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)


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


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


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