What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

For God's Sake

An old man also said, "He who constraineth himself in everything, for God's sake, is a confessor." And again he said, "He who constraineth himself for the sake of the Son of God will not be forgotten by the Son of God," And he also said, "Him who hath made himself a fool for the sake of God, God will make him to be wise." "

The Paradise of the Fathers"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Serving the Sick

Serving the sick is one of the most powerful weapons for guarding one's purity.

St. Anatoly of Optina
"A Collection of Letters to Nuns"

Munificence of God

What is it we commemorate this day? It is the great and wondrous munificence of God, Dearly Beloved, which surpasses the power of human understanding, and is worthy of Him from Whom it proceeds. For this day all mankind was restored to God. This day the long warfare, the prolonged estrangement, was ended. This day a wondrous peace returned to us: a peace we had not expected. For who could have hoped that God would be reconciled to man? Not that the Lord is unmerciful, but because the servant was slothful and indifferent; not that the Lord was cruel and vindictive, but because His servant was ungrateful and unrepentant.

St. John Chrysostom
"Christ's Ascension Man's Exaltation"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Church

When swallows run short of food and the cold weather is coming, they set off to warm climes, where there is plenty of sun and food. One swallow flies ahead, testing the air and showing the way, and the rest of the flock follow after. When our souls run short of food in the material world, and when the cold of death draws near - oh, is there a swallow like that one, to take us to a warm place? Is there, oh, is there such a swallow? Outside the Christian Church, there is no-one who could give any sort of reliable answer to this. The Church alone knows, and knows with certainty. It has seen that part of Paradise for which our souls yearn in the frozen twilight of this earthly existance. It has also seen this blessed swallow, the first to fly to that yearned-for place, dispersing the darkness and cutting through the heavy atmosphere between earth and heaven with its powerful wings, opening the way to the flock behind it. Apart from this, the Church on earth can tell you of innumerable flocks of swallows that have followed the first Swallow and flown off with it to the blessed land, the land abounding with all good things - the land of eternal spring. You will see from this that, by this saving Swallow, I am thinking of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homily on the Ascension of the Lord"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fear of God

Without fear of God, beset by passions as we are, we cannot hope to accomplish God's will and train ourselves to love Him and our neighbor. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Prov. 14:27)

Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Humility

To learn Christ-like humility is a great good. Only to the humble does the Lord reveal Himself in the Holy Spirit, but if we do not humble ourselves we shall not see God. Humility is the light in which we may behold the Light which is God, as the Psalmist sang: 'In Thy light we shall see light.'

Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mt. Athos"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Paradise

I rejoice that you liked our Optina so much that it seemed like Paradise to you. However, our Paradise depends upon ourselves: be patient, humble yourself, and you will find Paradise within yourself. As one saint says, "Seek neither Rome nor Jerusalem, but rather make ready the house of your soul, and then not only Peter and Paul will come to you, but the Lord Himself with His Most Pure Mother and with a multitude of angels and saints."

St. Anatoly of Optina
"A Collection of Letters to Nuns"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Passions

According to the teaching of the Fathers, any impression which, touching the heart, fills it with a great agitation, must come from the region of the passions. Therefore impulses which spring from the heart should not be followed at once, but only after examination and fervent prayer. God preserve us from a blind heart! It is well known that passions do blind the heart and screen the shining sun of the mind that we should all strive to gaze at.

Starets Macarius of Optina

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prayer

It is a good thing to profit by the prayer of the saints; but when we also share in their efforts.

St. John Chrysostom
"On Prayer"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Watchfulness

Watchfulness helps a man more than works, and laxity harms him more than rest.

St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Fifty-One)

Freedom

Don't think for a minute that you came on your own: No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him (John 6:44). Freedom is given us by God, and on your part there was only free will. You merely did not resist when He, taking you by the hand, led you here. The Lord saves us; we don't save ourselves, but He, the Merciful One, saves us, in view of our desire for this.

Elder Barsanuphius of Optina

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Attention on the Holy

If you put something fragrant on to burning coals, you motivate those who approach to come back again and stay near, but if instead you put on something with an unpleasant, oppressive smell, you repel them and drive them away. It is the same with the mind. If your attention is occupied with what is holy, you make yourself worthy of being visited by God, since this is the sweet savour which God catches scent of.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homily on the Gospel concerning the Samaritan Woman"

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Holy Sacrament

What greatness is for a Christian, and above all for a Christian priest, that he becomes one with Christ and God the Saviour through the Holy Sacrament!

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Purification's Gifts

If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (Eph. 3:17), and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in Him (Col. 2:3), then all treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments.

St. Maximos the Confessor "The Philokalia"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All Encompassing Love

If anyone thinks that he has love but does not have the same love for all, but distinguishes between persons, separating the lowly from the rich, the infirm from the healthy, a sinner from a righteous man, one far off from one near, one who is an enemy from one who loves you, such love is not perfect, but partial. Actual and perfect love consists in considering everyone and loving them equally, both those who love you and those who hate you. Such love, with which mercy is inseparable, is, in brief, a net for all the virtues. It embraces and contains all the commandments of God within itself.

St. Paisius Velichkovsky
"Field Flowers"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Queen of Heaven

When you see an icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, turn your heart to Her, the Queen of heaven, and give thanks that She showed such readiness to submit to the will of God, to give birth, suckle and bring up the Saviour of the world and to be an unfailing protector and helper in our unseen warfare.

Lorenzo Scupoli, edited by Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain
"Unseen Warfare"

The Holy Spirit

Jesus tells us that His holy Disciples will be more courageous and more understanding when they would be, as the Scripture says, Endowed with power from on high (Luke 24:49), and that when their minds would be illuminated by the torch of the Spirit they would be able to see into all things, even though no longer able to question Him bodily present among them. The Saviour does not say that they would no longer as before need the light of His guidance, but that when they received His Spirit, when He was dwelling in their hearts, they would not be wanting in any good thing, and their minds would be filled with most perfect knowledge.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Whosoever Thirsteth..."

On Mid-Pentecost we hear the call of the Lord: "whosoever thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). If this is so, then let us all run to Him. Whatever you thirst for - so long as it is not contrary to the spirit of the Lord - you will find relief in Him. If you thirst for knowledge, run to the Lord, for He is the one and only light, enlightening every man. If you thirst for cleansing from sin and quenching of the flames of your conscience, run to the Lord, for He tore asunder the handwriting of our sins upon the Cross. If you thirst for peace in your heart, run to the Lord, for He is the treasury of all good, Whose abundance will teach you to forget all deprivations and despise all earthly good, so as to be filled with Him alone. If you need strength, He is almighty. If you need glory, His glory surpasses the world. If you desire freedom, He gives true freedom. He will resolve all of our doubts, loose the bonds of our passions, dispel all our troubles and difficulties, will enable us to overcome all obstacles, temptations and intrigues of the enemy, and will make smooth the path of our spiritual life. Let us all run to the Lord!On Mid-Pentecost we hear the call of the Lord: "whosoever thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). If this is so, then let us all run to Him. Whatever you thirst for - so long as it is not contrary to the spirit of the Lord - you will find relief in Him. If you thirst for knowledge, run to the Lord, for He is the one and only light, enlightening every man. If you thirst for cleansing from sin and quenching of the flames of your conscience, run to the Lord, for He tore asunder the handwriting of our sins upon the Cross. If you thirst for peace in your heart, run to the Lord, for He is the treasury of all good, Whose abundance will teach you to forget all deprivations and despise all earthly good, so as to be filled with Him alone. If you need strength, He is almighty. If you need glory, His glory surpasses the world. If you desire freedom, He gives true freedom. He will resolve all of our doubts, loose the bonds of our passions, dispel all our troubles and difficulties, will enable us to overcome all obstacles, temptations and intrigues of the enemy, and will make smooth the path of our spiritual life. Let us all run to the Lord!

St. Theophan the Recluse

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sacrifices

If God rejoiced simply in bloody sacrifices, this would imply that He is governed by passion and wishes those who offer sacrifice to Him to value the passions; for the sincere worshipper gladly rejoices in the same things as does the God whom he worships. But the sacrifices of which Scripture speaks are rather the slaughter of the passions and the offering up of our natural powers.


St. Maximos the Confessor
"The Philokalia"

Prayer

Prayer is not made perfect by uttering syllables, O Brethren, but in the purpose of the soul, and in the just actions of a lifetime.

St. Basil the Great

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Simplicity of Heart

It is impossible not to wonder at the simple-heartedness and indifference to earthly blessings of the Galilean fisherman, and at their absolute obedience to the voice of the Lord. A few words of the Saviour were enough; they left their nets, their sole wealth, their greatest treasure, and followed Him, without reasoning why and wherefore they went. What simplicity of heart! What detachment from earthly blessings! What child-like obedience! How easy is the access of the word of the Divine Messiah to simple hearts!


St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Interior Tranquility

Withdraw from multitudinous affairs and have your own conduct as your concern, so that your soul may be saved from any fragmentation of its interior tranquility.

St. Isaac the Syrian

Friday, May 8, 2009

Practiced Soldier

...For it is absolutely necessary for the grace of God to leave, once a tried struggler has acquired a good taste of it in the beginning, so that he may be tested and become a practiced soldier of Christ. And without such temptations, no one has ever ascended into perfection.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast
"Monastic Wisdom" (Chapter VII)

Healing Through Suffering

Blessed is the man who uses his sufferings, knowing that all suffering in this brief life is loosed on men by God in His love for mankind, for the benefit and assistance of men. In His mercy, God looses suffering on men because of their sins - by His mercy and not His justice.

...In place of death, God gives healing through suffering.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homilies" (The Gospel on the Miracle at Bethesda)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Soul's Virtues

Preserve the harmony of the soul's virtues, and it will bring forth the fruit of righteousness.

St. Thalassios
"The Philokalia"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

God's Unspeakable Mercies

Our life is an uninterrupted stream of God's unspeakable mercies; therefore, it should be continual thankfulness and praise to God the Creator and Benefactor; our love for God and our neighbor, God's image and our fellow-member should especially be constant. By loving our neighbor we love God; by respecting every man, we respect the image of God and ourselves; for our brother is another fifth, tenth, hundredth, thousandth, millionth repetition of ourselves. There are many leaves on a tree, but all are one tree; they live the same life, have the same origin, the same appearance, the same beginning, and the same end.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Soldier of God

...He who serves as a soldier of God, who, being stationed in the camp of heaven, already hopes for the divine things, ought to recognize himself, so that we should have no fear, no dread at the storms and whirlwinds of the world, since the Lord predicted that these things would come through the exhortation of His provident voice, instructing and teaching and preparing and strengthening the people of His church to all endurance of things to come. St. Cyprian of Carthage
"Treatises"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Patience

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

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

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mourners of the Dead

...Their poor ointments, with which they meant to preserve from corruption Him who Himself keeps the heavens from decay, and with which they desired to anoint Him from whom the heavens take their fragrance! O most fragrant Lord, the only fragrance of the human being and human history; how wondrously didst Thou reward these devoted and faithful souls who did not forget Thee dead in Thy tomb! Thou didst make the Myrrh-Bearing Women the bearers of the tidings of Thy Resurrection and Thy glory! They did not anoint Thy dead body, but Thou didst anoint their living souls with the oil of gladness. The mourners of the dead became the swallows of a new spring.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women"

The Christian Life

The perfection of the Christian life - and I mean that life which is the only one the name of Christ is used to designate - is that in which we participate not only by our mind and soul but in all the actions of our lives, so that our holiness may be complete, in accordance with the blessing pronounced by Paul, in our whole body and soul and spirit (1 Thess. 5-23), constantly guarded from all admixture with evil.

St. Gregory of Nyssa
"From Glory to Glory"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Deceiving the Deceiver

...This is how the deceiver was deceived. He attacked Christ's passible and mortal flesh, and unwittingly brought the light into his dark and terrible caverns and set the Giver of life over the souls he had tyrannized through spiritual death. Not just that, but he brought those who had died into contact with Christ's body which offered resurrection and immortality, while he was hastening to deliver it to death and the grave.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homilies"

The Saints

God's saints are great merchants, who have enriched themselves with all spiritual treasures, with all virtues: meekness, humility, abstinence, patience, great faith, hope, and love. This is why we ask their holy prayers, as poor men of rich, that they may help us in our spiritual poverty...

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"