What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Revelation of Christ

"...The deceiver had to be justly deceived and to lose the riches he had seized and deceitfully acquired. For evil had taken control through cunning, and the originator of evil continually boasted of this fact. The devil would not have ceased from boasting if he had not been subdued by God's sovereign power and not pulled down from his authority by justice and wisdom. Since everybody turns aside to evil in deed or word or thought, or in two or all of these, we defile the purity given by God to human nature, and need to be sanctified. Sanctification is accomplished by each person's offering a sacrifice of firstfruits, but as the firstfruits have to be pure, we are not able to offer such a sacrifice to God. This is why Christ was revealed, Who alone is undefiled and presented Himself as an offering and a sacrifice of firstfruits to the Father for our sake, that all who look towards Him, believe in Him and attach ourselves to Him through obedience will appear through Him before the face of God, obtain forgiveness and be sanctified. The Lord referred to this in the Gospels, saying, 'For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth' (John 17:19). Not only did the offering have to be pure and sinless but so did the High Priest who offered it. As the Apostle says, 'Such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. and made higher than the heavens' (Heb. 7:26).



St. Gregory Palamas
'Homilies'"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Repentance

"A small sorrow mixed with joy, tears, and consolation in the soul is from the grace of God. Throughout our life, it guides us towards repentance whenever we err. A sin drives away boldness towards God, but repentance brings it back at once.





Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom' (Thirty-fifth letter)"

Monday, March 29, 2010

Humility

"Repentance raises the fallen, mourning knocks at the gate of Heaven, and holy humility opens it...




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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Commemoration of Christ

"...The commemoration of Christ's saving Passion is at hand, and the new, great spiritual Passover, which is the reward for dispassion and the prelude of the world to come. Lazarus proclaims it in advance by coming back from the depths of Hades and rising from the dead on the fourth day just by the voice and command of God, who has power over life and death (John 11:1-45). By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, children and simple people sing praises in advance to the Redeemer from death, Who brings souls up from Hades and gives souls and bodies eternal life.




St. Gregory Palamas
'Homilies' (On Palm Sunday)"

Ask and Receive?

"All who ask and do not obtain their requests from God, are denied for one of the following reasons: because they ask at the wrong time, or because they ask unworthily and vaingloriously, or because if they received they would become conceited, or finally because they would become negligent after obtaining their request.





St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 26)"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Love God

"He truly loves God whose soul, not consenting to evil delight, is not overcome by it. For the more a man gives himself to the love of the baser things, the more does he cut himself off from the love of God. For this reason He goes on to say: He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. Turn your minds inwards upon yourselves, Dearly Beloved Brethren. See whether you indeed love God. And let no one believe himself, whatever his mind may say, unless it is confirmed by deeds. Let us ask of our life, our soul, our tongue, whether we love our Creator? The love of God is never idle. It works great things, if it is present; if it refuses to bring forth good works, it is not love.




St. Gregory the Great
'The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers'"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remember Your Sins

"...If we must remember offences, let us remember only our own. And if we remember our own sins, we shall never store up the sins of others. And again, should we forget the sins of others, our thoughts will then readily turn to the remembrance of our own.




St. John Chrysostom"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Be Free of Sin

"In order to live spiritually and draw breath from grace, we must continually exhale the ashes of sin.





Bishop Igantius Brianchaninov"

Envy Not

"As rust consumes iron, so does envy wholly consume the soul it dwells in.





St. Basil the Great
'On Envy'
(The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Humility and Love

"...The Lord wishes to say that the apostles must not be confident of their own salvation and glorification only because they have been called to be His apostles. For, even among the apostles themselves, there is found one who will perish. The Kingdom is prepared for all who, in this life, show themselves worthy of it, with no consideration of calling or of external closeness to Christ, or of any blood-relationship with Him, as was the case with these two brothers - James and John. Humility to the point of scorning self, and love to the point of death - these are the two lessons that the Lord sought to implant in the hearts of His disciples, uprooting from them the weeds of pride, self-esteem and overweening vanity.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'Homily on the Gospel of the Son of God's Service and Suffering'"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lowly of Heart

"Unpretentiousness, guilelessness, frankness of soul - this is what is pleasing to the Lord, Who is lowly of heart.





Elder Leonid of Optina"

Serving God

"I must not omit to tell you about the wonderful achievement of the baker of that community. Seeing that he had attained to constant recollection and tears during his service, I asked him to tell me how he came to be granted such a grace. And when I pressed him, he replied: 'I have never thought that I was serving men but God. And having judged myself unworthy of all rest, by this visible fire I am unceasingly reminded of the future flame.'




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 4)"

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Word

"What is the aim of the incarnate dispensation of God's Word, preached in all the Holy Scriptures but which we, who read them, do not know? The only aim is that, having entered into what is our own, we should participate in what is His. The Son of God has become Son of Man in order to make us, men, sons of God, raising our race by grace to what He is Himself by nature, granting us birth from above through the grace of the Holy Spirit and leading us straightway to the kingdom of heaven, or rather, granting us this kingdom of heaven within us (Luke 17:21), in order that we should not merely be fed by the hope of entering it, but entering into full possession thereof should cry: our 'life is hid with Christ in God' (Col. 3:3).




St. Simeon the New Theologian
'Practical and Theological Precepts'
(The Philokalia)"

Humility

"Eventually your intellect, at a loss where to turn, is overwhelmed by dejection and laziness and forfeits all its spiritual progress. Then in deep humility it sets out once more on the path of salvation. Labouring much in prayer and all-night vigils, it uproots the causes of evil within itself through humility and confession before God and our neighbour. In this way it begins to regain the state of watchfulness and, illumined with divine grace and understanding of the Gospels, it perceives that no one can become a true Christian unless he gives himself up completely to the cross in a spirit of humility and self-denial, and makes himself lower than all, letting himself be trampled underfoot, insulted, despised, wronged, ridiculed and mocked; and all this he must endure joyfully for the Lord’s sake, not claiming for himself in return any human advantages: glory, honour or praise, or the pleasures of food, drink or clothes.

St. Mark the Ascetic
Letter to Nicholas the Solitary"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be Without Sin?

"At the appearance of thoughts that arouse you to judge your neighbor for some offense that he has done you, when the storm of thoughts is blown to gale force and rushes for revenge, then compare your state of sorrow with the former state of sorrow of the Saviour of the world. He, the Angel of Great Counsel, the Son of God Who was without sin, magnanimously endured the very greatest sorrows; how much more so, then, must we not endure grievous circumstances, we who are sinful people and deserving of chastisement. We must also further condemn ourselves. In this case, with the weapon of self-condemnation we can do battle with the provoker of our soul, the invisible Philistine who steals the God-like ark of our soul. On the other hand, we should regard the person who is heaping offenses on us as our benefactor; he is nothing but an instrument with which God constructs our salvation.





Elder Leonid of Optina
'A Disciple's Questions and the Replies'"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prayer Before God

"...Moreover, let those who pray not come to God with fruitless and destitute prayers. The petition is ineffective when a sterile prayer is offered to God. For, since every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and cast into fire (Matt. 7:19), likewise words without fruits cannot merit God's favor, since they are fruitful in no deed. And so Divine Scripture instructs us with these words: 'Prayer is good with fasting and alms,' (Tob. 12:8). For He who on the day of judgment is to render a reward for deeds and alms, today also is a kindly listener to prayer which comes with works. Thus finally did Cornelius, the centurion, merit to be heard, when he prayed. He was one who performed many alms-deeds among the people and who always prayed to God. Before him as he prayed at the ninth hour an angel stood giving testimony to his work in these words: 'Cornelius, thy prayers and thy alms have gone up for a memorial before God.' (Acts 10:4).





St. Cyprian of Carthage
'Treatises' (The Lord's Prayer)"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Straightened Circumstances

"The Devil is in the habit of attacking us when we are in straightened circumstances.




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

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sincere Service

"The really obedient man often suddenly becomes radiant and exultant during prayer; for this wrestler was prepared and fired beforehand by his sincere service.




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 19)"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ladder of Spiritual Ascent

"...Let us remember this. Saint John Climacus has described the ladder of spiritual ascent; then let us not forget that each Christian must ascend thereon. The great ascetics ascended like swiftly-flying eagles; we scarcely ascend at all. Nonetheless, let us not forget that, unless we employ our efforts in correcting ourselves and our lives, we shall cease our ascent, and, most assuredly, we shall begin to fall.





St. Philaret the New Confessor
'On the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder'"

Fasting

"Special services, special foods, continence, not going to dances and events, all this awakes one to piety and reflection on our present purpose, on the past and on eternity. Seeing in ourselves a falling away from the commandments of God, we try to reconcile ourselves to God through repentance and communion of the most pure and life-giving Mysteries of Christ, which burn the thorns of our sins. You, when you have not fulfilled this duty during the year, of course will fulfill it during the Fast. The most merciful Lord loved us so much, that He gave us, through food and drink, His most pure Body and life-giving Blood, as a token of life eternal and the incorrupt future feast. Let us offer Him thanksgiving with pure hearts, lips and acts!




St. Macarius of Optina
(Letters...)"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Repentance

"The grace of repentance, which acts in those who struggle, is a patristic inheritance. It is a divine transaction and exchange in which we give dust and receive heaven. We exchange matter for the Spirit. Every drop of sweat, every pain, every ascesis for God is an exchange: a loss of blood, an influx of the Spirit. The magnitude of this grace depends on how much a person can contain, in proportion to how much his own vessel can hold. This grace of praxis is also called purifying grace.




Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom' (Thirty-fifth letter)"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contrite Heart

"However great the life we lead may be, we may count it stale and spurious, if we have not acquired a contrite heart.





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

Preparation and Cleansing

"When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai the Hebrew people were ordered to prepare and cleanse themselves beforehand. In the divine liturgy we have an even greater event than God's descent upon Mount Sinai, here before us is the very face of God the Lawgiver. When the Lord appeared to him in the bush on Mount Horeb, Moses was ordered to put off his shoes from his feet: but here God is manifested in a manner far greater than upon Horeb; there was only the type, here is the antitype Himself.




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

Barrenness of Soul

"It is not darkness and desolateness of place that give the demons power against us, but barrenness of soul. And through God's providence, this sometimes happens in order that we may learn by it.




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 21)"

Crucifying the Flesh

"...Crucifying the flesh with its passions and longings means stopping all activity which is displeasing to God. Although our body may pull us down and exert pressure on us, we must lift it up urgently to the height of the Cross.




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

Prayer

"God is the teacher of prayer; true prayer is the gift of God. To him who prays constantly and with contrition of spirit, with the fear of God and with attention, God Himself gives gradual progress in prayer. From humble and attentive prayer, spiritual action and spiritual warmth make their appearance and quicken the heart. The quickened heart draws the mind to itself and becomes a temple of grace-given prayer and a treasury of the spiritual gifts which are procured by such prayer as a matter of course.




Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
'On the Prayer of Jesus'"

Light of Grace

"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 the 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 quench the fire of 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'"

The Mind

"Blessed is the mind that passes the time of its pilgrimage in chaste sobriety, and loiters not in the things through which it has to walk, so that, as a stranger rather than the possessor of its earthly abode, it may not be wanting in human affections, and yet rest on the Divine promises.





St. Leo the Great
'Homily 49: On Great Lent'"

God's Law

"If we begin, with firm intention, to live according to God's Law, we must not fear any sort of attack by those who do not understand, for to him who has truly begun to live according to God's Law, all that happens to him at the hands of men, happens for his help and to the glory of God.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Humility

"Humility is a Heavenly siphon which from the abyss of sins can raise the soul to Heaven.




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

Faith and Humility

"O miserable man, do you wish to find life? Hold faith and humility fast within you; for through them you will find mercy, help, and words spoken by God in the heart, along with a protector who stands beside you both secretly and manifestly. Do you wish to obtain these things, which are the fountain of life? From the very outset take hold of simplicity. Walk before God in simplicity and not with knowledge. Simplicity is attended by faith; but subtle and intricate deliberations, by conceit; and conceit is attended by separation from God.




St. Isaac the Syrian
'Ascetical Homilies' (Homily Seventy-Two)"

Our Mind

"After being healed, our mind has our body under control and leads and carries it about. Through it our mind brings to light the fruits and works of repentance, so that all who see them glorify God. For they see that yesterday's publican is today's Evangelist, the persecutor an Apostle, the thief a theologian. Even the man who used to live among pigs, if you please, is now the son of the Heavenly Father. Having planned in their hearts ways to ascend, they advanced 'from glory to glory' (2 Cor. 3:18), progressing day by day towards excellence. The Lord says to His disciples, 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven' (Matt. 5:16). He does not say this to urge them to show off, but to urge them to organize their lives as is pleasing to God.





St. Gregory Palamas
'Homily on the Second Sunday of Holy Lent'"

Reproof

"Reproof ought to produce in us the godly sorrow, which worketh repentance to salvation, and not the sorrow of self love.





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

Will of God

"What is the will of God that St. Paul urges and invites each of us to attain (Thess. 4:3)? It is total cleansing from sin, freedom from shameful passions and the acquisition of the highest virtue. In other words, it is the purification and sanctification of the heart that comes about through fully experienced and conscious participation in the perfect and divine Spirit.





St. Macarius the Great
'Spiritual Perfection'
(The Philokalia)"

Love for God

"Know firmly that love for God is the highest gift of the Holy Spirit, and a person can only prepare himself, through purity and humility, for the receiving of this great gift, through which mind and heart and body are changed.




Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
'Love of God'"

Impurities

"...One must clean the royal house from every impurity and adorn it with every beauty, then the king may enter into it. In a similar way one must first cleanse the earth of the heart and uproot the weeds of sin and the passionate deeds and soften it with sorrows and the narrow way of life, sow in it the seed of virtue, water it with lamentation and tears, and only then does the fruit of dispassion and eternal life grow. For the Holy Spirit does not dwell in a man until he has been cleansed from passions of the soul and body.




St. Paisius Velichkovsky
'Field Flowers'"

The Obedient

"The Lord who makes wise the blind opens the eyes of the obedient to the virtues of their guide, and He blinds them to his defects. But the hater of good does the opposite.




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 4)"

Compassion

"...For He became man, not as showing favour to some and not to others, but out of compassion for our whole fallen nature. But this bond of kinship will avail nothing to those who offend Him through disobedience and pride; but a special reward will be given to those who love Him. For just as the motive of resurrection extends to all men, because of the Resurrection of our Saviour, who together with Himself has raised up the nature of all men, yet this will avail nothing to those who love sin.




St. Cyril of Alexandria
(Commentary on John 10, 11-13)"

Anathema

"...Therefore there is nothing blameworthy or incomprehensible about this present Rite. If anyone fears the act of anathema, let him avoid the teachings which cause one to fall under it. If anyone fears it for others, let him restore him to sound teaching. If you are Orthodox and yet you are not well disposed toward this act, then you are found to be contradicting yourself. But if you have already abandoned sound doctrine, then what business is it of yours what is done in the Church by those who maintain it? By the very fact that you have conceived a different view of things than that which is maintained in the Church, you have already separated yourself from the Church. It is not inscription in the baptismal records which makes one a member of the Church, but the spirit and content of one's opinions. Whether your teaching and your name are pronounced as being under anathema or not, you already fall under it when your opinions are opposed to those of the Church, and when you persist in them. Fearful is the anathema.



Bishop Theophan the Recluse
'What is an Anathema?'"

The Believing Mind

"The believing mind is a temple of God which it is meet for a man to adorn daily and to burn incense therein, inasmuch as it is God Who dwelleth there.




The Epistle of Palladius
'The Paradise of the Holy Fathers'"

Show Your Firmness

"When it is most difficult to fight the flesh, then it is time to show your firmness, then it is time not to grow weak in the conflict, but to fight as a good soldier of Christ.




St. John of Kronstadt"

The Holy Spirit

"If the Lord has left us ignorant of the ordering of many things in this world, then it means it is not necessary for us to know: we cannot compass all creation with our minds. But the Creator Himself of heaven and earth and every created thing gives us to know Him in the Holy Sprit.



Staretz Silouan
'Wisdom from Mount Athos'"

Do Not Give Up

"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience.




St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 5)"

The Undisturbed Heart

"St. Basil the Great says: One cannot approach the knowledge of the truth with a disturbed heart. Therefore we must try to avoid everything that disturbs our heart, that causes forgetfulness, excitement or passion, or that awakens unrest. We must free ourselves as much as possible from all fuss and flutter and ado over vain things. Yes, when we serve the Lord we shall not be troubled about many things, but always keep in mind that one thing is needful (Luke 10:41).





Tito Colliander
'Way of the Ascetics'"

Materiality

"In the actual world there appears on one side an infinity of material things, of animate and inanimate creatures; on the other side, an infinite world of thought and feeling , or of the sinful foolishness and unfeelingness, or of sinful and passionate thought and feeling. But all materiality is nothing, whilst one single gracious thought in a man, one single feeling of holy love, is infinitely more precious than all materiality.




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

As a Debtor

"He who asks God for gifts in return for his labours has laid unsure foundations. He who regards himself as a debtor will unexpectedly and suddenly receive riches.





St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 22)"

Giving Proper Credit

"Every success in anything we should refer to the Lord and with the Prophet say: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory (Ps. 113:9).




St. Seraphim of Sarov
'Little Russian Philokalia'"

Test of Our Hearts

"The Lord tests our hearts through those who seek our help.




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Gospel on the Last Judgement'"

Temptations

"Christ allows temptations so that we may be purified of our predispositions.





Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom' (Fortieth Letter)"

According to His Will

"Let us always pray this prayer to the Lord: O Christ, the Fullness of truth, let Thy truth dawn in our hearts that we may know to walk in Thy way according to Thy will!





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

Wisdom

"Now bearing this in mind ...let us therefore practice wisdom with simplicity, both as to doctrines and the right actions of our lives; let us judge ourselves here, that we be not condemned with the world hereafter ...And so let us not merely say to God 'do not remember our offences,' but let each also say to himself 'let us not remember the offenses of our fellow servants done against us' ...Why then do you thrust the sword against yourself, as do mad and frantic men, and banish yourself from the life which is to come, when you ought to use every means to attain unto it? For if this present life is so desirable, what can one say of that other from which pain and grief and mourning have fled away? ...Blessed, thrice blessed ...are they who enjoy that blessed rest.




St. John Chrysostom
'Homily on John 5'"