What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Victorious


  Who would not rejoice in the victory of Christ the Lord? He was not victorious for His own sake, but for ours. His victory did not make Him greater, or more alive, or richer, but it did us. His victory is not selfishness, but love, not grabbing but giving. Earthly conquerors take the victory; Christ is the only conqueror that brings it. No single earthly conqueror, king or commander desires that his victory be taken from him and given to another; only the risen Lord offers His victory with both hands to each one of us, and is not angered but rather rejoices when we, by His victory, become victors - that is: greater, more alive and richer than we were.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                        Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                                        "Pascha; The Gospel on the Victor over Death"

Christ-Like


    Let us become like Christ since Christ became like us. Let us become Gods because of Him, since He for us became man. He took upon Himself a low degree that He might give us a higher one. He became poor, that through His poverty we might become rich (II Cor. 8:9). He took upon Himself the form of a servant (Phil, 2:7) that we might be delivered from slavery (Rom. 8:21). He came down that we might rise up. He was tempted that we might learn to overcome. He was despised that we might be given honor. He died that He might save us from death. He ascended to heaven that we who lie prone in sin may be lifted up to Him.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               St. Gregory Nazianzenus
                                                               "On the Holy Pascha"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In the Mirror



    Christ was meek to all His revilers. Do you not revile those that revile you? Christ got revenge against no one, though He was able to destroy all His enemies in the wink of an eye. Do you not get revenge for any offense against you? Christ endured all things. Do you not complain and curse in any misfortune and suffering that comes your way?
    So compare your soul with the life of Christ; and as you set your face before a mirror, set your soul before the mirror of the immaculate life of Christ, and take every care to correct and go after whatever you may see that is opposed to it. If you do so, then I assure you, that day by day you will become better, for it is impossible for him who looks often into that immaculate mirror and not to correct himself.
    Whoever truly wishes to be with Christ must follow after Him. Whoever wishes to be like Christ in glory must be like Christ in the present life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                              St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                                              "Journey to Heaven"

When Hungry and Thirsty...


The Lord, before His Incarnation, let man experience all the bitterness of sin, all his powerlessness to eradicate it; and when all longed for a deliverer, then He appeared, the all-wise and all-powerful Healer and Helper. When men hungered and thirsted after righteousness as it grew weaker, then the ever-lasting Righteousness came.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                     St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                     "My Life in Christ"

The Consort and Illumination


  He who believes fears; he who fears is humble; he who is humble becomes gentle and renders inactive those impulses of incensiveness and desire which are contrary to nature. A person who is gentle keeps the commandments; he who keeps the commandments is purified; he who is purified is illumined; he who is illumined is made a consort of the divine Bridegroom and Logos in the shrine of the mysteries.
 
 
 
 
 
                                           St. Maximos the Confessor
                                           "Two Hundred Texts on Theology and the Incarnate Dispensation
                                                                 of the Son of God"   (The Philokalia)
                                         

The Model Christianity


  This is the rule of the most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good. Paul himself states it when he says: "Even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor 11:1). For nothing can so make a man an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors. Indeed, even though you fast, or sleep on hard ground, or even suffer unto death, but should you take no thought for your neighbor, you have done nothing great; despite what you have done, you still stand far from this model of a perfect Christian.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                          St. John Chrysostom
                                                                          "The Essence of Christianity"
                                                                          (Daily Readings...)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Palm Sunday


 
    In Christ Jesus there is neither male or female, nor Greek, nor Jew, but all, according to the holy apostle, are one (Gal. 3:28). In the same way, in Him there is neither ruler nor subject, but by His grace we are all one in faith in Him, and belong to one body, His Church, whose head He is. By the grace of the All-holy Spirit we have all drunk of the one Spirit, and have all received one baptism. We all have one hope and one God, who is above all, and through all, and in us all (Eph. 4:6). So let us love on another. Let us bear with one another, seeing that we are members one of another. As the Lord Himself said, the sign that we are His disciples is love. When He departed from this world, the fatherly inheritance He left us was love, and the last prayer He gave us when He ascended to His Father was about love for one another (John 13:33-35).
    Let us strive to attain to this fatherly prayer and let us not lose the inheritance He left us nor the sign He gave us, lest we should also lose our sonship, our blessing and our discipleship. If that happens, we shall fall away from the promised hope and be shut out of the spiritual bride chamber. Before His saving Passion, when the Lord entered the earthly Jerusalem, not just the people, but also the true rulers of the Gentiles, the Lord's apostles, spread their garments in His way. In the same manner, let us all, rulers as well as subjects, lay down our natural garments before Him, by making our flesh and its impulses subject to the Spirit, that we may be made worthy not only to see and worship Christ's saving Passion and holy Resurrection, but to enjoy communion with Him. "For if", says the apostle, "we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection" (Rom. 6:5).
    
 
 
 
                                                                     St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                     Homily 15: Delivered on Palm Sunday

Reflection


 The sun is reflected in clear water, and heaven in a pure heart.
 
 
 
 
                                                   Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                   "Homilies"  (Annunciation)

Confession


    ...As to the difficulty of making your mind clear before confession, that should disappear if you face the matter with humility, without a trace of self-justification. Tune the whole of your heart and mind to the words: I have sinned, forgive me! Then, tell your confessor how you did it, and the load will roll away.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                  Staretz Macarius of Optina
                                                                  "Spiritual Direction"

Piety


  Suffering in God is an inherent attribute of piety; for true love is tested by adversities.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                              St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                              "Two Centuries on Spiritual Law"
                                                              (Early Fathers from the Philokalia)

Earthly Reasoning


 When Nicodemus had heard these words, he said: 'How can a man be born when he is old?' Do you call him rabbi, and say that He has come from God, yet not accept His words, but address your Teacher with language which gives rise to much confusion? This word 'how' is the expression of doubt and does not belong to those whose faith is firm, but to those who are still of the earth. Sara, for example, was offering derision by her question, when she said, 'How' (Gen. 18:10-14); and many others who used this question have fallen away from the faith.
    In this way, also, heretics persevere in heresy, hunting down this expression everywhere. Some say: 'How was He made flesh?' while others: 'How was He born?' - subjecting that infinite Being to the weakness of our reasoning. Therefore, they who are aware of this must flee such untimely curiosity. Those who so question will not know the 'how' and they will fall away from the true faith. Therefore, Nicodemus, also, in his perplexity sought to learn the way this would be done (for he was conscious that what was said was addressed even to him)...
    Now, nothing makes one so dizzy as human reasoning, which says everything from an earthly point of view, and does not allow illumination to come from above. Earthly reasoning is covered with mud. Therefore, we have need of streams from above, so that, when the mud has fallen away, whatever part of the reason is pure may be carried on high and may be thoroughly imbued with the lessons taught there. This takes place when we manifest both a well-disposed soul and an upright life. For it is possible, it is possible, I repeat, for the mind to be darkened also by corrupt habits, and not only by untimely curiosity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                        St. John Chrysostom
                                                                        "Subjecting the Infinite to the Weakness
                                                                                    of Human Reasoning"
                                                                        (Daily Readings...)

Road to Salvation


   If you were as simple in heart as the Apostles were, you would not hide your human faults, would not appear very pious and would live without hypocrisy. This way, which appears easy, is not given or understandable to all. Yet this is the shortest road to salvation and attracts divine grace. The absence of pretenses and of cunning, frankness of soul, this is pleasant to the Lord who is humble of heart. Unless you become as little children, you cannot enter the  Kingdom of God.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                    Staretz Leonid of Optina
                                                                    "Russian Mystics"

Defense from the Evil One


May God defend us from the evil one and from his designs, for fierce is his struggle against us.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Mary of Egypt
                                                                 (conversation with St. Zosimas, chronicled by St. Sophronius)

Love From God


 God is loving to man, and loving in no small measure. For say not, I have committed fornication and adultery: I have done dreadful things, and not once only, but often: will He forgive? Will He grant pardon? Hear what the Psalmist says: How great is the multitude of Thy goodness, O Lord! Thine accumulated offenses surpass not the multitude of God's mercies; thy wounds surpass not the Great Physician's skill. Only give thyself up in faith: tell the Physician thine ailment: say thou also, like David: I said, I will confess me my sin unto the Lord: and the same shall be done in thy case, which he says forthwith: And thou forgavest the wickedness of my heart.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                               St. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem
                                                                               "Catechetical Lectures"