 1:17

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” —John 6:47

“Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” —John 8:12

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” —1 John 2:15-17

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” —Romans 12:1-2

“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.” —1 John 4:5

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” —Mark 8:36

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” —John 3:16-17

“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For 'He has put all things under His feet.' But when He says 'all things are put under Him,' it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” —1 Corinthians 15:25-28

“To have faith in Christ means more than simply despising the delights of this life. It means we should bear all our daily trials that may bring us sorrow, distress, or unhappiness, and bear them patiently for as long as God wishes and until He comes to visit us. For it is said, ‘I waited on the Lord and He came to me.’” —St. Symeon the New Theologian

“Anyone who truly wants to follow God must be free from the bonds of attachment to this life. To do this we must make a complete break with our old way of life. Indeed, unless we avoid all obsession with the body and with the concerns of this world, we shall never succeed in pleasing God. We must depart as it were to another world in our way of thinking, as the Apostle said: ‘Our citizenship is in heaven’.” —St. Basil the Great, Gateway to Paradise

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” —Philippians 3:20-21

“Therefore it was not one man, but rather the One Universal Church, that received these 'keys' and the right 'to bind and loosen.'” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“The Lord calls the Holy Spirit the 'voice of a gentle breeze'. For God is breath, and the breath of the wind is shared by all.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“Nothing is so characteristically Christian as being a peacemaker.” —St. Basil the Great

“Behold, for years and generations, the way of God has been leveled by the cross and by death. How is this with thee, that thou seest the afflictions of the way as if they were out of the way? Doest not thou wish to follow the steps of the saints? Or doest thou wish to go a way which is especially for thee, without suffering? The way unto God is a daily cross. No one can ascend unto heaven with comfort, we know where the way of comfort leads.” —St. Isaac the Syrian, Mystic Treatises, Homily LIX

“I know of my spiritual poverty, my own nothingness without faith. I am so weak, that it is only by Christ's name that I live and obtain peace, that I rejoice and my heart expands, whilst without Him I am spiritually dead, I am troubled, and my heart is oppressed; without the Lord's Cross I should have been long since the victim of the most cruel distress and despair. Only Christ keeps me alive: and the Cross is my peace and my consolation.” —St. John of Kronstadt

“Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him; yesterday I died with Him; today I am quickened with Him; yesterday I was buried with Him; today I rise with Him.” —St. Gregory the Theologian

“Now there is no more chaos, no more death, no more slaying, no more Hell. Now everything is joy, thanks to the resurrection of our Christ. Human nature is resurrected with Him. Now we too can rise again that we might live with Him eternally … What bliss is contained in the Resurrection! In every sorrow, with every failure, in anything that causes you pain, collect yourself for half a minute and slowly say this hymn. Then, you will see that the most important thing in your life and in the life of the entire universe has already been accomplished with the resurrection of Christ. It is our salvation. And then, you realize that all our setbacks are so insignificant, that you don’t need to allow them to spoil your mood.” —Elder Porphryios

“With the Resurrection of the God-Man, the nature of man is irreversibly led toward the road of immortality and man's nature becomes destructive to death itself. For until the Resurrection of Christ, death was destructive for man; from the Resurrection of Christ, man's nature becomes destructive in death. If man lives in the faith of the Resurrected God Man, he lives above death, he is unreachable for her; death is under man's feet. Death where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory? And when a man who believes in Christ dies, he only leaves his body as his clothes, in which he will be dressed again on the Day of Last Judgement.” —St. Justin Popovich

“Man sentenced God to death; by this Resurrection, He sentenced man to immortality. In return for a beating, He gives an embrace; for abuse, a blessing; for death, immortality. Man never showed so much hate for God as when he crucified Him; and God never showed more love for a man when He arose. Man even wanted to reduce God to a mortal, but God by His Resurrection made man immortal. The crucified God is Risen and has killed death. Death is no more. Immortality has surrounded man and all the world.” —St. Justin Popovich

“Let no one fear death; for the death of the Savior has set us free.” —St. John Chrysostom

“He who is initiated into the mystery of the Resurrection, learns the end for which God created all things.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“This bread is at first common bread; but when the Mystery sancifies it, It is called, and actually becomes the Body of Christ.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“Since Christ Himself has said, ‘This is My Body’ who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?” —St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“You freed me from slavery, gave me Your Name and marked me with Your Blood, so that I would always keep You in my heart.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“When someone opens your heart, I'd like him to find nothing there but Christ.” —Elder Amphilochios of Patmos

“Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God. For to journey without direction is wasted effort.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest achievement.” —St. Augustine of Hippo

“Love bestows prophecy; love yields miracles; love is an abyss of illumination; love is a fountain of fire, in the measure that it wells up, it inflames the thirsty soul. Love is the state of angels. Love is the progress of eternity.” —St. John Climacus

“The end of each discovery becomes the starting point for the discovery of something higher, and the ascent continues. Thus our ascent is unending. We go from beginning to beginning by way of beginnings without end.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa

“He who forsakes all worldly desires sets himself above all worldly distress.” —St. Maximus the Confessor

“He is with me, He who left the world behind. He is present in me, He who left His nature. He dwells in me, He who denied Himself. He is wholly for me, He who lost His life for me.” —St. Ambrose of Milan

“You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again.” — St. John Chrysostom

“You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come.” —St. John Chrysostom

“For You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same.” —St. John Chrysostom

“Brethren, He is near each one of us, even if unseen. That is why He said to the apostles when He ascended, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’ (Matt 28:20). Every day we should stand in awe of Him, as He is with us, and do what is pleasing before Him. If we are unable now to perceive Him with our physical eyes, we can, if we are watchful, see Him continuously with the eyes of our understanding, and not just see Him, but reap great benefits from Him. This vision destroys all sin, demolishes all evil, and drives away everything bad. It yields every virtue, gives birth to purity and dispassion, and bestows eternal life and the kingdom without end. As we attend to this joyful sight, gazing with our mind's eye on Christ as though He were present, each of us will say with David, ‘Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident’ (Ps. 27:3).” —St. Gregory of Palamas, Homily 23, The Appearance of Jesus

“Why do men learn through pain and suffering, not pleasure and happiness? Very simply, pleasure and happiness accustom one to satisfaction with things in this world, whereas pain and suffering drive one to seek more profound happiness beyond limitations of this world.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world. Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world. They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself. They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments. They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself. They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance. Bless my enemies, O Lord, Even I bless them and do not curse them. Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish. Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf. Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background. Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand. Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep. Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out. Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me: so that my fleeing to You may have no return; so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs; so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul; so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins, arrogance and anger; so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven; ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life. Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself. One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends. It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies. Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and enemies. A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake, For Enemies, Prayer LXXV

“For all the sins of men I repent before You, Most Merciful Lord. Indeed, the seed of all sins flows in my blood! With my effort and Your mercy I choke this wicked crop of weeds day and night, so that no tare may sprout in the field of the Lord, but only pure wheat. (Matt. 13:24-30.) I repent for all those who are worried, who stagger under a burden of worries and do not know that they should put all their worries on You. For feeble man even the most minor worry is unbearable, but for You a mountain of worries is like a snowball thrown into a fiery furnace. I repent for all the sick, for sickness is the fruit of sin. When the soul is cleansed with repentance, sickness disappears with sin, and You, my Eternal Health, take up Your abode in the soul. I repent for unbelievers, who through their unbelief amass worries and sicknesses both on themselves and on their friends. I repent for all those who blaspheme God, who blaspheme against You without knowing that they are blaspheming against the Master, who clothes them and feeds them. I repent for all the slayers of men, who take the life of another to preserve their own. Forgive them, Most Merciful Lord, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34) For they do not know that there are not two lives in the universe, but one, and that there are not two men in the universe, but one. Ah, how dead are those who cut the heart in half! I repent for all those who bear false witness, for in reality they are homicides and suicides. For all my brothers who are thieves and who are hoarders of unneeded wealth I weep and sigh, for they have buried their soul and have nothing with which to go forth before You. For all the arrogant and the boastful I weep and sigh, for before You they are like beggars with empty pockets. For all drunkards and gluttons I weep and sigh, for they have become servants of their servants. For all adulterers I repent, for they have betrayed the trust. of the Holy Spirit, who chose them to form new life through them. Instead, they turned serving life into destroying life. For all gossipers I repent, for they have turned Your most precious gift, the gift of speech, into cheap sand. For all those who destroy their neighbor’s hearth and home and their neighbor’s peace I repent and sigh, for they bring a curse on themselves and their people. For all lying tongues, for all suspicious eyes, for all raging hearts, for all insatiable stomachs, for all darkened minds, for all ill will, for all unseemly thoughts, for all murderous emotions–I repent, weep and sigh. For all the history of mankind from Adam to me, a sinner, I repent; for all history is in my blood. For I am in Adam and Adam is in me. For all the worlds, large and small, that do not tremble before Your awesome presence, I weep and cry out: O Master Most Merciful, have mercy on me and save me!” —St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake, Repentance for the World, Prayer XXIX

“O Lord, Grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely upon Thy Holy Will. In every hour of the day, reveal Thy will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with firm conviction that Thy will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by Thee. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will. Teach me to pray. Pray Thou Thyself in me. Amen.” —St. Philaret (Drozdov), Metropolitan of Moscow, The Morning Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

“In that anxious and dreadful hour when the heavenly powers are roused, when all the angels, archangels, seraphim and cherubim will stand with fear and trembling before Thy glory, when the foundations of the earth will be shaken, and when all that breathes will be terrified by the incomparable greatness of Thy glory – in that hour mayest Thou take me under Thy wing and may my soul be delivered from the terrible fire and from the gnashing of teeth, from outer darkness and eternal lamentation, that I may bless Thee and say: Glory to Him Who has desired to save a sinner according to the great compassion of His mercy!” —St. Ephrem the Syrian

“If there is any rest for us in this world, then it consists only in purity of the conscience and patience. This is a harbor for us who sail upon the sea of life…” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“I would like to address all believers of our church of Christ.

Don't be afraid of anything. Be steadfast in your love for God. Keep the purity of the Holy Orthodox Faith, it is the way that leads man to God! Love one another, tolerate one another, help one another. Evil will pass – and good will live forever. If we endure everything, live in love for all and among ourselves, then no evil will defeat us. God is a God of strength, and evil has no power. We will live with God – and we will be joyful, happy and blessed.

I know that Our church of Christ will be till the end of the world because the Lord said the gates of hell will not prevail against Her. Don't be afraid because We are in a church founded by Christ, not by men.” —Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and all Ukraine

“As to the fatalism of those who believe that man must be a slave to the spirit of the age, it is disproved by the experience of every Christian worthy of the name, for the Christian life is nothing if it is not a struggle against the spirit of every age for the sake of eternity.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” —C. S. Lewis

“God and our conscience know our secrets. Let them correct us.” —St. Mark the Ascetic

“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” —St. Jerome

“What, then, is greater than that the Father of the only-begotten Son Himself recognizes in us His members and finds the very form of the Son in our faces?” —St. Nicholas Cabasilas

“This, then, is the way in which we interpret the Eighth Day…namely that when the time that is measured in weeks comes to an end, an Eighth Day will come into being…It will remain one day continually, never to be divided by the darkness of night. Another Sun will bring it into being, radiating the true light; embracing all things in it's luminous power, it will produce light continually and will make those who share in that Light into other suns.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Psalms

“He made Him who was righteous to be a sinner, that He might make sinners righteous.” —St. John Chrysostom

“The Word of God became man, that man might become god… becoming by grace what God is by nature.” —St. Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation

“Thine own of Thine own we Offer unto Thee, in behalf of all and for all!” —Anaphora offering (OCA), Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

“Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.” —Psalm 116:15

“…nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” —Luke 20:36-38

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” —2 Maccabees 12:46

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13

“And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints.” —Romans 8:28

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” —Matthew 19:26

“Glory be to God for everything! Glory be to God for having created me to His image and likeness. Glory be to God for having redeemed me, the fallen. Glory be to God for having extended His solicitude to me, the unworthy. Glory be to God for having led me, the sinner, to repentance. Glory be to God for having offered me His holy words, like a lamp in a dark place, thus setting me on the path of righteousness. Glory be to God for having illumined the eyes of my heart. Glory be to God for having made known to me His holy name. Glory be to God for having washed away my sins through the bath of baptism. Glory be to God for having shown me the way to eternal bliss. The way is Jesus Christ, Son of God, Who says of Himself, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’

Glory be to God, that He has not brought me to perdition through my sins, but suffered them because of His kindness. Glory be to God for showing me the vanity and emptiness of the world. Glory be to God for helping me in various temptations, misfortunes, and calamities. Glory be to God for protecting me in accidents and mortal dangers. Glory be to God for defending me against the Devil, who is the enemy. Glory be to God for raising me when I was prostrate. Glory be to God for comforting me in my sorrow. Glory be to God for converting me when I was erring. Glory be to God for punishing me as a father. Glory be to God for announcing to me His last Judgment, that I might fear it and repent of my sins. Glory be to God for revealing to me eternal torment and eternal bliss, that I might flee the one and seek the other. Glory be to God for offering to me, the unworthy one, food, clothing, and shelter.” —St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, from St. Tikhon of Zadonsk's Will, B#26, p. 240

“When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better. Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave. Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you. And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now. For I am living and I shall be forever.” —St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man takest thy crown (Revelation 3:11).” —Metropolitan Philaret of New York, the last words of

“«δόξα τῷ θεῷ πάντων ἕνεκεν» (Glory be to God for all things!)” —St. John Chrysostom, the last words of