What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself, in a particular, immediate, and most close manner, is present and dwells in men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy. The temple, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, Seraphim and Apostles. The Liturgy is the continually repeated solemnization of God’s love to mankind, and His all powerful mediation for the salvation of the whole world.

                                                                St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                “My Life in Christ”

Moral Obligations

Living in this world, a Christian is in a constant, lively intercourse with God and with his neighbors. In addition to this, during the course of his whole life, he cares for himself, for his physical well-being and for the salvation of his soul. His moral obligations, therefore, can be divided into three groups: (1) concerning himself, (2) concerning neighbors, and (3) highest of all, concerning God.

The first, and the most important obligation which man has concerning himself, is the working out within oneself of a spiritual character, of our true Christian "I." The spiritual character of a Christian is not something given to him at first. No, it is something sought for, acquired and worked out by his personal toils and efforts (Lk. Ch.16). Neither the body of a Christian with its capabilities, powers and strivings, nor his soul itself - as an innate center of his conscious experiences and as a vital principle - are his spiritual personality, the spiritual "I." This spiritual character in an Orthodox Christian is what sharply differs him from every non-Christian. In the Holy Scripture it is not called a soul, but a spirit. This spirit is precisely the center, the concentration of the spiritual life; it strives toward God and the immortal, blessed, eternal life.

We define the task of the entire life of man as the necessity to use the earthly, transitory life for preparation toward the eternal, spiritual life. In the present instance, this can be said in other words: the task of the earthly life of man consists in that he is able, in the course of this life, to build up, to work out his spiritual character, his true, living, eternal "I."

                                                                            St. Philaret of New York
                                                                            "The Law of God"

Faithfulness 2

It is natural for men to make mistakes and to fall. But these personal errors and lapses are correctable through repentance. But in matters of Faith and spiritual principles, we must be especially careful that we will preserve intact in our convictions the faithfulness to Christ the Saviour and His Church. Then we can be sure that the radiant promise of Christ will come true: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2:10)

                                                               St. Philaret the New Confessor
                                                               Sermon - 3/16, January, 1971

As a Debtor 2

He who asks God for gifts in return for his labors has laid unsure foundations. He who regards himself as a debtor will unexpectedly and suddenly receive riches.

                                                                     St. John Climacus
                                                                     "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 22)

Unity 2

The Lord says, "I and the Father are one." And again of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit it is written: "And these three are one." Does anyone believe that this unity which comes from divine strength, which is closely connected with the Divine Sacraments, can be broken asunder in the Church and be separated by the divisions of colliding wills? He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.

                                                             St. Cyprian of Carthage
                                                             "The Unity of the Church"

Love of Your Fellow Man

Peace in our souls is not possible if we do not beg the Lord with all our hearts to give us love for all men.

                                                                             Staretz Silouan
                                                                             "Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Gifts Displayed

O Lord! Let not Thy gifts, both spiritual and material, lie idle in us and for us; grant that they may be exercised salutarily and usefully. Fulfill this in all. May the number of Thy talents be increased by the personal activity of each one of us.

                                                                        St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                        "My Life in Christ"

Waiting on His Will 2

When a man detaches his mind from the earth and opens it to God with the desire of pleasing Him, then God reveals His will to him in various ways. St. Peter Damascene writes: 'If a man has a wholehearted desire to please God, to him will God show His will through his thoughts, or through some other person or through Holy Scripture.' Such a man will be careful and will await the promptings of God, both inward and outward. For him there is no such thing as chance, and the world becomes for him as a ten-stringed harp that gives forth no sound but in response to the finger of God.

                                                                       Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                       "The Prologue from Ochrid"

Power of Prayer 2

Because God is present everywhere, the fallen spirits cannot do what they want. They can harm us mostly through other people. We can protect ourselves from them only with the power of God. Man has been given great strength, and if we could only concentrate our thoughts in prayer, the fallen spirits would not be able to harm us or do anything contrary to the will of God. Where there is prayer, the fallen spirits have no power.

                                                                       Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
                                                                       "Our Thoughts Determine our Lives"

Faith 2

Faith comes not through pondering but through action.

                                                                           Tito Colliander
                                                                           "Way of the Ascetics"

Expectation's Rewards 2

The man who finds it tedious to make entreaty is the companion of him who becomes despondent when there is a delay. Tedium causes a man to put off making supplication in prayer, that is to say, it impedes supplication. Despondency cuts off prayer and prevents its prolongation. But expectation causes a man to acquire patience and stimulates him to linger in prayer. Expectation relieves the limbs of the weight of fatigue, for it knows how to give rest to the heart amid its afflictions. There is no burden whose weight is more pleasant than labor undertaken with expectation, nor is there any companion whose intimacy is so desirable as expectation. Even prison is pleasant for the man who dwells there with expectation. Make this your companion, O repentant brother, and you will not be conscious of any labors in your struggle.

                                                               St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                               "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Twenty-Five)

The Church 2

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 Church; she will give you all this in plenty, for she possesses it superabundantly. She is the pillar and the 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"

Eternal Salvation 2

Eternal salvation is the one thing needful, according to the words of Christ, but it is either gained or lost here. It is gained by repentance and faith; it is lost by an unrepentant life.

                                                             St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                             "Journey to Heaven"

Sins 2

The deadly wound consists of every sin that is not repented and confessed...

                                                      St. Symeon the New Theologian
                                                      "The Discourses"

Fruits of Love 2

We accept the hardships in order to reap the fruits. If the fruits of love are not in us, our labor is useless.

                                         St. Macarius of Egypt
                                         "The Philokalia"