What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts on Accomplishment of Grace

    If you have upbraided or passed judgment on or vexed your brother, your peace is lost. If you have been boastful, or have exalted yourself above your fellows, you have lost grace. If you do not drive away forthwith the wanton thought that comes to your soul, you will lose the love of God and confidence in prayer. If you are fond of power, or of money, you will never come to know the love of God. If you have followed your own will, then you are conquered by the enemy, and despondency will come upon your soul. If you hate your fellow man it means that you have fallen away from God, and an evil spirit has taken possession of you.
    But if you will do good unto your brother you will gain rest for your conscience. If you subdue your own will your enemies will be driven off and you will receive peace in your soul.
    If you forgive your brother the affronts he puts upon you, and love your enemies, then you will receive forgiveness for your sins, and the Lord will let you come to know the love of the Holy Spirit.
    And when you have humbled yourself entirely you will find perfect rest in God.
                                              Staretz Silhouan
                                              "Wisdom from Mount Athos"


 Repentance is a contract with God for a second life.
                                       St. John Climacus
                                       "The Ladder of Divine Ascent"  (Step 5)

Strive To Be Holy

   St Gregory of Nyssa proposes that each one of us, following the lessons given by our Lord Jesus Christ and Paul the Apostle, and looking to them as to a model, create within ourselves a Christ-like character, as an artist paints a portrait. The artist of this creation (demiourgia) will be our deliberate choice; the colors will be the virtues; and our model wil be the Archetypal Beauty, that is, the character of Christ.
        St. Ephraim the Syrian has said something similar, wishing to awaken in his readers the hunger for holiness. "Let us strive," he said, "as if our life were to be painted and placed at a high place, to be exhibited to all. Let us endeavor with zeal to achieve the virtues, in order that nothing blameworthy or unbecoming might appear in the painting depicting our life."
                                                  Constantine Cavarnos
                                                  "Holiness: Man's Supreme Destiny"

In The House Of God

  In the temple of God the simple, believing souls are as in the house of the Heavenly Father: they feel so free, so happy and light. Here true Christians have a foretaste of the future kingdom, prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), of future freedom from every sin and from death, of future peace and blessedness. When do they especially have a foretaste of this? When they turn sincerely with all their soul to God, praying fervently to God, taking the firm resolution to devote their lives to God, and when doing deeds of virtue outside the temple.
                                                           St. John of Kronstadt
                                                           "My Life in Christ"

Constant Prayer

Seat yourself before the Lord continually, keeping the memory of Him in your heart, lest having lingered outside His memory, you are unable to speak boldly when you enter in before Him, because boldness with God comes from constant conversing with Him and from much prayer.
                                                          St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                          "Ascetical Homilies"  (Homily Five)

The One Who Knows and Loves God

    When He was asked, "Which is the greatest of the commandments?" the Master said, "Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength." (Matt 22:36-38) He said that no commandment is greater than this, and He said so with good reason. For this is the command about our behavior toward the first and the greatest - God Himself. He is our Father. He is the one Who has brought all things into being, and everything exists through Him. Everything that is saved returns to Him. He has loved us beforehand, and we receive our existence through Him. Therefore, it is irreverent for us to regard anything else as being older or more excellent than Him.
    We are required to deliver only this small tribute of gratitude [our love] for the great benefits God gives us. In fact, I cannot imagine any other way to repay God, Who needs nothing and is perfect. Yet we gain immortality by the very fact of our loving the Father to the fullest extent of our might and power. Because the more we love God, the more we enter within God.
                                                             St. Clement of Alexandria
                                                             "The One Who Knows God"

The Saints

All saints have anticipated going to the Kingdom of Heaven, have believed deeply in God, and in this faith have found the strength to rise above their human feebleness and to be empowered in the difficult exploit of the virtues. Their weakness and sinful inclinations were withered in the shadow of grace like grass over which a thick and mighty forest has intertwined its branches, and the comforts sent by God gave them wings to fly up closer to Him. While still in this life, they received a foretaste of the paradisiacal joys through their closeness to God. Bearing, according to the words of Christ, the Kingdom of God within themselves (cf. Luke 17:21), they considered temporary sufferings to be insignificant; they did not give in to murmuring, anger, revenge, or some other impure passion but - with the guiding help of God's grace - considered carefully in every moment how to conduct themselves so as to fulfill God's will. They preserved a marvelous peace even during the most powerful temptations, controlled their feelings, thoughts, and desires, and aimed all their spiritual powers towards virtue.
                                                          Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev
                                                          "The Meaning of Suffering"

The Holy Spirit

  ...But when our Lord Jesus Christ condescended to accomplish the whole work of salvation, after His resurrection He breathed on the Apostles, restored the breath of life lost by Adam, and gave them the same grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God as Adam had enjoyed. But that was not all. He also told them that it was expedient for them that He should go to the Father, for if He did not go, the Spirit of God would not come into the world. But if He, the Christ, went to the Father, He would send Him into the world, and He, the Comforter, would guide them and all who followed their teaching into all truth and would remind them all what He had said to them when He was still in the world. What was then promised was grace upon grace (Jn. 1:16).
                                                       St. Seraphim of Sarov
                                                       "A Wonderful Revelation to the World"

Virtues and the Soul

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labor for them
                                                           St. Macarius the Great
                                                           "Spiritual Homilies"  (Homily 10)

A Simple Beatitude

  ...Thou shalt be simple in heart, and rich in spirit.
                                               The Epistle of Barnabas

Pontius Pilate

The silence of Jesus put Pilate to shame; and by a man's stillness, vainglory is vanquished.
                                                               St. John Climacus
                                                               "The Ladder of Divine Ascent"  (Step 11)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

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. It is necessary to speak only about the Church. Both Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition stand or fall together with the Church.
  New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)
  "Holy Scripture and the Church"