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


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


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


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