What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remembrance of Death and God's Judgment

   Anyone who wishes to retain within him continually the remembrance of death and God's judgment, and at the same time yields to material cares and distractions, is like a man who is swimming and wants to clap his hands.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       St. John Climacus
                                                                       "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 6)

The All-Seeing Eye of God

    The all-seeing eye of God looks on all men and, in a wonderful way, guides the faithful to salvation. That which may seem to the faithful at first to be a great loss shows itself in time to be a great gain.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                             Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                             "The Prologue from Ochrid"

Trials

   Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in a furnace, and make trial of us through patience, or the very prosperity of our lives will oftentimes, for many, be itself an occasion of trial and temptation. For it is equally difficult to keep the soul upright and undefeated in the midst of afflictions, as to keep oneself from insolence and pride in prosperity.                       
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                    St. Basil the Great
                                                                    "The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"

The Spiritual Eye

 The heart is the eye of the human being; the purer it is, the quicker, farther and clearer it can see. But with God's saints this spiritual eye is refined, even in this life, to the highest degree of purity possible for man, and after their death, when they are united to God, it becomes, through God's grace, able to see yet more clearly and widely. Thus the saints see our spiritual needs, they see and hear all who call upon them with a whole heart, those who fix the eyes of their mind straight upon them, undarkened and undimmed by unbelief or doubt.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                      St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                      "My Life in Christ"

Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

  
     We who understand the salvation begun for our sake through the Most Holy Virgin, give Her thanks and praise according to our ability. And truly, if the grateful woman (of whom the Gospel tells us), after hearing the saving words of the Lord, blessed and thanked His Mother, raising her voice above the din of the crowd and saying to Christ, ““Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps Thou hast sucked”” (Lk. 11:27), then we who have the words of eternal life written out for us, and not only the words, but also the miracles and the Passion, and the raising of our nature from death, and its ascent from earth to Heaven, and the promise of immortal life and unfailing salvation, then how shall we not unceasingly hymn and bless the Mother of the Author of our Salvation and the Giver of Life, celebrating Her conception and birth, and now Her Entry into the Holy of Holies?


                                                              St. Gregory Palamas
                                                              "Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple"

Prayer and Fasting


     The most essential thing in Orthodoxy is the podvig of prayer and fasting which the Church particularly extols... as a double edged "wondrous sword" by which we strike the enemies of our salvation.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                Archbishop Averky
                                                                "What is Orthodoxy?"

"Take Up His Cross"

  He who wishes to take up his cross and follow Christ must first acquire spiritual knowledge and understanding through constantly examining his thoughts, showing the utmost concern for his salvation, and seeking God with all his strength.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                            St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                                            "Letter to Nicolas the Solitary"
                                                                            (The Philokalia)

Fasting II

   Fasting is an expression of love and devotion, in which one sacrifices earthly satisfaction to attain the heavenly. Altogether too much of one's thoughts are taken up with care for sustenance and the enticements of the palate; one wishes to be free from them. Thus fasting is a step on the road of emancipation and an indisputable support in the struggle against selfish desires. Together with prayer, fasting is one of humanity's greatest gifts, carefully cherished by those who once have participated in it.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                              Tito Colliander
                                                                              "Way of the Ascetics"

Fasting

   Fasting was of no benefit to that Pharisee in the Gospel, even though he always fasted two days a week, because he had adulterated it with pride and condemnation of his neighbor (Luke 18:11-12). Not that this means fasting is unprofitable. Moses, Elijah and the Lord Himself showed how beneficial it is for those who fast properly in a way that is pleasing to God.
    
     Lack of self-control is actually an evil both ancient and modern; though it did not precede its antidote, fasting. By means of our forefathers' self-indulgence in paradise and their contempt for the fast already in existence there, death entered the world.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                 "Homily Six: To Encourage Fasting"

Conflict

  Do not fear the 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"

Treasures

    Disperse, that you may not lose; keep not, that you may keep; lay out, that you may save; spend, that you may gain. If your treasures are to be hoarded, do not hoard them yourself, for you will surely throw them away; entrust them, rather, to God, for then no one can make spoil of them...
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. John Chrysostom

Patience

   When we lack patience, our temptations seem greater than they really are. The more a person grows accustomed to enduring them, the smaller they become, and he passes through them effortlessly. Thus he becomes solid as a rock. So be patient!
 
 
 
 
 
                                                           Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                           "Monastic Wisdom" (Eighth Letter)

Prayer's Benefits

 ...When a man becomes humble, at once mercy encircles him, and then his heart is aware of divine help, because it finds certain power and assurance moving in itself. And when a man perceives the coming of divine help, and that it is this which aids him, then at once his heart is filled with faith, and he understands from this that prayer is the refuge of help, a source of salvation, a treasury of assurance, a haven that rescues from the tempest, a light to those in darkness, a staff of the infirm, a shelter in time of temptations, a medicine at the height of sickness, a shield of deliverance in war, an arrow sharpened against the face of his enemies, and, to speak simply: the entire multitude of these good things is found to have its entrance through prayer.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                        "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Eight)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Covering" of Sins

   If you want your sins to be 'covered' by the Lord (cf. Ps. 32:1), do not display your virtues to others. For whatever we do with our virtues, God will also do with our sins.
 
 
 
 
                                                                          St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                                          "The Philokalia"

Practicing True Christian Good

 
     Man proves to be without strength of will particularly when it is necessary to practice true Christian good - even though he might desire this good. The holy apostle Paul speaks of this weakness of will when he says: "For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds which I do not desire to do are what I am always doing" (Romans 7:19). That is why Christ the Saviour said of man the sinner, "Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin" (John 7:34) although to the sinner, alas, serving sin often seems to be freedom while struggling to escape its net appears to be slavery.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               St. Philaret of New York
                                                               "The Law of God"

Brotherly Love and Grace

       Grace proceeds from brotherly love, and by brotherly love is grace preserved; but if we do not love our brother the grace of God will not come into our souls.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               Staretz Silouan
                                                               "Wisdom from Mt. Athos"

Christian Calling

   Do not be proud; do not be angry; do not be despondent, for that is all unworthy of a Christian calling. This calling is so high and wonderful that it is hard for a man to keep himself from pride and to hold himself above despondency among all the dangers and misfortunes. Against these three unhealthy states, the Apostle stresses three healthy ones: against pride, lowliness; against anger, meekness; against despondency, longsuffering.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                          Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                          "The Prologue from Ochrid"

Bad Habits

 As long as you have bad habits do not reject hardship, so that through it you may be humbled and eject your pride.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               St. Maximos the Confessor
                                                               "Second Century on Love"
                                                               (The Philokalia)

Journey to Heaven

  True Christians live in this world as travelers, pilgrims, and sojourners, and they look ever toward their heavenly homeland with faith and with the eyes of the soul, and they strive to reach it.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                   St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                                                   "Journey to Heaven"  

Tree of Obedience

 The sin which came by the tree (cf. Gen.3:6) was undone by the tree of obedience to God when the Son of man was nailed to the tree. There He overcame the knowledge of evil and brought the knowledge of good. Evil is disobedience to God, and good is obedience to God.
 
 
 
 
                                                                St. Irenaeus
                                                                "The Preaching of the Apostles"

How To Become Better

  Let each one consider within himself what faults he must remedy in himself, what good work he may yet do, what sin he may wipe out from his soul, so that by this he may become better.
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. John Chrysostom

Do Not Condemn

 ...The best thing for us to do is to reproach ourselves quickly when we condemn someone.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                      St. Anatoly of Optina
                                                      "A Collection of Letters to Nuns"

Faith

  Faith comes not through pondering but through action. Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is.
 
 
 
 
                                                         Tito Coliander
                                                         "Way of the Ascetics"

Penitence


     The true signs of sincere penitence are the taming of the beast of anger, and the abstinence from the condemnation of others.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                      Staretz Macarius of Optina
                                                                      "Russian Letters of Direction"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guileless

    A babe knows nothing of lying; neither does a soul that is stripped of guile.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                  St. John Climacus
                                                  "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 12)

Live Wisely

 When the heart is occupied with worldly things, especially superfluous ones, it forsakes the Lord - the Source of life and peace - and is therefore deprived of life and tranquility, of light and strength; but when it repents of its care for vain things, and wholly turns from corruptible things to the incorruptible God, then the fountain of living water begins to flow into it, and peace, tranquility, light, strength, and boldness before God and man once more dwell within it. We must live wisely.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                            St. John of Kronstadt
                                                            "My Life in Christ"

Small Afflictions

  A small affliction borne for God's sake is better before God than a great work performed without tribulation.
 
 
 
                                      St. Isaac the Syrian
                                      "Ascetical Homilies"

Overthrow the Devil

  By praying for those who wrong us we overthrow the devil; opposing them we are wounded by him.
 
 
 
 
                                                                          St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                                          "The Philokalia"

A Laborious Life

 And someone asks, "It is not possible to enjoy relaxation both here and hereafter?" It is not possible.
     ...Because it is not possible, the righteous have lived a laborious life.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                          St. John Chrysostom

Glorify the Saints


     Just as parents rejoice when someone loves or honors their children, so also the Lord is glad when men love and glorify His saints. For it is the same as glorifying God. "Whoever receives you receives Me," (Mt. 10:40), He said. And whosoever glorifies the saints of Christ, Christ glorifies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                "Kassiana: Lessons in Divine and Christian Love"

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Guard Your Heart

   We must vigilantly guard our heart from unfitting thoughts and impressions.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Seraphim of Sarov

Righteous Among the Unrighteous

   To be righteous among the righteous is a great and praiseworthy thing, but it is a far greater and more praiseworthy thing to be a righteous man among the unrighteous.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                  Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                                  "The Prologue from Ochrid"

What Is Holiness?

  What is holiness? Freedom from sin, and the fullness of every virtue. This is not only attained by a few zealous persons in this life, and that not suddenly, but gradually, by prolonged and manifold sorrows, sicknesses, and labors, by fasting, vigilance and prayer; and that not by their own strength, but by the grace of Christ.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               St. John of Kronstadt
                                                               "My Life in Christ"

Put Yourself Last

 You must take the utmost care not to compare yourself with others in any respect, but always to put yourself below others, although in fact you may be equal to, or even better than, others in some respects.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                   St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                   "My Life in Christ"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christian Virtues

 
     The meek Christian virtues are a mighty power in God's world, or they are an artery by which the power of God comes down into the world.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                      Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
                                                      "How Each of Us Can and Ought to Serve the Church"

Attainment of the Kingdom of God

  In order not to be in perpetual bondage to your vices and to the Devil, you must set yourself an object. Have it consistently before you, and endeavor to reach it, conquering all obstacles in the name of the Lord. What is this object? The kingdom of God, the divine place of glory, prepared for believers from the creation of the world. But as this object can only be attained by certain means, it is also necessary to have such means at one's disposal. And what are these means? Faith, hope and love - especially the last.
 
 
 
 
                                                            St. John of Kronstadt
                                                            "My Life in Christ"

Love

 Love embraces and binds in one all virtues. By love alone the entire law is fulfilled and God-pleasing life takes place. Love consists in laying down one's life for one's friend and not doing to others what you yourself would not want done to yourself. For the sake of love the Son of God became man. He who remains in love remains in God: where love is, there is God also.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       St. Paisius Velichkovsky
                                                                       "Field Flowers"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pride and Humility

    ...A great deal of hard work and patience are needed until this old foundation of pride is dug up, and another foundation is set with Christ's humility and obedience
 
 
 
 
                                                     Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                     "Monastic Wisdom" (Third Letter)

Writings of the Saints

 ...Continual study in the writings of the saints fills the soul with incomprehensible wonder and divine gladness.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                              St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                              "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily 13)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

True Knowledge

 ...For it is not mere knowledge that is good, but knowledge translated into deeds, and action in accordance with reason. 'For not the hearers of the law', says the Scripture, 'but the doers of the law shall be justified' (Rom. 2:13).
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                   St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                                   "Homily Forty-Seven"

Remembrance and Contemplation

     Nothing so moves a sinner to repentance as eternity, and nothing is so useful to every Christian as remembrance and contemplation of eternity. Eternity restrains a man from sin, calms his passions, turns him from the world and all its vanity, makes his heart contrite, gives birth to tears of repentance, incites him to prayer, and works true sighing of the heart. Contemplation and remembrance of eternity can correct even the most depraved man.
     Contemplation of eternity filled dwellers of the desert, caves, mountains and clefts of the earth. By contemplating eternity the holy martyrs willed to endure torments rather than submit to the will of ungodly kings and deny Christ.
 
 
 
 
                                                                      St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                                      "Journey to Heaven"

Forgetting Sins

  ...And if we must remember offences, let us remember only our own. And if we remember our own sins, we shall never store up the sins of others. And again, should we forget the sins of others, our thoughts will then readily turn to the remembrance of our own.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                        St. John Chrysostom
                                                                        "On Contempt of Anger"

True Humility

  When you have done something good, remember the words 'without Me you can do nothing' (John 15:5).
 
 
 
 
                                                            St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                            "The Philokalia"