What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Temptations

"As the eyelids come close to each other, even so are temptations close to men. But God has ordered these things with wisdom for your profit, so that you would knock persistently at His door, and that by your fear of what oppresses you the remembrance of Him would be sown in your mind, and you would draw near to Him through your entreaties, and your heart would be sanctified by constant remembrance of Him. When you pray, He will hearken to you.





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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Control Your Will

"In addition to training your mind to learn, you should also control your will, so as not to let it lean towards your own desires, but instead to lead it to be perfectly as one with the will of God. Moreover keep it firmly planted in your mind, that it is not enough for you merely to desire and seek to please God always and in everything; you must desire it as if moved by God Himself, and for one single aim - to please Him with a pure heart. To be firmly grounded in this aim, we have to endure a great struggle with our nature. For our nature is so accustomed to please itself, that it seeks its own comfort and pleasure in all its doings, even the most righteous and spiritual, and secetly and lustfully feeds on it as though it were food.




Lorenzo Scupoli
(edited by Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain)
'Unseen Warfare'"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Powers of the Soul

"It is through the measure in which we misuse the powers of the soul, namely its desire, emotion, reason, that the vices instill themselves: ignorance and folly in the reasoning faculty, hatred and debauchery in the desires and emotions. Their right use, on the contrary, produces right knowledge and prudence, charity and chastity.
Nothing that God created is in itself bad. Food is not bad, gluttony is; the procreation of children is not bad, lechery is; wealth is not bad, avarice is; glory is not bad, only vainglory is.
So you see nothing is bad in itself, only the misuse of it, which is the soul's negligence in cultivating its true nature.





St. Maximus the Confessor
'Centuries on Charity'"

Divine Subjects

"When our thoughts revolve around divine subjects and abide in God's truth, holding back and taking care of the desiring part of the soul and driving away the body's desires, carnal thoughts leave us. Then the grace of the Spirit takes possession of the quiet soul, and gives it a taste of the unspeakable good things to come, which no passionate and negligent eye has seen, nor ear hear, neither have entered into the heart of man (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9). This taste is the earnest of these good things, and the heart which accepts these pledges becomes spiritual and receives assurance of its salvation.





St. Gregory Palamas
'Homilies'"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Humility

"...The work of fulfilling the Commandments generates a state of humility.



Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
'Discourses amd Sayings'"

The Incarnate

"If man had not been created according to the image of God, the Lord would not have been incarnate of the most Holy Virgin.





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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Death

"...It does not depend on us whether we should be preserved from suffering wounds. To become either mortal or immortal depends on us, for if we do not despair we shall not die, 'death will have no dominion over us' (Rom. 6:9), but we shall always be strong if we flee in penitence to our all-powerful and gracious God.




St. Symeon the New Theologian
'The Discourses'"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Children of God

"Those who are privileged to become children of God and to have Christ shining forth within them are guided by varied and differing qualities of the Spirit, and are cherished by grace in the secret places of the heart. The seeming joys of the world are not to be compared with the experience of divine grace in the soul.





St. Makarios of Egypt
'The Philokalia'"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Patience and Thanksgiving

"The most important thing during illness is to offer to God patience and thanksgiving for His merciful visitations. Sickness purifies sins and gives one time to meditate on the past.




Staretz Macarius of Optina"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Patience and Humility

"One monk, a disciple of Fr. Leonid, came to him one evening when the brethren were visiting the staretz for the daily manifestation of thoughts. When everybody had left, he asked the staretz: 'I observed this evening how the brethren have been coming to you and how they have been received by you. One monk came before everybody but waited longer than anyone else and came to see you the last. Others, arriving, waited a little and then came to you and explained their cases. Some people did not want to wait at all but as soon as they arrived, they went forward and demanded to be received at once. Is there some difference?' 'There is a difference,' the staretz said, 'a big difference. Those who, coming to me, do not want to wait and try to come first of all, are unable to retain in their memory what I tell them. They ask again, and again forget. But those who come to ask my advice and wait with patience and humility, allowing all others to come before them, considering others better than themselves, keep my word firmly in their heart. They will remember as long as they live what I said.'




'Russian Mystics'
(The Startzy of Optina)"

Our Salvation

"...All of us Christians. while we are still alive, should be careful and attentive to our salvation.






Elder Ambrose of Optina"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Love Your Neighbor

"...Do not misunderstand me: I am not denigrating your rule of prayer, or your reading of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. I want to leave you quite free to continue these occupations or to modify them according to your own light. But do try to remember that love of the neighbor is the first work you must strive for. And you do not even have to leave your house to find that neighbor: your husband is that neighbor; your mother is that neighbor; and so are your children.




Starets Macarius of Optina
'Russian Letters of Direction'"

Meekness and Temperance

"...I sincerely desire with all my heart that you may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10), and not look for anything good to come of your own knowledge and strength. For the strength of God is made perfect in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9), that our hope may be in the Lord. Meekness and temperance, along with the patient endurance of tribulations, will bring God's blessing upon you, and according to the sure word of Christ, 'he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved' (Mark 13:13). I cast upon the Lord my heartfelt care for you according to my feeling and duty of brotherly and fatherly love, and I calm myself through hope in His salvation.





Elder Moses of Optina"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Jesus Prayer

"The Jesus Prayer has no limits. The mind, when it practices the reading of the Holy Scriptures, prayer, and similar things, is purified from the passions and is enlightened. But when it is immersed only in what is earthly it becomes incapable of understanding spiritual things.





Elder Barsanuphrius of Optina"

Friday, October 16, 2009

As a Wheel Turns

"We should live on the earth as a wheel turns - one point touches the earth, all the rest reaches upward...




Elder Ambrose of Optina"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Salvation

"Without winter there will be no spring, without spring there would be no summer. It is the same in the spiritual life: a little consolation and then a little affliction, and so, little by little, the path of salvation unfolds...





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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Lamp

"The soul of each of us is a lamp.




St. Symeon the New Theologian
'The Discourses'"

Icons

"The wonder-working icons of the Mother of God, and of other saints, teach us to look upon every icon as upon the saint himself or herself to whom we pray as living persons conversing with us, for they are as near, and still nearer to us than the icons, if only we pray to them with faith and sincerity. It is the same with the life-giving cross. Where the cross is, or the sign of the cross, there is Christ Himself, His power and His salvation...




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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mind on Church

"....It reminded me of that priest, or rather that saint, who saw a vision when the priest was censing. Some who were sitting in their stall he did not cense, while others who were away doing an obedience - their stall was empty - he did cense, because their mind was in church. Whereas the others, who were thinking worldly things, were not there.





Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom' (Fifty-eighth Letter)"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reception of Spiritual Joys

"When a valve of the heart closes to the receptivity of worldly enjoyments, another valve opens for the reception of spiritual joys.





Elder Barsanuphius of Optina"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Compunction

"An attentive life leads to compunction; while compunction, especially when accompanied by tears, procures an increased attention that is the gift of grace.




Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
'The Arena'"

Grace

"I assure you that even the Apostles, though they had the Comforter, were not entirely without anxiety. With joy and gladness they had fear and trembling, proceeding from grace itself, not from the side of evil; but the same grace secured them, that they might not swerve, though it were but a little.





St. Macarius the Great
'Spiritual Homilies' (Homily 17)"

Inward Intentions

"When we fulfil the commandments in our outward actions, we receive from the Lord what is appropriate; but any real benefit we gain depends on our inward intention.




St. Mark the Ascetic
'On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts'
(The Philokalia)"

True Orthodox Christian

"It is important to know and to remember that a true Orthodox Christian is not someone who just accepts the dogmas of Orthodoxy formally, but a person who, as our great Russian hierarch St. Tikhon of Zadonsk taught so beautifully, thinks in an Orthodox way, feels in an Orthodox way, and lives in an Orthodox way, incarnating the spirit of Orthodoxy in his life.




Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery
'Are the Terms 'Christian' and 'Orthodox' Accurate in our Times?'"

Evil and Faults

"Evil is corrected by good; faults by love, kindness, meekness, humility and patience.




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

Valleys

"Know, beloved, that the valleys shall abound with wheat and spiritual fruit. This valley is a soul low and humble among the mountains, that is, it is filled with labours and virtues, and always remains unhaughty and steadfast.






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

Contrition

"...The deeper the contrition, the better. But however deep the contrition, never admit a shadow of doubt about forgiveness. Forgiveness is already fully prepared and the record of all sins has been torn up on the Cross. Repentance and contrition alone are expected of every man, before he too can participate in the power of the redemption of the sins of the world through the Crucifixion. Trusting in this, prostrate yourself in body and soul and cry: 'Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving-kindness' (Ps. li. 1) and do not cease to cry thus, until you feel yourself together guilty and forgiven, so that guilt and forgiveness merge into one feeling.



Lorenzo Scupoli
(Edited by Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain)
'Unseen Warfare'"

Fleeting Shadows

"Look upon everything in this world as upon a fleeting shadow, and do not cling with your heart to anything; do not consider anything in this world great, and do not lay your hopes upon anything earthly. Cling to the One imperishable, invisible, most wise God. 'While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.' (2 Cor. 4:18).



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

Peace

"Show patience, and there will be peace.





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

The Cross and the Eternal

"...For the Cross of the Lord, an instrument of torture in the intention of the Jews, is become glorious in the might of the Crucified. The multitude raged against one man; Christ had compassion on all men. What was inflicted through cruelty was suffered by majesty: so that in the permitting of the evil deed, the purpose of the eternal will might be accomplished.





St. Leo the Great
'On the Passion of our Lord'"

Salvation, The Cross, and Forgiveness

"By the Cross, the Son of God having become man, accomplished our salvation. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross (Phil. 2:8). Having stretched out His hands upon the Cross, the Saviour with them, as it were, embraced the world, and by His blood shed on it, like a king with red ink, He signed forgiveness of the human race.




St. John Maximovitch
'The Cross, Preserver of the Universe'"

Power of the Cross

"The Cross of Christ was mysteriously proclaimed in advance and foreshadowed from generations of old and no one was ever reconciled with God except by the power of the Cross.





St. Gregory Palamas
Homily: 'On the Precious and Life-Giving Cross'"

Human Nature

"...God adorned human nature in this way because He was going to clothe Himself in it. He was to assume it from the blood of the Virgin, transform it into something better, and set it on high above all principality and power...




St. Gregory Palamas
'Homilies'"

Falling Away

"The essence of sin consists not in the infringement of ethical standards but in a falling away from the divine erternal life for which man was made and to which, by his very nature, he is called.





St. Silouan of Mt. Athos"

Afflictions

"If you are a good Christian, you should be pleased if you suffer troubles, since you will become more worthy. And if you are a sinner, you should be pleased if you are afflicted, for in this way you will be cleansed of your sins and will find consolation in the time to come. Afflictions offers benefits in each case...




St. Basil the Great
'Gateway to Paradise'"

Patience

"When patience greatly increases in our soul, it is a sign that we have secretly received the grace of consolation. The power of patience is stronger than the joyful thoughts that descend into the heart.





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

Fasting

"The heart cannot remain firm in purity, so as not to be defiled, if it will not be crushed by fasting. It is impossible also to preserve holiness without fasting, and the flesh will not submit to the spirit for spiritual activity, and prayer itself will not rise up and act because natural needs predominate. And the flesh will be compelled to become feverish. And from thoughts the heart is aroused and is defiled, and through this, grace departs, and the unclean spirits have boldness to rule over us as much as they wish.



St. Paisius Velichkovsky
'Field Flowers'"

Stem Of Jesse

"Today, as prophesied, out of the 'stem of Jesse' a rod has come forth (cf. Isa. 11:1), from which a flower has grown which knows no wilting. This rod recalls our human nature, which had withered and fallen away from the unfading garden of delight, makes it bloom again, grants it to flourish for ever, brings it up to heaven, and leads it into paradise.





St. Gregory Palamas
'Homily on the Nativity of the Theotokos'"

Baptized

"As we have learned from the Lord, so are we baptized; we are baptized as we believe; and as we believe, we glorify God....





St. Basil the Great
'Letter to Evaisenians'
(The Fathers Speak)"