What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

With God

"...Without God, no one shall put me in chains, cast me into prison, or send me into exile. If these things are done to me, it means that God has consented to them. No one shall deprive me of my riches, honor, fame, against God's will. And if I am deprived of these things, it means that such is God's pleasure. And if it is pleasing to God, then so be it. God holds all things in His hand, and nothing happens to us except through His will. And nothing occurs through God's will but what is good, even as light is generated by the sun, warmth by fire and mercy by love. God offers us His good, for He is good. He permits the Devil's attacks against us, as well as the attacks of evil men, and through them He permits misfortunes, disasters, and temptations, but He permits them according to the measure of our strength and inasmuch as we can bear them. He permits all this for our good. For from a God that is true and eternal, nothing but good can issue.





St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
'A Treasury of Russian Spirituality'
(excerpt from a letter)"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Saints

"We ought to have the most lively spiritual union with the dwellers in heaven, the apostles, prophets, martyrs, saintly bishops, confessors, with all the saints, as they are all members of one body, the Church of Christ, to which we sinners also belong, and the living Head of which is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This is why we call upon them in prayer, converse with them, thank and praise them. It is urgently necessary for every Christian to be in union with them if he desires to make Christian progress; for the saints are our friends, our guides to slavation, who pray and intercede for us.




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

Faith

"There is absolutely nothing for a Christian to be proud of in accomplishing works of righteousness, for he is saved, constantly delivered, from every evil through faith alone; in the same manner he accomplishes works of righteousness also by the same faith. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.




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

Simple Hearts

"The Lord reposes in simple hearts.




Elder Ambrose of Optina"

The Teachings Part II

"We also bless the water for baptism, and also the oil of chrism, and even the person baptized. On the authority of what writings? Is it not rather on the authority of secret mystic tradition? And the anointing with oil, what written words tell us to do this? And the threefold immersion, where does it come from? And the other practices in baptism, the renouncing of Satan, and his angels? Do these not come from that veiled and secret doctrine which our Fathers have safeguarded in unquestioning and simple silence? For they have learned to guard the sacredness of the mysteries in silence.




St. Basil the Great
'Sacred Tradition a Divine Guide'"

The Teachings

"Of the beliefs and public doctrines entrusted to the care of the Church, there are some which are based on Scriptural teaching, others which we have received handed down in mystery by the tradition of the Apostles; and in relation to the true religion they both have the same force. Nor is there anyone will contradict them; no one certainly who has the least acquaintance with the established laws of the Church.
For were we to attempt to reject the unwritten practices of the Church, as being without great importance, we would unknowingly inflict mortal wounds on the Gospel, or rather, we would make of our public teaching a mere pretence and nothing more. For example, if I may cite in the first place what are the first and most common practices of Tradition, who is it has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the Cross those who place their trust in Jesus Christ our Lord? What that is written has taught us to turn towards the East when we pray? The words of invocation at the consecration of the Eucharistic Bread and the Chalice of Blessing, which of the saints has left them to us in writing? For we are not content with the words both the Gospel and the Apostle have recorded, but have added some others, both before these and after them, as having great significance in relation to the mystery, and which have been received from unwritten tradition."

The Saints

"...Let us consider the patience of holy men and women, how they willingly endured long periods of fasting, vigil and various other physical hardships as though they were not in the body, battling to the end against evil passions and all sorts of sin, in the invincible inner warfare against principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness (Eph. 6:12). They wore away their outer selves and made them useless, but their inner man was renewed and deified by Him from Whom they received gifts of healing and mighty works. When we think on these matters and understand that they surpass human nature, we are filled with wonder and glorify God who gave them such grace and power. For even if their intentions were good and noble, without God's strength they could not have gone beyond the bounds of their nature and driven away the bodiless enemy while clothed in their bodies.




St. Gregory Palamas
'Homily Twenty-Five'
(Delivered on the Sunday of all Saints)"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pentecost

"The holy mystery of the day of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, is to be understood in the following manner: the spirit of man must be completed and perfected by the Holy Spirit, that is, it must be sanctified, illuminated, and divinized by the Holy Spirit. This holy mystery is realized continually in the Church of Christ and because of this the Church is really a continuous Pentecost.... From Holy Pentecost, the day of the Holy Spirit, every God-like soul in the Church of Christ is an incombustible bush which continuously burns and is inflamed with God and has a fiery tongue within it.



Fr. Justin Popovich
'Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ'"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Holy Spirit

"How can our soul find joy in the Holy Spirit, when we occupy ourselves all the time with earthly and empty pastimes and pleasures? So it is that by serving that which corrupts and destroys we are drawn away from life incorruptible, true and eternal.




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

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guard Against Sin

"When once a man has truly repented, he must think no more of the sins committed, lest he fall again into sin. St. Antony advises: 'Guard yourself, that your mind be not fouled with the memory of former sins, and that the memory of them be not renewed within you.' And, in another place, he says: 'Don't establish the sins that you have formerly committed in your soul by pondering on them, lest they be renewed in you. Be assured that they are forgiven from the moment that you turn to God in repentance. Be in no doubt about this.'




Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Attitude

"A tempered iron can sharpen untempered, so a fervent brother has often saved an indolent one.






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

Faith

A certain pagan king was caught in a storm at sea. The sailors were frightened and did not know what to do. The king, in accordance with his customary arrogance, said, "What are you afraid of? You are carrying the king." This was idle talk. Once the Lord was sailing with His disciples on the sea of Galilee. When a windstorm endangered the ship they were on, the disciples did not know what to do, and they cried out to Him, Lord, save us, for we will perish! First of all He rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and when the waves had ceased and there was calm, He asked, Where is your faith? (Luke 8: 23-25) Thus, it is only with respect to the Lord that one can truly say, "What are you afraid of?" The Lord is with you. This I also say to you: Do not be afraid of either inner or outer turmoil, for the Lord is with you. Do not lose your living faith in this, and your heart will affirm, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (Psalm 22:4). It is fitting for all who take communion to sing, The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (Psalm 45:8).


St. Theophan the Recluse

"The Spiritual Life"

(Unceasing Remembrance of God)

The Soul

"Let us be concerned only about the soul, and in every need have, as the One who takes care of you, God. Nowhere, never, and in no need does God leave those who hope without doubt in Him entirely and who serve Him with all their hearts in love towards Him. If we shall live in hope upon God, even if only for one day and thus we die, this is better than many years spent in doubleness of soul.




St. Paisius Velichkovsky
'Field Flowers'"

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, and 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)"

Blame

"Try to blame yourself, yourself only and not your relations, for all. Be certain that none can offend or hurt us without God's permission; and whenever God permits it, it is always for our good.





Staretz Macarius of Optina"

The Feasts

"He who does not respect the feasts does not have success.




Elder Ambrose of Optina"

Christ's Ascension

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, throughout this time which elapsed between the Lord's Resurrection and Ascension, God's Providence had this in view, to teach and impress upon both the eyes and hearts of His own people that the Lord Jesus Christ might be acknowledged to have as truly risen, as He was truly born, suffered, and died. And hence the most blessed Apostles and all the disciples, who had been both bewildered at His death on the cross and backward in believing His Resurrection, were so strengthened by the clearness of the truth that when the Lord entered the heights of heaven, not only were they affected with no sadness, but were even filled with great joy. And truly great and unspeakable was their cause for joy, when in the sight of the holy multitude, above the dignity of all heavenly creatures, the Nature of mankind went up, to pass above the angels' ranks and to rise beyond the archangels' heights, and to have Its uplifting limited by no elevation until, received to sit with the Eternal Father, It should be associated on the throne with His glory, to Whose Nature It was united in the Son. Since then Christ's Ascension is our uplifting, and the hope of the Body is raised, whither the glory of the Head has gone before, let us exult, dearly-beloved, with worthy joy and delight in the loyal paying of thanks. For today not only are we confirmed as possessors of paradise, but have also in Christ penetrated the heights of heaven, and have gained still greater things through Christ's unspeakable grace than we had lost through the devil's malice. For us, whom our virulent enemy had driven out from the bliss of our first abode, the Son of God has made members of Himself and placed at the right hand of the Father, with Whom He lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


St. Leo the Great

(Sermon 73 - On the Lord's Ascension)

The One Teaching

"...Christ, you see, did not teach monks only, but all people - and He taught one teaching.





New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)
'On the Unity of Christ's Ideal'"

Freedom

"True freedom is the freedom of Christians - internal freedom and not external - moral and spiritual, and not physical - always doing good and never rebelling - which can dwell in a hut as comfortably as in a mansion or a palace - through which those under authority, without ceasing to be under authority, can have all the advantages of the person in authority - which even in bonds and in prison remains indestructible, as can be observed in the Christian martyrs.




Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow"

Words

"Attend not to the actual words of an arrogant man, but rather to his meaning. It often happens that words which appear harsh at first do not in fact proceed from any harshness of heart, but only from habit. How would it be if everyone examined our words strictly and critically, without Christian love - indulgent, kindly, long-suffering?





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

To See

"The Church, telling us today about this miracle of the Savior, at the same time chants in the person of each of us: “Blind with my spiritual eyes, I come to you, O Christ, like one born blind.” Not long ago we prayed to our Lord intensively: “Grant that I may see my own sins.” If we ask to see, to be able to see our sins it means we cannot see them as well as is needed. This is because our “spiritual eyes” are blind. This is why this church prayer is full of sense and meaning for each of us. The Holy Fathers also always say that people cannot see their sins as clearly as they should.



St. Philaret the New Confessor of New York
'Sermon on the Sunday of the Blind Man'"

The Church

"...In the new humanity, built upon the foundation of the Incarnation of the Son of God, the unity of our human nature, broken by sin, is restored. Christ Himself named this new humanity the Church.



New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)
'Holy Scripture and the Church'"

Renewal by the Spirit

"He will share in Christ's glory who, through being formed in Christ, has received renewal by the Spirit and has preserved it, and so has attained to ineffable deification.




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

To Please God

"None can fully conceive how great is the strength and power in our spiritual life of this motive and aim - to please God. For even if some activity is in itself quite simple and unimportant, if it is done for the sole purpose of pleasing God and to His glory, it becomes in the eyes of God infinitely more valuable than many other great and glorious deeds, performed without this aim. Thus God is more pleased to see you give a small coin to a beggar, solely with the purpose of pleasing His divine majesty, than if you strip yourself of all your possessions for some other purpose, even if you do so for the sake of receiving heavenly blessings, although such purpose is good and desirable.




Lorenzo Scupoli
'Unseen Warfare'
(edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and
revised by Bishop Theophan the Recluse)"

Perfection

"Ultimate and perfect perfection is attained in Heaven, in the future everlasting life, for which our brief earthly human life serves as but a preparation, just as man's youthful years serve as preparation for future practical activity.



St. Ambrose of Optina"

Constant Peace

Let that which calms my mind and my heart be committed to writing that I may return to constant peace of heart amidst the cares of life. What is it? It is this saying, full trust and power: 'The Lord is everything to me'. This is the priceless treasure, which if we possess we can be calm in every estate, rich in poverty, generous and kind to others in the time of wealth, and not losing hope even after having sinned.




St. John of Kronstadt

"My Life in Christ"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Divine Grace

"By ourselves, we cannot do anything if Christ does not first assist us with His divine grace.




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

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fruits

"A virtuous way of life and gratitude towards God are fruits of man that are pleasing to God. The fruits of the earth are not brought to perfection immediately, but by time, rain and care; similarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverence, self-control, and patience. And if, because of all you do, anyone should ever think that you are a devout man, distrust yourself so long as you are in the body, and think that nothing about you is pleasing to God. For you must know that it is not easy for anyone to keep himself sinless until the end.



St. Antony the Great
'On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life'
(The Philokalia)"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

To Be Of God

"...By taking things above us, in a sense familiar to ourselves, and by being entangled by what is congenial to sensible perceptions, and by comparing things Divine with our own conditions, we are led astray through following the Divine and mystical reason after a mere appearance. We ought to know that our mind has the power for thought, through which it views things intellectual, but that the union through which it is brought into contact with things beyond itself surpasses the nature of the mind. We must then contemplate things Divine, after this Union, not after ourselves, but by our whole selves, standing out of our whole selves, and becoming wholly of God. For it is better to be of God, and not of our selves. For thus things Divine will, be given to those who become dear to God.



St. Dionysius the Areopagite
'The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite'
(Caput VII. Concerning Wisdom, Mind, Reason, Truth, Faith)"

Good Soldier

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




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

Holy Man

"From the holy no man takes joy away...



St. Cyril of Alexandria
'Christian Hope: the Promised Joy'"

Patience

"...And what shall I say of anger, of discord, of strife: things which should have no place in the Christian heart? Let there be patience in the breast, and these things will have no place there! And should they try to enter they will speedily be excluded, and will depart, so that God may continue to have a peaceful abode in the heart where it pleases Him to dwell.





St. Cyprian of Carthage
'On the Advantages of Patience'"

Pride

"Pride is the forerunner of every fall.



Staretz Macarius of Optina
'Russian Letters of Direction'"

Good Works

"We who have received baptism offer good works, not by way of repayment, but to preserve the purity given to us.




St. Mark the Ascetic
'The Philokalia'"