What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012


   Prayer is a golden link connecting the Christian man, the wanderer and stranger upon earth, with the spiritual world of which he is a member, and above all, with God, the source of life. The soul came forth from God, and to God may it ever ascend through prayer.
                                                    St. John of Kronstadt
                                                    "My Life in Christ"

Suffering and Sins

   In truth, whatever we may suffer, we suffer it because of our sins.
                                                            Abba Dorotheos
                                                            "Practical Teaching on the Christian Life"

Repentance of Sin

   A gracious God gives us the hope of forgiveness of guilt, if we repent with contrition and set forth intention to flee past sins and not anger God by them. This is the essence of repentance.
    Do not just be a passionless seeker of your shortcomings; mourn them, and sincerely regret that they were committed. Mourning begets the humble resolution to flee shortcomings; while knowledge alone, although it is accompanied by the intention to be cautious, leads to pride, from which deliver us, O Lord!
                                                                 St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                 "The Spiritual Life"


    Do not fear conflict, do not flee it. Where there is no struggle, there is no virtue; where faith and love are not tempted, it is not possible to be sure whether they are really present. They are proved and revealed in adversity, that is, in difficult and grievous circumstances, both outward and inward - during sickness, sorrow, or privations.
                                                                   St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                   "My Life in Christ"

Draw Nigh to God

    Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you (James 4:8). It is for us to begin. If we take one step toward the Lord, He takes ten toward us. He who saw the Prodigal Son while he was yet at a distance, and had compassion and ran and embraced him (Luke 15:20).
                                                                      Tito Colliander
                                                                      "Way of the Ascetics"

Do Not Fall Easily

    Do not grow accustomed to falling easily, because with every fall the fortress walls of your soul crumble, and thenceforth it is easier for the enemy to enter, until he renders the one defeated completely captive.
                                                                     Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                                     "Monastic Wisdom" (Thirty-second Letter)

Sinful Thoughts

  Sinful thoughts continually disturb a man. But if he does not cooperate with them, then he is not guilty of them.
                                                           Elder Ambrose of Optina

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rely on God

    We are made helpless in the struggle with adversities because we are not strengthened by the power of Christ, and rely not on God, but on human power and means.
                                                              St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
                                                              "Nothing is Fearful to Him Who Relies on God"

Through the Cross

 The Lord accomplished our salvation by His death on the Cross: on the Cross He tore up the handwriting of our sins; through the Cross He reconciled us with our God and Father; and through the Cross He brought down upon us grace-filled gifts and all heavenly blessings. But this is the Lord's Cross itself. Each of us becomes a partaker of its salvific power in no other way than through our personal cross. When the personal cross of each of us is united with Christ's Cross, the power and effect of the latter is transferred to us and becomes, as it were, a conduit through which every good gift and every perfect gift (James 1:17) is poured forth upon us from the Cross of Christ. From this it is evident that the personal cross of each of us is as essential to the work of salvation as the Cross of Christ.
                                                                 St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                 "Homily on the Bearing of the Cross"


`  Such is the nature of Christianity: even in slavery it bestows freedom.
                                                 St. John Chrysostom
                                                 (Homily 19: On 1 Corinthians 7)

Knowledge and Faith

    Knowledge keeps within the boundaries of nature in all its paths; but faith makes its journey above nature. Knowledge does not allow itself to experience anything that is ruinous to its nature, and it keeps far away from it; but faith readily submits itself to this and says, 'Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample on the lion and the dragon.' Fear accompanies knowledge; but confidence accompanies faith. The more a man journeys in the pathways of knowledge, the more he is shackled by fear and cannot be found worthy of freedom from it; but he who follows faith straightway becomes a free man and ruler of himself, and as a son of God he freely wields all things with authority.
                                                                      St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                      "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily 52)


  Sorrow is given to us on purpose, to cure us of sin.
                                                        St. John Chrysostom
                                                        "The Way of the Fathers"

Entering Heaven

    It is hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and equally hard for those who are foolishly wise to enter simplicity.
                                                              St. John Climacus
                                                              "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 24)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fragrance of Christ

    ...One must arrange things so that others praise the Lord when they see our works, so that our life will be praise to God, for He does all things in all people, as long as you do not get in the way. It is to Him that praise for one's deeds ascends. Each person must become the fragrance of Christ; then even without praise there will be unceasing glorification of the Lord. A rose does not speak, but its fragrance spreads far in silence. This is how all Christians ought to live.
                                                                      St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                      "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year"

Essentials for Inner Warfare

    Whoever engages in inner warfare needs at every moment four things: humility, the greater vigilance, the will to resist and prayer.
                                                                                  "Way of the Ascetics"
                                                                                  Tito Colliander

Powers of the Soul

  If a man has no spiritual sensibility, his senses cannot savor the sweetness of Divine things. For, just as a man whose senses are dulled cannot perceive sensory things, does not see, does not hear, does not smell, being quite feeble or rather half-dead, so a man, who through passions has deadened the natural powers of his soul, renders them insensible to the action of, and communion with, the mysteries of the Spirit. For he who is spiritually blind, deaf and insensible is dead in spirit, since Christ does not dwell in him and he himself does not act and move in Christ.
    Equally with the powers of the soul, the senses have a similar, if not the same, action, especially when they are healthy. Then the senses see sensory things clearly, while the powers of the soul discern mental things, especially when they are free from the onslaughts of Satan, who wages war against mental and spiritual law. But when they are joined into one by the Spirit, and have but one outlook, then they know directly and essentially what is Divine and what is human, clearly discerning their nature and their meaning, and see, as clearly as is possible, the one cause of all - the Trinity.
                                                               St. Gregory of Sinai
                                                               "Texts on Commandments and Dogmas..."
                                                               (The Philokalia)

Wellspring of Prayer

 Whomever the Lord visits with a grievous trial, with sorrow or with the deprivation of a beloved neighbor: such a person will involuntarily pray with his whole heart, with all his thoughts and with all his mind. Consequently the wellspring of prayer is in everyone, but it is tapped either by gradually delving deeper into oneself in accordance with the teachings of the Fathers, or instantaneously, by God's drill.
                                                                       Elder Leonid of Optina
                                                                       (from his "Life")

House of God

  Blessed is that child who has the opportunity in his childhood years to receive as many holy impressions, grace-filled sanctifications, and illuminations in the temple of God as possible. The house of God is the house of prayer; in it the Lord, by His grace, is closer to people than anywhere else; therefore we ought to take pains ourselves in going to church, and continually accustom our successors, our children, to this.
                                                                  St. Philaret of New York
                                                                  "Sermon on the Entry of the Theotokos"

Dogma of Faith

    If the dogma of faith seems at times to you to be tough food, you must first try to fulfill Christian moral dogma, and then the understanding of the dogma of faith will be revealed to you. The inquisitive examination of high things, without the effort to rectify one's life, is of no use whatsoever.
                                                                Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                "The Prologue from Ochrid"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Against the Flesh - Towards the Spirit

    Do not care overmuch for your flesh; do not cherish it, do not gratify it; and do not strengthen it against the spirit. Otherwise when it is necessary to labor in spirit - for instance, to pray, or to write a spiritual or moral work - you will find that the flesh has overpowered the spirit, and has bound it hand and foot. The flesh overthrows all the impulses of the spirit, and will not let it rise and come to its full power. The spirit will then be the slave of the flesh.
                                                                 St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                 "My Life in Christ"

Strive to Keep the Commandments

   When I see my spiritual children laboring and forcing themselves to keep God's commandments, and cutting off their own will, and not believing their own understanding, and walking in the fear of God, and going through holy obedience with humility, I have such unutterable joy in my soul that I should desire to have no greater joy in the Kingdom of Heaven. But if I see certain ones being negligent of God's commandments and holding to their own will, and believing their own understanding, and walking without the fear of God, and disdaining holy obedience, possessed by laziness out of self-will and pleasing oneself, and murmuring - then such sorrow embraces my soul as could be no greater evil in hell, until I see them truly repenting.
                                                                       St. Paisius Velichkovsky
                                                                       (from his 'Life')

Make Straight Your Path

    To be on a spiritual path means seeking the Lord in your heart through fulfilling the commandments. For when you listen to John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight' (Matt: 3:3), you must understand that he is referring to the commandments and their fulfillment both in the heart and in actions. It is impossible to 'make straight' the path of the commandments and act rightly unless your heart too is straight and upright.
                                                                       St. Gregory of Sinai
                                                                       "On Commandments and Doctrines..."
                                                                       (The Philokalia)

A Godly Man

    A godly man is a good influence on the people around him. He inspires respect and reverence in his associates. Likewise, God influences the person who has uninterrupted fellowship with Him. The one who fellowships with God will grow better in every way: in his conduct, in his speech, and in his character. He is confident that God is always beside him. He doesn't believe that God is confined to certain limited spaces. So he doesn't think that he can somehow escape God's sight and get away with doing wrong things.
                                                                            Clement of Alexandria
                                                                            "The One Who Knows God"

God's Will

   In all your undertakings and in every way of life, whether you are living in obedience, or not submitting your work to anyone, whether in outward or in spiritual matters, let it be your rule and practice to ask yourself: Am I really doing this in accordance with God's will? For example, when we, I mean the beginners, carry out some task and the humility acquired from this action is not added to our soul, then in my opinion, be the matter great or small, we are not doing it according to God. For in us who are still young in the spiritual life, growth in humility is the fulfillment of the Lord's will; and for those who have reached a middle state, perhaps the test is the cessation of inner conflicts; and for the perfect, an increase and abundance of the Divine light.
                                                                      St. John Climacus
                                                                      "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 26)

Impart to Others

    It is a mark of love to our neighbor not to receive from them, but to impart to them. ..And it is the effect of working, that one does not receive of others, not live idly, but by working imparts to others. For it is said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20-35). ...For it is truly spiritual, that one should by working impart to others, and nothing is equal to this.
                                                                        St. John Chrysostom
                                                                        "Homilies V and VI on I Thessalonians IV"

A Pure Heart

  The purer the heart becomes, the larger it becomes; consequently it is able to find room for more and more loved ones; the more sinful it is, the more it contracts; consequently it is able to find room for fewer and fewer loved ones - it is limited by a false love: self love.
                                                                 St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                 "My Life in Christ"  

A Prayer - Make Me Worthy

   Make me worthy, O Lord, to know Thee that I might also love Thee, not with that knowledge which springs from the exercise of study accompanied by dispersion of mind: but make me worthy of that knowledge whereby the mind, in beholding Thee, glorifies Thy nature in divine vision that steals from the mind the awareness of the world. Account me worthy to be lifted above the will's wandering eye which begets imaginings, and to behold Thee in the constraint of the bond of the cross, in the second part of the crucifixion of the mind, whose liberty ceases from activity of its thoughts by abiding in Thy continuous vision, which surpasses nature. Implant in me the astringent of Thy love, that being drawn away by fervent love for Thee I may come forth from this world. Awake in me understanding of Thy humility, wherewith Thou didst sojourn in the world in the dwelling-place of our members, which Thou didst put on, through the mediation of the Holy Virgin, that with this continual and unfailing recollection, I may accept with delight the lowliness of my nature.
                                                                      St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                      "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily 36, "A Prayer")


 What are Christians? Christians are Christ-bearers, and by virtue of this bearers and possessors of eternal life, and this according to the measure of faith and according to the measure of holiness which is from faith. The Saints are the most perfect Christians, for they have been sanctified  to the highest degree with the podvig of holy faith in the risen and eternally-living Lord Christ and no death has power over them. Their life is entirely from the Lord Christ, and for this reason it is entirely Christ's life; and their thought is entirely Christ's thought; and their perception is Christ's perception. All that they have is first Christ's and then theirs. If the soul, it is first Christ's and then theirs: if life, it is first Christ's and then theirs. In them is nothing of themselves but rather wholly and in everything the Lord Christ.
    Therefore, the Lives of Saints are nothing else but the life of the Lord Christ, repeated in every Saint to a greater or lesser degree in this or that form. More precisely it is the life of the Lord Christ continued through the Saints, the life of the incarnate God the Logos, the God-man Jesus Christ who became man. This was so that as a man He could give and transmit to us He divine life; so that as God by His life He could sanctify and make immortal and eternal our human life on earth. "For both he sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one" (Heb. 2:11).
                                                                            Father Justin Popovich
                                                                            "Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ"
                                                                            (Introduction to the Lives of Saints)

Christ - Come Amongst Us!

    We thank Thee, O Christ our God, that Thou hast filled us with Thine earthly goods; deprive us not also of Thy Heavenly Kingdom, but as Thou camest in the midst of Thy disciples, O Saviour, and gavest them peace, come also amongst us and save us.
                                                 A Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians

God's Benevolence

    ...As there was no reason compelling God to create [the universe], it follows that the world is not a product of necessity, but rather a product of His Own benevolence. God transmitted His abundant goodness to creation, in order to externalize His wealth, thus rendering other beings communicants of His Own goodness and bliss also. Therefore, the reason for the world's existence is God's benevolence.
                                                  St. Nectarios of Pentapolis

Power Through Christ

  Our Physician made use of harsh medicines and remedies for our sake, but nevertheless He did not disregard such as work pleasantly and agreeably. He raised up fathers, revealed prophets, performed signs, gave the law and appointed angels. Since these means were powerless against the irrepressible impetus of our wickedness, the Word of God Himself, the great Remedy for grave sins, bowed the heavens and came down. Having become like us in everything, though without sin (cf. Heb. 4:15), He abolished sin in Himself. By giving us strength He dulled its sting, and on the Cross He put to shame its rulers and fellow-workers, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death. (Heb. 2:14). 
                                                                    St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                    "On Christ's Second Coming"

Regaining Self Through Awakening

   Awakening does not complete the work of the sinner's conversion, but only initiates it; the work on himself lies ahead, and is very complicated work at that. Everything, by the way, related to this is completed in two turning points: first in the movement towards oneself, and then away from oneself to God. By the first movement the person regains the authority he had lost over himself, and the second brings him forth as a sacrifice to God - a whole-burnt offering of freedom. In the first movement he comes to the decision to abandon sin, and in the second, drawing nearer to God, he gives promise to belong to Him alone throughout the days of his life.
                                                                    St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                    "The Path to Salvation"

Peace of Soul

    Peace of soul is acquired by a perfect surrender to the Divine Will, without which nothing happens.... He, in whose heart humility and meekness are reborn, will find rest for his soul. He will be satisfied with everything, grateful for everything, peaceful and full of love for everybody. He will judge none and will feel no anger. His heart will be filled with divine sweetness, that is, he will feel in himself the Kingdom of God because God grants His grace only to the humble.
                                                                          Staretz Anthony of Optina
                                                                          "Russian Mystics"


    If you want to know the special good and grace attached to alms-giving and how great it is, consider that it is able to take away sins.
                                                         Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
                                                         "Discourses and Sayings"

Practice the Way of Ascetics

   A person standing at an open window hears the sounds from outside; it is impossible not to do so. But he can give the voices his attention or not, as he himself wishes. The praying person is continually beset by a stream of inappropriate thoughts, feelings and mental impressions. To stop this tiresome stream is as impracticable as to stop the air from circulating in an open room. But one can notice them or not. This, say the saints, one learns only through practice.
                                                                 Tito Colliander
                                                                 "Way of the Ascetics"