Friday, December 30, 2011

Remember Not the Sins of My Youth

"Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!"

- Psalm 25:7, ESV

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Prayer of Forgiveness

“May the Lord forgive you all your voluntary and involuntary mistakes committed against me, and with all my heart I forgive you.” 
- Father Nikon (Vorobiev)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Soul Should be Filled

"The soul should be filled with such insatiable love of God that the mind in all its strength dwells continually in God, captive only to Him."

- Saint Silouan the Athonite

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Turning to God

"But repentance is more than turning away from sin. It is turning to God, and allowing Him to renew and transform our very consciousness."
- Metropolitan Jonah 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thinking about God

"Thinking about God makes the soul carefully order all of its actions, interior and exterior, and turn them to the glory of God."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Kingdom of God Begins Here on Earth, Just as Hell Does...

“The Kingdom of God begins here on earth, just as hell does - within us, that is, in the heart and soul of a man, by his way of life. Beyond the threshold of eternity both the one and the other only grow, infinitely, unto likeness to the angels or to the devils.” 
- Father Raphael of Optina

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Drinking and the Drunk Prisoner

“Drinking in itself can serve as punishment, filling as it is the soul with confusion, filling the mind with darkness, making a drunk prisoner, subjecting one to innumerable diseases, internal and external…”

- Saint Basil the Great

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Sight of a Dead Man

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Deprived from Gace

“...for a man who has deprived himself of the grace of God, who has banished God from his soul through unbelief and bitterness, even Paradise would be hell, for he would bring hell in his soul into Paradise.” 
- Father Raphael of Optina

Friday, December 16, 2011

Do Not Be Conformed to this World...

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

- Romans 12:2, ESV

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pitying Oneself

“...he who works for the Lord, fulfilling His commandments without pitying himself, is saved; but he who pities himself, perishes.” 
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You Cannot Be Too Gentle, Too Kind

"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 judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil."
- Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The House of Prayer

"My house is the house of prayer. And indeed, just enter into a church, and it already calls you to prayer. Everything there is disposed and done in order to dispose one to and assist prayer. Therefore, if you want to stir up prayer in your heart, go more often to the church of God. At home you will not pray as you can in church. There are those who pray warmly at home too, but if they pray this way at home, how much higher is their prayer in Church? But when you are in church, be there not only in body, but rather in spirit. Stand where it is quieter, and beholding the Lord before you with your mind, pour out before Him your soul. Chase away daydreams, do not allow concerns, and heed only one job—the job of prayer. Lift up your heavy soul on high and break up its coarseness through contemplation of Divine things. If you have some [sin on your conscience], remove it from yourself through repentance and a promise of correction. If your conscience is not satisfied, add deeds of self-denial and love. Standing in church, prepare for how you will be outside of church for the rest of the time, prepare yourself to never step away from the Lord in thought, but always to see Him before you, so that your steps would not stray from the right path to the wrong one. Then, when you come to church it will be easier for you to be as you ought to be there. By standing appropriately in church it will be easier for you to hold your attention before the Lord when you are outside of church.… Thus your [state of] abiding in the Lord will grow higher and higher. What more could one desire?"

- Saint Theophan the Recluse


Monday, December 12, 2011

We Must Hurt

“To pray with the heart, we must hurt. Just as when we hit our hand or some other part of our body, our mind (nous) is gathered to the point we are hurting, so also for the mind to gather in the heart, the heart must hurt.”
- Elder Paisius

Friday, December 9, 2011

The State of Christians...

"The state of Christians is like merchandise, and like leaven. As merchants amass earthly gains, so Christians gather together their thoughts that were scattered about the world. As leaven turns the whole lump into leaven, so the leaven of sin permeates the whole race of Adam; but Christ puts a heavenly leaven of goodness in faithful souls..."
- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Thursday, December 8, 2011

...the Rich in This Present Age

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."

I Timothy 6:17-21, ESV

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Avoiding the Extremes

"As the Fathers say, the extremes from both sides are equally harmful (We must) go on the royal path, avoiding the extremes on both sides." 
- Saint John Cassian

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Shipwreck of Humanity

"Then, in spite of our sinfulness and inadequacy, our Faith will survive the shocks ahead of us and be a source of inspiration and salvation for those who will still be seeking Christ even amidst the shipwreck of humanity which has already begun today."
- Father Seraphim Rose

Monday, December 5, 2011

‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.’

"St. John Karpathisky in The Philokalia says that when in the prayer of Jesus we call upon the holy name and say, 'Have mercy on me, a sinner,' then to every such petition the voice of God answers in secret, ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.’ And he goes on to say that when we say the prayer there is at that moment nothing to distinguish us from the saints, confessors, and martyrs."

Reference: French, R.M. The way of a pilgrim ; and, The pilgrim continues his way. Hope Pub House, 1991.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Riches or Learning

“We do not need riches or learning in order to know the Lord: we must simply be obedient and sober, have a humble spirit and love our fellow-men.”  
- Saint Silouan the Athonite

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Destroying All the Passions

"When the intellect rescues the soul’s senses from the desires of the flesh and imbues them with dispassion, the passions shamelessly attack the soul, trying to hold its senses fast in sin; but if the intellect then continually calls upon God in secret, He, seeing all this, will send His help and destroy all the passions at once."

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary