What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Love of God

"...For when thou seest the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, and all the worshippers empurpled with that precious blood, canst thou then think that thou art still amongst men, and standing upon the earth? Art thou not, on the contrary, straightway translated to Heaven, and casting out every carnal thought from the soul, dost thou not with disembodied spirit and pure reason contemplate the things which are in Heaven? Oh! what a marvel! what love of God to man! He who sitteth on high with the Father is at that hour held in the hands of all, and gives Himself to those who are willing to embrace and grasp Him. And this all do through the eyes of faith!






St. John Chrysostom
'On the Priesthood'"

Sin

"You have fallen of your own free-will, corrupted by sin: this ought to be your most powerful incentive to prayer. Daily you receive great mercy from God; this ought to be a powerful incentive to thank God. Daily you contemplate the works of God's omnipotence, wisdom and goodness: this also ought to be an incentive to daily praise.




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

A Courageous Soul

"A courageous soul resurrects his dying mind, but despondency and sloth squander all his riches.




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 13)"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Eye

"The heart is the eye of the human being; the purer it is, the quicker, farther and clearer it can see.




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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Faith

"...For as he who hath learned anything ill, unless he put away the whole, and make his soul level and clear, and so offer it to him who is to write on it, will know no wholesome truth for certain; so also in regard of the wisdom from without. Unless thou turn out the whole and sweep thy mind clear, and like one that is ignorant yield up thyself unto the faith, thou wilt know accurately nothing excellent.




St. John Chrysostom
'Homilies on First Corinthians'"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Gospel

"The flow of history confirms the reality of the Gospel: the Church is filled to overflowing with sinners. Does their presence in the Church reduce, violate, or destroy her sanctity? Not in the least! For her Head - the Lord Christ, and her soul - the Holy Spirit, and her divine teaching, her mysteries, and her virtues, are indissolubly and immutably holy. The Church tolerates sinners, shelters them, and instructs them, that they may be awakened and roused to repentance and spiritual recovery and transfiguration; but they do not hinder the Church from being holy. Only unrepentant sinners, persistent in evil and godless malice, are cut off from the Church either by the visible action of the theanthropic authority of the Church, or by the invisible action of divine judgment, so that thus also the holiness of the Church may be preserved.




Archimandrite Justin Popovich
'The Attributes of the Church'"

The Shoulders of Christ

"Let us therefore rejoice because that sheep which had fallen in Adam is uplifted in Christ. The shoulders of Christ are the arms of His Cross. There have I laid down my sins; upon the neck of that sublime yoke of torment have I found rest.





St. Ambrose of Milan
'Exposition of the Gospel of St. Luke'"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Conscience

"...Awake thy conscience, that inward accuser, in order that thou mayest have no accuser at the judgement seat of the Lord.




St. John Chysostom
'Resisting the Temptations of the Devil'"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Achievements of the Saints

"All the achievements of the saints are clearly gifts of grace from God. None of the saints had the least thing other than the goodness granted to him by the Lord God according to the measure of His gratitude and love. And what he acquired he acquired only in so far as he surrendered himself to the Lord who bestowed it.




St. Maximus the Confessor
'Third Century of Various Texts'
(The Philokalia)"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Humility and Intellect

"The wrath of God is the painful sensation we experience when we are being trained by Him. Through this painful experience of unsought sufferings God often abases and humbles an intellect conceited about its knowledge and virtue; for such sufferings make it conscious of itself and its own weakness."

Forgiveness

"One day the saint heard a squire who mistreated his serfs. His Grace intervened and betook himself to the lord of that estate in order to remonstrate with him. The hot-blooded nobleman started a dispute. The Bishop answered gently but firmly. The anger of the nobleman grew, and finally he forgot himself so far as to strike the Bishop on the cheek. His Grace then left the nobleman's house. But on his way, true to the evangelical precept, he resolved to return to the man who had insulted him and to beg forgiveness for 'having led him into such temptation.' So, going back, he fell at the feet of his host. The story goes on to say that this unexpected act of the pastor who knew no anger so deeply impressed the nobleman that he himself fell on his knees at the Bishop's feet, imploring forgiveness. From that day on his behavior towards his serfs was completely altered.




from the life of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk"

Good Works

"As one candle is lit from another, so good works are caught from others. A nobleman decided to give a gold cross to a church, and found a young but experienced goldsmith, gave him a great measure of gold and told him to make whatever sort of cross he liked. The poor goldsmith, seeing such an offering made by the nobleman for the sake of his soul, was fired in his own heart with love for God, and decided to add ten gold pieces of his own to the nobleman's heap of gold. When the cross was ready, the nobleman weighed it and found that it was heavier than the gold that he had given to the young man. He immediately began to abuse him as a thief, suspecting him of having abstracted some of the gold and substituted a heavier metal. When the young man saw the noblemen in such a rage, he confessed his deed. 'I added', he said, 'some gold of my own, as the widow gave her two mites, to receive Christ's reward along with you.' Hearing this, the nobleman's heart was touched and he said to the young man: 'From this day, you are my son and the inheritor of all my goods.'




Biship Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Saints

"Our Church honors saints not as gods, but as faithful servants, as holy men and friends of God. It extols the struggles they engaged in and the deeds they performed for the glory of God with the action of His grace, in such a way that all the honor that the Church gives them refers to the Supreme Being, Who has viewed their life on earth with gratification. The Church honors them by commemorating them annually through public celebrations and through the erection of Churches in honor of their name.



St. Nectarios of Aegina"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiness

"We sin in thought, word and deed. In order to become pure images of the Holy Trinity we must strive that we be holy in thought, word and deed.




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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obedience

"It is well known that obedience is the chief among the intitiatory virtues, for first it displaces presumption, and then it engenders humility within us. Thus it becomes, for those who willingly embrace it, a door leading to the love of God.





St. Diadochos of Photiki
'On Spiritual Knowledge'
(The Philokalia)"

Feeding of the Soul

"It is remarkable that, however much we trouble about our health, however much care we take of ourselves, whatever wholesome and pleasant food and drink we take, however much we walk in the fresh air, still, notwithstanding all this, in the end we sicken and corrupt; whilst the saints, who despise the flesh, and mortify it by continual abstinance and fasting, by lying on the bare earth, by watchfulness, labours, unceasing prayer, make both their souls and bodies immortal. Our well-fed bodies decay and after death emit an offensive odour, whilst theirs remain fragrant and flourishing both in life and after death. It is a remarkable thing: we, by building up our body, destroy it, whilst they, by destroying theirs, build it up - by caring only for the fragrance of their souls before God, they obtain fragrance of the body also.




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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Divine Logos

"No one can plead the weakness of the flesh as an excuse when he sins; for the union of our humanity with the divine Logos through the Incarnation has renewed the whole of nature by lifting the curse, and so we have no excuse if our will remains attached to the passions. For the divinity of the Logos, which always dwells by grace in those who believe in Him, withers the rule of sin in the flesh.




St. Maximus the Confessor
'Third Century of Various Texts'
(The Philokalia)"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fear of God

"Fear of God purifies us through awe and self-abasement.





St. Theognostos
'On the Practice of the Virtues'
(The Philokalia)"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Life or Death

"...During a persecution, the Prefect Lysias arrested him and said: ``I offer you two choices: life or death; life if you worship the gods, or death if you do not.'' St. Zenobius replied: ``Life without Christ is not life but death, whereas death for the sake of Christ is not death but life.''



From the life of St. Zenobius
'Prologue from Ochrid'
(Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic)"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Infusion of Grace

"When we are conscious of the infusion of grace, we should not grow careless or become too easily elated, but should turn to God and thank Him, recalling the sins he has allowed us to commit; we should remember how long we fell at such a time, how bestial our thoughts became. We should also remind ourselves of the wretched condition that our nature is in, considering the impure images and the hideous idols which arose before our disordered minds during that period so lately passed when our souls were racked in blind turmoil. Understand that all this has been brought upon you by Divine Providence, to humble you.




St. Nilus Sorsky
'The Tradition of the Disciples'
(A Treasury of Russian Spirituality)"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christian Point of View

"Each Christian, with God's help, shapes his own earthly life, in the sense that he or she directs its course toward virtue. In order to be virtuous, however, one must not only do good for others, but work on oneself, struggling with his insufficiencies and vices, developing in himself a good, Christian-valued foundation. This work on oneself, this struggle toward moral perfection of man's earthly life is indispensable for every Christian. The Lord Himself said: 'the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault and violent men seize it by force' (Mt.11:12).
The moral character and features of each person are worked out in such a life-struggle. A Christian must, of course, be a Christian before all else, a person with an established, solid moral character and he must aim for the building of such a character. In other words, he must strive for progress in himself toward moral perfection.
Thus, from a Christian point of view, life is a moral struggle, a path of constant striving toward good and perfection. There can be no pause on this path, according to the law of the spiritual life. A man who stops working on himself will not remain the same as he was, but will inevitably become worse - like a stone which is thrown upwards and stops rising, it will not remain suspended in the air, but will fall downward.



St. Philaret on New York
'On the Law of God'"

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Way is Narrow

"Why is it that only the narrow way and narrow gate lead to life? Who makes the way of the chosen narrow? The world oppresses the chosen, the flesh oppresses them, the devil oppresses them; it is these that make our way to the kingdom of heaven narrow.





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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Draw Nigh to God

"Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:8). It is for us to begin. If we take one step toward the Lord, He takes ten toward us - He who saw the Prodigal Son while he was yet at a distance, and had compassion and ran and embraced him. (Luke 15:20).
Some time you must take the first uncertain steps - if you wish at all to draw near to God. Do not be anxious about the clumsy beginning; do not yield to shyness and uncertainty, and the mocking laughter of enemies, who try to persuade you that you are behaving ridiculously and that the whole thing is only a child of fantasy and meaningless. Know that there is nothing the enemy fears like prayer.





Tito Colliander
'Way of the Ascetics'"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chastisement

"God's love for man far exceeds man's love for his fellow man as heaven is higher than the earth; and so God, in His love for man, chastises him. He chastises him, not to kill him but to correct and save him. O blessed chastisement by the hand of love! ... With what does God chastise? With a rod. With what sort of rod? A rod of sickness, a rod of misfortune, of loss or hunger, of failure of crops, of drought, of floods, and of death of kinsfolk and friends, of evil spirits when He allows them power over men. These are God's rods, with which He chastises His children to correct them, instruct them, enlighten them and save them.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Exiled

"Do not lend your ear to the tongue of the slanderer, nor your tongue to the ear of him who likes malicious talk, speaking or listening with enjoyment to words against one's neighbor. Cut yourself off from them, lest you fall away from the love of God, and find yourself exiled from eternal life.




St. Maximos the Confessor
'First Century on Love'"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Desire Salvation

"Repent, desire salvation in the Lord, and acquire good cheer in it. These actions are calming; they occur inwardly and give contentment through their local manifestation. The final action - the willingness to do everything which is required - is the real active force in salvation, insofar as it depends upon us; it is the source of saving activity and the life that is saved. This willingness, while it is expressed by us alone, is weak; but when Divine grace establishes itself within us, then it becomes all powerful, knows no impediment, and overcomes everything. It is the unquenchable zeal for pleasing God and complete sincerity in fulfillment of the Divine will, in the presence of complete faith in the Lord and trust in Him Alone. It fulfills the Divine eternal purpose; we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4), for which the Lord makes us zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).




St. Theophan the Recluse
'The Spiritual Life'"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All the Saints

"All the saints in heaven, and all true Christians on earth, are one body and one spirit; this is why the prayer of believers is heard so easily, so speedily, so truly, in heaven, and why there is so much to be hoped for from calling upon the saints. But in order that our prayers should always be speedily and easily heard by the saints, we must have their spirit - the spirit of faith and of love for God and our neighbor, the spirit of meekness, humility, abstinence, purity and chastity, brave and valiant, thirsting after righteousness, the spirit of compassion - heavenly, and not earthly.





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

Faith/Reason

"Unfortunately our faith is hindered by the shortsightedness of our reason. Faith understands directly whilst reason arrives at the truth by circuitous ways; faith is the means of communication between one spirit and another, whilst reason is the means of communication between the spiritually sensual and the simply material; the first is of the spirit, and the latter of the flesh.




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

Self-Indulgence

"...There is nothing more dangerous than self-indulgence. It prepares the ground for all the vices because it chases out from the soul the fear of God.





Abba Agathon
'Abba Dorotheos of Gaza; Discourses and Sayings'"