What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Humility and Gifts

"We see that our all-good King, like an earthly king, sometimes distributes His gifts to his warriors Himself, sometimes through a friend, sometimes through a slave, and sometimes in an unknown way; and it will be according to the garment of humility that each of us wears.

St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 28)"

Inner Impulses

"Just as a basic concern is to be careful of anything that might be harmful to our physical health, so our spiritual concern should watch out for anything that might harm our spiritual life and the work of faith and salvation. Therefore, carefully and attentively assess your inner impulses: are they from God or from the spirit of evil? Beware of temptations from this world and from worldly people; beware of hidden, inner temptations which come from the spirit of indifference and carelessness in prayer, from the waning of Christian love.

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Seeds of Virtue

"...It belongs to us to engage in every activity and with much toil and weariness to sow the seeds of virtue, but by God's gift and mercy alone the rain of His loving-kindness and grace falls and causes the unfruitful soil of our hearts to bear fruit.

St. Symeon the New Theologian
'God Increases Virtue'
(The Discourses)"


"Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in the 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. For it is equally difficult to keep the soul upright and undefeated in the midst of afflictions, as to keep oneself from insolence and pride in prosperity.

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

Fire, Light, Love

"It is well to place candles before the icons. But it is still better if you bring as a sacrifice to God the fire of your love for Him and your neighbor. It is well that the one should accompany the other. But if you place candles before the icons, and have no love for God and your neighbor in your heart, if you are grasping, if you do not live in peace with others - then, your offering to God is useless.

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

Impatience and Irritability

"Our self-love and pride manifest themselves especially in impatience and irritability, when some of us cannot bear the slightest unpleasantness caused us by others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, or any obstacle, lawful or not, deliberate or not, put in our path.

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

Light On the Path

"Continual reflection on the Scriptures is light for the soul, because they imprint on the intellect recollections helpful for guarding against the passions and for continuance with God through love and the purity of prayer; further, it makes straight before us the path of peace trodden by the footsteps of the saints.

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

Speak No Evil

"But let us speak that which is good, to the edification of the faith. That is, to speak only what will help to build up our neighbor in virtue; nothing more than that. For this has God given you a tongue, and a mouth: that you might give thanks to God, that you might help to build up your neighbor in virtue.

St. John Chrysostom
'The Christian Manner of Life'"


"...Charity, he says, is patient, is kind, thinketh no evil. Let a man consider himself, how he is disposed towards himself, then let him be so disposed towards his neighbor. For no one envies himself; he prays for all good things for himself, he prefers himself to all others, he is prepared to do all things for himself. If we are thus disposed towards others, all evils come to an end: there are no more enmities, no more greed; for who would wish to be covetous of himself?

St. John Chrysostom
'Let Us Consider One Another'"

Faith and Love

"With faith, Christ comes into the heart, and with Christ comes love, and thus a man is rooted and grounded in love. First, then, faith; then, with faith, the presence of Christ in the heart. With the presence of Christ comes the presence of love and, with love, inexpressible good things.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"


"An ascetic would say: 'Trust God and your elders. Be obedient when they ask you to do this or that, and you will be at rest. All this time that you have trusted yourself, what have you gained? Self-confidence is a great obstacle to divine grace. Do not trust your reasoning. Have simple thoughts, and God for your humility will protect you, and you will experience His joy and peace. Our spiritual progress depends upon us. Unless we do things right, neither the great Antonios nor the great Varsanouphrios can save us. God is obliged to us when we totally trust in Him.'

An Athonite Gerontikon"

Seeking God's Praise

The person who wants to engage fully in spiritual combat and to win the crown of righteousness must try by every means to overcome this beast that assumes such varied forms. He should always keep in mind the works of David: 'The Lord has scattered the bones of those who please men' (Ps. 53:5). He should not do anything with a view to being praised by other people, but should seek God's reward only, always rejecting the thoughts of self-praise that enter his heart, and always regarding himself as nothing before God. In this way he will be freed, with God's help, from the demon of self-esteem.

St. John Cassian

"On the Eight Vices"

(The Philokalia)


"I will glory not because I am righteous but because I am redeemed; I will glory not because I am free from sins but because my sins are forgiven me. I will not glory because I have done good nor because someone has done good to me but because Christ is my advocate with the Father and because the blood of Christ has been shed for me.

St. Ambrose of Milan
'Examination of the Council of Trent'"

Obstacles on the Path

Attachment to worldly things is a grave obstacle to those who are striving after holiness.

St. Neilos the Ascetic

"Ascetic Discourse"

(The Philokalia)

Suffering and Adversity

"Many benefits have come to the just from their experience of suffering. And in the same way that the earth would not be fertile and rich unless the farmers worked hard to cultivate it, and without whose efforts it would not only cease to offer up its produce to the human race but would turn into its opposite and bear thistles, so if decent people were not relentlessly afflicted by adversity they would not only fail to progress but would repeatedly slip and fall from the right path.

St. Basil the Great
'The Just Benefit from Suffering'
(Gateway to Paradise)"

"Discernment cannot be achieved without love and humility, and humility and love cannot be achieved without obedience.
Discernment and Obedience

Elder Ambrose of Optina"

Removal of Sin

"My friends, God does not ask or desire that man should mourn from sorrow of heart, but rather that, out of love for Him, he should rejoice with spiritual laughter. Remove the sin, and the tear of sorrow is superfluous for your eyes. What is the use of a bandage when there is no wound? Before his transgression, Adam had no tears, just as there will be none after the resurrection, when sin will be abolished; for pain, sorrow and sighing will then have fled away (Essaias 35:10).

St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 7)"

Tools of Salvation

"...Always keep this in mind: you are not doing anything virtuous by your continence. Or can it be considered a virtuous act when a man who, out of his own carelessness, has been trapped deep down in a mine shaft, takes pick and shovel and tries to work his way out? Is it not, on the contrary, quite natural for him to make use of the tools given him by a higher authority to make his way up of the choking air and darkness?
From this picture you can gain wisdom. The tools are the implements of salvation, the commands of the Gospel, that were bestowed upon every Christian at holy baptism. Unused, they are of no profit to you. But used in the right manner they will open your way to freedom and light.

Tito Colliander
'Way of the Ascetics'"

Blessed Alchemy

"As iron, lead, gold, or silver, when cast into the fire, melts, and changes from its natural hardness to a soft consistency, and so long as it is in the fire continues to be molten and altered from that hard nature by the hot force of the fire, so the soul which has denied the world, and fixed its longing upon the Lord alone, in much searching, and pains, and conflict of soul, and maintains an uninterrupted waiting upon Him in hope and faith, and which has received that heavenly fire of the Godhead and the love of the Spirit, this soul is then verily disengaged from all affection of the world, and set at liberty from all mischief of the passions and casts everything out of itself, and is changed from the natural habit and hardness of sin, and considers all things indifferent in comparison with the heavenly Bridegroom whom it has received, at rest in His fervent and ineffable love.

St. Macarius the Great
'Spiritual Homilies' (Homily 4)"


"The task of virtue is to contend against hardship and suffering. The prize for victory, given to those who stand their ground, is the soul's dispassion. In this state the soul is united with God through love, and in inward resolution it is separated from the body and the world. Those who stand their ground find that the soul's strength lies in the body's affliction.

St. Maximos the Confessor
'Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy,
and Virtue and Vice'
(The Philokalia)"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Departure From Nature

"The first thought that by God's loving kindness descends into a man, that enters into his heart and guides his soul to life, is the thought of his departure from this nature. This thought is naturally followed by disdain for the world, and every good movement that leads a man to life enters him from this. And it is this that the divine power which accompanies man lays as a foundation when it wishes to manifest life in him. If he does not extinguish this thought by involvement in the affairs of life and by vain talk, and if he rears it in his soul by continual concentration within himself and by contemplating it, this thought will lead him to profound divine vision which no man can express. Satan greatly abhors this thought and makes war upon it with all his might to expunge it from man's heart. And if it were possible, he would give man dominion over the whole world, could he but by this distraction erase this thought from his mind.

St. Isaac the Syrian
'Asetical Homilies' (Homily Forty-Nine)"

Love One Another

"Live as members of one body, as children of God, in love and harmony, in peace and tranquility, esteeming one another, being indulgent to one another, as the Lord is indulgent to us.

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