What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Will of God

Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God, be it illness, poverty or persecution. He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us. The Holy Spirit, whom the soul knows, is witness thereof. But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will because they like their own way, and that is harmful for the soul.

Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thanks to God

When you awake from sleep in the morning, think to yourself, how it is God Who is granting you the day, when you could not possibly give it to yourself, and set aside the first hour, or at least the first quarter-hour of the day, that is being given to you, and offer it in sacrifice to God, in prayers of thanksgiving and petitions for good things. The more fervently you do this, the more you consecrate your day, the more firmly you guard yourself from the temptations that meet you every day. Likewise, when you go to sleep, think to yourself how it is God Who is granting you rest and dedicate it to God with pure and humble prayer. Its fragrance will bring an Angel close to you to guard over you.

Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

The Heavenly Country

O that we might all land happily on the shores of the heavenly country!

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Christ's Second Appearance

The Lord appeared this second time for Thomas' sake - for the sake of one man, one sinner. He who is surrounded by the angelic choirs that joyfully hail Him as Conqueror of death, leaves His heavenly flock and hastens to save one wandering sheep. Let all those who, coming to great glory and power in this world, forget their weak and humble friends and, with shame and scorn, draw back from them, be ashamed at His example. In His love for mankind, the Lord turned from no sort of humiliation or effort. In His love for mankind, He - glorified and almighty - came down a second time into one simple room in Jerusalem. Oh, that blessed room, out of which there poured more blessings on the human race that there could ever be from all the palaces of emperors!

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homilies"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Preservation of Peace

For the preservation of peace of soul one must more often enter into oneself and ask: where am I?

St. Seraphim of Sarov
"Little Russian Philokalia"

Sufferings and Misfortunes

...The company of saints brought bodily sufferings upon themselves. The martyrs made the violent death which others inflicted on them into something magnificent, because they exploited it in a good way that pleased God. That is why, when Christ had abolished death by His Resurrection, He still let it remain for His followers, along with this life's other misfortunes, so that Christians should be exercised by these means for the sake of truth in both their lives and beliefs, and be made ready through the New Covenant for the coming new age which will never grow old. For those who bear them with faith, these misfortunes serve to correct their sins, to exercise and test them, to lead them to abandon the wretchedness of this life, and to encourage them to long fervently and seek constantly for everlasting adoption as sons and redemption, the truly new life and blessedness.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Resurrection

By His Resurrection, Christ conquered sin and death, destroyed Satan's dark kingdom, freed the enslaved human race and broke the seal on the greatest mysteries of God and man.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spiritual Gifts

When you ask God for spiritual gifts - for instance, for wisdom, faith, hope and love, meekness and humility - then remember that you are the image and likeness of God, that your soul is as though an impression of the Godhead, and that all the riches of the soul are contained in God as in a treasury ("Treasury of Blessings"), from which we can draw every spiritual blessing by means of the prayer of faith and patience, and by cleansing ourselves from every impurity. Say to the Lord: "My limited spirit came forth from Thine unlimited , most perfect Spirit; here am I, my Master, poor in wisdom and understanding, or in faith, hope and love, meekness and humility: look upon the desire of my heart, and grant unto me Thy great wisdom, 'Faith unashamed, sure hope and love unfeigned.' "

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Victory of Christ

Who would not rejoice in the victory of Christ the Lord? He was not victorious for His own sake, but for ours. His victory did not make Him greater, or more alive, or richer, but it did us. His victory is not selfishness, but love, not grabbing but giving. Earthly conquerors take the victory; Christ is the only Conqueror that brings it.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"The Gospel on the Victor over Death"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christ is Risen!







Now is everything filled-full with light -- the heavens, the earth, and the underworld. All is presently bathed in light: Christ is risen from the dead. The heavens make merry, the earth rejoiceth, the underworld exulteth. The Angels in Heaven hymn Thy Resurrection, O Christ-Saviour. Do Thou make us, on earth, also worthy to glorify Thee with a pure heart.


Christ is Risen! Christos Voskrese! Christos Anesti!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It Is Finished.

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 4:34

It is finished.

John 19:30

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forgiveness and Mankind

...It was necessary that He, in Whom Divinity and humanity were hypostatically united, should in His holy, sinless humanity experience the full horror of the distancing of man from his Creator, of the split between sinful humanity and the source of holiness and light - God. The depth of the fall of mankind must have stood before His eyes at that moment; for man, who in paradise did not want to obey God and who listened to the devil's slander against Him, would now rise up against his Divine Savior, slander Him, and, having declared Him unworthy to live upon the earth, would hang Him on a tree between heaven and earth, thereby subjecting Him to the curse of the God-given law (Deut. 21:22-23). It was necessary that the sinless Righteous One, rejected by the sinful world for which and at the hands of which He was suffering, should forgive mankind this evil deed and turn to the Heavenly Father with a prayer that the Divine righteousness should forgive mankind, blinded by the devil, this rejection of its Creator and Savior. Such a holy prayer could not fail to be heard, such a power of love was bound to unite the source of love, God, with those who even now would feel this love, and, understanding how far the ways of men had departed from the ways of God, would manifest a strong determination to return to God the Father through the Creator's reception of human nature.

St. John Maximovitch
"What Did Christ Pray about in the Garden of Gethsemane?"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sins of Darkness

...The sins of darkness, therefore, assailed the true Light, and, for all their torches and lanterns, could not escape the night of their own unbelief, because they did not recognize the Fount of Light. They arrest Him, and He is ready to be seized; they lead Him away, and He is willing to be led; for though, if He had willed to resist, their wicked hands could have done Him no harm, yet thereby the world's redemption would have been impeded, and He, who was to die for all men's salvation, would have saved none at all.


St. Leo the Great
"Homily 59: On the Passion of Christ"

Crucifixion

It is finished.
Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ



John 19:30

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Souls of Believers

Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and came forth from the tomb, through the closed doors, and without injuring its seal. Likewise He was born of the most Pure Virgin, "leaving the portals of Her virginity unbroken by His birth." Thus also He enters into the souls of believers, through their bodies, passing through them invisibly, always freely. Thus also He enters into the houses of all, and no walls or locks can restrain Him Who is infinite and unlimited.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Adam's Pride

Adam became so proud that he wished to become God and died for his pride; the Son of God humbled Himself unto death, and gave life to the fallen. O abyss of humility! Adam and Eve lost themselves through gluttony, the Lord fasted and died for them, in order to give them life. They were disobedlient, Christ fulfilled obedience.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Who Asks...

Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience. For thus he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

St. John Climacus
"The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 28)

Humility

Receive everyone who comes to you, especially with a spiritual purpose, with a kind and cheerful aspect, although he or she may be a beggar, and humble yourself inwardly before everybody, counting yourself lower than he or she, for you are placed by Christ Himself to be the servant of all, and all are His members, although like you they bear the wounds of sin.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lazarus

`O Thy unspeakable compassion, all merciful Jesus! Who didst consent to come for me and to me, How didst Thou calmly ride upon the ass And advance into the city of God-slayers? Foreseeing their terrible lack of faith, Thou didst command them To release the bonds of Lazarus, that they might see The One whom in a short time they wish to put to death With no pity for The tears of Mary and Martha.


St. Romanos the Melodist
"Kontakion on the Raising of Lazarus"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Labor, Effort, Results

Our inner lives never get put into proper order all of a sudden. What is always required and what lies ahead is intensified labor over oneself, over one's inner self, by the assimilation of good intention and by the enabling of grace through the Mysteries. This labor and effort is directed toward destroying the disorder that reigns inside; in its place it establishes order and harmony, after which follows inner peace and a continual joyful mood of the heart.

St. Theophan the Recluse
"The Spiritual Life"

Spiritual Labors

Our own strong desire and intention, with God's cooperation, precede every spiritual labor, both visible and mental; for if the first has not paved the way, the second is apt not to follow.
St. John Climacus
"The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 26)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Annunciation

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35) How did the highly favoured Virgin, with her unrivalled and holy understanding, respond to these words? She ran to God and reached out to Him in prayer, saying to the Archangel, "If, as you tell me, the Holy Spirit shall come upon me, purifying my nature still further and strengthening me to receive the unborn Saviour; if the power of the Highest shall overshadow me, forming Him Who is in the form of God as man within me and bringing about a Birth without seed; if the holy Child which shall be born is to be the Son of God and God and the everlasting King, since with God nothing is impossible", "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38). And the angel departed from her, leaving the Maker of all united with a body within her womb. By means of this union, which was the object of his ministry, he had procured salvation for the world. Isaiah clearly revealed all this beforehand by what he was so blessed as to be counted worthy to experience. He did not see the Seraphim take the live coal directly off the heavenly, spiritual altar. The Seraphim took it with tongs, and it was by means of these that he touched the Prophet's lips to purify him (Isa. 6:5-7). The tongs were the same as the burning bush which was not consumed by the fire, in that great vision seen by Moses (Exod. 3:2-6). Surely it is obvious to anyone that the Virgin Mother is both the burning bush and the tongs. She conceived the divine fire within her and was not burnt, and an Archangel ministered at the conception, and through her the Bearer of the sins of the world was united with the human race, purifying us thoroughly by means of this indescribable bond. The Virgin Mother, and she alone, is the frontier between created and uncreated nature. All who know God will recognize her as the one who contained Him Who cannot be contained. All who sing hymns to God will praise her next after Him. She is the cause of the benefits which preceded her, the protectress of those which came after, and through her those good things which are eternal shall be received. She is the theme of the prophets, the first of the Apostles, the support of the martyrs, the dais of the teachers. She is the glory of those on earth, the delight of those in heaven, the adornment of all Creation. She is the beginning, fount and root of the hope stored up for us in heaven.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homily on the Annunciation"

God's Message to the Virgin

The message of God to the Virgin was a mystery so great that it must needs not be uttered by the mouth of man, but only by an Angel. For the first time on earth the words are spoken : The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. The holy maiden heareth, and believeth. At length she saith : Behold the handmaiden of the Lord ; be it unto me according to thy word. Here is an example of lowliness, here is a pattern of true devotion. At the very moment she is chosen to be the Mother of the Lord she declareth herself to be his handmaid. The knowledge that she was chosen to this high vocation wrought in Mary only an act of humility.

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Transgressions

Well, then, I beseech you, let each one of us, even if no one sees our deeds, enter into his own conscience, and set up his reason as judge, and bring to light his transgressions. And if he should not wish to become a spectacle in that fearful day, let him apply the remedy of repentance and let him thus heal his wounds. It is possible, it is possible for one replete with countless wounds to go away healed. 'For if you forgive,' He says, 'your offenses will be forgiven, but if you do not forgive, they will not be forgiven' (Matt. 6:14-15). Indeed, just as the sins forgiven in baptism do not still remain, so these also will vanish, if we wish to repent. Moreover, repentance consists in no longer doing the same things, for he who reverts to the same sins is like a dog returning to his vomit (Peter 2:21,22) and also like the person who, according to the proverb, cards wool into the fire or draws water into a container full of holes.

St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Iniquity

Iniquity dwells not in peace but with virtue.

St. Leo the Great

Friday, April 3, 2009

Repentance

Repentance raises the fallen, mourning knocks at the gate of Heaven, and holy humility opens it.

St. John Climacus
"The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 25)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beggars

Do not ever say: "These beggars annoy me!" So many millions of men live on earth and all are beggars before the Lord; emperors as well as laborers, the wealthy as well as servants, all are beggars before the Lord and the Lord never said: "These beggars annoy me!" O man, give thanksgiving to God that someone seeks something good from you, be it material, or spiritual! This means that you are a man of God's trust: God has entrusted some of His goods to you because all goods belong to God. Show yourself worthy of this trust, show yourself worthy in lesser things so that you may be entrusted with greater things.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Prologue from Ochrid"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beware the Passions

I am become my own idol, and have injured my soul with passions, O merciful Lord, but accept me in penitence and recall me to awareness of Thee. May I never be the possession or food of the enemy, O Saviour, have compassion on me.

St. Andrew of Crete
"The Great Canon" (Song 4)