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