Orthodox Christianity: Wikis


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The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:

Note: The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches preserve ancient church traditions but are not in communion. As such, the term Orthodox Christianity when used inadvisably to refer to these two Churches collectively refers more to a common eastern influence than to doctrinal matters.

See also

The term is also used by some church bodies associated with the Old Catholic Church, Continuing Anglican Movement, and Liberal Catholic Church.



Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Eastern Orthodox Christianity article)

From Wikiquote

Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the Christianity held by the Eastern Orthodox Church a Christian body that views itself as:

Based on the numbers of adherents, Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church, and the third largest grouping if Protestantism is counted as a whole. The most common estimate of the number of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide is 220-300 million, though according to closer statistics there are closer to 500 million worldwide. Geographically and historically, its faithfuls have spreaded in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire in the early centuries, then to Georgia, Slavic people and in the modern period, to other continents. Today Eastern Orthodoxy is the largest single religious in many Eastern European countries including Russia and Greece. In addition, there are also large Orthodox communities in all other continents.


In the Bible

  • But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
  • He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
    • The Bible - 1 John 4:8.
  • Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
    Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore
    "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
    For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."[cf. Proverbs 25: 21, 22]
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    • Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12: 9-21 (NKJV)
  • Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— "of whom the world was not worthy". They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
    • The Bible, Hebrews 11: 36-38 (NKJV).

Ancient: Apostlic Fathers to 5th Century Saints

  • It is not free will but "it is the Lord Who sets the captives free" (Ps. 145:7). It is not our own virtue but "it is the Lord Who lifts up those who were laid low" (Ps. 145:8). It is not application to reading but "it is the Lord Who gives wisdom to the blind." It is not our cautiousness but "it is the Lord Who protects the stranger" (Ps. 145:9). It is not our endurance but "it is the Lord Who raises or gives support to the fallen" (Ps. 144:14).
    • St. John Cassian.
  • Let us toil, carrying each other`s burdens, as Christ carried our diseases in His body without flinching. If Christ is our master, then let us imitate Him and bear His injuries, lest in the age to come we be separated from our brothers who suffered afflictions. Such was also the fate of others because they wanted to give themselves not to virtues but rather to vices.
    • St. Pachomius the Great.
  • Take heed list without reason thou mistrust the power of repentance. Wouldst thou know what power repentance has? Wouldst thou know the strong weapon of salvation, and learn what the force of confession is? Hezekiah by means of confession routed a hundred and fourscore and five thousand of his enemies. A great thing verily was this, but still small in comparison with what remains to be gold: the same king by repentance obtained the recall of a divine sentence which had already gone forth. For when he had fallen sick, Isaias said to him, "Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." What expectation remained, what hope of recovery, when the Prophet said, `for thou shalt die?' Yet Hezekiah did not desist from repentance; but remembering what is written, "When thou shalt turn and lament, then shalt thou be saved," he turned to the wall, and from his bed lifting he mind to heaven, he said, "Remember me, O Lord, for it is sufficient for my healing that Thou remember me.."
    • St. Cyril of Jerusalem.
  • The man who wishes to offer a pure mind to God but who is troubled by cares is like a man who expects to walk quickly even though his legs are tied together."
    • St. John Climacus.
  • Just as the simple thought of human realities does not oblige the mind to disdain the divine, so neither does the simple knowledge of divine things persuade it fully to disdain human things, for the reason that the truth exists now in shadows and figures. Hence there is a need for the blessed passion of holy love, which binds the mind to spiritual realities and persuades it to prefer the immaterial to the material and intelligible and divine things to those of sense.
    • St. Maximus the Confessor.
  • Now the divine nature, as it is in itself, according to its essence, transcends every act of comprehensive knowledge and it cannot be approached or attained by our speculation. Men have never discovered a faculty to comprehend the incomprehensible; nor have we ever been able to devise an intellectual technique for grasping the inconceivable. For this reason the great Apostle calls God's ways unsearchable (Rom. 11:33), teaching us by this that the way that leads to the knowledge of the divine nature is inaccessible to our reason; and hence none of those who have lived before us has given us the slightest hint of comprehension suggesting that we might know that which in itself is above all knowledge.
    • St. Gregory of Nyssa.
  • If anyone claims to be able to be completely self-sufficient, to be capable of reaching perfections without anyone else's help, to succeed in plumbing the depths of Scripture entirely unaided, he is behaving just like someone trying to practice the trade of a carpenter without touching wood. The Apostle would say to such: "It is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified" (Rom. 2:13).
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • Baptized in Christ by the Spirit, we have received the first incorruptibility of the flesh; we await the final incorruptibility of Christ in the Spirit, that is, in keeping undefiled the first incorruptibility by a free gift of good works and by a voluntary death; according to this final incorruptibility no one who enjoys it will lose the benefits he has acquired."
    • St. Maximus the Confessor.
  • Saint John wrote of some of the brothers who were on a journey that they have set out for the sake of Christ's name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. We must support such people, that we may be fellow-workers in the truth. People who give material aid to those with spiritual gifts are fellow-workers in those spiritual gifts. Not many receive spiritual gifts; many more are rich in worldly goods. The wealthy share in the virtues of the poor when they provide relief for them from their riches."
    • St. Gregory the Great.
  • For if a man draws near to grace, then Jesus will say to him, "I will no longer call you servants, but I will call you My friends and My brothers: for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you" (Jn. 15:15). For those who have drawn near, and have been taught by the Holy Spirit, have known themselves according to their intellectual substance. And in their knowledge of themselves they have cried out and said, "For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Rom. 8:15): that we may know what God has given us -- "If we are sons, then are we heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with the saints" (Rom. 8:17).
  • Wisdom holds to the mean between shrewdness and simplicity. Neither the wisdom of the serpent nor the simplicity of the dove is to be praised, if one should choose either of these with respect to itself alone. Rather it is the disposition which closely unites these two by the mean that is virtue. The person who lacks moderation is a libertine, and he who goes beyond moderation has his conscience branded, and the Apostle says. For the one has given himself up without restrain to pleasures, and the other defiles marriage as if it were adultery. The disposition observed in the mean between these two is moderation."
    • St. Gregory of Nyssa.
  • Who that sees things of opposite nature combined, and in concordant harmony, as for example fire mingled with cold, and dry with wet, and that not in mutual conflict, but making up a single body, as it were homogeneous, can resist the inference that there is One external to these things that has united them? One external to these things has enlightened them? Who that sees winter giving place to spring and spring to summer and and that these things contrary by nature, yet all make up a balanced result beneficial to mankind, - can fail to perceive that there is One higher than they, Who balances and guides them all, even if he see Him not.
    • St. Athanasius.
  • I want the marvel of creation to gain such complete acceptance from you that, wherever you may be found and whatever kin of plants you may chance upon, you may receive a clear reminder of the Creator. First, then, whenever you see a grassy plant or a flower, thin of human nature, remembering the comparison of the wise Isaiah, the "all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass." For, the short span of life and the briefly-enduring pleasure and joy of human happiness have found a most apt comparison in the words of the prophet. Today he is vigorous in body, frown fleshy from delicacies, with a flower-like completion, in the prime of life, fresh and eager, and irresistible in attack; tomorrow that same one is piteous or wasted with age, or weakened by disease.
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • The love of God is not taught. No one has taught us to enjoy the light or to be attached to life more than anything else. And no one has taught us to love the two people who brought us into the world and educated us. Which is all the more reason to believe that we did not learn to love God as a result of outside instruction. In the very nature of every human being has been sown the seed of the ability to love. You and I ought to welcome this seed, cultivate it carefully, nourish it attentively and foster its growth by going to the school of God's commandments with the help of His grace.
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • You contend against Him, because He has not replied to all your words, God will speak once, and will not repeat the same thing a second time. As if he were to say, God does not reply in private speaking to the hearts of men one by one, but fashions His word in such a manner as to satisfy the inquiries of all men. For if we look to our own cases one by one, we are sure to find them in the teaching of His Scriptures, nor is there need to seek for a special answer from the voice of God, in our own special sufferings. For there a general reply is given to all of us in our own special sufferings: there the conduct of those who go before is a model for such as come after.
    • St. Gregory the Great.
  • If you help a poor person in the name of the Lord, you are making a gift and at the same time granting a loan. You are making a gift because you have no expectation of being reimbursed by that poor person. You are granting a loan because the Lord will settle the account. It is not much that the Lord receives by means of the poor, but He will pay a great deal on their behalf. "They who are kind to the poor lend to the Lord" [Prov. 19: 17]"
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • The cross is the door to mysteries. Through this door the intellect makes entrance in to the knowledge of heavely mysteries. The knowledge of the cross is concealed in the sufferings of the cross. And the more our participation in its sufferings, the greater the perception we gain through the cross. For, as the Apostle says, "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."
    • St. Isaac of Syria.
  • Now the Spirit is not brought into intimate associating with the soul by local approximation. How indeed could there be a corporeal approach to the incorporeal? This association results from the withdrawal of the passions which, coming afterwards gradually on the soul from its friendship to the flesh, have alienated it from the close relationship with God. Only then after a man is purified from the shame whose strain he took through his wickedness, and has come back again to his natural beauty, and as it were cleaning the Royal Image and restoring its ancient form, only thus is it possible for him to draw near to the Paraclete. And He, like the sun, will by then aid of thy purified eye show thee in Himself the image of the invisible, and in the blessed spectacle of the image thou shalt behold the unspeakable beauty of the archetype.
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • Fasting means controlling the power of fire and closing the mouths of lions.
    • St. Basil the Great.
  • But it is not enough for us to abandon our possessions if we do not abandon ourselves as well. What does it mean to abandon ourselves? If we abandon ourselves, where shall we go outside of ourselves? And who is it who departs, if a person has forsaken himself? But we are one thing when we have fallen into sin, and another in the nature with which we were created; what we did is one thing, what we have become is another. Let us abandon the selves we have made by sinning, and let us continue to be the selves we have become by grace.
    • St. Gregory the Great.
  • There is nothing we can offer to God more precious than good will. But what is good will? To have good will is to experience concern for someone else's adversities as if they were our own, to give thanks for our neighbor's prosperity as for our own; to believe that another person's loss is our own, and also that another's gain is ours; to love a friend in God, and bear with an enemy out of love, to do to no one what we do not want to suffer ourselves, and to refuse to no one what we rightly want for ourselves; to choose to help a neighbor who is in need not only to the whole extent of our ability, but even beyond our means. What offering is richer, what offering is more substantial than this one? What we are offering to God on the altar of our hearts is the sacrifice of ourselves.
    • St. Gregory the Great.
  • Your tongue longs to jump into arguments, but restrain it. It is a tyrant, and you must fight it daily seventy times seven."
    • St. John Climacus.
  • ...he who refuses to accept criticism, just or not, renounces his own salvation, while he who accepts it, hard or not though it may be, will soon have his sins forgiven.
    • St. John Climacus.
  • If our thoughts suggest something to us to be done we must handle it with utmost scrupulosity. It must be placed on the scales of the heart and weighed with the most exacting care. Is it filled with what is good for all? Is it heavy with the fear of God? Is it genuine in the feelings which underlie it? Is it lightweight because of human show or because of some thrust toward novelty? Has the burden of vainglory lessened its merit or diminished its luster? This prompt testing will be done as something public. That is, it is measured against the acts and the witness of the apostles. If it looks to be whole, complete, and in conformity with these latter, then let us hold on to it. Or if it seems defective, dangerous, and not of equal weight with these, let us cautiously and carefully reject it.
    • St. John Cassian.
  • Blessed is the person who has consented to become the close friend of faith and of prayer: he lives in single-mindedness and makes prayer and faith stop by with him. Prayer that rises up in someone's heart serves to open up for us the door of heaven: that person stands in converse with the Divinity and gives pleasure to the Son of God. Prayer makes peace with the Lord's anger and with the vehemence of His wrath. In this way too, tears that well up in the eyes can open the door of compassion.
  • If we are unwilling to lament in this life, there will be no option at all in the next life but to mourn and lament; there to no purpose, here on the contrary with profit; there to our shame, here on the contrary in all propriety. For proof, you see, that it is necessary, listen to what Christ says: "There will be weeping there and gnashing of teeth." But it will not be like that for those who weep here; instead, they will enjoy great consolation: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled."
  • "...a silent man is a son of wisdom and is always gaining great knowledge."
    • St. John Climacus.
  • The Lord has ordered us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to do good to those who persecute us. What danger we are in then, when we hate one another, when we hate our co-members, one with us, sons of God, branches of the true vine, sheep of the spiritual flock gathered by the true Shepherd, the Only-Begotten Son of God, Who offered Himself in sacrifice for us! The Living Word underwent these sufferings for so great a work, and you, man, hate it through jealously and vainglory, or avarice, or contempt - things for which the enemy has ensnared you, to make you a stranger to God. What defense will you present before Christ?
    • St. Pachomius the Great.
  • Consider to what a dignity he exalts himself who esteems his brother's salvation as of great importance. Such a man is imitating God, as far as lies with the power of man. And God says so through His Prophet [Jer. 15:19]. What He says is that he who is eager to save a brother who has fallen into careless ways, he who hastens to snatch his brother from the jaws of the devil, that man imitates Me as far as lies in human power. What could equal that? This is greater than all good deeds; it is the peak of all virtue.
  • Christians therefore ought to strive continually, and never to pass judgment on anyone - no, not upon the harlot on the street, or upon open sinners and disorderly persons - but to regard all men with singleness of intention and purity of eye, so that it may become like a fixed law of nature to despise no one, to judge no one, to abhor no one, to make no distinctions between them. If you see a man with one eye, be not divided in your heart, but look upon him as if he were whole. If a man is maimed of one hand, see him as not maimed, the lame as straight, the palsied as whole. This is purity of heart, when you see sinners or sick people, to have compassion on them and be tender-hearted towards them. It happens sometimes that the saints of the Lord sit in theatres and behold the deceit of the world. According to the inner man they are conversing with God, while according to the outer man they appear to men as contemplating what goes on in the world."
    • St. Macarius the Great.
  • Therefore, each one of us should strive and make every effort to pursue diligently all virtues. We ought to believe and seek from the Lord that the inner man receive even now this glory and that we may participate in the holiness of the Spirit so that, purged from all sordid traces of evil, we may receive also in the resurrection what will clothe our bodies as they rise naked, what will cover over any deformity, will vivify and transform them in the heavenly kingdom forever.
    • St. Macarius the Great.
  • And the fathers tell us many such things in different ways to secure us against the harm suspicions do us. Let us strive with all our power never to put our trust in our own conjectures. For nothing separates us so completely from God or prevents us from noticing our own wrong doing or makes us busy about what does not concern us, as this. No good comes from it but only troubles without number and they leave us no time to acquire the fear of God. Should worthless suspicions germinate in our minds, let us turn them into charitable thoughts and they will not harm us. For entertaining suspicions is wrong and it never allows the mind to be at peace. This is all I have to say about falsehood in the mind.
    • St. Dorotheos of Gaza (5th Century).
  • ...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God's sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination, and failed to accept help from their neighbor, their many efforts proved useless and vain.
    • St. Mark the Ascetic (5th Century).
  • ...it is dangerous to isolate oneself completely, relying on one's own judgment with no one else as witness; and it is equally dangerous to live with those who are inexperienced in spiritual warfare ... Thus a man should try to live with those who possess spiritual knowledge, or at least to consult them continually..."
    • St. Mark the Ascetic.
  • ...the Master of all visible and invisible creation was not ashamed to humble Himself and to take upon Himself our human nature, subject as it was to the passions of shame and desire and condemned by divine judgment; and He became like us in all things except that He was without sin (cf. Heb. 4:15), that is, without ignoble passions. All the penalties imposed by divine judgment upon man for the sin of the first transgression - death, toil, hunger, thirst and the like - He took upon Himself, becoming what we are, so we might become what He is...Being rich, He became poor for our sakes, so that through His poverty we might become rich (cf. 2 Cor. 8:9). In His great love for man He became like us, so that through every virtue we might become like Him.
    • St. Mark the Ascetic.

Medieval : from 6th Century till the decline of the Byzantine Empire (1453)

  • A man cannot receive spiritual knowledge except he be converted, and become as a little child. For only then does he experience that delight which belongs to the Kingdom of the Heavens. By `Kingdom of the Heavens' the Scriptures mean spiritual divine vision. This cannot be found through the workings of our deliberations, but by grace it can be tasted. Until a man has been purified, he is not even capable of hearing of it, for no one is able to acquire it by instruction.
    • St. Isaac the Syrian (6th Century).
  • Fasting is acceptable to God when abstention from food is accompanied by refraining from sins, from envy, from hatred, from calumny, from vainglory, from wordiness, from other evils. He who is fasting the true fast "that is agreeable" to God ought to shun all these things with all his strength and zeal, and remain impregnable and unshakeable against all the attacks of the Evil one that are planned from that quarter. On the other hand, he who practices abstention from food, but does not keep self-control in the face of the aforesaid passions, is like unto one who lays down splendid foundations for a house, yet takes serpents and scorpions and vipers as fellow-dwellers therein. For just as the establishment of goodly foundations for that house becomes a deadly trap to those that come nigh, as the lurking reptiles fall upon them unawares with their poison, so also that person who has established his fame among men by means of fasting, while fostering within him the beastlike heads of the passions, is fatal to those that meet him.
    • St. Photios the Great.
  • Therefore, let us love with our whole mind, dearly beloved brothers, the marriage of Christ and the Church, which was prefigured then in one city and is now celebrated over the whole earth. And let us be joined to the heavenly joys of this [marriage] by an unwearied concentration on good works. Let us take care to celebrate this [marriage] wearing the pure garment of love, for we made our entrance invited by faith; and let us be very solicitous to wash away the soiled spots from our actions and our thoughts before the day of the final judgment, lest perhaps when the king who has made the marriage feast for his son enters, if he sees that we do not have the wedding garment of chastity, he may cast us out and send us into the outer darkness, with out hands and feet tied with respect to the capability of doing good.
  • 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.
  • ...the heart of an arrogant person cannot humble itself; the more one says to help him, the greater his self-inflation. Corrected or admonished, he reacts violently; and when praised or encouraged, his exultation knows no bounds.
    • St. Symeon the New Theologian.
  • Contentiousness is a trap whose bait is self-justification; deceived by it we swallow the hook of sin.
    • St. Symeon the New Theologian.
  • 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.
  • ...let us have faith in Him who has participated in our nature and granted it in return the glory of His own nature, and let us seek how to acquire this glory and see it. How? By keeping the divine commandments. For the Lord has promised to manifest Himself to the man who keeps them, a manifestation He calls His own indwelling and that of the Father, saying, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and will make our abode with him"...
    • St. Gregory Palamas.
  • Discrimination is born of humility. On its possessor it confers spiritual insight, as both Moses and St. John Climacus say: such a man foresees the hidden designs of the enemy and foils them before they are put into operation. It is as David states: "And my eyes looked down upon my enemies" (Ps. 54:7). Discrimination is characterized by an unerring recognition of what is good and what is not, and the knowledge of the will of God in all that one does. Spiritual insight is characterized, first, by awareness of one's own failing before they issue in outward actions, as well as of the stealthy tricks of the demons; and, second, by the knowledge of the mysteries hidden in the divine Scriptures and in sensible creation.
    • St. Peter of Damascus.
  • The fathers counsel us to put forth a resistance equal to the force of the attack, whether we are to triumph or to suffer defeat. In other words, we should fight against evil thoughts with all the energies at our command. By conflict we shall either obtain the crown of life or be led to torment - the crown, to those who conquer; the torment, to those who have sinned and have not repented in this life.
    • St. Nilus of Sora (c. 1433 - 1508)


  • Fortunate is the man who has these two loves in his heart, that for God and that for his brethren. He surely has God; and whoever has God has every blessing and does not bear to commit sin. Again, wretched is the man who does not have these two loves. surely he has the devil and evil, and always sins. God, my brethren, asks us to have these two loves. As He Himself says in His Holy Gospel: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets." Through these two loves all the Saints of our Church, men and women, attained sainthood and won Paradise.
    • St. Kosmas Aitolos.
  • The mind is the rudder of the whole of a man's being. It counsels, it urges and it guides. The soul and the body are directed by the mind. If the mind is right before God, the whole man is right. If the mind is not, then neither is the whole man. If a man only thinks: `There is no God,' this is immediately apparent in his actions. Evil thoughts spring up first, and are quickly followed by evil deeds. Do you see how the inspired knew human nature? He first isolates the cause and then states that which follows. Evil deeds follow inevitably on evil thoughts. Therefore, my brethren, do not believe those who say: "I do not believe in God but I do good works." for he who does not believe in God does not know what is good, nor can he distinguish good from evil.
  • Do not fear bodily privations, but fear spiritual privations. Do not fear, do not be faint-hearted, do not be irritated when you are deprived of money, food, drink, enjoyments, clothes, dwelling, even of your body itself; but fear when the enemy deprives your soul of faith, of trust, and love for God and your neighbor; when he sows hatred, enmity, attachments to earthly things, pride, and other sins in your heart. "Fear not them which will kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul" (Matt. 10:23).
    • St. John of Kronstadt.
  • We must always be attentive to the assaults of the devil, for can we hope that he will leave us without temptations, when he did not leave our Founder and Source of faith and Perfecter the Lord Jesus Christ Himself? The Lord Himself said to the Apostle Peter: `Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Lk. 22:31). And thus we must ever call upon the Lord in humility and pray that He may not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength, but that He may deliver us from the evil one.
  • The Lord allows us to be tossed by various passions in this life in order that we may hate these passions with all our heart, that we may look upon everything earthly as nothing, however precious and pleasant it may appear, and that we may long with all our hearts for God alone, the Source of tranquility and life, may cling to Him alone, may value Him before everything, His holy will, His peace and joy.
    • St. John of Kronstadt.
  • Man restored through Christ lives with a restored nature, and a restored mind, heart and will. All these three 'measures' of the soul are raised in him by the leaven of the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt. 13:33). Ultimately these three components contain within themselves the Trinitarian heavenly love, which 'surpasses all understanding' (cf. Phil. 4:7). Therefore the Apostle speaks of a 'new man' in the likeness of Christ, and in the same way the great Apostle: `Old things are passed away; behold things are become new' (2 Cor. 5:17).
    • Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich.
  • Acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit also by practicing all the other virtues for Christ's sake. Trade spiritually with them; trade with those which give you the greatest profit. Accumulate capital from the superabundance of God's grace, deposit it in God's eternal bank which will bring you immaterial interest, not four or six percent, but one hundred percent for one spiritual trouble, and even infinitely more than that. For example, if prayer and watching gives you more of God's grace, watch and pray; if fasting gives you much of the Spirit of God, fast; if almsgiving gives you more, give alms. Weigh every virtue done for Christ's sake in this manner."
  • When the foolish thought of counting up any of your good works enters into your head, immediately correct your fault and rather count up your sins, your continual and innumerable offenses against the All-merciful and Righteous Master, and you will find that their number is as the sand of the sea, whilst your virtues in comparison with them are as nothing."
    • St. John of Kronstadt.
  • The beginning of repentance proceeds from fear of God and heedfulness, as the holy Martyr Boniface says (Lives of Saints, Dec. 19): The fear of God is the father of heedfulness, and heedfulness is the mother of inner peace, and the latter gives birth to conscience, which causes the soul to behold its own ugliness as in a certain pure and undisturbed water; and thus are born the beginnings and roots of repentance.
  • Those of you who earn your bread by means of your toil and sweat should rejoice, because that bread is blessed; and if you give a little of it as alms it is reckoned as much. But those who live by means of injustice and grasping should mourn, for what you thus acquire is cursed; and if you give alms out of these they do not benefit you at all, being fire that consumes you.
    • St. Kosmas Aitolos.
  • It is not possible to correct yourself rightly if you do not recognize the evil hidden in your heart and the calamities that proceed from it. An unrecognized disease remains untreated. The beginning of health is to know your disease, and the beginning of blessedness is to know your misfortune and wretchedness. For who having recognized his illness does not seek healing, and who knowing his misfortune does not seek deliverance from it?
    • St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.
  • Be as kind, meek, humble, and simple as possible in your intercourse with all, considering yourself not hypocritically inferior to all in respect to your spiritual condition, that is, more sinful and weaker than all. Say to yourself, 'Of all sinners I am the first.' From pride proceeds self-sufficiency, coldness, and insincerity in our behaviour to our inferiors, or to those from whom we do not expect to obtain any advantage."
    • St. John of Kronstadt.
  • Faith is the key of God's treasury. She dwells in simple, kind, loving hearts. `All things are possible to him that believeth.' Faith is a spiritual mouth, the more freely it opens the greater the stream by which the Divine springs enter into it; let this mouth freely open, as your bodily one does; do not let your lips be compressed by doubt and unbelief: if you compress them by doubt and unbelief, the treasury of God's blessings will be closed to you. The more openly, the more heartily you believe in God's omnipotence, the more bountifully will God's heart be opened to you. `What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.'
    • St. John of Kronstadt.
  • By faith the intellect is confirmed in pondering God. The way of salvation is that of the constant remembrance of God. The intellect separated from remembrance of God is like a fish out of water. The freedom of a true man consists in his freedom from the passions, in his resurrection with Christ, and in a joyous soul.
    • St. Justin Popovich.
  • 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.' (Mt. 5:48) - Christ, the Savior, answered the most elemental demand and need of our God-like and God-longing humanity."
    • St. Justin Popovich.
  • The enemy likes to hide the truth and to mix good with evil. But how can one find out the truth? God's goodwill and all our intentions are meek, full of good hope, and undoubting. Not only in our good deeds, but also in our lawlessness, God endures long with meekness and awaits our repentance. And how can one distinguish the impulse of the enemy? The enemy usually hinders us and turns us away from good. However, if in anything which apparently is good, the mind is disturbed and causes us disturbance, banishes the fear of God, deprives us of calmness, so that without any reason the heart aches and the mind wavers, then know that this is an impulse from the enemy and cut it off.
    • St. Paisius Velichkovsky.
  • What are 'our traditions'? They are everything that the God-man Christ, He Himself, and by the Holy Spirit, gave the commandment to hold and to live according to then; whatever He delivered in His Church, in which He dwells continuously with His Holy Spirit (cf. Mt. 28:19-29). 'Our traditions' are our whole life in grace in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the life of us Christians, which began in the Church of Christ, through the Apostles, by the descent of the Holy Spirit. All of this life of ours is not from us, but from the Lord Jesus, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, or, more precisely, our entire life is from the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.
    • St. Justin Popovich.
  • God is the teacher of prayer; true prayer is the gift of God. To him who prays constantly with contrition of spirit, with the fear of God and with attention, God himself gives gradual progress in prayer. From humble and attentive prayer, spiritual action and spiritual warmth make their appearance and quicken the heart. The quickened heart draws the mind to itself and becomes a temple of grace-given prayer and a treasury of the spiritual gifts which are procured by such prayer as a matter of course."
    • St. Ignatius Brianchaninov.
  • If you want Christ to bless you and what you have, when you meet some poor individual, who is hungry and asks you for food, give him. Also, when you know that some poor man, or a widow, or an orphan are hungry, do not wait for them to ask you for food, but give them. Give with pleasure, and be not afraid that your will become indigent. Have faith that Christ invisibly blesses your few possessions, and you shall never starve, nor will you be in want till the end of your life.
    • St. Arsenios of Paros (1800-1877).
  • Saints are people who live on earth by holy, eternal Divine truths. That is why the Lives of the Saints are actually applied dogmatics, for in them all the holy eternal dogmatic truths are experienced in all their life-creating and creative energies. In The Lives of the Saints it is most evidently shown that dogmas are not only ontological truths in themselves and for themselves, but that each one of them is a wellspring of eternal life and a source of holy spirituality.
    • Fr. Justin Popovich.
  • Whatever you may be seeking, seek it with all your strength, but do not expect your own search and efforts to bear fruit of themselves. Put your trust in the Lord, ascribing nothing to yourself, and He will give you your heart's desire.
    • St. Theophan the Recluse (1815–1894) .
  • Repentance is a bath that cleanses one of his own sins. It is a return from a state contrary to nature to a state in accordance with nature, from the devil to God, through spiritual striving and painful efforts. It is a voluntary return from offenses to the good that is opposed to them.
    • St. Nectarios of Aegina (1846-1920).

See also


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