Monday, October 31, 2011

Severing from Evil

"When a man severs himself from evil, he gains an exact understanding of all the sins he has committed against God; for he does not see his sins unless he severs himself from them with a feeling of revulsion. Those who have reached this level pray to God with tears, and are filled with shame when they recall their evil love of the passions. Let us therefore pursue the spiritual way with all our strength, and God in His great mercy will help us. And if we have not guarded our hearts as our fathers guarded theirs, at least in obedience to God let us do all we can to keep our bodies sinless, trusting that at this time of spiritual dearth He will grant mercy to us together with His saints."

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary

Reference: Philokalia: Volume 1

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Better Lot

"The Saviour Himself all of His life did not have a place to lay His head, and He finished his life on the cross—why should his followers have a better lot?"

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Eternal Fight

"If a man fights with sins and passions, this demonstrates that he indeed believes in the Risen Lord; if the fights with them, he fights for life eternal."

- Saint Justin Popovic

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our Obedience to God

"Just as our sin obscures our ability to perceive the beauty of creation and our own humanity, our obedience to God renews both and reveals their true beauty."

- Metropolitan Jonah

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Self-righteousness Unpleasant to the Lord

“Externals lead a person to a feeling of self-righteousness unpleasant to the Lord, while inner things always preserve a feeling of unworthiness before the face of the omniscient Lord.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keep Guard Over Our Heart

"The demons cunningly withdraw for a time in the hope that we will cease to guard our heart, thinking we have now attained peace; then they suddenly attack our unhappy soul and seize it like a sparrow. Gaining possession of it, they drag it down mercilessly into all kinds of sin, worse than those which we have already committed and for which we have asked forgiveness. Let us stand, therefore, with fear of God and keep guard over our heart, practicing the virtues which check the wickedness of our enemies."

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary

Reference: Philokalia: Volume 1

Friday, October 21, 2011

Being "Happy" in This Life

"Suffering is an indication of another Kingdom which we look to. If being Christian meant being “happy” in this life, we wouldn't need the Kingdom of Heaven."

- Father Seraphim Rose

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Place of the Poor

“How great is the place of the poor, since they are like God’s inner room. The inner room is the bedchamber, the room of God the Creator, may He be exalted, in which He is hidden. The poor extend their hands begging, but it is God who receives your alms.”

- Saint John Chrysostom

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Munificence and Generosity

"Possessions are a trusteeship and the rich are their trustees. They must imitate God’s munificence and generosity in sharing material things with their neighbors so that all may have food and so that the earth may be a common possession for all.”

- Saint Cyprian

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Using Wealth Poorly

“Those whom I attack are not the rich, they are those who use their wealth poorly. Wealth is one thing and desiring others’ wealth is something else. It is possible for you to have wealth and to use it for acts of love and it is possible for you to have wealth that you store up.”

- Saint John Chrysostom

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glory to the Spirit of God

"Glory to the Spirit of God, descending from the Father to give life to every creature, and filling the whole universe. Glory to Him, giving life to angels and men and to every creature. Glory to Him, our Power, our Holiness. Glory to Him, coeternal with the Father and the Son!"
- Saint John of Kronstadt

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Умилении пред лицом Божиим

“...поскольку мы во всякое мгновение грешим, то во всякое мгновение существует необходимость в трезвении, хранении ума, молитве и умилении пред лицом Божиим.”

- Архимандрит Клеопа (Илие)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Your Helper is at Hand

"Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary

Reference: Philokalia: Volume 1

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Poor That Are Our Gateway to the Kingdom

“These poor are the ones who store away the good things that we look upon. They are the gatekeepers of the Kingdom. They open the gates before the merciful and shut them in the face of the cruel ones who do not do good. They are the strongest accusers and the best defenders. They do not accuse and defend with words, but the Lord sees what is done to them. Every action cries out in a loud voice before God, the searcher of hearts.”

- Metropolitan Saba (Esber)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The True Sacred History

“Read the lives of the martyrs and confessors of the twentieth century - there you will find the true sacred history of the twentieth century.”

- Schema-Archimandrite Zosima

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Losing the Fear of Suffering

"For the Holy Spirit, sweet and gracious, draws the soul to love the Lord, and in the sweetness of the Holy Spirit the soul loses her fear of suffering."

- Saint Silouan the Athonite

Monday, October 10, 2011

To Be Orthodox

”First of all, Orthodoxy is right faith in God; it is that mighty power which makes each truly believing Orthodox Christian unwavering on the righteous and pious path of his life. To be Orthodox means to know correctly with the mind, to believe correctly with the heart, and to confess correctly with the lips all that God Himself has revealed to us about Himself, about the world and man, and about the tasks and aims of our life in the teaching on the attaining of our spiritual union with Him and our eternal salvation."

- Father Victor Potapov

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Mother of Prayer

"Silence, is the mother of prayer, a return from the captivity of sin, unconscious success in virtue, a continuous ascension to heaven.”

- Saint John of the Ladder

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Christian Ascetical Life

"The Christian ascetical life, that is the life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the works of mercy and obedience, is the application and the appropriation of the Cross to my life."

- Metropolitan Jonah


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Contest

"Once you have begun to seek God with true devotion and with all your heart, then you cannot possibly imagine that you already conform to His will. So long as your conscience reproves you for anything that you have done contrary to nature, you are not yet free: the reproof means that you are still under trial and have not yet been acquitted. But if you find when you are praying that nothing at all accuses you of evil, then you are free and by God’s will have entered into His peace. If you see growing within yourself a good crop, no longer choked by the tares of the evil one; if you find that the demons have reluctantly withdrawn, convinced that it is no use making further attacks on your senses; if 'a cloud overshadows your tent (cf. Exod. 40:34), and 'the sun does not bum you by day, nor the moon by night' (Ps. 121:6); if you find yourself equipped to pitch your tent and keep it as God wishes - if all this has happened, then you have gained the victory with God's help, and henceforward He will Himself overshadow your tent, for it is His. So long as the contest continues, a man is full of fear and trembling, wondering whether he will win today or be defeated, whether he will win tomorrow or be defeated: the struggle and stress constrict his heart. But when he has attained dispassion, the contest comes to an end; he receives the prize of victory and has no further anxiety about the three that were divided, for now through God they have made peace with one another. These three are the soul, the body and the spirit. When they become one through the energy of the Holy Spirit, they cannot again be separated. Do not think, then, that you have died to sin, so long as you suffer violence, whether waking or sleeping, at the hands of your opponents. For while a man is still competing in the arena, he cannot be sure of victory."

- St Isaiah the Solitary

Reference: Philokalia: Volume 1

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

В минуты чистой молитвы...

“Итак, в минуты чистой молитвы, когда сердце наше омывается в слезах и вскипает в горячем плаче, после этих мгновений ты увидишь, сколько миллионов немощей кишмя кишит в уме и сердце нашем. И мы их совсем не чувствуем. Пребываем в нечувствии, во сне, рассеянности, очерствении, окаменении. Нам кажется, что мы, “слава Богу, не совершили такого-то греха”! А у нас все они есть, и мы — источник всякого греха и фабрика всякого беззакония, во всякое мгновение.”

- Архим. Клеопа (Илие)

There Would Be No Sinners...

"Watch; for ye know not, what hour your Lord doth come. If only this were remembered, there would be no sinners. But it is not remembered, although everyone knows that it is unquestionably true. Even the strictest ascetics were not strong enough to easily keep this in mind, and made efforts to fix it in their consciousness so that it would not leave—one kept a coffin in his cell, another begged his co-ascetics to ask about his coffin and grave, another kept pictures of death and judgment, another in other ways. If death does not touch a soul, the soul does not remember it. But in no way can what immediately follows death not touch a soul; a soul cannot but be concerned about this, since it is the judgment of its fate for eternal ages. Why does a soul not remember this? It deceives itself that death will come not soon, and that perhaps somehow things won’t go badly for us. How bitter! It goes without saying that a soul which abides in such thoughts is careless and self-indulgent. So, how can it think   that judgment will go favorably for it? No, one must behave like a student who is facing an exam: no matter what he does, the exam does not leave his head; such remembrance does not allow him to waste even a minute in vain, and he uses all his time to prepare for the exam. When will we acquire a mindset like this!"

- Saint Theophan the Recluse


Monday, October 3, 2011

Humble Yourself

“Humble yourself beneath the strong hand of God, and grace will be your teacher and you yourself will long to suffer for the sake of the love of the Lord.”

- Saint Silouan the Athonite