Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Prayer Is...Part Two

"Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and heart to God," the contemplation of God, the daring converse of the creature with the Creator, the soul reverently standing before Him, as before the King and the Life Itself, giving life to all; the oblivion of everything that surrounds us, the food of the soul; its air and light, its life-giving warmth, its cleansing from sin; the easy yoke of Christ, His light burden.

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Prayer Is...

"Prayer is the constant feeling of our own spiritual poverty and infirmity, the contemplation in ourselves, in others, and in nature of the works of the great wisdom, mercy, and almighty power of God; prayer is--a continually grateful frame of mind."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Pearl of Heaven

"As only those born of the seed royal can wear the costly royal pearl, so only the children of God are allowed to wear the pearl of heaven..."

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Lord’s Teaching

“The enemy brings darkness upon everyone and they all think that it is light, when in their teachings they remain far from the Lord’s teaching.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Monday, August 27, 2012

Christ's Holy Name

“The more the rain falls on the earth, the softer it makes it: similarly, Christ's holy name gladdens the earth of our heart the more we call upon it.”

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Poison of Doubt

"When the enemy strikes your heart with doubt in any word of the Savior and wounds you, say to yourself inwardly: every word of my God Jesus Christ is life to me, and the poison of doubt shall be cast out from your heart, and your soul will be tranquil and at ease."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. However, not everyone who endures will be saved, but only he who endures on the Lord’s path. This life is given to us for that reason—to endure; everyone endures something, even through to the very end. But enduring does not lead to benefit if it is not for the sake of the Lord and His holy Gospels. Step onto the path of faith and the Gospel commandments; occasions to endure will multiply, but from that moment endurance will begin to bring forth crowns. That endurance, which before was empty, will be made fruitful. With what blindness does the enemy surround us, that only the endurance which is encountered on the path of good seems heavy and unbearable; but what he inflicts on those who serve the passions seems light and free, although it is actually heavier and more dismal than what people bear in struggling with the passions and opposing the enemy! But we are blind, and do not see this… We labour, endure, and strain ourselves to the breaking point for the sake of the enemy, and unto our own perdition."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120803.htm

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Ship Without Water

“A ship does not go far without water; and there is no progress whatsoever in the guarding of the intellect without watchfulness, humility and the Jesus Prayer.”

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Friday, August 17, 2012

Obtaining Freedom

"When the enemy oppresses me by sinful thoughts and feelings, and I, having no freedom in my heart, make the sign of the cross several times with faith, then my sin suddenly passes away from me, the straitness vanishes, and I obtain freedom."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Faster and Prayer

“The demons can sense a faster and man of prayer from a distance, and they run far away from him so as avoid a painful blow.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Call Upon God

“Call upon God to open the eyes of your heart, so that you may see the value of prayer and of spiritual reading when understood and applied.”

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Friday, August 10, 2012

Christ Leaves the Soul...

“When the sun sets, night comes; when Christ leaves the soul, the darkness of the passions envelops it and incorporeal predators tear it asunder. When the visible sun rises, animals retreat into their lairs; when Christ rises in the heaven of the praying mind, worldly preoccupations and proclivities abscond, and the intellect goes forth to its labor - that is, to meditate on the divine - until the evening (cf. Ps. 104:19-23). Not that the intellect limits its fulfillment of the spiritual law to any period of time or performs it according to some measure; on the contrary, it continues to fulfill until it reaches the term of this present life and the soul departs from the body. That is what is meant in the Psalms when it is said, 'How I have loved Thy law, O Lord; it is my meditation all the day long' (Ps. 119:97) - where 'day' means the whole course of one's present life.”

- Theoliptos

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Call Upon God

“Call upon God to open the eyes of your heart, so that you may see the value of prayer and of spiritual reading when understood and applied.”

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bearing Great Misfortunes...

If it falls to you to have to bear great misfortunes, sorrows, and sicknesses, do not grow faint-hearted or despondent; do not murmur; do not desire death for yourself; and do not speak audaciously before the all-seeing God--as, for instance: "O, what a cruel affliction! " "O, what an unbearable misfortune; let me rather die!" or "I would rather kill myself!" God save you from such faint-heartedness, murmuring, and audacity! But endure all this courageously, as having been sent to you from God for your sins; repeat with the wise malefactor, " We receive the due reward of our deeds," (Luke 23:41) and contemplate with your mental eyes the Saviour suffering on the cross.

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, August 6, 2012


“Whether you pray with brethren or alone, try to pray not simply as a routine, but with conscious awareness of your prayer.”

- Evagrios the Solitary

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Numberless Trials

“For by contemplating the numberless trials that the saints joyfully accepted and the many sufferings that the Lord endured on our behalf, we become aware of our own feebleness.”

- Saint Peter of Damaskos

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Comprehending the Works of God

“Without collectedness, without attentiveness and without self-searching it is impossible to notice or comprehend the works of God.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Floods of Inward Sorrows

Beware, lest the floods of inward sorrows and afflictions should draw you away from the Lord Jesus Christ, for the enemy endeavours by every means to turn us aside from the Lord: both by the enticement of pleasures and by the weight of misfortunes, like Job, and especially by inward distresses and afflictions. Endure everything, thanking God, for '' all things work together for good to them that love God." (Romans 8:28).

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spiritual Gifts

“If a man has some spiritual gift and feels compassion for those who do not have it, he preserves the gift because of his compassion. But a boastful man will lose it through succumbing to the temptations of boastfulness.”

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sick People

“Just as sick people need surgery and cautery to recover the health they have lost, so we need trials, and toils of repentance, and fear of death and punishment, so that we may regain our former health of soul and shake off the sickness which our folly has induced. The more the Physician of our souls bestows upon us voluntary and involuntary suffering, the more we should thank Him for His compassion and accept the suffering joyfully: For it is to help us that He increases our tribulation, both through the sufferings we willingly embrace in our repentance and through the trials and punishments not subject to our will. In this way, if we voluntarily accept affliction, we will be freed from our sickness and from the punishments to come, and perhaps even from present punishments as well. Even if we are not grateful, our Physician in His grace will still heal us, although by means of chastisement and manifold trials. But if we cling to our disease and persist in it, we will deservedly bring upon ourselves agelong punishment. We will have made ourselves like the demons and so will justly share with them the agelong punishments prepared for them; for, like them, we will have scorned our Benefactor.”

- Saint Peter of Damaskos

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All Goodness

"All goodness is without beginning because there is no time prior to it: God is eternally the unique author of its being, and God is infinitely above all beings, whether participant or participial."

- Saint Gregory Palamas

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Your Sins Melt Away

"As soon as you have told the Lord your sins with a contrite heart, they melt away: as soon as you have sighed and sorrowed for your sins, they are no more. "Tell thine iniquities, that thou mayest be justified." As they came, so they go away. They are an illusion. As soon as you have recognized that they are an illusion, an absurdity, a madness; as soon as you have formed the resolution to do righteously in the future, God cleanses you of them, through His minister and the Holy Mysteries."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, July 23, 2012

Every One in Need

“[R]eceive everyone in need as you would the Lord, do what you can for Him with the thought that you are doing it for God, and you will receive the reward not only of a prophet and a righteous man, but of the Lord.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120707.htm

Friday, July 20, 2012

Self-reform and Peace

“Self-reform and peace are not achieved through the patience which others show us, but through our own long-suffering towards our neighbor.”

- Saint John Cassian

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pure Prayer

“If you long for pure prayer, keep guard over your incensive power; and if you desire self-restraint, control your belly, and do not take your fill even of bread and water.”

- Evagrios the Solitary

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Spiritual Physician

“A priest is a spiritual physician. Show him your wounds, without being ashamed, sincerely, openly, with son-like trust and confidence; for the confessor is your spiritual father, who should love you more than your own father and mother; for Christ's love is higher than any carnal, natural love. He must give an answer to God for you.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Image of the Church

“The kingdom is like a grain of mustard seed and leaven. A small grain of mustard seed grows up into a big bush; leaven penetrates the whole lump of dough and makes it leavened. Here, on the one hand, is an image for the Church, which in the beginning consisted only of the apostles and several other people, then spread and became most numerous, penetrating all of humanity; on the other hand, it is an image of the spiritual life revealed in every person. Its first seed is the intention and determination to be saved through pleasing God, upon faith in the Lord and Saviour. This determination, no matter how firm, is like a tiny dot. In the beginning it embraces only one’s consciousness and activities; then from this all of the activity of a spiritual life develops. Its movement and strength multiply and mature within its own self, and it begins to penetrate all the powers of the soul—the mind, will, feelings, then fills them with itself, makes them leavened according to its spirit, and penetrates the entire constitution of the human nature, body, soul, and spirit in which it was engendered.” 

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120628.htm

Monday, July 16, 2012

When Reading the Holy Scriptures...

“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

Friday, July 13, 2012

Watchfulness and the Prayer

“Much water makes up the sea. But extreme watchfulness and the Prayer of Jesus Christ, undistracted by thoughts, are the necessary basis for inner vigilance and unfathomable stillness of soul, for the deeps of secret and singular contemplation, for the humility that knows and assesses, for rectitude and love. This watchfulness and this Prayer must be intense, concentrated and unremitting.”

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Differing Methods of Prayer

"There are many differing methods of prayer. No method is harmful; if it were, it would be not prayer but the activity of Satan."

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Doors of Scripture

“Let the teachings of the Holy Spirit be always with you; and use the virtues as your hands to knock at the doors of Scripture.”

- Evagrios the Solitary

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Material Objects

"The material objects to which we attach ourselves in our hearts, which we passionately desire or grudge others, kill the soul by withdrawing it from God, the Source of life. The heart ought to be always in God, Who is the inexhaustible Source of spiritual and material life..."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ignorance at Death

“Finally, we should always bear in mind our ignorance of the time of our death, keeping ourselves from anger and recognizing that neither self-restraint nor the renunciation of all material things, nor fasting and vigils, are of any benefit if we are found guilty at the last judgment because we are the slaves of anger and hatred.”

- Saint John Cassian

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Goal of the Spiritual Path

“The goal of all who pursue the spiritual path is to do the will of Christ, their God, to be reconciled with the Father through communion in the Spirit, and so to achieve their salvation. For only in this way is the soul's salvation attained. And if it is not attained, our labor is fatuous and our work vain. Every path of life is pointless that does not lead the person pursuing it to this consummation.”

- Saint Symeon the New Theologian

Reference: Philokalia

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Transitoriness of the World

“With our own eyes we are convinced of the transitoriness of the world: everything in the world moves and revolves, and all the elements are in motion, the seasons of the year change - while with men, some are born and some die, some marry, others lose their wives, some build houses, while others are deprived of their dwellings; some towns extend while others are destroyed. Everything on earth passes away and this shows that the earth itself shall some day also pass away.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Exercising the Patience

“[A]ccept with courage any calamity that comes from without, since it provides an opportunity for exercising the patience that leads to salvation, the patience that bestows an abiding-place and repose in heaven.”

- Theoliptos

Reference: Philokalia

Monday, July 2, 2012


“He that endureth to the end shall be saved. And do we have anything to endure? In this nobody is lacking. Everyone’s arena of endurance is vast; therefore our salvation is at hand. Endure everything to the end and you will be saved. However, you must endure skillfully; otherwise you may not gain anything by your endurance. First of all, keep the holy faith and lead an irreproachable life according to faith; immediately cleanse every sin that occurs with repentance. Secondly, accept everything that you must endure as from the hands of God, remembering firmly that nothing happens without God’s will. Thirdly, give thanks sincerely to God for everything, believing that everything which proceeds from the Lord is sent by Him unto the good of our souls—thank Him for sorrows, and for consolations. Fourth, love sorrow for its great saving worth and cultivate your thirst for it, like a drink which although bitter, is healing. Fifth, keep in your thoughts that when a misfortune has come, you cannot throw it off like tight clothes; you must bear it. Whether in a Christian way, or in a non-Christian way, you must bear it nonetheless; so it is better to bear it in a Christian way. Complaining will not rescue you from misfortune, but only make it heavier; whereas humble submission to God’s Providence and good humour relieve the burden of misfortunes. Sixth, realize that you deserve even a greater misfortune—realize that if the Lord wanted to deal with you as you rightly deserve, would such a small misfortune really be enough? Seventh, most of all, pray, and the merciful Lord will give you strength of spirit. With such strength, others will marvel at your misfortunes which seem like nothing to you.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120607.htm

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bearing All Afflictions

“All sorrows, sicknesses, torments, deprivations, are allowed by God in order to drive out the enticement of sin, and to implant true virtue in the heart, that we may learn by experience the falsehood, insolence, tyranny, and deadliness of sin, and may be inspired with a loathing for it; also that we may learn by experience the truth of meekness, wisdom, of gently ruling the hearts of men, and of the life-giving properties of virtue. Therefore, I will bear all afflictions courageously, with gratitude to the Lord, the Physician of our souls, our Most-loving Savior.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Thursday, June 28, 2012


“The Lord never allows those who come to Him unhesitatingly to fall completely. When He sees them faltering He helps them in their efforts, stretching a hand of power down to them and drawing them up to Himself. He works with them visibly and invisibly, consciously and unconsciously, until, having climbed every step of the ladder, they draw near Him, wholly united with Him in His wholeness and forgetting all that is earthly.

- Saint Symeon the New Theologian

Reference: Philokalia

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Possessing Love

“If you possess love, you feel no jealousy or envy. You are not boastful, carried away by reckless pride. Nor do you put on airs with anyone. Nor do you act shamefully towards your fellow beings. You seek, not simply what is to your own advantage, but what also benefits your fellow beings. You are not quickly provoked by those who are angry with you. You are not resentful if wrong is done to you, nor do you rejoice if your friends act unjustly, though you do rejoice with them over the truth of their righteousness. You put up with disagreeable eventualities. You believe all things in simplicity and innocence, and hope to receive everything promised to us by God. You patiently endure all trials, never rendering evil for evil. And, laborer of love that you are, you never waver in your love for your fellow beings (cf. 1 Cor. 13:4-8).”

- Nikitas Stithatos

Reference: Philokalia

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prostration Significance

“Do not neglect prostration. It provides an image of man's fall into sin and expresses the confession of our sinfulness. Getting up, on the other hand, signifies repentance and the promise to lead a life of virtue.”

- Theoliptos

Reference: Philokalia

Monday, June 25, 2012

What is the Meaning of Life

“The teaching on the meaning of life is to be found in the Holy Gospel. The word of God reveals to us the truth that life is more precious than food (Matthew 6:25) and that saving it is more important than observing the Sabbath (Mark 3:4). The Son of God possesses Life from eternity (John 1:4). Jesus Christ, Who died for us and rose again, is the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15). The only life that has real (not illusory) meaning is one that leads us into God’s eternity and unites us with Him, the only Source of endless joy, light, and blessed repose. I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die (John 11:25). We begin to enter this life while still on earth. The Church, as God’s creation, is the prototype and foundation of eternal life. This new life becomes real here on earth through faith in Him Who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). The lives of saints give evidence of this. But even someone who has not risen to the level of holiness, but simply follows his spiritual path honestly and responsibly, gradually attains inner peace and knowledge of the meaning of his life.” 

- Hieromonk Job Gumerov

Reference: http://www.pravmir.com/what-is-the-meaning-of-life/

Friday, June 22, 2012


“Attentiveness is the heart's stillness, unbroken by any thought. In this stillness the heart breathes and invokes, endlessly and without ceasing, only Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and Himself God. It confesses Him who alone has power to forgive our sins, and with His aid it courageously faces its enemies. Through this invocation enfolded continually in Christ, who secretly divines all hearts, the soul does everything it can to keep its sweetness and its inner struggle hidden from men, so that the devil, coming upon it surreptitiously, does not lead it into evil and destroy its precious work.”

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Thursday, June 21, 2012


“Nobody is lazy in commemorating his own parents; but it is also necessary to commemorate all Orthodox Christians, and not only on this day, but at all times, in every prayer. We ourselves will be there, and will need this prayer like a poor person needs a piece of bread and a glass of water. Remember that prayer for those who have passed away is strong through its communality, in that it comes from the entire Church. The Church breathes prayer. Just as it is in nature, when during pregnancy a mother breathes and the strength she receives from this breath passes on to the child, so also in the order of grace, the Church breathes a prayer which is shared by all, and the power of the prayer passes on to those who have passed away, held in the bosom of the Church, which is made up of the living and the dead, the militant and the triumphant. Do not be lazy—zealously commemorate all of our departed fathers and brothers whenever you pray. It will be your alms for them.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120520.htm

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

As Near to Me

Our Lady, the Mother of God, the Angels and all the Saints are as near to me when I call upon them with a pure, whole heart as my own soul, and hear me, as I hear myself: for we are all--one body, one spirit, one Church of Angels and men. The members of the Church have the same relation to each other as the members of the body: they serve each other, they help each other, support and save each other.

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Desire to Attain Perfection and Rightly to Pursue the Spiritual Way

"If, therefore, you desire to attain perfection and rightly to pursue the spiritual way, you should make yourself a stranger to all sinful anger and wrath. Listen to what St Paul enjoins: 'Rid yourselves of all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and all malice' (Eph. 4:31). In saying 'all' he leaves no excuse for regarding any anger as necessary or reasonable. If you want to correct your brother when he is doing wrong or to punish him, you must try to keep yourself calm; otherwise you yourself may catch the sickness you are seeking to cure and you may find that the words of the Gospel now apply to you: 'Physician, heal yourself (Luke 4:23), or 'Why do you look at the speck of dust in your brother's eye, and not notice the rafter in your own eye?' (Matt. 7:3)."

- Saint John Cassian

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Meaning of Grace

"The meaning of grace. What is grace? It is the blessed power of God, given to the man who believes and who was baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, or in that of the Holy Trinity--the power that cleanses, sanctifies, enlightens, that helps in doing good and withdraws from evil, that comforts and gives courage in misfortunes, sorrows and sicknesses, that is a pledge of receiving the everlasting blessings, prepared by God in heaven for His chosen ones."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Friday, June 15, 2012

Everything Good is Given...

“Everything good is given by the Lord providentially; and he who has faith that this is so will not lose what he has been given.”

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Internally-oriented People

"Internally-oriented people, on account of their humility, are the true stars that move at dizzying speeds, but noiselessly and humbly, without anyone understanding how they move even though they are immense planets. They hide in the depths of heaven and give men the impression that they are little oil lamps aflame with a humble light."

- Elder Paisios

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


“Watchfulness is a way embracing every virtue, every commandment. It is the heart's stillness and, when free from mental images, it is the guarding of the intellect.”

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

At the Time of Prayer

“At the time of prayer, we should expel from our heart the provocation of each evil thought, rebutting it in a spirit of devotion so that we do not prove to be speaking to God with our lips, while pondering wicked thoughts in our heart.”

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Vine, a Grape Tree

“The Lord Jesus Christ is the vine, a grape tree; Christians are branches and shoots. We cleave to Him through faith and bear fruit through a life according to faith. The Heavenly Father is the husbandman who watches over this tree. Any branch which does not bring forth fruit—that is, whoever believes and does not live according to faith—the Lord cuts off. But He cleanses those which bring forth fruit—that is, those who not only believe, but are also zealous to live according to faith. These the Lord helps in every way to become rich in good deeds, which are the fruits of faith. Let each person arrange his life according to this law of God’s action upon us, firmly remembering that without the Lord one can do nothing. Run to Him with every need. May His most holy and sweetest name be ever impressed upon your mind, heart, and tongue.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120515.htm

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Mouth of a Humble Man

“The mouth of a humble man speaks the truth; but he who speaks against the truth is like the servant who struck the Lord on the face (cf Mark 14:65).”

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Purity of Soul

"Freedom from anger, from dejection, self-esteem and pride also contributes to purity of soul in general, while self-control and fasting are especially important for bringing about that specific purity of soul which comes through restraint and moderation."

- Saint John Cassian

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Imperishable Raiment of the Soul

"How and when are we to care for the imperishable raiment of the soul: meekness, righteousness, chastity, patience, mercy, when all our cares, attention, and means are directed to perishable raiment and the adornment of our body? We cannot serve two masters: for the soul is simple and single. How and when are we to care for the spiritual riches of good works, when we are only greedy after perishable riches and strive to amass it with all our might and means, when our heart clings to money, to the world, and not to God?"

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do Not Pray For...

"Do not pray for the fulfillment of your wishes, for they may not accord with the will of God. But pray as you have been taught, saying: Thy will be done in me (cf Luke 22:42). Always entreat Him in this way - that His will be done. For He desires what is good and profitable for you, whereas you do not always ask for this."

- Evagrios the Solitary

Monday, June 4, 2012

Steadfast Under Trial

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

- James 1:12, ESV

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dispassion's State

“Dispassion is a state in which the soul does not yield to any evil impulse; and it can be realized only through Christ’s mercy.”

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Without Repentance

“Without repentance faith would be like a sapling which is without an animating current-withered and not giving of life.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Spiritual and the Material

"As the Lord has formed us of two elements--the spiritual and the material, of a reasonable soul and a material body requiring material support, the Devil, in spite of God and ourselves, endeavours by every means to take advantage of this very duality of our nature, by inclining us to put our trust, not in God, but in carnal things, and tempting us, through the flesh, to every sin: to gluttony, fornication and every impurity; to covetousness, envy, slothfulness, theft, avarice, hatred, murder Thus, for instance, he incites us, he makes us trust, not in God, but in money, food and drink, human ties and connections, ranks, honours and privileges, nobility of birth, intellect, education, books; he incites us to find pleasure in food, drink, dress, in concerts of worldly music, theatres, joking, idle-speaking, and in the play of words. But the true servant of God trusts in his Lord, always and in everything, in the common Father and Provider of all, Who worketh all things in all, remembering what has been said: "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7). As soon as disturbance and violence arise in your soul, recognise in this the influence of Satan, and immediately set against him the Rock--Christ. Satan will break his teeth against that Rock, and shall not reach you. But also bear in mind that you must love everyone as yourself."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, May 28, 2012

Prayer is...

“Prayer is by nature a dialog and a union of man with God. Its effect is to hold the world together. It achieves a reconciliation with God.”

- Saint John Climacus

Friday, May 25, 2012

What is Our Life?

“What is our life? The burning of a candle; He Who gave it has but to blow--and it goes out. What is our life? The journey of a traveller; as soon as it reaches a certain limit, the gates are opened to him, he lays aside his travelling dress (the body) and his staff, and enters into his house. What is our life? A prolonged bloody war for the possession of the true country and true freedom. When the war is over, we shall be either conquerors or conquered; we shall be called from the place of combat to the place of reward, and obtain from the Recompenser either eternal reward, eternal glory, or eternal punishment, eternal shame.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Everything Good is Given

"Everything good is given by the Lord providentially; and he who has faith that this is so will not lose what he has been given."

- Saint Mark the Ascetic

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Man to Whom Wisdom Has Been Given...

"The man to whom wisdom has been given knows the inward essences of immaterial things and what is the origin and consummation of the world."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Mark of Dispassion

"The mark of dispassion is true discrimination; for one who has attained the state of dispassion does all things with discrimination and according to measure and rule."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Monday, May 21, 2012

Any Other Name

“A name designates one particular thing or person. Thus it is foolish to think that God, who is one and unique, has any other name.”

- Saint Anthony the Great

Friday, May 18, 2012

Doing What is Pleasing to God

"If you do what is pleasing to God, you will be taking a step toward the ultimate goal, the inheritance of heaven. Generalize this occurrence, and you find that in every situation and at every encounter one must do what God wants him to do. And we know truly what He wants from the commandments He has given us. If someone seeks help, then help him. If someone has offended you, forgive him. If you yourself have offended someone, then hasten to ask forgiveness and to make peace."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse, Letter to a Young Girl

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Good Conscience

“A good conscience confers on us the power of love, since it is not guilty of any transgression of the commandments.”

- Saint Maximos the Confessor

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Prayer Brings

“Prayer brings one sort of joy to those living in community, and another to those praying in stillness. Elation is sometimes characteristic of the former, but humility is always to be found in the latter.”

- Saint John Climacus

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pleasing to the Flatterer

“The passions spur us on like cruel drivers, daily urging us, through our love for earthly things, to act in opposition to the Lord and to our own true welfare, and to do that which is pleasing to the flatterer, Satan.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Remembrance of God

"Very few men can accurately recognize all their own faults; indeed, only those can do this whose intellect is never torn away from the remembrance of God"

- Saint Diadochos of Photiki

Friday, May 11, 2012

Do Not Despond...

“Do not despond in the time of violent temptations, afflictions, or sicknesses, or at obstacles arising from the disturbance of the enemy; all this is the reproof and chastisement of the righteous Lord, Who trieth the hearts and reins, for your cleansing, arousing, and correction, for burning out the thorns of carnal passions. And therefore do not complain if you sometimes suffer greatly. Do not think of the suffering, but of the blessed consequences of this chastisement, and the health of the soul. What would you not do for the health of your body? Still more must you bear everything for the health and salvation of your soul, which has eternal life.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Suffering with Him

“and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

- Romans 8:17, ESV

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spiritual Commerce

"Spiritual commerce consists in being detached equally from the pleasures and the pains of this life for the sake of the blessings held in store."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Learning the Prayer of the Heart

"All who wish to learn prayer of the heart must confess more often, so that they might be delivered from the spirits that disturb us."

- Father Proclus (Niceu)

Reference: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/47107.htm

Monday, May 7, 2012

Already Condemned

“He that believeth not in the Son of God is condemned already (John 3:18). For what? For the fact that when light is all around, he remains in darkness, due to his love for it. Love of darkness and hatred of the light make him entirely to blame, even without his determining where the truth lies; because he who has sincere love for the truth will be led by this love from the darkness of deception to the light of truth. One example is the holy apostle Paul. He was a sincere lover of the truth, devoted with all his soul to what he considered to be true, without any self-interest. Therefore, as soon as he was shown that the truth lay not in what he considered to be true, that very moment he cast aside the old—which proved to be untrue—and cleaved with all his heart to the new, which was tangibly proven to be the truth. The same occurs with every sincere lover of truth. The truth of Christ is clear as day: seek and ye shall find. Help from above is always ready for one who sincerely seeks. Therefore, if someone remains in the darkness of unbelief, it is only due to his love for that darkness, and for this he is already condemned.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120411.htm

Friday, May 4, 2012

Repaying Evil for Evil

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”

- 1 Peter 3:9, ESV

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Preferring the Body to the Soul

"The person who in his actions shows that he prefers his body to his soul, and the world to God, is a pathetic creature."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unite with Christ

"Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way (Prov. 23:19). Out of the heart continually proceed thoughts which sometimes are good, but more often are evil. The evil ones should not be followed at all, but even the good ones should not always be carried out. It happens that even thoughts which are good in and of themselves are inappropriate in reality, due to circumstances. This is why it is prescribed to be attentive toward oneself, to keep an eye on all that proceeds out of the heart—to reject the evil, consider what is good, and fulfil only what proves to be truly good. But best of all would be to totally imprison the heart, so that nothing leaves it and nothing enters it without the permission of the mind; so that the mind would come first in all things, determining the movements of the heart. But the mind is this way only when it is the mind of Christ. Thus, unite with Christ in mind and heart and everything within you will be in good working order."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120323.htm

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

To Love God...

“ To love God with all your heart means--to love with all your soul, with meekness, humility, purity and chastity, wisdom, truth, mercy, obedience, for the sake of God, and never to act contrarily to these virtues; that is, not to become proud, irritated, angry against anyone; not to commit adultery even in the heart; not to violate chastity, either by look, thought, or gesture; to avoid every inconsiderate, needless word and deed; to shun every iniquity; to hate avarice and covetousness; to flee from self-will and disobedience.”

 - Saint John of Kronstadt

Friday, April 27, 2012


“Only a few think that it is easy to repent. Repentance is incredibly hard work. Repentance does not consist in saying “I repent,” even if we invoke God’s help. It is in vain that some have deluded themselves into thinking that, having spoken our sins in Confession, that we do not need to do anything more. Naming sin is a good start, but enormous labor lies ahead. Without this labor our words will remain nothing but words.”

- Archpriest Dmitri Dutko

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Rags of the Righteous

"God conceals Himself in the rags of the righteous. Woe to you, if those rags disturb you, and consequently you also despise the one clad in those rags."

- Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Science of Sciences

“The science of sciences is to conquer the sin dwelling in us, or the passions acting in us. For instance, it is great wisdom not to be angry with anyone, nor at anything; not to think evil of anyone, not even if someone has done us harm, but to excuse him in every way; it is wisdom to despise gain, luxuries, but to love disinterestedness, and simplicity of food and drink, combined with constant moderation; it is wisdom not to flatter anyone, but to speak the truth fearlessly to everybody; it is wisdom not to be charmed by beauty of person, but to respect in all, whether they be handsome or ugly, the beauty of the image of God, which is equally in all; it is wisdom to love your enemies and not to take vengeance upon them either by word, thought, or deed; it is wisdom not to amass wealth for ourselves, but to give it to the poor, in order to gain for ourselves "a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." [Luke 12:33] Alas! we have studied nearly all the sciences, but have not learnt the science of avoiding sins, and often show ourselves entirely ignorant of this moral science. And thus it follows that the truly wise, the truly learned, were the holy, true disciples of the true Teacher, Christ; whilst all of us, so-called learned men, are ignorant; and the more learned we are, the worse is our ignorance, because we do not know and do not do the one thing needful, but only serve our self-love, love of fame, sensuality and covetousness.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Truly Humble Person

"A truly humble person never behaves like a teacher; he will listen, and, whenever his opinion is requested, he responds humbly. In other words, he replies like a student. He who believes that he is capable of correcting others is filled with egotism. A person that begins to do something with a good intention and eventually reaches an extreme point, lacks true discernment. His actions exemplify a latent type of egotism that is hidden beneath this behavior; he is unaware of it, because he does not know himself that well, which is why he goes to extremes."

- Elder Paisios

Monday, April 23, 2012

Knowledge of the Word of God

“He who enriches himself through knowledge of the word of God is overshadowed by the pillar of cloud which guided the Israelites in the desert.”
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Eyes of the Lord

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Prov. 15:3). Oh, if only rational creatures would always keep this in mind! Then not only would they not dare to commit excesses openly and to give themselves over to dissoluteness of the flesh, but also inwardly, in their thoughts, and in the movements of their heart, they would not allow anything unpleasing to God. They would stand then like soldiers at the front before the king, with all attention and strictness toward themselves, that they not be found ignorant of their orders, and not be subject to the king’s wrath and punishment. The orders given to rational creatures are the commandments of God, which determine the proper form of their thoughts, and how their feelings and dispositions ought to be; they would then be quite well-ordered.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120313.htm

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lest You Grow Proud

"To love your neighbour as yourself, to sympathise with him in his joy and sorrow, to feed, clothe him, if he is in need of food and clothing; to breathe, so to say, the same air with him--look upon all this as the same thing as feeding and warming yourself, and do not count these as virtues or as works of love to your neighbour, lest you grow proud of them. "For we are members one of another." Ephesians 4:25

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Change of Heart in True Believers

"The Lord had said unto Abraham: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee (Gen. 12:1). This is an explicit image for the change of heart which occurs in true believers, when they sincerely take upon themselves their cross, and follow Christ. They leave their father—selfishness, crucifying it through self-denial; they leave their kindred—their personal sinful leanings, passions and habits, crucifying them through the resolution to follow unswervingly and in all things the passion-slaying commandments of the Lord; they leave their country, the entire sinful realm, the world with all of its demands, crucifying it with the resolution to be alien to it—although for this it might be necessary to endure not only loss of property and social status, but even to endure death itself."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120310.htm

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Total Dispassion

"Total dispassion renders our conceptual images passion-free: perfect spiritual knowledge brings us into the presence of Him who is utterly beyond knowledge."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Comprehending Our Orthodox Faith

“If some Christians cannot comprehend our Orthodox faith, its Sacraments, it proves that the minds and hearts of such persons are too impure and passionate to bear its purity and brightness, just as sick eyes cannot bear the light of the sun. This heavenly treasure can only be comprehended by the hearts of those who free their minds and feelings from worldly attachments.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creation is the Accuser of the Ungodly

“Creation is the accuser of the ungodly. For through its inherent spiritual principles creation proclaims its Maker; and through the natural laws intrinsic to each individual species it instructs us in virtue. The spiritual principles may be recognized in the unremitting continuance of each individual species, the laws in the consistency of its natural activity. If we do not ponder on these things, we remain ignorant of the cause of created being and we cling to all the passions which are contrary to nature.”

- Saint Maximos the Confessor

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Shrine Within You

“Strive to enter the shrine within you and you will see the shrine of heaven, for the one is the same as the other, and a single entrance permits you to contemplate both. The ladder leading to that kingdom is hidden within you, that is, within your soul: cleanse yourself from sin and there you will find the steps by which to ascend.”

- Saint Isaac the Syrian

Monday, April 9, 2012

In Silence

“It is in silence that the intellect gives birth to the intelligence; and the thankful intelligence offered to God is man's salvation.”

- Saint Antony the Great

Friday, April 6, 2012


“Listlessness - a most difficult passion to overcome - makes the body sluggish. And when the body is sluggish, the soul also grows sluggish. When both have become thoroughly lax, self-indulgence induces a change in the body's temperament. Self-indulgence incites the appetite, appetite gives rise to pernicious desire, desire to the spirit of revolt, revolt to dormant recollections, recollection to imaginings, imagining to mental provocation, provocation to coupling with the thought provoked, and coupling to assent. Such assent to a diabolic provocation leads to actual sinning, either through the body or in various other ways. Thus we are defeated and thus we lapse.”

- Saint Gregory of Sinai

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Take Up Your Cross

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Mark 8:34). It is impossible to follow the Lord as a crossbearer without a cross, and everyone who follows Him, unfailingly goes with a cross. What is this cross? It is all sorts of inconveniences, burdens and sorrows—weighing heavily both internally and externally—along the path of conscientious fulfilment of the commandments of the Lord, in a life according to the spirit of His instructions and demands. Such a cross is so much a part of a Christian that wherever there is a Christian, there is this cross, and where there is no such cross, there is no Christian. Abundant privileges and a life of pleasure do not suit a true Christian. His task is to cleanse and reform himself. He is like a sick person, who needs cauterization, or amputation; how can this be without pain? He wants to tear himself away from the captivity of a strong enemy; but how can this be without struggle and wounds? He must walk counter to all practices surrounding him; but how can he sustain this without inconvenience and constraint? Rejoice as you feel the cross upon yourself, for it is a sign that you are following the Lord on the path of salvation which leads to heaven. Endure a bit. The end is just around the corner, as well as the crowns!”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120305.htm

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Freed from Passions

"The man freed from his passions has been granted God’s grace, and if: he has been found worthy of spiritual knowledge he has received great mercy."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Ways Thoughts Arise

"There are three ways through which thoughts arise in you: through the senses, through the memory, and through the body’s temperament. Of these the most irksome are those that come through the memory."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Monday, April 2, 2012

Persevere with Patience

"Persevere with patience in your prayer, and repulse the cares and doubts that arise within you. They disturb and trouble you, and so slacken the intensity of your prayer."

- Evagrios the Solitary

Friday, March 30, 2012

Examine Yourself Daily

"Examine yourself daily in the sight of God, and discover which of the passions is in your heart. Cast it out, and so escape His judgment."

- Saint Isaiah the Solitary

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let Us Continue...

"Let us continue fasting, not give liberty to our feelings, not cease fervent prayers & tears, not forget works of love."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Preparation for the Future Life

“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one, and not only a life here below. In his actions he does not think what will be said of him here, but of what will be said there in Heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that some day they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guarding the Intellect

“Guarding the intellect with the Lord's help requires much humility, first in relation to God and then in relation to men.”

- Saint Philotheos of Sinai

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whatever Trial Comes

"Guard your mind and you will not be harassed by temptations. But if you fail to guard it, accept patiently whatever trial comes."

- Saint Hesychios the Priest

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fear of Torment

“Fear of torment is the way of a slave, desire of reward in the heavenly kingdom is the way of a hireling, but God's way is that of a son, through love.”

- Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Avenging Yourself

"Whatever you do to avenge yourself against a brother who has done you a wrong will prove a stumbling-block to you during prayer."

- Evagrios the Solitary

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Enemy of Our Soul

“This very flesh which we cherish, rest, gratify, and adorn so much, is--the enemy of our soul, a very crafty and dangerous enemy; it continually resists the love of God, the will of God, the commandments of God, and longs to fulfil its own will, and nearly always succeeds in doing so; unless the Lord God, in His merciful and wise providence for our salvation, opposes a powerful obstacle to this. We must ever crucify this flesh with its passions and lusts, and not cherish it; we must mortify it by fasting, by watchfulness, prayer, work; and exercise the soul by reading the Word of God, by pious meditation and prayer.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stair Steps to God

"The Lord gives to all those who labor in the Church the gift that the saints and Apostles received. The Lord grants the modern-day apostles the experience of longing for Him. When a person experiences this, love for God comes to abide in his heart. Then that person is no longer attached to this age. Whoever has awakened (come to himself) should not do anything but weep. He should not weep over the earthly, but rather over what awaits us after this life. Otherwise, we deceive ourselves and others. Our current brief life is fleshly, while before us lies eternal life—spiritual life. The truth is with the Savior, and with those saints whom He has made what they are. Certain people say that they also have saints. But the saints of our Church were made so by God Himself, and we have to beware of those "saints" who are glorified by people. The saints work miracles. The saints are the stair steps to God."

- Father Proclus (Niceu)

Reference: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/47107.htm

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baptism Saves Us...

“The Apostle Paul says that the Israelites, crossing the sea, were baptized in it (I Cor. 10:2). Such a baptism served for them as a division between Egypt and themselves. Peter the Apostle adds: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (I Pet. 3:21). Our baptism saves us and serves as a dividing wall between the dark, satanic realm of sin and the world, and the brightness of life in Christ. One who is baptized cuts himself off from all earthly hopes and supports, and lives in this age as if in a desert, not tied to anything. His heart is not on the earth, it is totally in that age. All that is here touches him in passing, so that having a wife he is as though he has none; buying, he is as though possessing nothing. In general, he uses the world, as though he uses it not (cf. I Cor. 7:30).”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120306.htm

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tears During Prayer

"If you do shed tears during your prayer, do not exalt yourself, thinking you are better than others. For your prayer has received help so that you can confess your sins readily and make your peace with the Lord through your tears. Therefore do not turn the remedy for passions into a passion, and so again provoke to anger Him who has given you this grace."

- Evagrios the Solitary

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Run with Endurance

"Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

- Hebrews 11:36–38; 12:1-2 (ESV)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pass on the Words...

"It is better not to pass on the words of reproach that have been transmitted to us by anyone, but to keep silence concerning them, or transmit words of love and good-will, then our spirit will be tranquil. But to pass on words of animosity and envy is very hurtful; they often produce, in the impatient and self-loving men, to whom they refer, a spiritual tempest, rekindle extinct enmity, and occasion dissension. We must have Christian patience, and the wisdom of the serpent."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Reference: My Life in Christ, or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guarding the Intellect

"Guarding the intellect with the Lord's help requires much humility, first in relation to God and then in relation to men. We ought to do all we can to crush and humble the heart. To achieve this we should scrupulously remember our former life in the world, recalling and reviewing in detail all the sins we have committed since childhood (except carnal sins, for the remembrance of these is harmful). This not only induces humility but also engenders tears and moves us to give heartfelt thanks to God. Perpetual and vivid mindfulness of death has the same effect: it gives birth to grief accompanied by a certain sweetness and joy, and to watchfulness of intellect. In addition, the detailed remembrance of our Lord's Passion, the recollection of what He suffered, greatly humbles and abashes our pride, and this, too, produces tears. Finally, to recount and review all the blessings we have received from God is truly humbling. For our battle is against proud demons.” 

Saint Philotheos of Sinai 

Monday, March 12, 2012

God's Saints

“God's Saints are--beautiful, incorruptible, fragrant flowers. Do not touch these flowers with lips defiled by sins--that is, pray to them with a pure heart and pure lips, not carelessly, not with distracted thoughts, but with reverence, and without haste. They are speaking heavens; they led a heavenly, wonderful life on earth, doing great deeds, they lived in great love, in deep humility, gentleness, patience, self-denial, loving God above all things.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Friday, March 9, 2012

Detached from All Earthly Things

“When you are completely detached from all earthly things and when, your conscience clear, you are at any moment ready in heart to leave this present life and to dwell with the Lord, then you may recognize that you have acquired true virtue. If you want to be known to God, do all that you can to remain unknown to men.” 

- Saint Theognostos

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God Belongs to All...

"God belongs to all free beings. He is the life of all, the salvation of all—faithful and unfaithful, just and unjust, pious and impious, passionate and dispassionate, monks and seculars, wise and simple, healthy and sick, young and old—just as the diffusion of light, the sight of the sun, and the changes of the weather are for all alike; ‘for there is no respect of persons with God’"

- Saint John Climacus

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Faith Without Love

"Just as the thought of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not actualize the light of spiritual knowledge in the soul."

- Saint Maximos the Confessor

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Salvation, or Ruin!

"And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear (Gen. 4:13). Was it possible to talk like this before the countenance of God, Who is strict of course in righteousness, but is always ready to have mercy upon a sinner who truly repents? Envy obscured sensible thoughts, deliberate transgression hardened his heart, and behold, Cain rudely answers to God Himself: Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen. 4:9). God wants to soften his stony heart with the hammer of His strict judgement; but Cain does not give in, and locked in his coarseness, he commits himself to the lot which he prepared for himself through his envy and murder. What is amazing is that after this he lived like anyone else: he had children, established a household and maintained earthly relations. Yet the mark of being outcast and of his despair still lay on him. So it is an inner affair, which occurs in the conscience, out of the realization of one’s relation to God, under the influence of burdensome passions, sinful habits, and deeds. Let people heed this now especially! But together with this let people resurrect their belief that there is no sin greater than God’s mercy; however, both time and work are needed to soften the heart. But it is either salvation, or ruin!"  

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Reference: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/Days/20120222.htm

Monday, March 5, 2012

Patiently Endure

“Patiently endure the distressing and painful things that befall you, for through them God in His providence is purifying you.”

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Friday, March 2, 2012

Two Kinds of Christians

'Anglican Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has said, “There are two kinds of Christians. On the one side, those who believe that Christianity is a revealed religion and, on the other side, those who believe that you can make it up as you go along.”  Well, in regard to that division, Orthodox and Evangelicals come down firmly on the first side.'

- Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Most Convincing Apostles of Christianity

"Those who live always according to the spirit of Christ are, without the use of words, the best preachers of Christ and the most convincing apostles of Christianity."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Are Unforgiven If...

“Even if all spiritual fathers, patriarchs, hierarchs, and all the people forgive you, you are unforgiven if you do not repent in action.”

- Saint Kosmas Aitolos

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He Who Does Not Forgive

"The drunkard, the fornicator, the proud—he will receive God’s mercy. But he who does not want to forgive, to excuse, to justify consciously, intentionally […] that person closes himself to eternal life before God, and even more so in the present life. He is turned away and not heard."

- Elder Sampson of Russia

Reference: http://morningoffering.blogspot.com/2012/02/forgiveness-forgiveness-is-cure-for.html

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love the Trees

'Fr. Amphilochios, the geronta or "elder" on the island of Patmos when I first stayed there, would have been in full agreement. "Do you know," he said, "that God gave us one more commandment, which is not recorded in Scripture? It is the commandment "love the trees." Whoever does not love trees, so he believed, does not love God. "When you plant a tree," he insisted, "you plant hope, you plant peace, you plant love, and you will receive God's blessing."'

- Taken from an essay by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Seductive Darkness of the Heart and Intellect

“We live in a kind of seductive darkness of the heart and intellect, but the Lord Jesus Christ is our enlightenment. The saints always see us by the grace of God, because they are in God and God is in them. They are one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17), and the Lord sees everything, hears everything. Therefore when, for instance, in church you look upon the images of God's saints, believe that they see you, and above all, that they see your heart.”

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Thursday, February 23, 2012


"But first we must struggle with the demon of dejection who casts the soul into despair. We must drive him from our heart. It was this demon that did not allow Cain to repent after he had killed his brother, or Judas after he had betrayed his Master".

- Saint John Cassian

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Binding the Demon

"He advised me: If I should understand that a demon in the form of a man has come as if to teach me, then I need to say, "If you are from God, then say along with me, 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,'" for the enemy does not want to say, 'Have mercy on me.' All who have the Jesus prayer can bind the demon with it; however, the enemy nevertheless prepares many temptations for such a person, and the enemy can only be completely conquered through humility and repentance."

- Father Proclus (Niceu)

Reference: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/47107.htm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Deepest Peace

"Often during the day I have been a great sinner, and at night, after prayer, I have gone to rest, justified and whiter than snow by the grace of the Holy Spirit, with the deepest peace and joy in my heart! How easy it will be for the Lord to save us too in the evening of our life, at the decline of our days! O save, save, save me, most gracious Lord; receive me in Thy heavenly Kingdom! Everything is possible to Thee!"

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Storehouse of Evil

"Do not trust a thought that would judge your neighbor: for it is the man who is a storehouse of evil that thinks evil thoughts (cf. Matt. 12:35)."

- Saint Thalassios the Libyan

Friday, February 17, 2012

Banishment of Contrary Thoughts

“Love is essentially the banishment of every kind of contrary thought, for love thinks no evil (I Cor 13:5),” wrote St John of the Ladder.

- Hieromonk Calinic (Berger)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

...The Refusal to Worship and Give Thanks

"...the refusal to worship and give thanks, to offer the creation in thanksgiving back to God, is a denial of our very nature as humans."

- Metropolitan Jonah

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Glory of Christians

"The glory of Christians abides even now in their sottls, and will be manifested at the time of resurrection, and will glorify their bodies in correspondence with their piety."
- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

With Fear and Trembling

"With what fear and trembling must we work out our salvation! And how sincerely and zealously must we pray to God: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 51)."
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Monday, February 13, 2012

Make Use of Peaceful Times

"One father told me that if times are peaceful, and I use them to the glory of God, then when temptations come, I will get help from the Holy Spirit. If I do not make use of peaceful times, then a long period of temptation will come, which can be survived only through repentance, confession, and a good foundation. But we must know that for this, the spirits of vainglory attack with great force. Therefore, there is no way other than weeping. I must also have an awareness that all others are greater than me. If the thought has passed through my mind that I am better than another, then disaster has struck, and woe be to me."

- Father Proclus (Niceu)


Friday, February 10, 2012

When We Pay Attention

"In the measure that we pay attention and take care to carry out what we hear, God will always enlighten us and make us understand His will."

- Saint Dorotheos of Gaza

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Repent in Action

“Even if all spiritual fathers, patriarchs, hierarchs, and all the people forgive you, you are unforgiven if you do not repent in action.” 
- Saint Kosmas Aitolos

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Praying Soul

"When the Lord God, the Holy Spirit, visits us [he says] and comes to us in the fullness of his ineffable goodness, then we have to stop praying and refrain from prayer itself. The praying soul speaks and offers up words, but at the descent of the Holy Spirit it must be utterly silent so that it can clearly hear and truly understand the words of eternal life which the Spirit condescends to bring to it."
- Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Monday, February 6, 2012

Peace in God

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

- John 14:27, ESV

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Die That I May Live

"We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life...I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!"

- Saint Tikhon of Voronezh

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Acquisition of Christian Books

"The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them. For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness."

- Bishop Epiphanius of Cyprus

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Live and Learn"

"If in everyday affairs the saying: "live and learn" is true, then so much more it applies to prayer, which never stops and which has no limit."
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Through Love

"Just as the light of the sun attracts a healthy eye, so through love knowledge of God naturally draws to itself a pure intellect."

- Saint Maximos the Confessor

Monday, January 30, 2012

Through Patience

"It is patience that reveals every grace to you, and it is through patience that the saints received all that was promised to them."

- Saint Pachomius

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quiet the Passions

“No matter what passion troubles you, begin to read the word of God and the passion will become quieter and quieter, and at last it will be entirely calmed.” 

- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Perfume of Prayer

"When the Spirit makes his abode in a man, he is no longer able to stop praying, because the Spirit never ceases to pray in him. Whether he sleeps or wakes, prayer is never separated from his soul. When he is eating, drinking, lying down, occupied in working, plunged in sleep, the perfume of prayer rises freely from his soul. From then on he does not order his prayer at set times, but prays all the time."
- Saint Isaac the Syrian

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Requirements of Baptism

"These three things God requires of all the baptized: right faith in the heart, truth on the tongue, temperance in the body."

- Saint Gregory the Theologian

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sick Brothers

"If your heart has been softened either by repentance before God or by learning the boundless love of God towards you, do not be proud with those whose hearts are still hard. Remember how long your heart was hard and incorrigible. Seven brothers were ill in one hospital. One recovered from his illness and got up and rushed to serve his other brothers with brotherly love, to speed their recovery. Be like this brother. Consider all men to be your brothers, and sick brothers at that. And if you come to feel that God has given you better health than others, know that it is given through mercy, so in health you may serve your frailer brothers."

- Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valuable Pearls

“One who hearkens to the word of God gathers bright understanding of all that is in him, what is near to him, and what is above him; he clarifies his obligations in all aspects of life, and holy rules, like valuable pearls, are strung onto the thread of his conscience, which then precisely and definitely indicate how and when to act so that he please the Lord.” 
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let Mercy Outweigh All Else

"Ever let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let our compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to the Divine nature and Divine essence. A heart hard and unmerciful will never be pure."

- Saint Isaac of Syria

Reference: Directions on Spiritual Training

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Becoming God's Friend

"…we consider becoming God's friend the only thing worthy of honor and desire. This, as I have said, is the perfection of life.”

- Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Faith Without Love

"Just as the thought of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not actualize the light of spiritual knowledge in the soul."

- Saint Maximos the Confessor

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Does the Lord Require?

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? "

- Micah 6:8, ESV

Friday, January 13, 2012

The is No Greater Love

"There is no greater love than that a man lays down his life for his neighbor. When you hear someone complaining and you struggle with yourself and do not answer him back with complaints; when you are hurt and bear it patiently, not looking for revenge; then you are laying down your life for your neighbor."

- Abba Poemen

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Never Mind the Sins

"Love every man in spite of his falling into sin. Never mind the sins, but remember that the foundation of the man is the same - the image of God."

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

God is a Fire

"God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. And so, if we feel in our hearts coldness, which is from the devil, - for the devil is cold - then let us call upon the Lord, and He will come and warm our hearts with perfect love not only for Him, but for our neighbor as well. And from the presence of warmth the coldness of the hater of good will be driven away."

- Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

God's Providence

“God's providence controls the universe. It is present everywhere. Providence is the sovereign Logos of God, imprinting form on the unformed materiality of the world, making and fashioning all things. Matter could not have acquired an articulated structure were it not for the directing power of the Logos, who is the Image, Intellect, Wisdom and Providence of God.”

- Saint Antony the Great

Reference: The Philokalia

Monday, January 9, 2012

Direct All Your Concerns

“Direct all your concern towards having God reign in you, and everything worldly will lose its binding and burdensome spell over you. Then you will conduct your affairs outwardly, but inwardly your heart will be possessed with something else. But, if on account of this, the resolution arises to cut off this outer relationship to worldly things—you will not lose out: you will come closer to the goal which the faith of Christ will give you.” 
- Saint Theophan the Recluse

Friday, January 6, 2012

To Love Christ

"To love Christ -means not to be a hireling, not to look upon a noble life as an enterprise or trade, but to be a true benefactor and to do everything only for the sake of love for God."
- Saint John Chrysostom

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Covering Our Brother's Sin

"whenever we cover our brother's sin, God will cover ours; whenever we tell people about our brother's guilt, God will do the same about ours."

- Abba Poemen

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Judgement of God

"If a man commits a sin before you at the very moment of his death, pass no judgment, because the judgment of God is hidden from men."

- Saint John Climacus

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Compassion of the Creator

"Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked up by a handful of earth, so the compassion of the Creator is not overcome by the wickedness of his creatures."

- Saint Isaac the Syrian

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading Divine Scripture

“...it is best to always read Divine Scripture attentively, with discernment and sympathy, applying it to your own life, and fulfilling in your own thoughts what relates to thoughts, in your own feelings and dispositions what relates to the senses, and in your deeds what relates to deeds.”

- Saint Theophan the Recluse