What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Within God

...When you understand that God is near you and that you move about within God and that He sees whatever you do, and you are careful not to sadden Him - since He sees everything inside and out - then you don't sin because you see Him, you love Him, and you are careful not to sadden Him, "for He is at your right hand." (Ps. 24:18)




Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom" (Thirteenth Letter)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Virtue

Progress in virtue is not measured by time, but by fervor and fixity of purpose.




St. Anthony the Great

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wise

...Let us therefore show honor and respect, not alone to those that are older than us, but also to our equals. For it is no humility to do what you ought to do, or are compelled to do: that is not humility, but duty. It is true humility to give way to those who are seen to be less than us. And if we are truly wise, we shall consider no one as less than ourselves, but all men as our superiors.




St. John Chysostom
"Moral Exhortation to Humility"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Patience

All temptations and afflictions require patience to be overcome, and this constitutes their defeat.




Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom; Letters..."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Repentance

The Lord forgives those who repent; He is close to your soul and wishes you victory over your sin more than you do yourself, just as you wish your children to be strengthened in good more than they themselves do.




Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
"Confession"

Temptations

...Without temptations, pure souls are not known, virtue does not show, patience is not discernible. Without temptations, it is impossible for the soul to become healthy. They are a cleansing fire which makes the soul pure and bright.




Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom; Letters..."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Passions

Solitude offers us an excellent opportunity for calming our passions and giving our reason time to remove them thoroughly from our soul. For just as wild animals can be soothed by being stroked, so all our anger, fear and stress, which poison and disrupt our soul, can be soothed by an atmosphere of peace where the freedom from constant disturbance ensures that our soul can be brought more easily under the power of reason. We should look for a place we can make entirely our own, away from contact with other people, so that our spiritual training may progress on an uninterrupted path, feeding our soul with thoughts of God.



St. Basil the Great
"Gateway to Paradise"
(To his friend Gregory)

Contrition

However great the life we lead may be, we may count it stale and spurious, if we have not acquired a contrite heart.



St. John Climacus
"The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 7)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Prodigal Son

...As we are taught by the Saviour, as long as the prodigal son was in the land of passions, even though he thought and spoke words of repentance, he gained no benefit at all. Only when he left all his sinful deeds and ran to his father did he attain what was beyond hope. From then on he stayed near him in humility, living chastely and honestly and preserving unharmed the grace renewed in him by God.




St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

God is Your Blessing

When asking various blessings of God, believe that God is all to all; if you ask health of Him, believe that He is your health; if you ask faith, that He is your faith; if you ask love, that He is your love; if you ask peace and joy, that He is your peace and joy; if you ask for help against visible and invisible enemies, that He is your all-powerful help; whatever blessing you will ask of Him, believe that He is this very blessing, as well as every blessing, and if He finds that this blessing will be profitable to you, He will be this blessing for you. "God shall be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:28)



St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Forgiveness

Let God consign all previous events to oblivion. As for us, may we be strengthened by forgiveness.



St. Photius the Great

Giving Thanks

Gives thanks to God for all things, because thanksgiving is intercession before God for our weakness.




St. Barsanuphius and St. John
"Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Charity

Charity is the bond of brotherhood, the foundation of peace, the steadfastness and firmness of unity; it is greater than both hope and faith; it excels both good works and suffering of the faith; and, as an external virtue, it will abide with us forever in the kingdom of heaven. Take patience away from it, and thus forsaken, it will not last; take away the substance of enduring and tolerating, and it attempts to last with no roots or strength.



St. Cyprian of Carthage
"Treatises" (The Good of Patience)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Holy Spirit 2

When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in a man, He gives him faith and light. Without Him no one can have true, living faith. Without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the wisest and most learned man is completely blind as regards the works and ways of God. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit can reveal to the simplest and most illiterate person interiorly, and directly show him the works of God, and can give him to feel the sweetness of the Heavenly Kingdom. A person who has within him the Holy Spirit feels in his soul an extraordinary light, previously quite unknown to him.




St. Innocent of Alaska
"Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Holy Spirit

According to the purity of the heart, the Holy Spirit settles in the heart and from the heart directs man.



Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"The Prologue from Ohcrid"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will of God

The man who takes thought for his own welfare is unable to give himself up to God's will, that his soul may have peace in God. But the humble soul is devoted to God's will, and lives before Him in awe and love; in awe, lest she grieve God in any way; in love, because the soul has come to know how the Lord loves us. The best thing of all is to surrender to God's will and bear affliction having confidence in God. The Lord, seeing our affliction, will never give us too much to bear. If we seem to ourselves to be greatly afflicted, it means that we have not surrendered to the will of God. The soul that is in all things devoted to the will of God rests quiet in Him, for she knows of experience and from the Holy Scriptures that the Lord loves us much and watches over our souls, quickening all things by His grace in peace and love.


Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Free Will

I wonder at our free will: it is strong, and yet it has been overthrown. It is a master, yet it has become a slave. It has the opportunity to conquer, yet it would rather yield and be conquered itself. Although it is free, it gives itself into slavery, like a bondswoman who signs with her own hand the agreement that binds her.



St. Ephraim the Syrian
"A Spiritual Psalter"

Union With God

Brethren! prepare yourselves for union with God. Give up earthly vanity. Apply yourselves to the great work of self-purification and self-improvement. Love to progress in faith and virtue, and not to progress in the things of this world.




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Satan

Participation of the love of God in union with each other, which is indeed communion of divine life, can be weakened and even destroyed by man's inattention to the ways of Satan. "Flee therefore the wicked devices and snares of the prince of the world. lest at any time being oppressed by his will, you grow weak in your love." (Ign. Phil. 6.) "Be not anointed with the bad odour of the teaching of the prince of this world; do not let him lead you away captive from the life which is set before you." (Ign. Eph. 17.) "For there are many wolves (heretics who pluck the weak from the Church) that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captive those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place." (Ign. Phil. 2.) Because of unity with each other in the love of Christ Satan cannot prevail since love is the blood of Christ and eternal life by which the devil is destroyed. "Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God and show forth His praise. For when you assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith." (Ign. Eph. 13.)



Fr. John S. Romanides
"The Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Suspicions

...Should worthless suspicions germinate in our minds, let us turn them into charitable thoughts and they will not harm us. For entertaining suspicions is wrong and it never allows the mind to be at peace.




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

The Meek

In the third commandment the Lord blesses the meek, promising them the inheritance of the earth. This commandment teaches us to be always meek and gentle, following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was like a gentle Lamb. When reproached, He did not reproach; when suffering, He did not whine, but left everything up to God, Who judges righteously; He taught us never to become irritated by anything and not to irritate or offend anyone, restraining our fits of temper in every possible way; to treat everyone affectionately, patiently, leniently; to conquer evil with good; and to correct incorrigible people through patience and reasoning. As a reward for meekness and patience, the Lord promises the inheritance of the earth - first, long life and well-being here on earth, and, second, a blessed and eternal life in the heavenly fatherland.




St. John of Kronstadt
"Ten Homilies on the Beatitudes"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Jesus Prayer

Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19), commands the Apostle. This command refers to all Christians, but it specially refers to those who intend to practise unceasing prayer by the name of the Lord Jesus. The most pure name of Jesus cannot tolerate to dwell in the midst of impurity. It requires that all impurity should be expelled and banished from the vessel of the soul. It enters the vessel according to the degree of its purity, and it at once begins to act in it and effect the further purification for which the man's own efforts were insufficient and which is needed if the vessel is to become a worthy receptacle for the spiritual treasure, a shrine for the most holy Name.




Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
"On the Prayer of Jesus"

Friday, February 8, 2008

Righteousness

Those who are truly righteous always think within themselves that they are unworthy of God.





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

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Christian Love

Christian love is a special feeling which draws one near to God Who is Love Itself, in the words of His beloved Apostle (I Jn.4:8). In the sphere of earthly feelings, there is none higher than a love which is ready for self-sacrifice. And the whole history of God's relationship to man is a continuous history of the self-sacrifice of Heavenly love. The Heavenly King leads the sinner - the one who has opposed and betrayed Him - by the hand to salvation. For the sake of the sinner's salvation, He does not spare even His Only Begotten Son. The Son of God came down from heaven, was made Incarnate, suffered and died so that He, through the Resurrection, could give the sinner that blessed eternity which he had lost by his own betrayal. Before His sufferings, moreover, He gave His faithful a bequest, a commandment and ideal of love: "As I loved you, so you too love one another."



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

Sacrifice

Love for God and our neighbor, in our present corrupt state is impossible without self-sacrifice; he who wishes to fulfill the commandment concerning love for God and his neighbor, ought to devote himself in good time to great deeds and privations for the sake of those that he loves.


St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Monday, February 4, 2008

In His Own Image

As the Creator, God loves His own creation. However, He has special love for man, whom He fashioned according to His own image in order to make him a communicant of His own benevolence and bliss.



St. Nectarios of Pentapolis
"Christology"

Faith

Do not say that you are a temple of the Lord, says the divine Jeremiah (Jer. vii, 4). Neither should you say, only faith in our Lord Jesus Christ can save me. For this is impossible unless you acquire love for Him, a love testified by deeds. As regards faith that is bare, 'the devils also believe, and tremble' (James ii. 19).



St. Maximus the Confessor
"Early Fathers of the Philokalia"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Comforter

The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who fills the whole universe, passes through all believing, meek, humble, good, and simple human souls, dwelling in them, vivifying and strengthening them. He becomes one spirit with them and everything to them - light, strength, peace, joy, success in their undertakings, especially in a pious life, and everything good - "going through all understanding, pure and most subtle spirits" (Wisdom of Solomon vii, 23). "We have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Cor. xii.13). All pious people are filled with the Spirit of God similarly as a sponge is filled with water.




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Friday, February 1, 2008

Difficulties and Advancement

If sin makes a man sickly and he has become weak and unsound because of it, the slightest thing that happens to him will weigh him down; but if a man is advancing all the time what happens to him becomes less and less difficult to bear in proportion to the ground he has gained.





St. Dorotheos of Gaza
"Discourses and Sayings"
(On Self-accusation)