What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sacrifice

"The important thing is this: to be able at a moment's notice to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."

- Charles du Bos

Watchfulness

"Watchfulness cleanses the conscience and makes it lucid.




St. Philotheos of Sinai
'Forty Texts on Watchfulness'
(The Philokalia)"

Sufferings and Tribulations

"If you have no works, do not speak on virtues. Afflictions suffered for the Lord's sake are more precious to Him than every vow and sacrifice; and the odor of their sweat surpasses every fragrance [and choice incense]. Regard every virtue performed without bodily toils premature, stillborn fruit of the womb. The offering of the righteous is the tears of their eyes; and their acceptable sacrifice is their sighings during vigil. The righteous, burdened by the weight of their body, cry out dolefully to the Lord and send forth their supplications to God with pain; and at the cry of their voice the angelic orders stand close at hand and aid them, to encourage them with hope, and to comfort them. For the holy angels are partakers of the sufferings and the tribulations of the saints through their nearness to them.





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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Virtuous Life

"...See what an admirable foundation St. Paul lays for a virtuous life: honor and respect for one's parents. This is the first good practice commanded us in the Scriptures, because before all others, except God, our parents are the authors of our life, and they deserve to be the first ones to receive the fruits of our good deeds. Only after we honor our parents can we do anything good for the rest of mankind. If a man does not honor his parents, he will never treat other people with kindness.





St. John Chrysostom
'On Marriage and Family Life'"

The Sick

"The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them and habit clothe our soul as if in a hideous garment. We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rather one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired (health), do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves.




St. Herman of Alaska
'Little Russian Philokalia'
(From a letter of June 20, 1820)"

Suffering Insults

"I want to speak about those who are uprooting a passion. There are some who rejoice when they are insulted because they expect a reward. Such persons are uprooting the passion but not intelligently. Another person rejoices when he is insulted and thinks that he should be insulted, because he gave the occasion for it. Such a person is uprooting the passion intelligently. There is another who not only rejoices when he is insulted and considers himself guilty, but who even grieves for the distress he caused for the person who insulted him. May God bring us to such a state!




Elder Basil of Poiana Marului
'His Life and Writings'"

Power of the Holy Spirit

"Whatever the soul may think fit to do itself, whatever care and pains it may take, relying only upon its own power, and thinking to be able to effect a perfect success by itself, without the co-operation of the Spirit, it is greatly mistaken. It is of no use for the heavenly places; it is of no use for the kingdom - that soul, which supposes that it can achieve perfect purity of itself, and by itself alone, without the Spirit. Unless the man who is under the influence of the passions will come to God, denying the world, and will believe with patience and hope to receive a good thing foreign to his own nature, namely the power of the Holy Spirit, and unless the Lord shall drop upon the soul from on high the life of the Godhead, such a man will never experience true life, will never recover from the drunkenness of materialism; the enlightenment of the Spirit will never shine in that benighted soul, or kindle in it a holy daytime; it will never awake out of that deepest sleep of ignorance, and so come to know God of a truth through God's power and the efficacy of grace.



St. Macarius the Great
'Spiritual Homilies' (Homily 24)"

The True Teaching

"In these days of vacillation, confusion of thought and corruption, we confess the true teaching of the Church regardless of the opinions held by those who might hear us and disregarding the skepticism and faithlessness of our environment. If, for the sake of conforming to the errors of the times, we would suppress the truth or yet profess distorted doctrines to please the world, we would in fact be offering stones instead of bread. And the higher the position of one who would act in this way, the more profound the temptation and the more serious the consequences.




St. Philaret the New Confessor of New York
'On the Thyateira Confession'"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pardon

"Great is the Lord, Who pardons some because of the merits of others; and while subjecting some to trials, He forgives others their sins. Why should not the prayer of your fellow-man avail with you, when a servant had both the merit of pleading for another before God and the privilege of obtaining what he prayed for? Learn you who judge, to forgive. Learn you who are sick, to gain health through prayer. Should you be diffident because of your grave sins, seek the prayers of others, call upon the Church to pray for you, and in His regard for her, the Lord will give what He could refuse to you.




St. Ambrose of Milan
'The Healing of the Paralytic'
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)"

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Light

"If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the Apostles ordaining their successors, and these successors ordaining others, and so on, the grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their shepherds and teachers.




St. Gregory Palamas
'On how the Holy Spirit was manifested
and shared out at Pentecost'"

Remission of Sins

"...So then, as often as you shall receive, what does the Apostle say to you? As often as you shall receive, you shall announce the death of the Lord. If we announce His death, we announce the forgiveness of sins. If as often as His Blood is shed, it is shed unto the remission of sins, I ought to receive. It always; that my sins may always be forgiven. I who am always sinning ought always to have what heals me.




St. Ambrose of Milan
'The Sacrifice of Melchisedech'
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)"

Accusations

"We reckon to achieve peace of soul and to take a straight road to it, yet we never come to the point of accusing ourselves. This is true, isn't it? If a man were to discipline himself in a thousand ways and not take this road, he would never stop troubling others or being troubled by them, and he would waste all his labors. How much joy, how much peace of soul would a man not have wherever he went, as Abba Poemen says, if he was one who habitually accused himself? For if anything happened to him, some punishment, a dishonor, or any kind of trouble, he would accept it as if he deserved it and would never be put to confusion. That man would have complete freedom from care."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prayer

"The foundation of prayer is the yearning of the image towards its prototype, as of like to like.




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

God's Word

"Save yourself! Endure patiently whatever God sends. And believe God's word, that He will not send you any temptation which is beyond your strength! But in the measure in which you will grieve and suffer, in that same measure you will also see the glory of God. Not only there, after your death - but in part, here as well.





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

Good Actions

"If anyone, while keeping fast, adds something to it by his own will, or if he fasts seeking men's praise or some gain from it, such a fast is abomination in the eyes of God. And so it is in all things. Every good action, which is done not merely from the love of God, but is mingled with one's own will, is unclean and unpleasing to God.




St. Barsanuphius and St. John
'Directions in Spiritual Work'
(The Philokalia)"

Self-Sacrifice

"Love for God and our neighbor, in our present corrupt state, is impossible without self-sacrifice; he who wishes to fulfill the commandment ought to devote himself in good time to great deeds and sufferings for the sake of those that he loves.





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

Truth

"He who seeks to understand commandments without fulfilling commandments, and to acquire such understanding through learning and reading, is like a man who takes a shadow for truth. For the undestanding of truth is given to those who have become participants in truth (who have tasted it through living). Those who are not participants in truth and are not initiated therein, when they seek this understanding, draw it from a distorted wisdom.




St. Gregory of Sinai
'Texts on Commandments and Dogmas'
(The Philokalia)"

The Light

"I offer light to the Lord, in order that He may bestow the light of grace, spiritual light, upon me, that He may lead me from the darkness of sin into the light of knowledge of God and of virtue; I offer fire that the fire of the grace of the Holy Spirit may be kindled in my heart, and that it may quench the fire of the vices of that miserable heart. I bring a light that I myself may become a light, burning and shining to all that are in the church.




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

Piety

"A real man strives to be pious. Then man is pious who desires nothing alien to him. What is alien to man is everything created.





St. Antony the Great
'Texts on Saintly Life'
(The Philokalia)"

Almsgiving

"Nothing equals the merit of almsgiving. It was said of Cornelius the centurion that he was a just man, and feared God with all his house, giving much alms to the people, and praying always to God. And his almsgiving opened for him the gates of heaven. So much was done, as the Scripture tells us, to bring Cornelius to believe, so that even an angel is sent to him, and the grace of the Spirit worked in him, and the chief of the Apostles is called to him, and he received a wondrous vision; for him nothing was left undone. How many other centurions were there, and rulers and kings, and none of them received what this man received.




St. John Chrysostom
'The Fountain of Alms'"

Virtue

"What lies in time and goes according to the temporal order comes to a stop when it reaches completion, for then its natural growth is finished. But what is brought forth by the grace of God according to the order of virtuous living, when it reaches completion proceeds to grow again - for here the end of one serves as the beginning of another. He who by active virtue has put a stop to corruptible passions in him, by this very fact has begun other Divine transformations 'from glory to glory' (2 Cor. iii.18), since God, acting in him, never ceases, just as He never began, to enact good.




St. Maximus the Confessor
'Contemplative and Active Texts'
(The Philokalia)"

One Faith

"…There is one body and one spirit (Ephesians 4:4). The Holy Apostle counsels the faithful to strive to be one body and one spirit. By one body is understood 'one Faith,'' without divisions, without heresies and without self-will: the whole Church is one body of which Christ is the Head. By one spirit is understood 'love,'' the ardent love of all the faithful for Christ, from which proceeds mutual love. The many become as one; many men become as one man. This is the miracle of the Christian Faith and Christian love. There is no power in the world which can be a stronger bond among men: not the same blood, or the same language, or the same hearth, or the same parents, or any type of common material interests. None of these is even nearly as powerful a bond as Christian faith and love. By this powerful, irresistible bond, all the members of the Church are bound to each other. The Church of God stands as one man, in time and in eternity - one body and one spirit. There is nothing more contradictory to this wondrous unity than the pride of individual men. Pride distorts faith, cools love, creates heresies, divides the Church, and sacrifices the good of the whole for individual satisfaction. Pride, in essence, is the absence of both faith and love. Brethren, may God save us from pride, the primal infirmity of the human race, that we may always be one body and one spirit in our Lord Jesus Christ.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Most Holy Mother

"We who understand the salvation begun for our sake through the Most Holy Virgin, give Her thanks and praise according to our ability. And truly, if the grateful woman (of whom the Gospel tells us), after hearing the saving words of the Lord, blessed and thanked His Mother, raising her voice above the din of the crowd and saying to Christ, 'Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps Thou hast sucked' (Luke 11:27), then we who have the words of eternal life written out for us, and not only the words, but also the miracles and the Passion, and the raising of our nature from death, and its ascent from earth to Heaven, and the promise of immortal life and unfailing salvation, then how shall we not unceasingly hymn and bless the Mother of the Author of our Salvation and the Giver of Life, celebrating Her conception and birth, and now Her Entry into the Holy of Holies?"

Most Holy Mother II

"Now, brethren, let us remove ourselves from earthly to celestial things. Let us change our path from the flesh to the spirit. Let us change our desire from temporal things to those that endure. Let us scorn fleshly delights, which serve as allurements for the soul and soon pass away. Let us desire spiritual gifts, which remain undiminished. Let us turn our reason and our attention from earthly concerns and raise them to the inaccessible places of Heaven, to the Holy of Holies, where the Mother of God now resides.

Therefore, in such manner our songs and prayers to Her will gain entry, and thus through her mediation, we shall be heirs of the everlasting blessings to come, through the grace and love for mankind of Him Who was born of Her for our sake, our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory, honor and worship, together with His Unoriginate Father and His Coeternal and Life-Creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


St. Gregory Palamas
'Discourse on the Feast of the Entry of our Most Pure Lady Theotokos
into the Holy of Holies'"

Be Firm in Faith

"A Church pure and untouched by the harshness of our times is not easily found and from now on rarely to be seen - a Church that has preserved the apostolic doctrine unadulterated and inviolate! . . . Beloved brethren, we are small and humble, but we have not accommodated our faith in Seleucia, another in Constantinople, another in Zelis, another in Lampsake, and a different one for Rome. The faith that is professed today is not different from the one that came before; it is the one and same faith. As we have learned from the Lord, so we are baptized; we are baptized as we believe; and as we believe, we glorify God . . . Be firm in the faith.




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