What is the Science of Salvation?

A collection of quotes and sayings about Truth from the great traditions of the world.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Heavenly Longing

Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in remembrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be deprived of the heavenly desire and of the passionate affection to the Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ, they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom. Being smitten with the heavenly longing, and hungering for the righteousness of the virtues, they have a great and insatiable desire for the shining forth of the Spirit.




St. Macarius the Great
"Spiritual Homilies" (Homily X)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sanctification

Ascetical endeavor is the mother of sanctification. From sanctification the first taste of the perception of Christ's mysteries is born...



St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Thirty-Six)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Humility and God

He who fears the Lord has humility as his constant companion and, by its remindings, ascends to love and gratitude to God.



St. Maximus the Confessor
"Philokalia"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Path to Salvation

...Know your sins.



St. Theophan the Recluse
"The Path to Salvation"

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit accomplishes all wonders and miracles. By the same Spirit power is given to one, and to another works of power. You have only to speak with faith, and need have no anxiety as to the fulfilment of the word; the Holy Spirit will care for this.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

To Live With God

To live with God is happiness in misfortune, riches in poverty, glory in dishonor, and consolation in sorrow. Without God there cannot be true repose, peace and consolation.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
"Journey to Heaven"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Love of God

Once the Elder was invited on board a frigate that had come from St. Petersburg. The captain of the frigate was a man quite learned, highly educated; he had been sent to America by Imperial command to inspect all the colonies. With the captain were some 25 officers, likewise educated men. In this company there sat a desert-dwelling monk of small stature, in an old garment, who by his wise conversation brought all his listeners to such a state that they did not know how to answer him. The captain himself related: "We were speechless fools before him!"
Father Herman gave them all one common question: "What do you, gentlemen, love above all, and what would each of you wish for his happiness?" Diverse answers followed. One desired wealth, one glory, one a beautiful wife, one a fine ship which he should command, and so on in this fashion. "Is it not true," said Father Herman at this, "that all your various desires can be reduced to one - that each of you desires that which, in his understanding, he considers best and most worthy of love?" "Yes, it is so," they all replied. "Well, then, tell me," he continued, "can there be anything better, higher above everything, more surpassing everything and in general more worthy of love, than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who created us, perfectly adorned us, gave life to all, supports all, nourishes and loves all, who Himself is love and more excellent than all men? Should not a person then love God high above all and desire and seek Him more than all else?" All began to say: "Well, yes! That is understood! That speaks for itself!"
"And do you love God?" the Elder then asked. All replied: "Of course, we love God. How can one not love God?" "And I, sinful one, for more than forty years have been striving to love God, and cannot say that I perfectly love Him," answered Father Herman; then he began to show how a person should love God. "If we love someone," he said, "we always think of him, strive to please him, day and night our heart is occupied with this subject. Is it thus that you, gentlemen, love God? Do you often turn to Him, do you always think of Him, do you always pray to Him, and fulfill His holy commandments?" It had to be acknowledged that they did not! "For our good, for our happiness," concluded the Elder, "at least let us make a promise to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour, from this very moment we shall strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will!" Behold what an intelligent, superb conversation Father Herman conducted in society; without doubt this conversation must have imprinted itself on the hearts of his listeners for their whole life!
Yanovsky
"Life of Monk Herman of Valaam" (1868)

Spiritual State

While bodily pleasures dominate us, it is impossible that a spiritual state should also prevail in us.
Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"The Cup of Christ"

The Holy Spirit

Concerning the teachings of the Church, whether publicly proclaimed (kerygma) or reserved to members of the household of faith (dogmata), we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true religion. No one would deny either source - no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions - or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teachings to bare words.

St. Basil the Great
"On the Holy Spirit"

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Good of Patience

Nothing else can relieve those who labor and toil more than the consolation derived from patience.




St. Cyprian of Carthage
"The Good of Patience"

Confession

...Why should a sinner be ashamed to make known his sins, since they are already known and manifest to God, and to His angels, and even to the blessed in heaven? Confession delivers the soul from death. Confession opens the door to heaven. Confession brings us hope of salvation. Because of this the Scripture says: First tell thy iniquities, that you may be justified (Is. xliii. 26).



St. Ambrose of Milan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Will of God

If you completely abandon your own will, you will never feel the heavy darkness of despondency.




Elder Leonid of Optina

Pastoral Care

...But since He came in the flesh for the purpose of not only redeeming us by His Passion, but of teaching by His life, giving an example to those who follow Him, He would not be king, but freely went to the gibbet of the Cross. He fled from the exalted glory offered Him and chose the pain of an ignominious death, that His members might learn to flee from the favours of the world, not to fear its terrors, to love adversity for the sake of truth, to shrink in fear from prosperity, for this latter thing often defiles the heart by vainglory, but the other cleanses it by sorrow. In the one, the mind becomes conceited; in the other, even if on occasion it became conceited, it abases itself. In the one, man forgets who he is; in the other, he is recalled, even unwillingly and perforce, to the recollection of what he is.




St. Gregory the Great
"Pastoral Care"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rancor and Animosity

...When a passion arises, when it is young and feeble, cut it off, lest it stiffen and cause you a great deal of trouble. It is one thing to pluck out a small weed and quite another thing to uproot a great tree.



St. Dorotheos of Gaza
"Discourses and Sayings"
(On Rancor and Animosity)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Commentary on the Divine Liturgy

Because the Holy Scriptures contain divinely-inspired words and praises of God, and because they incite to virtue, they sanctify those who read or chant them.





Nicholas Cabasilas
"A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Miracles and Signs

Divine help does not occur with outward brilliance, as our carnal mind might wish, so that the soul will not be harmed from the vainglory of being satisfied with this brilliance. In the works of God, in the very service to the Church, one should always ask for the blessing of God and the help of God. One must believe that only divine, spiritual means can be beneficial for faith and devotion, but never the means suggested by the carnal mind.



Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"On Miracles and Signs"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Law of God

We Christians acknowledge man to be morally free and the guide of his own personal will and actions and responsible for them before God's truth. Such freedom is a most great gift to man from God, Who seeks from man not a mechanical submission, but a freely given filial obedience of love. The Lord Himself affirmed this freedom, "If anyone wishes to be My disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Mt. 16:24).



St. Philaret of New York
"On the Law of God"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Solemn Mysteries

... In beholding the unutterable freshness of the work of salvation, amazed by the abundance of God's mercy, we are brought to venerate Him Who had such compassion for us, Who saved us at so great a price: to entrust our souls to Him, to dedicate our lives to Him, to enkindle in our hearts the flame of His love. Thus prepared, we can enter into contact with the fire of the solemn mysteries with confidence and trust.




Nicholas Cabasilas
"A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy"

Temptations and Faith

What is the source of patience in temptations? Genuine faith in God. Temptations are therefore a means of proving the faithful.




St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies" (Homily Thirty-Two)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Healing Cup

Entrust your heart in simplicity to Him by Whom all the hairs of your head are numbered: He knows the measure of the healing Cup that you should be given.



Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"The Cup of Christ"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Writings of the Saints

...Continual study in the writings of the saints fills the soul with incomprehensible wonder and divine gladness.




St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Thirteen)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Path Of Faith Hindrance

Pride prevents the soul from setting on the path of faith.





Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unceasing Prayer to the Theotokos

Having experienced all the difficulties of earthly life, the Intercessor of the Christian race sees every tear, hears every groan and entreaty directed to Her. Especially near to Her are those who labour in the battle with the passions and are zealous for a God-pleasing life. But even in worldly cares She is an irreplaceable helper. "Joy of all who sorrow, and intercessors for the offended, and feeder of the hungry, consolation of travellers, harbour of the storm-tossed, visitation of the sick, protection and intercessor for the infirm staff of old age, Thou are the Mother of God on high, O Most Pure One" (Sticheron of the Service to the Hodigitria). "The hope and intercession and refuge of Christians", "The Mother of God unceasing in prayers" (Theotokion of the Third Tone). "She day and night doth pray for us and the sceptres of kingdoms are confirmed by Her prayers" (daily Nocturne).




St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco
"Orthodox Veneration of the Theotokos"

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself, in a particular, immediate, and most close manner, is present and dwells with men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy. The temple, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, Seraphim and Apostles. The Liturgy is the continually repeated solemnisation of God's love to mankind, and His all-powerful mediation for the salvation of the whole world...




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life In Christ"