Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love is God

"Love is God. If you love God, God dwelleth in you, and you in God. Malice is the Devil. The instant you begin to feel malice against your neighbour, the Devil is in you, entering into you like a needle, and endeavouring to become a mountain within you, so greatly does he spread, and so heavy is he! And therefore continually love God and your neighbour. Do not admit malice into your heart, even for a single moment; consider it as an illusion of the Devil. Amen"

- Saint John of Kronstadt


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Moment

  "There is a moment, and a very noticeable moment, which is sharply marked out in the course of our life, when a person begins to live in a Christian way. This is the moment when there began to be present in him the distinctive characteristics of Christian life. Christian life is zeal and the strength to remain in communion with God by means of an active fulfillment of His holy will, according to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the grace of God, to the glory of His most holy name.
  The essence of Christian life consists in communion with God, in Christ Jesus our Lord - in a communion with God which in the beginning is usually hidden not only from others, but also from oneself. The testimony of this life that is visible or can be felt within us is the ardor of active zeal to please God alone in a Christian manner, with total self-sacrifice and hatred of everything which is opposed to this. And so, when this ardor of zeal begins, Christian life has its beginning. The person in whom this ardor is constantly active, is one who is living in a Christian way."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: St. Theophan the Recluse. The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation. Translated by
Fr. Seraphim Rose and the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. St. Paisius Monastery, 2006. pp. 27-28.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learn to Swim

“You ought then to seek for a lamp to be lighted, that you may find pure thoughts. Those are the natural thoughts, which God made. People brought up at sea learn to swim, and when waves and billows rise, they are not surprised at it; but those who are not used to these things, when even a little sea comes up, take fright and go under. So it is with Christians. As the mind of a child of three cannot take in or understand the mind of a grownup reasoner, because there is a great difference of age between them, so Christians contemplate the world like infant children, with their eyes fixed upon the measure of grace. They are strangers to this age. Their city and their rest is elsewhere. Christians have the comfort of the Spirit, tears, and mourning, and sighing; and even the tears are an enjoyment to them. They have fear also, in the midst of joy and rejoicing, and thus are they like men carrying their blood in their hands, having no confidence in themselves, or thinking themselves to be anything, but despised and rejected above all men.”

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian


Monday, March 28, 2011

Prayer is Detachment

"Cast aside cares, strip yourself from thoughts, and abandon your body; for prayer is nothing other than detachment from the visible and invisible world."

- Saint John Climacus

Reference: Saint John Climacus. The Ladder of Divine Ascent. Boston. Holy Transfiguration Monastery. 2001. p. 131.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love for God

'Love for God begins to manifest itself and act in us when we begin to love our neighbour as ourselves, and not to spare either ourselves or anything belonging to us for him, as the image of God; when we endeavour to serve him for his salvation in everything that we can; when, for the sake of pleasing God, we refuse to gratify our appetites, our carnal vision, our carnal wisdom, which is not subjected to the wisdom of God. "For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, Whom he hath not seen? "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts." '

- Saint John of Kronstadt


Saturday, March 26, 2011

A True Son of Peace

"If you are angry against your neighbour, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, against your Lord is your boldness uplifted. If in envy you rebuke, wicked is all your reproof. But if charity dwell in you, you have on earth no enemy. And if you are a true son of peace, you will stir up wrath in no man. If you are just and upright, you will not do wrong to your fellow. And if you love to be angry, be angry with the wicked and it will become you; if to wage war you seek, lo! Satan is your adversary; if you desire to revile, against the demons display your curses. If you should insult the King's image, you shall pay the penalty of murder; and if you revile a man, you revile the image of God. Do honour to your neighbour, and lo! You have honoured God. But if you would dishonour Him, in wrath assail your neighbour!"

- Saint Ephrem the Syrian


Friday, March 25, 2011

Mary Chose the Good Part

Question. What does it mean when Martha said to the Lord about Mary, " I am hard at work about many things, while she sits beside Thee"?

Answer. What Mary might well have said to Martha, the Lord, anticipating her, replied—that she had left everything to sit at the Lord's feet, and bless God all day long. You see, her sitting was for love's sake. But that God's word may be made clearer, listen to this. If any one loves Jesus, and attends to Him in earnest, and not in a casual way, but in love abides by Him, God is already devising to make some return to that soul for its love, although the-man does not know what he is to receive, or what portion God is about to give to the soul. When Mary loved Him, and sat at His feet, the gift that was added to her was no casual gift; He gave her a certain hidden virtue from His own substance. The very words which God spoke in peace to Mary were so many spirits, and a power; and these words entering into her heart were made a soul to her soul and a spirit to her spirit, and a divine power was filled into her heart. Where that power shall lodge, it cannot but abide permanently, as a possession not to be taken away. For this reason the Lord, who knew what He gave her, said Mary hath chosen the good part. But after a time the things which Martha had done so eagerly in the way of service brought her to that gift of grace. She too received divine power in her soul.

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sign of Christianity

"If you see a man proud and puffed up because he has a share of grace, this man, even if he should work miracles and raise the dead, but does not hold his soul worthless and contemptible, and continue poor in spirit and an object of abhorrence to himself, is cheated by sin without knowing it. Even if he works signs you cannot believe him, for the sign of Christianity is this, to be approved of God while earnestly shunning the notice of men, and even if a man has the entire treasures of the King, to conceal them, and to say continually, " It is not mine; another has put this treasure in my charge. I am a poor man, and when He pleases, He takes it from me." If any one says, "I am rich; I have enough. I have gained; I need nothing more," he is no Christian; he is a vessel of error and of the devil. The enjoyment of God is insatiable. The more any one tastes and eats of Him, the more he hungers. Such men's ardour and passion for God is beyond restraint, and the more they endeavour to get on and make progress, the more they esteem themselves poor, as those that are in need and have nothing. This is what they say: " I am not fit for this sun to shine upon me." This is the sign of Christianity, this humility."

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nature and Origin of Anger

The teaching of a certain elder, concerning the nature and origin of anger.
  A certain elder said. Anger arises through four things—through the greed of avarice, whether in giving or receiving; also through loving and defending one's own opinion ; through a desire of being honourably exalted; also through wishing to be learned or hoping to be wise above all others.
In four ways anger darkens the nature of a man—when he hates his neighbour, when he envies him, when he despises him, and when he belittles him.
  In four places anger finds scope—first in the heart, second in the face, third in the tongue, fourth in the act. Thus if a man can bear injury, so that the bitterness of it does not enter into his heart, then anger will not appear in his face. If, however, it find expression in his face, he still may guard his tongue so as to give no utterance of it. If even here he fail and give it utterance with his tongue, yet let him not translate his words into acts, but hastily dismiss them from his memory.
  Men are of three kinds, according to the place which anger finds in them. He who is hurt and injured, and yet spares his persecutor, is a man after the pattern of Christ. He who is neither hurt himself, nor desires to hurt another, is a man after the pattern of Adam. He who hurts or slanders another is a man after the pattern of the Devil.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sorrow is Death

"Wherever I am, as soon as I raise the eyes of my heart in my affliction to God, the Lover of men immediately answers my faith and prayer, and the sorrow immediately departs. He is at every time and every hour near me, only I do not see it, but I feel it vividly in my heart. Sorrow is the death of the heart, and it is a falling away from God. The expansion, the peace of heart through lively faith in Him, prove more clearly than the day, that God is constantly present near me, and that He dwells within me. What intercessor or angel can set us free from our sins or sorrows? None, but God alone. This is from experience."

- Saint John of Kronstadt


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Death on the Cross

"The death on the Cross, then, for us has proved seemly and fitting, and its cause has been shown to be reasonable in every respect; and it may justly be argued that in no other way than by the Cross was it right for the salvation of all to take place. For not even thus not even on the Cross did he leave himself concealed; but far otherwise, while he made creation witness to the presence of its Maker, he suffered not the temple of his body to remain long, but having merely shown it to be dead, by the contact of death with it, he straightway raised it up on the third day, bearing away, as the mark of victory and the triumph over death, the incorruptibility and impassibility which resulted to his body. 2. For he could, even immediately on death, have raised his body and shown it alive; but this also the Saviour, in wise foresight, did not do. For one might have said that he had not died at all, or that death had not come into perfect contact with him, if he had manifested the Resurrection at once. 3. Perhaps, again, had the interval of his dying and rising again been one of two days only, the glory of his incorruption would have been obscure. So in order that the body might be proved to be dead, the Word tarried yet one intermediate day, and on the third showed it incorruptible to all. 4. So then, that the death on the Cross might be proved, he raised his body on the third day. 5. But lest, by raising it up when it had remained a long time and been completely corrupted, he should be disbelieved, as though he had exchanged it for some other body for a man might also from lapse of time distrust what he saw, and forget what had taken place for this cause he waited not more than three days; nor did he keep long in suspense those whom he had told about the Resurrection; 6. but while the word was still echoing in their ears and their eyes were still expectant, and their mind in suspense, and while those who had slain him were still living on earth, and were on the spot and could witness to the death of the Lord s body, the Son of God himself, after an interval of three days, showed his body, once dead, immortal and incorruptible; and it was made manifest to all that it was not from any natural weakness of the Word that dwelt in it that the body had died, but in order that in it death might be done away by the power of the Saviour."

- Saint Athanasius


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Rescued Publican

"When you abandon your evildoing, do not contradict those who despise or reproach you because of it. Join them in condemning yourself for what you are like and, through contrite prayer, take refuge in the forgiveness of God alone, realizing that you are a rescued publican."

- Saint Gregory Palamas


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tabernacles in Heaven

“We build houses that we may have a habitation; not that we may make an ambitious display.  What is beyond our wants, is superfluous and useless. Put on a sandal which is larger than your foot ! you will not endure it ; for it is a hindrance to the step. Thus also a house larger than necessity requires, is an impediment to your progress towards heaven. Do you wish to build large and splendid houses? I forbid it not ; but let it be not upon the earth! Build thyself tabernacles in heaven, and such that thou mayest be able to receive others; — tabernacles that shall never be dissolved!”

Saint John Chrysostom

Reference: Saint John Chrysostom. The homilies of S. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the statues, or to the people of Antioch. 1842. J.H. Parker. 43.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Unutterable Salvation

"A man watches a bird flying, and wishes to fly himself, but he cannot, because he has no wings. Even so the will is present with a man to be pure, and blameless, and without spot, and to have no wickedness in him, but to be always with God; but he has not the power. To fly into the air of God and the liberty of the Holy Ghost may be his wish, but unless wings are given him, he cannot. Let us then beseech God to bestow upon us the wings of a dove, even of the Holy Ghost, that we may fly to Him and be at rest, and that He would separate and make to cease from our souls and bodies, that evil wind, which is the sin that dwelleth in the members of our souls and bodies. None but He can do it. Behold, it says, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world He alone has shewn this mercy to those men who believe Him, redeeming them from sin; and for those who are always waiting for Him, and hope, and seek without ceasing, He achieves this unutterable salvation."

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Reference: Mason, A.J. Fifty spiritual homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian. London, 1921. 13.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patrick's Lorica or Breastplate Prayer

"I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession
of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the
Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us."


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Christ's Invincible Weapon

'Satan hates the Cross for it is Christ’s invincible weapon through which Hades has been vanquished and “swallowed up” and the deceived lead to the truth.  Satan counsels his followers to blaspheme and to spurn the Cross of Christ for by it his dominion has been overthrown and his power crushed.'

- Elder Cleopa

Reference: Elder Cleopa. (2002). The truth of our faith: discourses from holy scripture on the tenets of christian orthodoxy. Thessalonica: Uncut Mountain Press. 122.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Connecting Man to God

"Prayer connects you to God, to the Holy Trinity, to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Prayer is God's language to man so that he will rise up to Him and enter into a relationship with Him. Thus, Prayer teaches prayer and what comes before in it leads you to what comes after, just as the number one leads you to the number two and on to three and so forth. You do not needs techniques in prayer. It comes to you of itself when you insist on standing in the presence of God and when your Lord gives you what you ask. God seeks communion and calls you to Him and when you take a step in His direction, He leads you to Him, just as a father takes the hand of his child or a guide walks ahead of a traveler. Nothing is closer to the human heart than prayer. Man is put together to be a being of prayer. At the deepest level, man realizes his humanity in which God created him in prayer. Why does the heart not incline to it spontaneously from the very beginning? Because the passions of the soul and the body have murdered man's heart and taken control of it. For this very reason at the beginning a person needs to force himself to prayer, and then his heart will welcome it and take joy in it because it matches what is deeply rooted in him, even if it was hidden at first."

"So prayer is the greatest gift to man, not only because it connects man to God, but because it is also the need and the solution for all things that man faces. People imagine that their problems and worries can be solved on the horizontal level, through human capacities. No doubt something of this is necessary, but everything without exception, all the cares and difficulties should first be faced with prayer, that is on the vertical level, by casting them at the feet of Jesus. It is no surprise that the Lord said, "Come to me all who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Our rational solutions and initiatives are not always correct, but the Lord God knows exactly what we need. This is why through prayer, through putting the matter in God's hands, through giving oneself and one's concerns over, one finds the appropriate solution to all one's problems!"

- Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), Abbot of the Monastery of St. Silouan in Douma, Lebanon


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Short Ladder

"The short ladder of spiritual progress - which is at the same time both small and great - has five rungs leading to perfection. The first is renunciation, the second submission to a religious way of life, the third obedience to spiritual direction, the fourth humility, and the fifth God-imbued love. Renunciation raises the prisoner from hell and sets him free from enslavement to material things. Submission is the discovery of Christ and the decision to serve Him. As Christ Himself said, 'He who serves Me, follows Me; and where I am he who serves Me will also be' (cf. John 12:26). And where is Christ? In heaven, enthroned at the right hand of the Father. Thus he who serves Christ must be in heaven as well, his foot placed ready to climb up; indeed, before he even begins to ascend by his own efforts he is already raised up and ascending with Christ. Obedience, put into action through the practice of the commandments, builds a ladder out of various virtues and places them in the soul as rungs by which to ascend (cf.Ps. 84:5. LXX). Thence the spiritual aspirant is embraced by humility, the great exalter, and is borne heavenwards and delivered over to love, the queen of the virtues. By love he is led to Christ and brought into His presence. Thus by this short ladder he who is truly obedient swiftly ascends to heaven."

- Saint Gregory of Sinai

Reference: Philokalia: Volume 1

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Put Off the Old Man

"For when the apostle says, Put off the old man,  he means a complete man, with eyes for eyes, ears for ears, hands for hands, and feet for feet. For the evil one has defiled the entire man, soul and body, and dragged him down, and has clothed the man with an "old man," polluted man, unclean, at enmity with God, not subject to the law of God, and all identified with sin, that he may no longer see as the man himself wishes, but may see wrongly, and hear wrongly, and have feet that are swift to do evil, and hands that work iniquity, and a heart that devises evil things. Let us therefore beseech God that He would put off the old man from us; because He alone is able to take away sin from us, for those that have taken us captive, and that detain us in their kingdom, are too mighty for us. But He has promised to deliver us from this sore bondage. When there is a hot sun and a wind blowing, the sun and the wind each have a body and nature of their own, but no one can separate between sun and wind, unless God, who alone can, should make the wind to cease from blowing. In like manner sin is mingled with the soul, though each has its own nature.  It is impossible to separate between the soul and sin, unless God should stop and repress this evil wind, which dwells in the soul and in the body."

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Reference: Mason, A.J. Fifty spiritual homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian. London, 1921. 12-13.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saint John of Kronstadt

God is Everything

"Always think that you are accursed, poor, needy, blind and naked without God, that God is everything to you: He is your righteousness, your sanctificution, your riches, your raiment, your life, your breath—everything."

- Saint John of Kronstadt


Friday, March 11, 2011

In a Gloomy Black Night

"As in a gloomy black night a fierce wind blows, and stirs and searches and shakes all the plants and seeds, so when man falls under the power of the darkness of the devil's night, and is in night and darkness, he is agitated by that dreadful wind of sin that blows, and is shaken and stirred, and searched through all his nature, his soul, his thoughts, his understanding; and all the limbs of his body are shaken, and no member of either soul or body escapes free and immune from the sin that dwelleth in us. In like manner there is a day of light and a divine wind of the Holy Ghost, which blows and refreshes the souls that are in the day of the light of God. It penetrates all the substance of the soul and its thoughts, and all the being and all the members of the body, refreshing and resting them with a divine, unspeakable rest. This is what the apostle declared when he said, We are not children of the night or of darkness, for ye are all the sons of light and the sons of day. (1 Thess v. 5) And as yonder, in the state of error, the old man put on man as a complete whole, and wears the garment of the kingdom of darkness, the garment of blasphemy, unbelief, unconcern, vainglory, pride, avarice, lust, and all the other trappings of the kingdom of darkness, ragged, unclean, and abominable; so here, all who have put off the old man, which is from beneath the earth—all whom Jesus has stripped of the clothing of the kingdom of darkness—have put on the new and heavenly man, Jesus Christ, once more corresponding, eyes to eyes, ears to ears, head to head, to be all pure, and wearing the heavenly image." [emphasis mine]

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Reference: Mason, A.J. Fifty spiritual homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian. London, 1921. 14.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Worry and Anxiety

An old man said: "Human care and worry and anxiety about the things of the body destroy the faculties of knowledge and expression in a man, and leave him like unto a piece of dry wood."

- Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Reference: The paradise or garden of the holy fathers: the counsels of the holy men and the questions & answers of the ascetic brethern generally known as the sayings of the fathers of egypt, Volume 2 by Saint Athanasius (Patriarch of Alexandria). Chatto & Windus, London, 1907. 12.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rise Up Again

A brother asked Abba Sisoes, saying, "What shall I do, father? For I have fallen." The old man said unto him, "Rise up"; and the brother said unto him, "I did rise up, but I fell again." The old man said unto him, "Rise up again"; and the brother said unto him, "I did rise up again, many times, and I fell [again]." The-old man said unto him, "Rise up again"; and the brother said unto him, "Until when?" The old man said unto him, "Until thou advancest, either in good deeds or in falling; for in the road wherein a man advanceth he goeth, whether it be to death or to life."

Reference: The paradise or garden of the holy fathers: the counsels of the holy men and the questions & answers of the ascetic brethern generally known as the sayings of the fathers of egypt, Volume 2 by Saint Athanasius (Patriarch of Alexandria). Chatto & Windus, London, 1907. 139.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Pslam

"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 people into a harmonious union of one choir, produces also the greatest of blessings, love.

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 the toils of the day, a safeguard for infants, an adornment for those at the height of their vigour, a consolation for the elders, a most fitting ornament for women. It peoples the solitudes; it rids the market places 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 feast days; it creates a sorrow which is in accordance with God. For, a psalm calls forth a tear even from a heart of stone.

A psalm is the work of angels, a heavenly institution, the spiritual incense."

- Saint Basil the Great

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lenten Prayer

"O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen"

- Saint Ephrem the Syrian

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Forgive me, please!

If I have offended anyone by the words I have posted...forgive me, please! ПРОСТИ МЕНЯ, ПОЖАЛУЙСТА! Συγχώρεσέ με, παρακαλώ!

In Christ,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Golden Chain

"The saints who from generation to generation follow by the practice of God's commandments in the steps of those saints who went before...make as it were a golden chain, each of them being one link, each joined to the preceding in faith, works and love, so as to form in the One God a single line which cannot easily be broken."

- Saint Symeon the New Theologian

Reference: Vlasto, A. P. The entry of the Slavs into Christendom: an introduction to the medieval history. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970.

Friday, March 4, 2011

In Times of Darkness

'The weather shifts from cloudy to clear and then back to rain; thus it is with human nature. One must always expect clouds to hide the sun sometimes. Even the saints have had their dark hours, days and weeks. They say then that "God has left them" in order that they may know truly how utterly wretched they are of themselves, without His support. These times of darkness, when all seems meaningless, ridiculous and vain, when one is beset by doubt and temptations, are inevitable. But even these times can be harvested for good.

The dark days can best be conquered by following the example of St. Mary of Egypt. For forty-eight years she dwelt in the desert beyond Jordan, and when temptations befell her and memories of her former sinful life in Alexandria beckoned her to leave her voluntary sojourn in the desert, she lay on the ground, cried to God for help and did not get up until her heart was humbled. The first years were hard; she sometimes had to lie this way for many days; but after seventeen years came the time of rest.

On such days stay quiet. Do not be persuaded to go out into social life or entertainment. Do not pity yourself, seek comfort in nothing but your cry to the Lord: "Haste thee, O God, to deliver me! Makes haste to help me, O Lord (Psalm 70:1)! I am so fast in prison that I cannot get forth (Psalm 88:8)," and other such appeals. You cannot expect real help from any other source. For the sake of chance relief do not throw away all your winnings. Pull the covers over your head; now your patience and steadfastness are being tried. If you endure the trial, thank God who gave you the strength. If you do not, rise up promptly, pray for mercy and think: I got what I deserved! For the fall itself was your punishment. You had relied too much on yourself, and now you see what it led to. You have had an experience; do not forget to give thanks.'

Reference: "Way of the Ascetics," by Tito Colliander, San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1982, pp. 84-85

Thy Will

“Thou knowest, O Lord, what is needful for me: do unto me according to Thy will.”

- Saint Isaac the Syrian

Reference: St. Theophan the Recluse. Thoughts for Each Day of the Year: According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God. Platina, CA. St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2010. 239.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Most Pure Mother

"Most pure Mother of my Christ, intercessor and mighty helper of the human race, be thou a mediatress for me, who am unworthy; and pray thou always to thy Son and our God, that He look down upon this holy place, which hath been dedicated to the praise and honour of His holy name unto the ages. Unto thee, O Mother of my sweetest Christ, who art our advocate before Him, do I make bold to entrust thy servants, for thou art a haven of hope and salvation for all."

- Saint Sergius of Radonezh


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not to Someone Else

"When reading the Holy Scriptures, he who is humble and engaged in spiritual work will apply everything to himself and not to someone else."

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Reference: Philokalia. On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts, 6.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hidden Shall Become Visible

"There is a program in everything man does. His inheritance and everything he does comes from deep inside of him. And those [things] carve on his face features either beautiful or ugly, according to the way he lives his life. But these also carve themselves into man's inner being. Now they are invisible. One does not see the consequences on other forms. One can only notice them on the face. But in the end, when the age of man is concluded, then the final result of all his thoughts and deeds will occur. Everything he did will contribute to the shaping of a his being in a certain way, and his external appearance will show everything he did in his life, everything he thought. We can't see it now, but it will be visible then. We say during the service: 'When the books shall open for the Divine Judgment … those things that are hidden shall become visible.'"

- Hieroschemamonk Petroniu

"On February 22, 2011, Hieroschemamonk Petroniu (Tănase) reposed in the Lord."

May his memory be eternal!