What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Compassion

...There lived, in that place a certain monk of very venerable life named Martyrius, who on one occasion went to visit another monastery, ruled over by a holy abbot. And on his way he met a certain leper, whose members were all afflicted with elephantiasis, who was trying to return to his dwelling, but could not through weakness. His house, he said, was on the road along which Martyrius was going. The man of God had compassion on the weakness of the poor leper, and so he spread his own cloak upon the ground, and, placing the leper upon it, wrapped him securely in his cloak, and lifting him upon his shoulders brought him along with him. And when they drew near the monastery gates the abbot of the monastery began to cry out with a great voice: 'Hurry, hurry, run quickly and open the gates. Brother Martyrius is coming, and bringing the Lord with him.' As soon as Martyrius reached the entrance to the monastery, the man he thought was a leper leaped down from his shoulders, and Jesus Christ, True God and true man, appearing in that form in which the Redeemer of mankind was known to men, returned to heaven before the eyes of Martyrius. And as He was ascending He said to him: 'Martyrius, you were not ashamed of me on earth; I shall not be ashamed of you in heaven.' And when the holy man went into the monastery the abbot said to him: 'Brother Martyrius, where is He you were carrying?' Martyrius answered: 'Had I known Who it was I would have held Him by the feet.' Then he told them that while he was carrying Him he had felt no weight. And it is not to be wondered at that he could not feel His weight Who upheld him who was carrying Him. And from this account we should reflect upon the power of fraternal compassion, and on how closely the inward mercy of the heart unites us to Almighty God. For we then draw near to Him Who is above all things, when through compassion for our neighbour we renounce even our own selves.

St. Gregory the Great
"The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

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

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 curiousity at evil pleasures, 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 favour to himself, and attain to eternal mercy and God's everlasting blessing and grace.

St. Gregory Palamas
"Homily on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul"

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Struggle

...If you should fall short in something, reproach yourself, and the Lord will receive even this in the place of struggle. That is why Pimen the Great said, "Self-reproach is the easiest virtue." And Isaac the Syrian says, "Humility, even without works, can save a man"...

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

Icons

"The Lord keeps" not only "all the bones," (Ps. 24: 20) but also the images of the saints, not allowing them to perish through corruption, through carelessness and neglect, but miraculously recovering them, as we know from descriptions of the appearances of thaumaturgical icons, especially of that of the most pure Mother of God - our Lady. So dear to God is the image of man, especially that of a holy man, as a vessel of grace. Through such images He works miracles and bestows invisible powers of healing and consolation.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Seeking the Lost

The race of man wandered upon the face of the earth; it had slipped away from the hand of the Supreme Shepherd. Because of this He came to us Who feeds His heavenly flocks above, that He might lead us also into His fold, that He might unite us to those who had not wandered, that He might drive away the wild beast that works evil, and frustrate the unholy robber band of the unclean spirits of evil. He came therefore seeking the one that was lost...

St. Cyril of Alexandria
"The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trials

Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in a furnace, and make trial of us through patience, or the very prosperity of our lives will oftentimes, for many, be itself an occasion of trial and temptation.

St. Basil the Great
"I Will Pull Down My Barns"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guard Against Passions

Nothing is better for rendering the heart penitent and the soul humble than wise solitude and complete silence. Nothing has a greater power of disturbing the state of silence, and of depriving it of God's help, than the following principal passions: presumptuousness, gluttony, talkativeness and vain cares, arrogance and the mistress of all passions - self-regard. Whoever readily permits himself to acquire the habit of these passions will become, in the course of time, more and more shrouded in darkness, until finally he is completely deadened. If, however, he comes to himself and begins to practise the necessary observances with faith and zeal, he will once more obtain what he seeks, especially if he seeks it with humility.

St. Gregory of Sinai
"Texts on Commandments and Dogmas"

Prepare Your House

May the Lord Jesus, Who said: 'Ask, and ye shall receive' (John 16:24), grant all your requests. Only prepare your house, and sweep it thoroughly to receive the Divine gifts. They remain secure only in a house swept clean, and exude their sweet scent only where there is no impurity.

St. Barsanuphius and St. John
"Directions in Spiritual Work"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

He Waits

He Who before our offence forbids us to sin, after our offense ceases not from waiting for us to repent. He Whom we have rejected calls after us. We have turned away from Him, but He has not turned from us.

St. Gregory the Great
"The Angelic Choirs"

Fountain of Mercy

If you desire that God should rain upon you from as it were the fountains of His mercy, let you also have a fountain.

St. John Chrysostom
"The Fountain of Alms"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drawing Near To God

"As an ill-natured man, coming with a request to one who is kind, gentle and meek, for the greater success of his request tries to resemble him, so the Christian, approaching God with a prayer to Him, or to His most pure Mother, or to the angels and saints, in order to insure the success of his prayer, ought to try to resemble as far as possible the Lord Himself, or His most pure Mother, or the angels and saints. In this lies the secret of drawing near to God, and of His speedily hearing our prayers.




St. John of Kronstadt
'My Life in Christ'"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Guidance and Protection

...Beware you do not blindly insist that things must work out according to what you consider to be right and good. God sometimes does permit such blind insistence to be followed by the fulfillment of our ardent desires. This always leads to misery and disaster (intended to open our eyes on our folly), and happens particularly often when our desires are founded on wild passions. Pray to our Lord for guidance, and to His Holy Mother for special protection.

Staretz Macarius of Optina
"Russian Letters of Direction"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One God

There is only one God of my heart, my Lord and my God, and He is everything to me, as He is also everything to the whole world, visible and invisible, which was created by Him from nothing. Therefore, I ought not to cling to anything but to my God; I ought to part from everything that I have without regret, as from the dust which we trample under feet, and ought only to have in my heart love for God, and my brethren who are received in Christ into union with the Divine nature. "Ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (Peter i, 4). "Now are we the sons of God." (I Cor. x. 17). Whilst malice is the child of the Devil, may it never, neither pride, nor self-exaltation, and envy, touch our heart, even for a single moment!

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Gifts for Disciples

...These gifts set before us do not come from human power. He Who then made them at that Supper, the Same now makes what is here before us. We who minister, hold but the place of servants; it is He who consecrates, He who changes them. Therefore, let there be no Judas present; no lover of silver. If there be any one who is not a disciple, let him withdraw; the Table does not receive such as these.

St. John Chrysostom
"The Eucharist the Memorial of Christ's Passion"

Salvation

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Afflictions

Every affliction tests our will, showing whether it is inclined to good or evil. This is why an unforseen affliction is called a test, because it enables a man to test his hidden desires.

St. Mark the Ascetic

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Christian

A Christian was I born, a Christian shall I die.

St. John the Russian
(To his Muslim captors)

All Pervasive

By a single infinitely powerful act of will, God in His goodness will gather all together, angels and men, the good and the evil. But, although God pervades all things absolutely, not all will participate in Him equally: they will participate in Him according to what they are.

St. Maximos the Confessor
"The Philokalia"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Holy Spirit

Everything that breathes, breathes by air and cannot live without air; similarly all reasonable free creatures live by the Holy Spirit, as though by air, and cannot live without Him. "Every soul is quickened by the Holy Spirit." Recognise that the Holy Spirit stands in the same relation to your soul as air stands in relation to your body.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pentecost

All came to pass as it had been foretold. The Holy Spirit was promised, and the Holy Spirit came.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homily on Pentecost"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Unity

Take away a ray of light from the body of the sun, its unity does not take on any division of its light; break a branch from a tree, the branch thus broken will not be able to bud; cut off a stream from its source, the stream thus off dries up. Thus too the Church bathed in the light of the Lord projects its rays over the whole world, yet there is one light which is diffused everywhere, and the unity of the body is not separated. She extends her branches over the whole earth in fruitful abundance; she extends her richly flowing streams far and wide; yet her head is One, and her source is One, and she is the one mother copious in the results of her fruitfulness. By her womb we are born, by her milk we are nourished; by her spirit we are animated.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Desire Nothing

Paissy the Great, having lost his temper, begged the Lord to deliver him from irritability. The Lord appeared to him and said, 'Paissy, if thou dost not wish to get angry, desire nothing, neither criticize nor hate any man, and thou wilt have no anger.' Thus every one who renounces his own will before God and other people will always be at peace in his soul; but the man who likes to have his own way will never know peace.

Staretz Silouan
"Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Anything Good

Christ does not demand anything from you to give you His holy gifts other than to acknowledge that anything good you happen to have belongs to Him.

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

Purpose

Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God…

St. Mark the Ascetic

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Comforter

The Saviour and the Comforter, two Persons of the Godhead: the One ever saves from sins, and the Other comforts him who is saved. Their very names are taken from their deeds, and are always actually justified. He comforts! The Holy Spirit comforts the believing soul, as a mother comforts her child.

St. John of Kronstadt
"My Life in Christ"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Patience and Humility

...In proportion to your humility you are given patience in your woes; and in proportion to your patience the burden of your afflictions is made lighter and you will find consolation; in proportion to your consolation, your love of God increases; and in proportion to your love, your joy in the Holy Spirit is magnified. Once men have truly become His sons, our tenderly compassionate Father does not take away their temptations from them when it is His pleasure to 'make for them a way to escape' (1 Cor. 10:13), but instead He gives His sons patience in their trials. All these good things are given into the hand of their patience for the perfecting of their souls.

St. Isaac the Syrian
"Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Forty-Two)