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


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


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


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