What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Tempter

 ...The struggle lasts for life, and the tempter, wherever you are, wherever  you go, is beside you.
                                                    Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                    "Monastic Wisdom"  (Thirty-fourth Letter)

House of God

  The soul and conscience of the faithful is also the Temple and House of God.
                                                St. Gregory the Great
                                                "On the End of Life"

Submission to God

    Let no man be deceived. If any one be not within the enclosure of the altar, he lacks the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two hath so great efficacy, how much more has the prayer of the bishop and of the whole Church. So then he who comes not to the congregation thereby shows his pride and straightway cuts himself off. For it is written, "God resisteth the proud." (Prov. iii. 34) So then let us take heed not to resist the bishop, that by our submission we may give ourselves to God.
                                                          St. Ignatius the God-bearer
                                                          "The Epistle to the Ephesians"

An Unfettered 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 of 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 the one thing needful (Luke 10:41).
                                                 Tito Colliander
                                                 "Way of the Ascetics"

Our Return to Paradise

   Through the Holy Spirit comes our return to paradise, our ascent to the kingdom of heaven, our adoption again as sons and daughters of God, our freedom to call God Father, our sharing in the grace of Christ, our being called children of the light, our part in eternal glory; in a word, our coming into the fullness of the blessing, in this world and in the world to come, of those good things stored up for us in promises, which, beholding their grace as in a mirror, we anxiously await through faith as though they were already present. If this is the pledge, then how great is the future reward? If these are the first fruits, then how great is the fullness?
                                                                   St. Basil the Great
                                                                   "The Fullness of the Spirit"
                                                                   (Gateway to Paradise)

How to Love God

  Stop pleasing yourself and you will not hate your brother; stop loving yourself and you will love God.
                                          St. Maximus the Confessor
                                          "Fourth Century on Love"
                                          (The Philokalia)

Characteristics that Unite Us to God

    To be gentle, humble and kind to all, even to our enemies, to be simple, disinterested, contented with little, the little that is indispensable, to be generous and full of good-will to everyone  -   such are the things that unite us to God, the source of life, and to other men by endearing us to them.
                                                         St. John of Kronstadt
                                                         "My Life in Christ"


  ...Christ gave us peace; He ordered us to be in agreement and of one mind; He commanded us to keep the bonds of love and charity uncorrupted and inviolate. He cannot display himself a martyr who has not maintained fraternal charity.
                                                      St. Cyprian of Carthage
                                                      "The Unity of the Catholic Church"

To Know God

 Often we find that those who had never previously known God have much stronger faith than those who claim to have been devout all their lives. When a person who has not known God comes to his senses and begins to pray to God, he knows what it [life] was like before and he knows Who helped him find the light at the end of the tunnel.
                                               Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
                                               "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives"

Forgiveness and Acceptance

  He Who before our offence forbids us to sin, after our offence ceases not from waiting for us to repent. He Whom we have rejected calls after us. We have turned away from Him, but He has not turned from us.
                                                               St. Gregory the Great
                                                               "The Angelic Choirs"

Love of Neighbor

 It is easier for feeble straw to resist a mighty fire than for the nature of sin to resist the power of love. We must cultivate this love in our souls, that we may take our place with all the saints, for they were all-pleasing unto God through their love for their neighbor.
                                                       New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth

Relations Between God and Man

There is a close relation between the image and its Prototype - between a pious man and God; between the members and the Head; between the flock and the Shepherd; between the Vine and the branches. If we always believed and remembered this truth, O! in what accord, in what love and purity, we should live; how compassionate we should be to one another, how indulgent, how forgiving, knowing that we ourselves, before all, are in need of both God's and man's indulgence and mercy, as being most infirm in spirit and body.
                                                       St. John of Kronstadt
                                                       "My Life in Christ"

Man's Weaknesses

  Blessed is the man who knows his own weakness, because this knowledge becomes to him the foundation, the root, and the beginning of all goodness. For whenever a man learns and truly perceives his own weakness, at that moment he contracts his soul on every side from the laxity that dims knowledge, and treasures up watchfulness in himself. But no one can perceive his own infirmity if he is not allowed to be tempted a little, either by things that oppress his body, or his soul. For then, comparing his own weakness with God's help, he will straightway understand the greatness of the latter.
                                                         St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                         "Ascetical Homilies"  (Homily Eight)

Holy Scripture and the Church

  If the Church is rejected, if Holy Scripture is approached apart from the Church, then the fact that Christ wrote nothing leads automatically to the destruction of Holy Scripture.
                                                                     New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)
                                                                     "Holy Scripture and the Church"

The Holy Spirit

  If the Holy Spirit is peace of soul, as He is said to be and as He is in reality, and if anger is a disturbance of heart, as it actually is and as it is said to be, then nothing so prevents His presence in us as anger.
                                      St. John Climacus
                                      "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 8)


 Hence heresies have both frequently arisen and are arising, while the perverse mind has no peace, while discordant perfidy does not maintain unity. Indeed the Lord permits and suffers these things to happen, while the choice of one's own liberty remains, so that, while the norm of truth examines our hearts and minds, the sound faith of those who are approved may become manifest in clear light. Through the Apostle the Holy Spirit forewarns and says: 'For there must be fractions so that those who are approved among you may be made manifest.'
                                                               St. Cyprian of Carthage
                                                               "The Unity of the Catholic Church"

Saints' Light

If a lamp is lit at night, its light shines for the service and enjoyment of everyone present. Similarly, through such commemorations, each saint's God-pleasing course, his blessed end, and the grace bestowed on him by God, because of the purity of his life, bring spiritual joy and benefit to the whole congregation, like a bright flaming torch set in our midst.
                                                                St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                "Homily Twenty-Eight: On Sts. Pete and Paul"

The Church

Christ, invisible to the bodily eye, manifests Himself on earth clearly through His Church just as the unseen human spirit manifests itself through its body. The Church is the Body of Christ both because its parts are united to Christ through Divine Mysteries and because through her Christ works in the world.
                                                         St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
                                                         "The Church as the Body of Christ"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

   The Apostle of the Jews and the Apostle of the Gentiles departed to Christ on the same day, as if indicating their equal nearness to God and the oneness of the Church of Christ, in which there is neither Greek nor Jew (Col. 3:11). Therefore, the day on which the earthly labors ended for "the leaders of the Apostles, who labored more than all," who "separated in body, are together in spirit," became one of the memorable days for the whole Church.
    The feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul indicates the lot of the Holy Apostles here on earth and reveals the glory which followed it. To go over the earth with the preaching of the Heavenly Kingdom, in this emulating Christ by their poverty, endurance of dishonor and suffer­ings, by their love for the children of the Heavenly Father, their inward torments of childbirth over those who heeded their preaching and their grief over those who paid no heed to their words, and finally by offering themselves as a sacrifice—this was the earthly lot of the Apostles.
                                                      St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
                                                      "Sermon of the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul"

Withdrawal, Humility and Prayer

 Certainly, a Christian willing to pursue his own way will discover that he has to withdraw from worldly distractions, to humble the flesh, and pray much more to God -- but these actions have no ultimate value in the eyes of God. They have value for us only as means to the acquisition of the gifts of the Spirit. Of much greater value is the spiritual struggle inside the human soul -- self-reproach, self-humiliation, self-resistance, self-constraint, introspection, vision of the Last Judgment and future life, control over feelings, struggle against evil thoughts, repentance and confession, wrath against sin and temptation, etc, -- things totally unfamiliar to our modern learned men, and so clear and well-known to any faithful villager, present or past.
                                                   Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
                                                   "What is the Difference between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions?"

Humility and Blessings

 St. John Chrysostom says that it is a great blessing from God that some parts of the Scriptures are clear while others are not. By means of the first we acquire faith and ardour and do not fall into disbelief and laziness because of our utter inability to grasp what is said. By means of the second we are roused to inquiry and effort, thus both strengthening our understanding and learning humility from the fact that everything is not intelligible to us. Hence, if we take stock of the gifts conferred on us, we will reap humility and longing for God from both what we understand and what we do not.
                                                       St. Peter of Damaskos
                                                       "Discrimination; Twenty Four Discourses"
                                                       (The Philokalia)


 Walk in the way of mercy that you may merit this divine blessing.
                                                   St. Ambrose of Milan
                                                   "The Character of the Just Judge"

The Unjust

 He who strips another man of his clothing, is he not called a robber; and he who does not clothe the naked when he could, should he not be called the same? That bread you hold in your clutches, that belongs to the starving. That cloak you keep locked away in your wardrobe, that belongs to the naked. Those shoes that are going to waste with you, they belong to the barefooted. The silver you buried away, that belongs to the needy. Whomsoever you could have helped and did not, to so many have you been unjust.
                                            St. Basil the Great
                                            "I Will Pull Down My Barns"

Friday, July 8, 2011


  Blessed is the soul that is adorned with charity, that it is not puffed up, that does not envy, that hates no one at any time, that is not repelled by the poor, that does not turn away from those in want, that does not despise the widow nor the orphan nor the stranger. He that has this charity in his soul loves not alone those who love him: for this even the heathens do: but those also who afflict him.
                                                       St. Ephraim the Syrian
                                                       "Charity and Forgiveness"
                                                       (The Sunday Sermons of the
                                                              Great Fathers)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

St. John the Baptist

    The whole life of the greatest man born of woman was a supreme miracle. John was a prophet and much more than a prophet (Luke 7:26), even before he was born; and not only did his entire life transcend all wonders, but so did everything concerning him, both long before his lifetime and afterwards. The divine predictions of seers inspired by God described him as an angel rather than a man (Matt. 11:10, cf. Exod. 23:20, Mal. 3:1), as a lampstand for the light (John 5:35, cf. Ps. 132:17), a divinely radiant star bringing in the morning (cf. John 1:8; 5:35), for he went before the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2), and was "the voice" of God's Word (Matt. 3:3, cf. Isa. 40:3 Lxx). What could be closer or more akin to God the Word than God's voice?
                                                        St. Gregory Palamas
                                                        "Homily Forty: On St. John the Baptist"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


  The virtues follow one another in succession, so that the path of virtue does not become grievous and burdensome, and so that by being achieved in order progressively they may be made light; thus the hardships endured for virtue's sake should be cherished by a man as is the good itself.
                                                        St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                        "Ascetical Homilies"  (Homily Forty-Two)


   Meekness is a rock overlooking the seas of anger, which breaks all the waves that dash against it, yet remains completely unmoved.
                                                    St. John Climacus
                                                    "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 24)

Monday, July 4, 2011

One with Christ

What greatness it is for a Christian, and above all a Christian priest, that he becomes one with Christ and God the Saviour through the Holy Sacraments!
                                                      St. John of Kronstadt
                                                      "My Life in Christ"

Saturday, July 2, 2011


    Today, with the voice of the archpastors of the Church, I am being called to enter into the archpastoral service. I do not presume myself worthy of such a dignity, aware as I am of my sinfulness; but I fear to refuse it, hearing the words which the Lord directed towards Peter who had sinned so grievously, though he later repented: "If thou lovest Me, feed My sheep, feed My lambs . " In explaining this Gospel passage, St. John Chrysostom calls attention to the fact that as a proof of love it was none other than the podvig of pastoral service that the Lord demanded. Why is pastoral service so great in the eyes of the Lord? Because, in the words of the Apostle Paul, pastors are "laborers together with God" (I Cor. 3:9). Christ came to earth to restore in man God's image which had grown defiled, to call people, to unite them as one that faith one mouth and one heart they would glorify their Creator.
                       St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

Friday, July 1, 2011


"The Holy Spirit dwells in simple hearts. Interior simplicity must manifest itself in our exterior: in speech, in manners, and so forth. Meekness and simplicity attract divine mercy and grace more than all other virtues.

Staretz Parthenius of Kiev
'Russian Mystics'"

Created by God

If we do not learn what we were created by God, we shall not know what we have become through sin.

St. Gregory of Sinai

"Texts on Commandments and Dogmas"

(The Philokalia)