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)


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


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


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