What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tow Roads

There are two different roads, one broad and easy, the other hard and narrow. And there are two guides vying with each other to attract the traveller's attention.



St. Basil the Great

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Repentance

Repentance which is true and truly from the heart persuades the penitent not to sin any more, not to mix with corrupt people, and not to gape in curiosity at evil pleasure, but to despise things present, cling to things to come, struggle against passions, seek after virtues, be self-controlled in every respect, keep vigil with prayers to God, and shun dishonest gain. It convinces him to be merciful to those who wrong him, gracious to those who ask something of him, ready with all his heart to bend down and help in any way he can, whether by words, actions or money, all who seek his assistance, that through kindness to his fellow-man he might gain God's love in return for loving his neighbor, draw the divine favor to himself, and attain to eternal mercy and God's everlasting blessing and grace.




St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies"

Believers

Believers have always found their satisfaction in that Divine utterance, which our ears heard recited from the Gospel at the moment when that Power, which is its attestation, was bestowed upon us - Go now and teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsover I command you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:19,20). What element in the mystery of man's salvation is not included in those words? What is forgotten, what left in darkness? All is full, as from Divine fulness; perfect, as from the Divine perfection. The passage contains the exact words to be used, the essential acts. the sequence of processes, an insight into the Divine nature.




St. Hilary of Poitiers
"On the Trinity"

Work of the Lord

...We must be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Having once begun, we must not cease to perform deeds worthy of our repentance. To rest is the same as to retreat.




Tito Colliander
"Way of the Ascetics"

Our Peace

When, humbled through perceiving our ugliness of soul, we pray for God's help, we are never left wanting. He is our peace (Eph. 2:14) and nothing but the grace of God can make the human heart a heaven.



Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Sinners

Don't hesitate to declare yourselves sinners. Thereby you will put off your old humanity that was corrupt because it followed the bait of error. And you will put on the new humanity, the humanity newly clad in intimacy with its Creator.






St. Cyril of Jerusalem
"Catechetical Lectures"

Devils

One can distinguish five reasons why God allows devils to attack us:
First, so that from attack and counter-attack we may become practised in discerning good from evil;
Second, so that our virtue may be maintained in the heat of the struggle and so be confirmed in an impregnable position;
Third, so that as we advance in virtue we may avoid presumption and learn humility;
Fourth, to inspire in us an unreserved hatred for evil through the experience we thus have of it;
Fifth, and above all, that we may attain inner freedom and remain convinced both of our own weakness and of the strength of Him who has come to our aid.


St. Maximus the Confessor
"Centuries on Charity"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pride

Pride does not perceive that it walks in darkness and, as being darkened, it does not know the insight of wisdom. For this reason in its own murky thoughts it elevates itself above all, whereas it is more vile and more feeble than any, and it is incapable of learning the ways of the Lord. And the Lord conceals His will from it, because it did not choose to walk in the path of the humble.



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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Icons

We have icons in our houses, and venerate them, in order to show, amongst other things, that the eyes of God and of all the heavenly dwellers are constantly fixed upon us, and see not only our acts, but also our words, thoughts and desires.





St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Christ's Two Natures

The mystery of our salvation is concluded with the appearance of God among men in the human body. St. Meliton of Sardis writes: "The works of Christ, following His baptism, manifested and proved to the world that in His body, His divinity was hidden. Being God, He was also perfect man. He revealed to us His two natures. Divinity, by His miracles performed throughout the three years following His baptism and, His humanity, throughout those years when the weakness of the flesh hid the signs of His divinity, even though He was truly the Eternal God." The manner of the union of divinity with humanity is difficult to comprehend but the event of the appearance of God as a man among men is perfectly comprehensible from the concept of the love of God for man. Not even the creation of the world, as an event, is more comprehensible; one can say even less comprehensible--than the event above the events: the Incarnation of God.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"The Prologue from Ochrid"

Monday, January 19, 2009

God the Word

“God the Word appeared in the flesh to the human race” — is the center of the commemorations of the present feast day. The incarnate Son of God, of Whose birth, when He was born, only a very few knew, “appeared to the human race”; for His baptism is, as it were, His solemn inauguration of His ministry, which He then performed after that until His death and resurrection. But at the very same time, the fact that precisely on this feast “the worship of the Trinity was made manifest,” as is sung in its troparion, is characteristic of today’s feast. All three Persons of the Holy Trinity appeared for the first time in their separateness, which is also why this feast is called “the feast of the holy Theophanies.” Men heard the voice of God the Father: “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (on Whom My favor rests); the Son of God accepted baptism from John (moreover, we know from the Gospel that John the Baptist was, as it were, at a loss when the Savior of the world came to him, and he attempted to restrain Him); and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended from the Father on the Son. In this way, “the worship of the Trinity was made manifest” for the first time, which is why the Church sings thus in the troparion, and why she also calls this feast “the feast of the holy Theophanies.” Christ the Savior appeared in order to begin His saving ministry.


St. Philaret the New Confessor of New York

Prayer with Faith

Those who touched the Saviour's garment were made whole. Why is it that those who employ holy water with faith are even now healed? Because the Cross, immersed in water, with the prayer of faith, is as though the Life-giving Lord Himself. As the Saviour's garments were penetrated with His life, so also the water, in which the life-giving Cross is immersed, is itself penetrated with life, and thus becomes healing.


St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Christian Life

Bear this in mind: the Christian life is an unending spiritual fight.


St. Macarius of Optina

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christ's Arrival

Christ came because of: (1) God's love towards the human race: "For so God loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16); (2) the restoration of the image and likeness of God in fallen man; (3) the salvation of human souls: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17).
And so, we, following the goals of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, must lead our lives according to His Godly teaching, in order to save our souls by it.


St. Seraphim of Sarov

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Day is Done

When day is done, let us give thanks both for what we have received throughout the day, and for what we have done rightly; and let us make confession of what we have not done, and of every sin, voluntary, or involuntary or even hidden from us, in word or in deed and even in our heart, that we may bring upon us God's mercy for all of them. For to examine ourselves upon what we have done is a great help against falling into the same sins again. Because of this Scripture says: The things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds (Ps. 4:5).



St. Basil the Great
"Christian Labor"

Fruits of Virtue

If we do not find within us rich fruits of love, peace, joy, moderation, humility, simplicity, uprightness, faith and patience, all our work is in vain, points out St. Macarius of Egypt. The work is carried on for the sake of the harvest, but the harvest is the Lord's.


Tito Colliander
"Way of the Ascetics"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Praying

When praying, we must remember that we are members one of another, and therefore that we must pray for all, as the prayer "Our Father . . "
teaches us. The Apostles and all the saints are examples of this. If we remember this, and pray for others, then the holy angels will also pray for us, as members of the one Kingdom of Christ, of the one Church, of one body. "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:2).



St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wisdom of God

The wisdom of God is proclaimed most loudly and clearly in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In His Person, the wisdom of God was proclaimed in the flesh and shown forth to men in its wonderful strength and beauty. This wisdom of God does not speak through creation or through man, but itself speaks of itself, personally and without intermediary. The Lord filled the whole world with His wisdom through His holy Church, so that one can say that today, as nineteen hundred years ago in Palestine, He, through the ministers of the word, cries without in the fields and in the streets, in the greatest throngs of people, throughout the whole of every city, and before every door.
Oh, my brethren, let us open the doors of our souls to the wisdom of God, incarnate in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"The Prologue from Ochrid"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Birth - Cause for Joy

Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness. No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God's wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its Creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God's goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?



St. Leo the Great

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Humbleness

...Because the shepherds are persons of humble state, do not esteem lightly the testimony of their faith. For the more humble the testimony appears to human wisdom, the more precious is it to the eyes of faith. For the Lord did not seek out the schools of learning, filled with the wise, but the simple people, who would not know how to twist, to color, what they learned; for He sought not ambition, it was simplicity He looked for.



St. Ambrose of Milan

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christ is Born


The wall that separated heaven and earth is destroyed; the sword that barred the way to the tree of life disappears. Unto man that had sinned comes his Creator, calling him into His embrace! By the mouths of the apostles, the Holy Spirit cries out: "In Christ, be ye reconciled to God." You that had sinned came not to God, but the Son of God, before Whom you sinned, came to you! He calls everyone to Himself; He gives forgiveness to everyone who merely thirsts for this. For without the desire of man himself, without at least his little effort, God's peace cannot settle in him. The Lord forces no one to come to Him, but calls everyone: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Come all ye who are heavy laden with sins, who are exhausted from your labors and who do not find rest! You shall find that inner peace, which you will find nothing on earth more desirable than. The soul will feel unearthly peace and joy.

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shepherds' Song

I behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherds' song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.



St. John Chrysostom

Monday, January 5, 2009

Diligence Towards God

Land cannot make a farmer wealthy merely by yielding the equivalent to the grain which he has sown, or even by adding to it slightly; it can do so only by multiplying it. Similarly, the achievements of one engaged in ascetic practice cannot make him righteous unless his diligence towards God exceeds his natural propensity.




Elias the Presbyter
"The Philokalia"

Devout Soul

The devout soul, even if it practises all the virtues, ascribes everything to God and nothing to itself.

St. Macarius of Egypt

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Glory from God

He who seeks glory from men travels by the path of pride, but he who seeks glory from God travels the path of humility. God's saints were the most humble of His servants. The most holy Mother of God is marked out by her very humility. Her being chosen to be the Mother of God is attributed to her great humility: 'For He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden'. But the humblest of the humble was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the foundation of all ascetic endeavour. In His earthly life, humility always precedes glory. And, my brethren, it must be the same in our lives if we desire true glory; because, if humility does not precede glory, glory will never come.


Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"The Prologue from Ochrid"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Prayer

Man is created for prayer just as he is created to speak and to think.




Tito Colliander
"Way of the Ascetics"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mediation

If we sinners pray and make supplications to the Lord for ourselves and others; if, when living upon the earth, the saints pray for others and ask God for what is needful for them, then much more will they do so when they are transplanted to eternity and are face to face with God. By virtue of the great mediatory sacrifice of the Son of God, the prayers of the saints, especially those of His most pure Mother, possess, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the power of mediation. This is the Lord's recompense for the merits of the saints.





St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"