What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Virtue

"Blessedness in Christian truth is not an external reward, but the internal consequence of virtue itself.




New Martyr Archbishop Hilarion Troitsky
'The Unity of Christ's Ideal'"

Purity of Heart

"The farther from passions, the more joy in the heart. Purity of heart is inbreakably bound to happiness.




New Martyr Archbishop Hilarion Troitsky
'The Unity of Christ's Ideal'"

Sanctification

"Ascetical endeavor is the mother of sanctification. From sanctification the first taste of the perception of Christ's mysteries is born...





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

Loyalty to the Faith

"And lest the soul should stray and linger in some delusion of heathen philosophy, it receives this further lesson of perfect loyalty to the holy faith, taught by the Apostle in words inspired: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:8-15). Steadfast faith rejects the vain subtleties of philosophic enquiry; truth refuses to be vanquished by these treacherous devices of human folly, and enslaved by falsehood. It will not confine God within the limits which barred our common reason, nor judge after the rudiments of the world concerning Christ, in Whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in such wise that the utmost efforts of the earthly mind to comprehend Him are baffled by that immeasurable Eternity and Omnipotence.



St. Hilary of Poitiers
'On the Trinity'"

Thanksgiving

"Faith and contrition make prayer and supplication for the remission of sins effective, once evil deeds have been renounced, but despair and hardness of heart make it ineffectual. Thanksgiving for the benefits received from God is made acceptable by humility and not looking down on those who lack them. It is rendered unacceptable, however, by being conceited, as if those benefits resulted from our own efforts and knowledge, and by condemning those who have not received them. The Pharisee’s behavior and words prove he was afflicted with both these diseases. He went up to the Temple to give thanks, not to make supplication and, like a wretched fool, mingled conceit and condemnation of others with his thanksgiving. For he stood and prayed thus with himself: “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers” (Luke 18:11).



St. Gregory Palamas
'On the Lord's Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee'"

Hope

"Hope also requires a life corresponding to the hope.





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

Repentance

"Cleanse yourself from shameful deeds with repentance, and the reproach of the slanderer will not frighten you.




St. Ephraim the Syrian
'A Spiritual Psalter'
(Eleventh Kathisma: Life's Lessons)"

Humility

"When blessed Anthony saw all the snares of the devil spread out everywhere, he sighed, and asked God how anyone could ever avoid them. God answered him, 'Humility. It is humility that enables you to escape them all!' And what is more astonishing, He added, 'They cannot even touch you'.



St. Dorotheos of Gaza
'Discourses and Sayings' (On Humility)"

Spiritual Teaching

"Just as the value of the physician's advice is seen only when his directions have been carefully carried out, so also is it with spiritual teaching; where it can be seen whether its counsels and directions, given for the right ordering of our way of life and for the perfection of those that obey them, have been wisely and profitably observed from the results which follow...




St. Basil the Great
'Against the Angry'
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)"

Poor in Spirit

"He who is poor in spirit does not dare to try, does not think of trying. to comprehend the incomprehensible, to penetrate God's secrets, to philosophise on the highest; he believes in the word of the Lord, the Life-giver, knowing that His every word is truth, spirit, and life eternal; and in the words of His Church, ever instructed in all truth by the Holy Spirit, he believes as a child believes his father or mother, not demanding proofs, but relying upon them in perfect trust.




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

Sins of the World

"...And so Christ takes the sins of the world on Himself in three ways:
firstly, in taking flesh;
secondly, in submitting to the law;
thirdly, in giving Himself in sacrifice.



Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
Homily on 'The Theophany'"

Humility and Obedience

"In ancient times, the Lord promised to reveal Himself in great glory. Men heard this, and forgot what had been said. But God has not forgotten His word, for the Lord's words are like stone towers that cannot be destroyed. The Lord promised to come; He did not, though, come at the time we least needed Him, but when our need was greatest. While God was able to send a prophet or an angel in His place, He did so. But when evil so increased in the world that not even an angel was able to burn it up with its light, or a prophet diminish it by his words, then God fulfilled His ancient promise and appeared on earth. But how did God reveal Himself in His glory? In inexpressible humility and obedience.





Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
Homily on 'The Theophany'"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Do Not Look

"Do not look at the world, so that God may look at you.





Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom; Letters...'"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Prayer

"He who prays to the Lord, to the Mother of God, to the angels and saints, must first of all endeavour to amend his heart and his life, and afterwards to imitate them, as it is written, Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful, and again, Be ye holy, for I am holy. Those who pray to the Mother of God must imitate her humility, her unimaginable purity, submission to the will of God and patience. Those who pray to the the angels must ponder upon the higher life, and strive to become truly spiritual, gradually laying aside all the lusts of the flesh, and striving for ardent love love to God and their neighbor. Let those who pray to the saints imitate them in their love for God, and their contempt for the world, their prayers, abstinence, unselfishness, patience in sickness, sorrows, and misfortunes, their love for their neighbor. Without such imitation our prayer will be as useless as beating the air.





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

Silence

"I grow weak, my Lord, before Thy wonders and, at a loss, I long to take refuge in silence.





St. Peter of Damaskos
'The Fourth Stage of Contemplation'
(The Philokalia)"

Spiritual Joy

"...Of course, after all that skipping around and all those outings, there is no sense expecting spiritual joy, which is alien to lovers of the world and completely unknown to them. But still, you have the advantage that although you are not a participant of light, the darkness does not deceive you either; already you sense in your heart the meaningless gloom of worldly pleasures. And it is not everyone who is able to grasp this truth, but he to whom it is given from on high. 'No man can come to Me, except My Father draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day' (Cf. John 6:44). And this knowledge and this feeling are not given to all, but to those who are chosen, who have been, so to say, begged from God by our Saviour Himself: 'I pray not for the whole world, but for them which Thou hast given Me . . . Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are' (Cf. John 17: 9,11).




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

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. 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'
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray

"When you pray, endeavour to pray more for others than yourself alone, and during prayer represent to yourself vividly all men as forming one body with yourself, and each separately as a member of the Body of Christ and your own member, 'for we are members one of another' (Ephesians 4:25). Pray for all as you would pray for yourself, with the same sincerity and fervour; look upon their infirmities and sicknesses as your own; their spiritual ignorance, their sins and passions, as your own; their temptations, misfortunes, and manifold afflictions as your own. Such prayer will be accepted with great favour by the Heavenly Father, that most gracious, common Father of all, with Whom 'there is no respect of persons' (Romans 2:11), no variableness' (James 1:17), that boundless Love that embraces and preserves all creatures.




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

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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 where there is no impurity. He who tastes of them becomes a stranger to the old Adam; he becomes crucified to the world as the world is to him, and lives always in the Lord.




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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gifts

"...And as the earth is one, but here is rocky and there rich, and one part is suitable for vine-culture, another for growing wheat or barley, so do these fields of human hearts and wills differ from each other, and so are the gifts of grace from above bestowed. To one is given a ministry of the word, to another discernment, to a third gifts of healings. God knows a man's capacity for stewardship, and distributes His different gifts accordingly. In the like manner with regard to warfare the enemy power is let loose upon men by a kind of measure, according as each man is able to receive and bear the brunt.



St. Macarius the Great
'Spiritual Homilies' (Homily 26)"

Thirst for God

"Tears, striking the head in prayer with the hand, and casting oneself upon the earth with fervour, waken the warmth of their sweetness inside the heart, and with a laudable ecstasy the heart soars up toward God and cries out: 'My soul thirsted for Thee, the mighty, the living God! When shall I come and appear before Thy face, O Lord?' Only the man who drinks deeply of this wine, and afterwards is deprived of it, only he knows to what misery he has been abandoned, and what has been taken away from him because of his laxity.





St. Isaac the Syrian
'Acsetical Homilies' (Homily Nineteen)"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Virtues As Gifts

"What, then, O, brethren, is required of us in order that we might avail ourselves of all the grace brought unto us from on high by the coming to earth of the Son of God? What is necessary, first of all, is faith in the Son of God, in the Gospel as the salvation-bestowing heavenly teaching; a true repentance of sins and the correction of life and of heart; communion in prayer and in the mysteries [sacraments]; the knowledge and fulfillment of Christ’s commandments. Also necessary are the virtues: Christian humility, alms-giving, continence, purity and chastity, simplicity and goodness of heart.
Let us, then, O brothers and sisters, bring these virtues as a gift to the One Who was born for the sake of our salvation – let us bring them in place of the gold, frankincense and myrrh which the Magi brought Him, as to One Who is King, God, and Man, come to die for us. This, from us, shall be the most-pleasing form of sacrifice to God and to the Infant Jesus Christ.



St. John of Kronstadt
'The Word Became Flesh'"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christ Is Born!


"The wall that separated heaven and earth is destroyed; the sword that barred the way to the tree of life disappears. Unto man that had sinned comes his Creator, calling him into His embrace! By the mouths of the apostles, the Holy Spirit cries out: 'In Christ, be ye reconciled to God.' You that had sinned came not to God, but the Son of God, before Whom you sinned, came to you! He calls everyone to Himself; He gives forgiveness to everyone who merely thirsts for this. For without the desire of man himself, without at least his little effort, God's peace cannot settle in him. The Lord forces no one to come to Him, but calls everyone: 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' Come all ye who are heavy laden with sins, who are exhausted from your labors and who do not find rest! You shall find that inner peace, which you will find nothing on earth more desirable than. The soul will feel unearthly peace and joy.


St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco


CHRIST IS BORN!
GLORIFY HIM!"


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Mystery

"I behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherds' song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.



St. John Chrysostom"

Humility

"When Blessed Anthony saw all the snares of the devil spread out everywhere, he sighed, and asked God how anyone could ever avoid them. God answered him, 'humility.'



Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
'Discourses and Sayings'"

One Heart

"Great are the following words: 'Grant us with one heart and one mouth to glorify and celebrate Thy glorious and majestic name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.' O, that it were ever so, and that our hearts were not apart, not even from those of other men, but even from our own selves!





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

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simplicity

"Let simplicity accompany you everywhere. Be especially simple in your faith, hope, and love, for God is an incomplex Being, the eternally-worshipped Unity, and our soul is also simple. The flesh hinders the simplicity of our soul when we gratify it...





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

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christ in the Temple

"It is better for a man to be silent and be [a Christian], than to talk and not to be one. It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. There is then one Teacher, who spake and it was done; while even those things which He did in silence are worthy of the Father. He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence, that he may be perfect, and may both act as he speaks, and be recognised by his silence. There is nothing which is hid from God, but our very secrets are near to Him. Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples. and He may be in us as our God, which indeed He is, and will manifest Himself before our faces. Wherefore we justly love Him.



St. Ignatius the Godbearer
Epistle to the Ephesians"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Humble Yourself

"You write that after Communion you felt well. Glory be to God, Who comforts our unworthiness. And as regards the fact that this soon passed, here also is seen His fatherly providence for us. For continual consolation enfeebles the soul and makes it slothful, or leads to even greater harm. That is why the Lord takes it away quickly and again makes us feel our weakness, our helplessness, and our sinfulness. We must humble ourselves more, reproach ourselves, offer repentance for our sins, and not desire consolations, but patiently endure what God allows. Dryness and cooling of fervor are also permitted on account of vainglory.




Elder Joseph of Optina
'Letters...'"