What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Holiness

Holiness is not simple righteousness, for which the righteous are rewarded with blessedness in the Kingdom of God; rather, it is such a height of righteousness that people are so filled with the grace of God that it flows from them even upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness, which proceeds from their direct contemplation of the glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men's needs, and at their entreaties they act as mediators and intercessors for them before God.

St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco
"The Glorification of God-Pleasers"

Grow in Courage

St. Paul does not forbid us to be sorry after a godly manner (II Cor. 7:9) but wishes us to grow in courage. Try to do as he says.

Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Church

A Church pure and untouched by the harshness of our times is not easily found and from now on rarely to be seen - a Church that has preserved the Apostolic doctrine unadulterated and inviolate! . . . Beloved brethren, we are small and humble, but we have not accommodated our faith according to changing events.

St. Basil the Great
(Letter to the Evaisenians)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sin

We all sin, we all transgress Christ's commandments and the laws of the holy Church, but some acknowledge themselves to be sinners and repent of their transgressions, while others, instead, reject the very laws and do not want to submit to them; they say that these laws are out-dated, that they are no longer needed; as if we are smarter than those who gave us the Church laws, which the Lord Himself gave through His Apostles and hierarchs. Here before you are two paths: the path of the wise thief, and the path of the one who was pulled down to hades by the weight of his blasphemy.

St. John Maximovitch
"Sermon on the Sunday of Orthodoxy"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Devotion

Think and you will see that the mystery of devotion in the chosen ones of God was realized through repentance.

St. Mark the Ascetic

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tools to Everlasting Life

Anyone who is to inherit the everlasting kingdom must have good works as the proof and the fruit of love, as the crown of all the other virtues.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First Fulfill, Then Teach

"Nor did we eat food received free from everyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked so as not to burden any of you" (2 Thessalonians 3:8). First fulfill then teach. All the apostles and all of the saints of God adhered to this rule. Thus, the Apostle Paul, even before he spoke the command: "If anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10), declares for himself and for his assistants in preaching that they did not eat anyone's bread for free, rather by effort and labor earned their bread. "Night and day we worked!" Behold the true laborers! Behold the honey-bearing bees of Christ! Daily and nightly toil: where is their time for sin? Daily and nightly toil: where is their room for sin? Daily and nightly toil: where can the devil weave his nest of passions? Daily and nightly toil: where is their cause for scandal?

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Prologue from Ochrid"
(About the Apostles' love for Labors)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Come to God

He who comes to God, and desires to be in truth a partner of Christ's throne, ought to come with a view to this end, that he may be changed, and altered from his former condition and conduct, and be made a good and new man, who brings nothing of the old man with him.

St. Macarius the Great
"Spiritual Homilies" (Homily 44)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vainglory

The Lord often brings the vainglorious to a state free of vainglory through the dishonour that befalls them.

St. John Climacus
"Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 22)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Everything

Everything is God's, nothing is ours.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Regeneration

Regeneration is the assimilation of redemption through faith, contrary to the notions of Scholastic theology which divorce one from the other. Every attentive observer of life will have found cases of spiritual regeneration, perhaps many of them, or may even have experienced such spiritual regeneration himself, if his piety was not innate, but acquired after temporary denial of God and His commandments. Both Lutheran and Russian theologians like to describe regeneration by means of the parable of the prodigal son; yet this depicts the first stage only, that of repentance, and the Lutheran theologians go no further than this. The Apostles saw it more completely in the conversion of Zacchaeus, who not only repented, but undertook the moral exploit of a decisive change of life, so that our Lord said: "Today is salvation come to this house." This example is of special value since the regeneration of Zacchaeus took place under the direct influence of our Redeemer.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
"The Dogma of Redemption"

Good Works

Whenever you wish to make a beginning in some good work, first prepare yourself for the temptations that will come upon you, and do not doubt the truth. For it is the enemy's custom, whenever he sees a man beginning a good mode of life with fervent faith, to confront him with diverse and fearful temptations, so that he should be afraid, his good intention should be chilled, and he should lack the fervor to undertake the God-pleasing work. It is not that our adversary has such power (for then no one could ever do good), but God concedes it to him, as we have learned with the righteous Job. Therefore prepare yourself manfully to encounter the temptations which are brought against the virtues, and then begin to practice them. For if you have not prepared yourself beforehand to meet temptations, then refrain from practicing the virtues.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Humility

The humbler we grow, the more firm and secure our spiritual life becomes.

Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tribulations

If you see the Church scattered and smitten with the severest of trials, if its members are beaten with rods, if he who was entrusted with its government is exiled to far distant lands, do not look only at these tribulations themselves. Think of their outcome too: the wages, the reward, the prize for the struggle. "Whoever endures to the end will be saved," is the teaching of the Scripture. (Matt. 10:22). Our fathers in Old Testament times saw events contradicting the promises of God, yet they were not shocked or worried. They trusted in a Providence beyond their understanding. Knowing the richness and skill of the Divine Wisdom they awaited the outcome and in the meantime they endured all the adversities, giving thanks to God and singing His praises despite His allowing these trials.

St. John Chrysostom
"On Providence"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Charity

...For where there is charity the worst faults come to nothing; where there is charity the unruly thoughts of the mind come to an end.

St. John Chrysostom
"The Gifts of the Holy Spirit"

Work of the Holy Spirit

...For as of old on the fiftieth day after the Sacrifice of the Lamb, the Law was given on Mount Sinai to the Hebrew people, now delivered from the Egyptians, so, after the Passion of Christ, in which the True Lamb of God was slain, on the fiftieth day after His Resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and upon the people who believed (Acts ii.3); so that an earnest Christian might know beyond any uncertainty, that the sacred rites of the Old Testament had served as foundations for the Gospel, and that by this same Spirit was the Second Covenant laid down, by Whom the first had been established.

St. Leo the Great

"The Work of the Holy Spirit"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chosen Souls

The pre-eternal wisdom of God had made Itself abodes from the chosen souls of men. And the Spirit of God's power and wisdom was needed to come down into this abode and consecrate it.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homilies" (Pentecost)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spirit of God

The pre-eternal wisdom of God had made Itself abodes from the chosen souls of men. And the Spirit of God's power and wisdom was needed to come down into this abode and consecrate it.
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homilies" (Pentecost)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Restoration to Paradise

Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all "fulness of blessing," both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment.

St. Basil the Great
"On the Holy Spirit"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On the Holy Spirit

Now the Spirit is not brought into intimate association with the soul by local approximation. How indeed could there be a corporeal approach to the incorporeal? This association results from the withdrawal of the passions which, coming afterwards gradually on the soul from its friendship to the flesh, have alienated it from its close relationship with God. Only then after a man is purified from the shame whose stain he took through his wickedness, and has come back again to his natural beauty, and as it were cleaning the Royal Image and restoring its ancient form, only thus is it possible for him to draw near to the Paraclete. And He, like the sun, will by the aid of thy purified eye show thee in Himself the image of the invisible, and in the blessed spectacle of the image thou shalt behold the unspeakable beauty of the archetype. Through His aid hearts are lifted up, the weak are held by the hand, and they who are advancing are brought to perfection. Shining upon those that are cleansed from every spot, He makes them spiritual by fellowship with Himself. Just as when a sunbeam falls on bright and transparent bodies, they themselves become brilliant too, and shed forth a fresh brightness from themselves, so souls wherein the Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual, and send forth their grace to others.

St. Basil the Great
"On the Holy Spirit"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heresies

...Hence heresies have both frequently arisen and are arising, while the perverse mind has no peace, while discordant perfidy does not maintain unity. Indeed the Lord permits and suffers these things to happen, while the choice of one's own liberty remains, so that, while the norm of truth examines our hearts and minds, the sound faith of those who are approved may become manifest in a clear light. Through the Apostle the Holy Spirit forewarns and says: 'For there must be factions, so that those who are approved among you may be made manifest' (I Cor. 11:19). Thus the faithful are approved; thus the perfidious are disclosed; thus also before the day of judgement, already here too the souls of the just and the unjust are divided and the chaff is separated from the wheat.

St. Cyprian of Carthage
"The Unity of the Church"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How To Act

...Once when he was appointing a monk to be the senior prophora baker and instructing him on how to act toward the brethren he was in charge of, Father Archimandrite Moses said. "Now when someone says, 'Forgive me, for God's sake,' then let that be the end of it!" And that is exactly how he himself acted.

"The Elder Moses of Optina"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mystical Life

Just as the darkness does not go away unless the light is present, so the disease of the soul is not banished unless He Who takes away our infirmities comes and unites Himself with us.
St. Symeon the New Theologian
"On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses"

Friday, June 6, 2008

Redemption

We must constantly bear in remembrance and strive to live in accordance with the mystery of our redemption by Christ, His sufferings, His death on the cross, and His resurrection and ascension, and His second coming; we must honour above all the holiness of the Mother of God as the living ark and temple of the Godhead, and ask Her, after the Lord Himself, for cleansing and holiness, and steadfastness in faith and love.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Christian Home

...A home is a Christian one, when all the members of the household bear each other's burdens, and when each one condemns only himself.

Staretz Macarius of Optina

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Preparation

The disciples worshipped the most high Lord Who had come down from above the heavens, made the earth into heaven and gone up again whence He came, having united things below with things above and formed one Church, at the same time heavenly and earthly, to the glory of His love for mankind. Then they returned with joy from the Mount of Olives, whence the Master had ascended, to Jerusalem and were continuously in the Temple with their minds set on heaven, praising and blessing God (Luke 24:53), and preparing themselves to receive the promised coming of the divine Spirit.

St. Gregory Palamas
(Homily Twenty-One: On the Ascension...)

Spiritual Life

No art is acquired easily or without much diligent study and practice. Could it be otherwise with the greatest art of all - the art of arts - the spiritual life, the soul's salvation?




Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Trust in God

We must trust in God in all temptations, in all desolate conditions of the soul. The Lord will deliver.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sin and Mercy

...A man who falls into sin is different from the way he was created. He is different, because he changes by his own actions the way he was meant to be. Man renounces himself when he becomes a different person through repentance. He leaves a corrupted man, which he had become through sin, and becomes such as he once was created, through mercy.

St. John Maximovitch of Chernigov

"The Royal Way of the Cross of Our Lord Leading to Eternal Life"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Word and Deed

Dearly Beloved, each word and deed of Our Saviour Jesus Christ is for us a lesson in virtue and piety. For this end also did He assume our nature, so that every man and every woman, contemplating as in a picture the practice of all virtue and piety, might strive with all their hearts to imitate His example. For this He bore our body, so that as far as we could we might repeat within us the manner of His Life. And so therefore, when you hear mention of some word or deed of His, take care not to receive it simply as something that incidentally happened, but raise your mind upwards towards the sublimity of what He is teaching, and strive to see what has been mystically handed down to us.

St. Basil the Great
"That Prayer is to be placed Before all Things"
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)