What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Humility

"It is one thing to be humble, another to strive for humility, and another to praise the humble. The first belongs to the perfect, the second to the truly obedient, and the third to all the faithful.





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

Do Not Judge

"If you happen to witness your neighbor's fault, pray for yourself, lest you succumb to a similar evil, for we are all capable of it and ready to fall on any occasion; but, above all, seal your mouth by silence, and inwardly sigh to God about this brother, that God may straighten him.




St. Tikhon of Zadonsk"

Support of Life

"As the man consists of a soul and body, so, correspondingly, there are double means for supporting his life - spiritual and bodily ones. Those for supporting the bodily life are air, food, drink, light and warmth, and those for supporting the spiritual life, prayer (like air), reading the word of God, the life-giving Sacrament, and pious meditations.






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

No Cause for Despair

"I ask you to consider this question: who is greater, he who dies and rises again, or he who does not die at all? Those who extol the latter are deceived, for Christ both died and rose. But he who extols the former urges that for the dying, or rather the falling, there is no cause whatever for despair.





St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 15)"

Our Heavenly Seat

"In Christ our common nature according to the flesh gained the honor of a heavenly seat.


St. Ambrose of Milan
'The Two Natures in Christ'"

Penitence

"Penitence should be sincere, perfectly free, and not in any way forced by any particular time and habit, or by the person before whom the sinner confesses. Otherwise it would not be true penitence.





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

Piety

"...Do not give yourself over to grief, do not be disturbed, do not run away; but consider yourself as dust before the feet of others.





St. Paisius Velichkovsky
'Field Flowers'"

Rules to Live By

"I implore and exhort you, my beloved fathers, brethren, and children, in the following: Love the Lord with all thy soul and all thy heart. Be righteous and just, submissive, with bowed head and your mind turned towards heaven. Have contrition towards God and men. Be a consoler of the sorrowful, patient in trials, and not given to irritation, bountiful, merciful, and a feeder of the poor, receiver of strangers, sorrowful for the sake of sins, joyful in God, hungry and thirsty, meek, patient, not a lover of glory, not a lover of gold, a lover of your neighbor, not hypocritical, not proud, a lover of labor for the sake of God, silent, pleasant in replies, fervent in fasting, in frequent prayers, vigils, and psalm-singing, sensible. Do not judge any man, but condemn yourself. And for this you will be the child of the Gospel, the son of the Resurrection, the inheritor of life in Christ Jesus our Lord.






St. Paisius Velichkovsky
'Field Flowers'"

Humility

"...Even if we should have mounted to the very pinnacle of virtue, let us consider ourselves last of all; having learned that pride is able to cast down even from the heavens themselves him who takes not heed, and humbleness of mind to bear up on high from the very abyss of sins him who knows how to be sober.





St. John Chrysostom
'Concerning Lowliness of Mind'"

Suffering and Glory

"...Have you been dishonored? Then have regard for the glory which is laid up in Heaven through patient endurance. Have you suffered a loss? Then contemplate the heavenly wealth and treasure which you have laid up for yourself through your good deeds. Have you been expelled from your homeland? Then you have Jerusalem as your heavenly homeland. Have you lost a child? Then you have Angels, with whom you will dance around the Throne of God, rejoicing eternally. By thus opposing anticipated good things to present sorrows, you will keep your soul in the cheerfulness and tranquillity to which the Apostles precept summons us. Neither let the joys of human affairs create immoderate and excessive gladness in your soul, nor let sorrows diminish its exultation and sublimity by feelings of dejection and abasement. Unless you have previously trained yourself in this way regarding the eventualities of life, you will never have a calm and tranquil life. But you will easily achieve this if you have dwelling within you the commandment which advises you always to rejoice, dismissing the vexations of the flesh and gathering that which gladdens the soul, transcending the sensation of present realities and extending your mind to the hope of eternal realities, the mere thought of which is sufficient to fill the soul with rejoicing and to make Angelic exultation reside in our hearts; in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be the glory and the dominion, unto the ages. Amen.

St. Basil the Great
'Homily on Thanksgiving'"

Giving Thanks

"We praise Thee; we bless Thee, we worship Thee; we glorify Thee; we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory...





The Great Doxology"

Seek God's Will

"When you want to resolve a complex problem, seek God's will in the matter, and you will find a constructive solution.





St. Mark the Ascetic
'The Philokalia'"

Virtues

"It is better to elude the passions by the recollection of the virtues than by resisting and disputing with them.





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

Attention

"Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary. Attention rouses the soul to study itself and its longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy. Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it thus : be attentive. Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep... Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory. Thoughts, desires, and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention. One must remember the saving words of the Lord: 'Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation.' He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive.

St. Nectarios of Aegina"

The Holy Spirit

"Church doctrine has but one Source: the Holy Spirit, Who lives within the Church, Whom Christ promised would guide the Church into all truth (John 16:13). Thus, the Church possesses true doctrine not because she draws it from Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, but only because she is in fact the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth, guided by the Holy Spirit.




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

Dispositions

"Christian perfection consists of constant good inclinations and dispositions, and it is essential to cultivate these in oneself. The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament prohibit sinful deeds, but the Beatitudes of Christ concern not deeds, but dispositions.






Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
'Confession: A Series of Lectures on the Mystery of Repentance'"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Comforter

"Our merciful God often sends comfort to those pleasing to Him on earth through His saints from the other world.





Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christian Calling

"Do not be proud; do not be angry; do not be despondent, for that is all unworthy of a Christian's calling. This calling is so high and wonderful that it is hard for a man to keep himself from pride and to hold himself above despondency among all the dangers and misfortunes. Against these three unhealthy states, the Apostle stresses three healthy ones: against pride, lowliness; against anger, meekness; against despondency, longsuffering.





Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

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 intructed 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 of Kronsatdt
'My Life in Christ'"

Cleansing

"First, 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. Only one thing can remain within a man, either the Holy Spirit or the passions. Where the Holy Spirit is, there the passions do not come near, and where the passions are, there the Holy Spirit does not dwell...



St. Paisius Velichkosky
'Field Flowers'"

One Thing is Needful

"Our Saviour said this saying, One thing is needful (Luke 10:42) to us all, O Christians! Many Christians trouble themselves and take care for one thing or another, but they themselves often do not know for what they trouble themselves. The Lord warns us of this useless care and says to all, One thing is needful. What is it? Eternal salvation. This is the foremost task of a Christian. With Christians the most foremost care ought to be for this.




St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
'Journey to Heaven'"

Live Like a Saint

"Watch yourself continually, that spiritual life and wisdom may not dry up within you. Think oftener upon what you read, or sing, or hear, in church, or sometimes at home. Live as the saints lived, by their prayers, wisdom and virtues; in meekness, humility and gentleness, not sparing yourself, but renouncing yourself, your rest, ease and enjoyment, for the love of God and your neighbor, in patience, courage and struggle - have their faith, hope and love.




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

God's Love

"What can we say about the great love that the Lord shows us to save us! But we forget everything at the slightest temptation, yet it is in temptations and afflictions that Christ is found. Worries and cares about how to make a living cannot be called afflictions. I mean afflictions for Christ: to be persecuted; to suffer in order to save someone else; to struggle for the love of Christ and to be opposed by temptations; to suffer misfortunes until death for Christ; to endure insults and derision unjustly; to be despised by everyone as if deluded. Then the Lord justly consoles and gladdens the soul.





Elder Joseph the Hesychast
'Monastic Wisdom' (Thirty-seventh Letter)"

The Church

"It is solely through each man's bond with the Church that he receives all the means necessary for his moral regeneration.




New Hieromartyr Hilarion
'Holy Scripture and the Church'"

God's Grace

"God's is the grace and ours is the toil. Let no-one then, think that, as the holy apostles relied solely on the grace of God, it was easy for them; that they were able without effort to accomplish their great task in the world.





Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
'The Prologue from Ochrid'"

The Holy Spirit

"According to the teaching of the Apostle, all Church life is a manifestation of God's Holy Spirit; each manifestation of love, each virtue is the action of a gift of the Spirit. Everything is produced by one and the same Spirit. According to the words of the Apostle Peter, people are but stewards of the manifold grace of God (I Peter, 4:10). The Spirit of God has, by Its own power, penetrated the entire body of the Church and given various spiritual gifts to each of its members, making possible a new life for mankind. It unites all into one body, unifying in such a way as to instill a kind of love in the hearts of men which, in their natural state, cannot be a principle of their lives and relationships with other people.




Holy New-Martyr Archbishop Ilarion
'Christianity or The Church?'"

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'"

Union through Love

"Thou alone knowest the cares, labors, and sweat of Thy saints, in order to purify themselves to please Thee, the Father of all. Thou alone knowest Thy saints. Teach us to imitate them in our lives, so that we too may be in union with all through love.




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

Love

"What is sweeter than love? And yet there is not much love in us! Wherefore? We love our flesh exceedingly, and with it everything carnal, material and earthly! Let us, therefore, despise the flesh and walk by the spirit, mortifying the works of the flesh by the spirit.




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

Image of God

"Remember what man is. He is the image of God, a child of God, a Christian, an inheritor of the Kingdom, a member of Christ. We must therefore esteem every man, although he may bear in his soul the wounds of sins. The wounds - are wounds; they are made by the Devil and sin, but still the image is the image of God. We must pity him for his wounds, grieve, pray for him as for ourselves: for we are all - one body.




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

Rules for Trustworthy Advice

"Not every man is able to give trustworthy advice, but only he who has first governed himself well, who possesses knowledge gained from experience in all things, who does not love himself, and who does not shy away from calumnies.




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

Compunction

"Keep a firm hold of the blessed gladdening sorrow of holy compunction, and do not stop working at it until it raises you high above the things of this world, and presents you pure to Christ.





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

Christ in Me, Part II

"Let us examine ourselves. And if this is so, let us bring about a revolution within ourselves. And let us start with our thoughts; because every sin passes through thought into our feeling, and through feeling into action. This means that our main struggle with sin goes on in the thoughts. This is where we have to destroy it; then it will not even touch our heart and will not pass into action.
Yes, but our thought is already infected by sin. What are we to do? From a thought, as from a hole in the ground, little snakes are constantly darting out — sinful thoughts — and they bite and poison our feelings. But this is what we must do: run to Christ with repentance. He is our Savior from sin. In His first appearance after His Resurrection, He said to His disciples: 'Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whose so ever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven' (Jn. 20: 22-23). Let us start with this. Let us take our sinful thoughts to confession, and we will receive absolution. And then new thoughts and new deeds will begin. A new life."

Archbishop Andrew of Novo Diveyevo
Sermon on the Sower ("The One Thing Needful")

Christ in Me, Part I

"...But who among us can honestly repeat these words of the Apostle: 'Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me'? And if we do not feel what the Apostle felt, it means that our life is not fully Christian, and we are not bearing those fruits which the Lord expects from us. What is the matter? The Word of God is as powerful today as in the days when the Savior Himself was preaching it; and yet our lives do not reflect this His Word. For if our deeds would conform to the teaching of Christ, then the whole world would turn to Christ, because our lives would be more eloquent, more strong than any sermon.
But alas, they are not like this. Our deeds are not like this because our feelings are not the feelings of Christ; they have not yet died to the law of earthly life — futile, temporary — in order to live for God, as the Apostle says. And our feelings are not like this because our thoughts are busy with unnecessary things. Only rarely are they directed toward Christ, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. Are they not wandering more often on the highways of our futile earthly life? Do they not bring our hearts into a state of stoniness, absorbed only with the cares of our temporary, materialistic welfare? Do they not get stuck between our sinful desires, as between weeds?"

Apostles

"We believe fishermen, not dialecticians.


St. Ambrose of Milan
'Loci Theologici' (Vol. 1, p107)"

Repentance and Tears

"Repentance gives rise to the tear from the depths of the soul; the tear cleanses the heart and wipes away great sins. When these have been blotted out through tears the soul finds itself in the comfort of the Spirit of God and is watered by streams of sweetest compunction. By these it is spiritually fructified day by day so that it produces the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and in due time yields them like an abundant harvest of grain as an unfailing supply of food for the incorruptible and eternal life of the soul. When the soul by a good zeal has reached this state it is identified with God and becomes the house and abode of the Divine Trinity. It sees its own Maker and God clearly, and as it converses with Him day by day it departs from the body and the world and from this air and ascends into the heaven of heavens. Borne aloft by the virtues and by the wings of God's love it rests from its labors together with all the righteous and is found in the infinite and divine Light, where the hosts of Christ's apostles, of the martyrs, of the blessed ones and of all the powers on high sing in chorus together.




St. Symeon the New Theologian
'Tears and the Comfort of the Spirit'
(The Discourses)"

Humility

"If you ardently long for true knowledge and unequivocal assurance of salvation, first study how to break the soul's impassioned links with the body; then, stripped of all attachment to material things, descend to the depths of humility, and there you will find the precious pearl of your salvation hidden in the shell of divine knowledge.



St. Theognostos
(The Philokalia)"

The Will

"Having mourned with His loving soul over our imperfection and our corrupt wills, the Lord has added to our nature the wellspring of new and vital power, accessible to all who have wished or ever shall wish for it, beginning with the wise thief.





Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
'The Dogma of Redemption'"