What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Meek

"If it is a mark of extreme meekness, even in the presence of one's offender, to be peacefully and lovingly disposed towards him in one's heart, then it is certainly a mark of hot temper when a person continues to quarrel and rage against his offender, both by words and gestures, even when by himself.

St. John Climacus
'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 8)"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Strive to be more Godlike

The perfect person does not try to avoid evil. Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of the promised reward.

The perfect person does good through love.

His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does.

He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward.

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be the image and likeness of God.

Clement of Alexandria

"Miscellaneous Studies"

(Drinking from the Hidden Fountain; A Patristic Breviary)

Nature of Christ

"He took what is mine in order that He might impart to me what is His. He took it not to overturn it but to fill it.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Christian Life

   After the spirit is enlivened by the grace of God at conversation, it ascends to resolve and promise, and seals the grace with the Holy Mysteries. But just as at the beginning conversation is unreliable if it is not sealed by grace through the Sacraments, so does zeal continue to be unstable, fervor powerless, the will weak, and life empty without renewal through the Divine Mysteries of Confession and Holy Communion. Christian life manifested by zeal is grace-filled life. Thus the attraction and acquisition of divine grace is the most powerful means of preserving, feeding and kindling Christian life. There are special elements that feed our animal nature, and there are elements that feed our spiritual life. These second elements are the Sacraments.
                                                     St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                     "The Path to Salvation"

Humility and Pride

 God dwells in the humble, but departs from the proud.
                                         Abbot Nazarius of Valaam
                                         "Indications of the Most Essential Spiritual
                                                   Dispositions and Virtues"

Most Perfect Desire

 The greatest and most perfect thing a man may desire to attain is to come near to God and dwell in union with Him.
                                         Lorenzo Scupoli
                                         "Unseen Warfare"
                                         (edited by Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain
                                            and revised by St. Theophan the Recluse)

God's Creatures

Often many misfortunes befall us, all because we have not humbled ourselves yet. When the soul is humble and bows down before the will of God, our suffering and misfortunes will cease. For then, misfortunes and suffering somehow become dear to us. We will come to have a completely different understanding of life. We do not reason anymore according to the laws of this world. We see everything in a different light. Everything we look upon seems somehow brighter, full of love. Everything is good because it is pleasing to God. We are His creatures and all that is created belongs to Him. He created all things for Himself, that we might be partakers of His Divine love and Divine peace and joy.
                                                            Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
                                                            "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives"

Purification of the Heart

  If a man purifies his heart and uproots from it all sin against the Lord; if he labors diligently to acquire Divine knowledge and succeeds in seeing with his mind that which is invisible to many, he must not through this exalt himself over others. Who among creatures is purer than an incorporeal being and who has more knowledge than an Angel? Yet, having exalted himself he was cast down from heaven like lightning. His pride was regarded by God as impurity.
                                                        Philotheus of Sinai
                                                        "Forty Texts on Sobriety"
                                                        (The Philokalia)

Faith and Love

 God's saints are near to the believing heart, and are ready in a moment to help those who call upon them with faith and love. For the most part we have to send, and sometimes we have to wait long, for earthly helpers, whilst we have neither to send, nor to wait long, for spiritual helpers: the faith of him who prays can place them close to his heart in a moment, and he will speedily receive, through faith, spiritual help.
                                                     St. John of Kronstadt
                                                     "My Life in Christ"

Pay Attention

    Those who live without due attention to themselves are never honored with a visit of grace.
                                                 Staretz Leonid of Optina
                                                 "Russian Mystics"

Trials and Tribulations

   Great and unspeakable and inestimable are the promises made by God; and in proportion to them great faith and hope and labors and conflicts are required, and much trial. The blessings for which a seeker of the kingdom hopes are no trifle. Thou desirest to reign with Christ through ages without end; wilt thou not readily welcome the conflicts and labors and temptations of this short span of life, even unto death?
                                             St. Macarius the Great
                                             "Spiritual Homilies" (Homily 5)

Through the Holy Spirit

  Through His aid hearts are lifted up, the weak led by the hand, those going forward are perfected. Shining upon those who have been purified of every stain, He makes them spiritual in heart, through union with Himself. For just as when the sunlight falls on clear transparent bodies, they too become resplendent, and begin to shine from another light within themselves, so the souls that contain the Spirit within them, become themselves spiritual, and their brightness shines forth on others.
                                                          St. Basil the Great
                                                          "On the Holy Spirit"

God and Man/Two Natures

  ...Then how are we the offspring of God, and in what manner are we partakers of the divine nature? (II Pet. i. 4). We possess a measure of His glory, not alone from this that Christ desired to receive us as His kindred, but also because the power of this relationship is manifest in us. For though the Word of God is divine by nature, even in our flesh, and though He remains God by nature, we are His kindred because He has taken our flesh. Similar therefore is the manner of our relationship. For as He belongs to the Father, and because of Their identity of nature the Father is joined to Him, so we also in that He has become man are regarded as belonging to Him, and He in like manner is united to us. Through Him as through an intermediary are we united to the Father. For Christ is as it were a boundary between the supreme divine nature and that of humanity; both being in Him; and containing within Himself things that are so distantly separate; and He is joined to God the Father as being by nature God, and to men in that He is true man.
                                         St. Cyril of Alexandria
                                         "The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"

Living Water

  ...Christ the Saviour did not give living water just to the Samaritans and the Jews. He gave it, and gives it today, to each and every one who, in the desert of this life, is aware of his spiritual thirst. On one occasion, the Lord stood in Jerusalem and cried, saying: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink (John 7:37). Do you hear how it is said: He cried? The Good Shepherd does not whisper; He shouts, calling His flock to water. He, in His love for mankind, stands in the searing desert of this world and cries to all the travelers exhausted by thirst. Blessed are they that hear His voice and draw near to Him in faith.
                                                           Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
                                                           "The Gospel of the Giver of Living Water and the Samaritan Woman"

Love One Another

   The Lord wants us to love one another: in this - in love towards God and our fellow man - lies freedom. In this lie both freedom and equality. With society as it is graduated on this earth there can be no equality. but that is of no importance to the soul. Not everyone can be an emperor or a prince; not everyone can be a patriarch or an abbot, or a leader; but in every walk of life we can love God and be pleasing to Him, and only this is important. And the man who loves God most in this world will have the most glory in the Kingdom. He who loves most will the most strongly yearn and reach for God, and be closest to Him. Each will be glorified according to the measure of his love.
                                                           Staretz Silouan
                                                           "Wisdom from Mount Athos"


  A prayer offered while one has any cause to reproach a fellow man is an impure prayer. There is only one whom the praying person may and must reproach, and that is himself. Without self-reproach, your prayer is as worthless as it is while you are reproaching someone else in your heart. Perhaps you ask: How can one learn this? The answer is: One learns it through prayer.
                                                Tito Colliander
                                                "Way of the Ascetics"


  ...The strength of God is made perfect in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9), that our hope may be in the Lord. Meekness and temperance, along with the patient endurance of tribulations, will bring God's blessing upon you, and according to the sure word of Christ, "he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved" (Mark 13:13).
                                                          Elder Moses of Optina
                                                          "Letter to his brother, Elder Anthony"

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Holiness is not simple righteousness, for which the righteous are rewarded with blessedness in the Kingdom of God; rather, it is such a height of righteousness that people are so filled with the grace of God that it flows from them even upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness, which proceeds from their direct contemplation of the glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men's needs, and at their entreaties they act as mediators and intercessors for them before God.
                          St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco
                          "The Glorification of God-Pleasers"

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"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Soul

 The body, as it is only the temporal garment of the soul, is perishable, and its life is not the true life of man. The true life is the spiritual life. If you destroy a man's garment, he himself yet lives; so also after the death and decaying of the body the soul is yet alive. Let us then care principally for the soul, that it may be saved.
                                                St. John of Kronstadt
                                                "My Life in Christ"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The power of the Divinity revealed in men is as sunlight upon the earth.
                                       St. Gregory the Great
                                       "Given on the Holy Day of Pentecost"

Sunday, June 12, 2011


 We are celebrating the day of Pentecost, the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, the day of the hope of perfection, the end of expectation, the longing for salvation, the fulfillment of prayer and the image of patience. Today the Spirit Who acted to scatter the nations in the time of Heber has formed tongues of fire among the Apostles. His action of old led to the confusion of the nations, in order to restrain the will of man from its brazenness and consequent chastisement; on this occasion, however, amidst fiery tongues, the deeds wrought by the activity of the Holy Spirit served to preserve us as recipients of preaching, in fulfillment of the will of God.
                                                         St. John Chrysostom
                                                          "Sermon on the Feast of Pentecost"

Friday, June 10, 2011


 Wisdom moved by the Spirit is, according to the theologians, the power of mental, pure, angelic prayer; a sign of this is that during prayer the mind is free from forms, with no image either of itself or of anything else appearing even for an instant, since it is drawn away from the senses by the light acting within. For then, the mind is removed from everything material and is like light, being ineffably merged with God into one spirit.
                                                            St. Gregory of Sinai
                                                            "Texts on Commandments and Dogmas"
                                                            (The Philokalia)

The Saints' Example

 Never neglect reading from the Fathers. You will benefit greatly because the saints set an example for you.
                                               Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                               "Monastic Wisdom" (Twenty-sixth Letter)

The Spirit

Whatever the soul may think fit to do of itself, whatever care and pains it may take, relying upon its own power, and thinking to be able to effect a perfect success by itself, without the cooperation of the Spirit, it is greatly mistaken. It is of no use for the heavenly places; it is of no use for the kingdom - that soul which supposes that it can achieve perfect purity of itself, and by itself alone, without the Spirit.
                                                St. Macarius the Great
                                                "Spiritual Homilies" (Homily 24)


Pentecost Icon
The sending down of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Sustainer of the Holy Church.

Be Aware of Vices

    The desires of this life vary in every man, so that each one may encounter a strong conflict (Wis. x. 12), in which he may constantly exercise his soul in virtue (I Tim, iv. 7). For there are those who are given to gluttony and excess, while they may abhor adultery. Others are swollen with pride, but will not commit theft. Others, despising the pleasures of the body, are devoured by avarice. There are those who are indifferent to personal adornment, but at the same time give themselves to dissipation. Others, who delight in wine, know nothing of pride. Some will have nothing to do with fornication, but in their heart deceit and hypocrisy flourish concealed. Then there are those who condemn extravagance, yet delight in speaking ill of others. And there are others who rise above one vice, and wallow wholeheartedly in another. Some are free from reproach in one direction, and most evilly disposed in another. Some escape one snare, and are buried alive in the filth of some other vice.
    Many, and indeed endless, are the forms of vice, and they all deceive men gradually. From the smallest beginnings they slip heedlessly into greater sins. And when the devil seeks to overcome any man, he first considers what vice is it to which his nature is most inclined, so that, delighting in his bonds, he will not even wish to free himself.
                                                     St. Ephraim the Syrian
                                                     "On the Evil of the Tongue and Similar Vices"

Christ In You

  If the desire of the love of Christ has not become so powerful within you as to render you dispassionate toward every affliction due to your joy in Him, then know that the world is more alive in you than is Christ. When illness, and want, and bodily exhaustion, and fear of bodily harm perturb your mind so as to sway it from the joy of your hope and from your unsullied care to please the Lord, then know that the flesh and not Christ lives within you. To speak simply, that which you love and which has mastery within you, this it is which lives in you.
                                                      St. Isacc the Syrian
                                                      "Ascetical Homilies"  (Homily Fifty-Six)

Monday, June 6, 2011


"As we have learned from the Lord, so are we baptized; we are baptized as we believe; and as we believe, we glorify God.

St. Basil the Great
Letter to the Evaisenians (Letter 251)
'The Fathers Speak'"

Sunday, June 5, 2011


"As children therefore of truth flee division and false doctrine, and where the shepherd is there follow as sheep. For there are many wolves who by specious professions lead captive with fatal pleasures the runners of God's course; but while you continue in unity these shall have no place.

St. Ignatius the God-bearer
'The Epistle to the Philadelphians'"

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Soul

Your soul seeks true life and its natural food. The food of the mind is truth; the food of the heart is peace and blessedness; the food of the will is lawfulness. Go to the Church; she will give you all this in plenty, for she possesses it superabundantly. She is the pillar and ground of the truth, because in her is the Word of God, manifesting the origin of all things - the origin of the human race, how man was created after the image and likeness of God, how he fell, and has been restored through the Redeemer of mankind; in her also is revealed the means of salvation, faith, hope and love. She affords us peace and blessedness through her divine service, above all through the sacraments. She calls us: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. She teaches us the true way which leads to eternal life - the way of God's commandments.

St. John of Kronstadt

"My Life in Christ"

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It has now been sufficiently shown what a deadly vice strife is - the man who carries spite in his breast is rearing a poisonous snake in his bosom. You know, kind readers, from your own experience, how heavy your soul is when you have quarreled with someone. It is as if a mountain weighs you down; you cannot breathe lightly and freely. You feel like a captive and even worse than that, because for the captive the body is bound but the spirit is free. For you, the spirit is bound with the chains of satanic strife, and the body feels weakened because of this. The man who quarrels with his neighbor is a slave of the devil. Are there any happy slaves? If the bird, confined in a cage is happy, then the wretched captives of sin can also be happy. No! No happiness can bloom among the weeds of sin, and even less among the thorns and thistles of hatred and strife. While you are feuding with your brother, peace cannot rise in your heart!

Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev

"Strife and Reconciliation"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lord God

"Neither an angel nor a man, but the incarnate Lord Himself came and saved us, being made like us for our sake while remaining unchanged as God. In the same way as He came down, without changing place but condescending to us, so He returns once more, without moving as God, but enthroning on high our human nature which He has assumed. It was truly right that the first begotten nature from the dead (Rev. 1:5) should be presented there to God, as firstfruits from the first crop offered for the whole race of men.

St. Gregory Palamas
'On the Ascension of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ'"