What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit

What is the fruit of the spirit? St. Paul tells us: "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another" (Galatians 5:22-26).
What exactness of words, what harmony of teaching! He places love first; then enumerates what follows. He establishes what is the root; then he shows us the fruit. He lays the foundation; and on it He builds the edifice. He begins with the source; and then goes on to the streams flowing from it. For the foundation cannot be laid for joy, if we place our own health and happiness above that of others, our own welfare over that of our neighbor's. We can have no joy until the rule of love prevails. Love is the root, the fount, the mother of all good. As a root it sends forth countless branches of virtues, as a fount it gives birth to many streams, as a mother it embraces all those who have recourse to it. And the blessed Paul understood this clearly, when he said: "Love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10). Indeed the Lord of all has told us what is the only sure indication of a man's being His disciple: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).




St. John Chrysostom

Edifying Words

Edifying words, the writings of the Holy Fathers, prayers, and especially the words of the Word Himself, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, are indeed living water; water runs, and the words flow like water, water refreshes and gives life to the body, and edifying words animate the soul, filling it with peace and joy, or with compunction and contrition for sin.





St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Will of God

He who does something good and expects a reward is serving not God but his own will. St. Mark the Ascetic

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pray Simply

Pray simply. Do not expect to find in your heart any remarkable gift of prayer. Consider yourself unworthy of it. Then you will find peace. Use the empty cold dryness of your prayer as food for your humility. Repeat constantly: I am not worthy! But say it calmly, without agitation. This humble prayer, unlike the sweet one you delight in, will be acceptable to God.



St. Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Desire/Continence

Desire means that the soul is sick, while continence means the soul is healthy.




St. Basil the Graet
"A Letter to Urbicius, a monk"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Contrition

Lo, the rain nourishes the plants and the trees are crowned with diverse flowers. May the dew of Thy grace also enlighten my mind and may it adorn my heart with the flowers of contrition, humility, love and patience.





St. Ephraim the Syrian
"A Spiritual Psalter"

God Knows What Is Best

You call yourself a sinner, but in effect you show that you do not feel yourself to be one. A man, who admits himself to be a sinner and the cause of many evils, disagrees with no one, quarrels with no one, is not wroth with anyone, but considers every man better and wiser than himself. If you are a sinner, why do you reproach your neighbor and accuse him of bringing afflictions upon you? It seems that you and I are as yet far from regarding ourselves as sinners. Look brother, how base we are: we speak with our lips only; our actions show something different. Why, when we oppose thoughts, do we not receive the strength to repulse them? Because, previously, we have surrendered to criticizing our neighbor and this has weakened our spiritual strength. So we accuse our brother, being ourselves guilty. Put all your thoughts in the Lord, saying: God knows what is best, and you will be at peace and, little by little, will be given the strength to endure.




St's. Barsanuphrius and John

Friday, February 20, 2009

Avarice

Be especially meek and patient in sickness and in other various unfavourable circumstances; for, spoiled by health, plenty, happiness, and peace, we are then particularly apt to become irritable. Happy are those of us who do not passionately attach themselves to anything, for they are not bound by avarice.




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life In Christ"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Calling Upon the Saints

If we call upon the saints with faith and love, then they will immediately hear us. The faith is the connecting element on our part, and love on theirs, as well as ours; for they are in God, and we are in God, Who is Love.




St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vainglory

Flee vainglory, and you will be glorified; fear pride, and you will be magnified.




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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Confession

...A correct confession without any good deeds will not be able to put you in God's presence. Both must be united for the human and the Divine to be as one and our life not to be crippled by deficiency. Faith will save us provided, as the Apostle says: 'It is revealed in our acts of charity."



St. Basil the Great
"Letter to some monks"
(Gateway to Paradise)

The Almsgiver

The almsgiver is a harbor for those in necessity: a harbor receives all who have encountered shipwreck, and frees them from danger; whether they are bad or good or whatever they are who are in danger, it escorts them into its own shelter. So you likewise, when you see on earth the man who has encountered the shipwreck of poverty, do not judge him, do not seek an account of his life, but free him from his misfortune.




St. John Chrysostom
"On Wealth and Poverty"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Enemy Never Sleeps

When you are well satisfied, and consider yourself to be enjoying much grace, beware: the enemy never sleeps, and humility is the only weapon that shatters him.




St. Macarius of Optina

Friday, February 13, 2009

Divine Faculty

When God made human beings, he put in them a kind of divine faculty, more alive and splendid than a spark, to illuminate the spirit and show it the difference between good and evil. It is the conscience with that law which is part of its nature.





St. Dorotheos of Gaza

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our Love of God

Our love of God finds expression in our love of men. And even when men hate us we should thank them for it, because they are often the tools of our correction.




St. Macarius of Optina

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Willing Spirit

And so, my friends, accept whatever the Lord sends with a willing spirit and do not groan at what is imposed on you, for why should you feel joy at being part of a crowd or pain at being excluded from it? Rather we should do everything to ensure that we are not excluded from the city of God.



St. Basil the Great
"Cleansing the Soul" (Gateway to Paradise)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Repentance and Virtue

Repentance is the second grace and is begotten in the heart by faith and fear. Fear is the paternal rod which guides our way until we reach the spiritual paradise of good things. When we have attained thereto, it leaves us and turns back.




St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies"




Like a man who walks with a candlestick and gives light to those who are with him, so does virtue, which always carries glory with it, also give light.



St. Ephraim the Syrian
"A Spiritual Psalter"

Blood of the Lord

This blood makes the image of our King bloom in us; it produces an inconceivable beauty; it does not permit the nobility of the soul to fade, since it waters and nourishes without ceasing. The blood which we form from food is not blood immediately, but it goes through some other stage first. It is not so with this blood, for it at once waters the soul and creates a certain power in it. This blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them far from us, and summons to us the angels and the Lord of Angels. Where they see the blood of the Lord, demons flee, but angels gather. This blood, poured out, has cleansed the whole world.




St. John Chrysostom

Monday, February 9, 2009

Virtue/Mercy

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.




St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spirit

I opened my mouth, and drew in the Spirit, and I give myself and my all to the Spirit, my action and speech, my inaction and silence, only let Him hold me and guide me, and move both hand and mind and tongue whither it is right, and He wills: and restrain them as it is right and expedient. I am an instrument of God, a rational instrument, an instrument tuned and struck by that skilful artist, the Spirit.



St. Gregory the Theologian
Oration 12

Reap What You Sow

Whatever you sow in cultivated ground, you reap the same. If you plant fruit trees, or sow wheat, barley or some other useful crop, the earth brings them forth and they grow and are fruitful. But if the land is left untilled and unsown, it sprouts useless plants, mostly the thorns and thistles mentioned in the curse pronounced against us (Gen. 3:18). Even if a tree happens to grow, it will probably have no fruit, be useless and full of thorns. It is the same with the soul. Whatever attitudes you instil in it, you will receive the same back. If you keep company with good people, listen to spiritual teaching and follow it, putting its precepts into practice, your soul cultivates virtues and becomes useful to God, to others, and to yourself. But if you delight in bad company and do not heed spiritual teaching, or even regard it as trivial, your soul turns wild and out of control, sprouts evil passions, and yields the stings and thorns of its own and the body's death, sins.





St. Gregory Palamas
"On Virtues and their Opposite Passions"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Work

It is the will of the Creator who sent us into this world that we work as long as we are in this world. The Lord Jesus Himself commanded: "Work; Keep Watch!" He praises those who multiply their given talents and condemns the slothful who bury their talents. He calls His time on earth, service and says that He did not come to be served but to serve. He uses as an example His Heavenly Father and says: "My Father works even until now, and I work" (St. John 5:17). He commands His disciples: "Work while you still have light."
O what a terrible shame for man when an ant, an irrational creature, is used to emphasize an example of diligence. But when man does not know how to look up to the diligence of God, it is necessary to direct him, at least, to emulate the ant. An ant works all summer and prepares food for itself for winter. Brethren, do we also prepare winter stores that we will open and display after death? O, may we not come with empty hands before Him Who, with full hands, gives to us as long as we are in this life.
Slothfulness is one of the deadly sins for it deadens the soul in man. A slothful soul is the nest of vices; the slothful soul is the habitation of the devils.



Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Prologue from Ochrid"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

St. Maximos

The heretics often went from urging and appealing Maximos, to threatening, abusing and beating him. Venerable Maximos was sent into exile several times and called back to Constantinople each time. On one occasion, St. Maximos was called back, and the imperial grandees, Troilus and Sergius, subjected him yet again to interrogation. They began to accuse St. Maximos of pride for esteeming himself as the only Orthodox who would be saved and for considering all others to be heretics who would perish.
To this the saint replied, "When all the people in Babylon were worshipping the golden idol, the Three Holy Youths did not condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves with what others were doing, but took care only for themselves, so as not to fall away from true piety. In precisely the same way, Daniel also, when cast into the den, did not condemn any of those who, in fulfilling the law of Darius, did not want to pray to God; but he bore in mind his duty, and desired rather to die than to sin and be tormented by his conscience for transgressing God's Law. God forbid that I, too, should condemn anyone, or say that I alone am being saved. However, I would sooner agree to die than, having apostatized in any way from the right faith, endure the torments of my conscience."



from the life of St. Maximos the Confessor

The Church

They think that when they enter in here [the church], that they enter into our presence [the clergy], they think that they hear from us. They do not lay to heart, they do not consider that they are entering the presence of God, that it is He who addresses them. For when the Reader standing up says "Thus says the Lord", and the Deacon stands and imposes silence on all, he does not say this as doing honor to the Reader but to honor Him who speaks to all through him [the Reader]. If they knew that it was God who through His prophet speaks these things, they would cast away all their pride. For if rulers are addressing them, they do not allow their minds to wander, much else would they when God is speaking. We are ministers, beloved. We speak not our own things, but the things of God. Letters coming from heaven are read every day.. These letters are sent from God; therefore let us enter with becoming reverence into the churches and let us hearken with fear to the things here said.

St John Chrysostom Homily. IX On Thessalonians

Monday, February 2, 2009

Charity and Temperance

If you have received from God the gift of knowledge, however limited, beware of neglecting charity and temperance. They are virtues which radically purify the soul from passions and so open the way of knowledge continually.


St. Maximus the Confessor
"Centuries on Charity"

Divine Obedience

Divine obedience is something so necessary for the true pleasing of God, that without it it is not at all possible to please God.



St. Paisius Velichkovsky
"Letter to Mother Maria Petrovna Protasieva"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Salvation

We cannot be saved by seeking just our own individual salvation; we need to look first to the good of others.




St. John Chrysostom
"On the Gospel of St. Matthew"