What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grace

  The apostle says, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ." (Rom. 1:8) and through whom we have received grace and apostleship, "to bring about the obedience of faith.... among all nations" (Rom. 1:5) and "through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice." (Rom. 5:2).
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                          St. Basil the Great
                                                          "On the Holy Spirit"

Contrition

 Disciple: Why is it that I become disgusted with the people - because of their stupidity and ignorance - who come to you, even though I know that many of them receive benefit from you?
     Elder: Because your heart is not contrite. Whoever is pained by love for his neighbor does not notice their stupidity. Rather, he beseeches the Lord with fear that he be shown what to say for his neighbor's profit, and he fulfills the task of giving counsel reverently as the work of God. Sometimes even after prayer you cannot find a useful reply; here you are put to shame and should rebuke yourself. Having this awareness of your own unworthiness, not of the stupidity of men, you are ready to tell everyone: pray for me, a slave of God.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                     Elder Leonid of Optina

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grace

  The true Christian life is one of grace. The self-made life, no matter how beautiful it is in appearance or how close it is to the form of Christian life, will never be Christian. The origin of the Christian life is in arousal by grace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       Bishop Theophan the Recluse
                                                                       "The Path to Salvation"

Fear of the Lord


     Who will overcome? Those who know that they are part of the body of Christ, and those who hold their body and soul to be sacred, not as if it were their own but belonging to Christ, they will be victors. Those who look at Christ crucified on the cross and then say to themselves: there is the One who loves me more than my mother; His sufferings are for my sins, and His blood for my purification and salvation: they will overcome. All those will be victors who through time have adorned their soul with trembling love for Christ, the eternal Bridegroom. Yes, all those who respond to the call to the heavenly supper with the Lamb of God. "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). Called and responded. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; love is the fullness and the culmination of wisdom.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                         Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
                                                                         "Kassiana; Lessons in Divine and Christian Love"

The New Wine

   He who comes to God, and desires to be in truth a partner in Christ's throne, ought to come with a view to this end, that he may be changed and altered from his former condition and conduct, and be made a good and new man, who brings nothing of the old man with him. If any man be in Christ, it says, he is a new creature, (2 Cor. 5:17). This was the very purpose of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, to change and alter and renew nature, and to create afresh this soul that was overturned by passions through the transgression, mingling it with His own Spirit, the Spirit of Godhead. New mind, and new soul, and new eyes, new ears, a new spiritual tongue, and in short new men altogether - this is what He came to make of those who believe Him, or let us say new bottles, anointing them with His own light of knowledge, that He might change their wine into new wine, which is His Spirit; for new wine, He says, must be put into new bottles, (Matt. 9:17).
 
 
 
 
 
                                                      St. Macarius the Great
                                                      "Spiritual Homilies" (Homily XLIV)

Compunction


     It is possible to be saved without many virtues, says St. Simeon the New Theologian, but nobody has been saved who has not attained a spirit of compunction - that is, of compunctionate repentance for one's sins and joy over the mercy of God.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                    Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky
                                                                    "Confession"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lead By Patience and Gentleness

 ...And concerning our being patient of injuries, and ready to serve all, and free from anger, this is what He said: "To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak or coat, offer also the other; forbid not. And whosoever shall be angry, is in danger of the fire. And every one that compelleth thee to go with him a mile, follow him two. And let your good works shine before men, that they, seeing them, may glorify your Father which is in heaven." For we ought not to strive; neither has He desired us to be imitators of wicked men, but He has exhorted us to lead all men, by patience and gentleness, from shame and the love of evil.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                       Justin Martyr
                                                                                       "The First Apology of Justin"

Purification, Tribulation, and Judgment


     ..For grapes must be treaded so that the preciousness of wine may flow. So must the virtue of the olive, pressed out by crushing, leave the husk and become the fatness of oil. So likewise is the grain, beaten out on the threshing floor, separated from the chaff, and being cleaned is brought into the barn. Whosoever then is desirous of wholly overcoming his defects, must bear with pleasure the pain of being made clean; and the more he is now purified in the fire of tribulation, the more worthy shall he be to appear at the judgment seat of God.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                St. Gregory the Great
                                                                                "Christian Moderation"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Humility


     The shortcomings of those who watch over themselves are the custodians of their righteousness and are permitted by God so that their transgressions and failings should be a cause of humility. This humility protects the labor of great men, not only by preserving them from pride, but also by humbling them with the recollection of their failings; in this manner they also receive a greater recompense.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                  "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Fifty-Seven) 

Acceptance of Hardships

  If we do not see in ourselves the fruits of love, peace, joy, simplicity, humility, gentleness, guilelessness, faith, forbearance and kindliness, then we endure our hardship to no purpose. We accept the hardships in order to reap the fruits.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                            St. Macarius the Great
                                                                            (The Philokaia)

God As Judge


     ..Each one of us should pay attention to his own faults. Only God, who knows the situation of each one of us, our strength, environment, our individual gifts, temperament and capacities, can justify or condemn. He can judge each of these things, as He only knows. For, God judges the acts of a bishop differently from those of a ruler. He has one judgment of an abbot and another for the disciple of a spiritual father, one for the acts of an old man and another for those in youth. Again, He judges a sick person differently from one in good health. Who could judge according to all these presuppositions except the One who has created all things, Who has made all and knows all?
 
 
 
 
                                                                  Abba Dorotheos of Sinai
                                                                  "Practical Teaching on the Christian Life"

Give Thanks to God

  ...Be diligent therefore to come together more often to render thanks to God and give glory. For when you frequently assemble together, the forces of Satan are overthrown and the destruction which he is planning is undone by the harmony of your faith. Nothing is better than peace, by which all warfare of heavenly and earthly foes is brought to naught.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       St. Ignatius the God-bearer
                                                                       "Epistle to the Ephesians"

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"

Self-Sacrifice

  Love for God and our neighbor, in our present corrupt state, is impossible without self-sacrifice; he who wishes to fulfill the commandment concerning love for God and his neighbor, ought to devote himself in good time to great deeds and privations for the sake of those that he loves.
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                  "My Life in Christ"

Conscience

It is better to be consoled by your conscience alone, even if the whole world slanders you, than to be accused by your conscience, when the whole world heaps praises upon you.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Innocent Souls

    Innocent is he whose soul is in its natural purity as it was created, and who makes intercession for all.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                       St. John Climacus
                                                       "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 24)

Against Anger

 
     ...Do you not see how arrows naturally pierce through hard and rigid objects, but their force is blunted by soft and yielding objects? Consider indeed that the power of abuse is of the same kind. One who resists it receives it into himself, while one who yields and withdraws dissolves by his gentleness of character the wickedness brought against him.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            St. Basil the Great
                                                                            "Homily Against Anger"
                                                                            (On the Human Condition)

Patience

 Patience makes men humble in prosperity, courageous in adversity, mild in the face of injuries and contempt. It teaches us to forgive promptly those who offend us; and should we offend teaches us to plead long and earnestly for pardon. It withstands temptation, it endures persecution, it brings sufferings as well as martyrdom to their perfect fulfillment. It is patience which makes firm the foundations of our faith. It is patience which subtly brings about the increase in our hope. It is patience which directs the mind to an awareness of what we are doing so that as we walk forward we may keep to the way of Christ. As long as we imitate the patience of our Father, this will enable us to continue to be Children of God.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                      St. Cyprian of Carthage
                                                                      "On the Advantages of Patience"

Necessary Temptations

 ...Every affliction that befalls us, whether from men, from the demons, or from our very own nature, always has enclosed within it the corresponding profit. And whoever passes through it with patience receives the payment: its pledge here and its fulfillment there.
     Without temptations, pure souls not known, virtue does not show, patience is not discernible. Without temptations, it is impossible for the soul to become healthy. They are the cleansing fire which makes the soul pure and bright.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                         Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                                         "Monastic Wisdom" (Thirty-eighth Letter)

Obedience - A virtue

 Just as the result of disobedience is sin, so the result of obedience is virtue. And just as disobedience leads to breaking the commandments and to separation from Him who gave them, so obedience leads to keeping the commandments and to union with Him who gave them. Thus he who through obedience has kept the commandments has achieved righteousness and, moreover, he has not cut himself off from union in love with Him who gave them; and the opposite is equally true.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                St. Maximos the Confessor
                                                                "Second Century on Theology"
                                                                (The Philokalia)

A Soul's Longing

     ...Let us, Brethren, enkindle our soul as a light. Let faith grow fervent in what it has believed. Let our desires grow eager for the things of heaven; and thus to love is already to go there. Let no adversity turn us away from the joy of this inward fulfillment; for when any one has resolved to go to a determined place, whatever the roughness of the way, it does not alter his desire. Let no smiling good fortune entice us away; for he is a foolish traveler who, beholding on his way a pleasant meadow, forgets to go on the way he was going.
     Let the soul therefore long with desire for its heavenly home. Let it grasp at nothing in this world; for well we know that it will quickly let go. So, if we are truly sheep of the Heavenly Shepherd, if we do not linger attached to the delight of the way, we shall be filled to satiety when we shall arrive in the eternal pastures...
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Gregory the Great
                                                                 "The Unfading Pastures: The Christian Hope"

Separation from God

Sin separates man from God.
 
 
 
 
                                    St. Theophan the Recluse
                                    "The Path to Salvation"

Dormition - Falling Asleep

Today the life-giving treasury and abyss of charity is hidden in immortal death. She meets it without fear, who conceived death's destroyer, if indeed we may call her holy and vivifying departure by the name of death. For how could she, who brought life to all, be under the dominion of death? But she obeys the law of her own Son, and inherits this chastisement as a daughter of the first Adam, since her Son, who is the Life, did not refuse it. As the Mother of the living God, she goes through death to Him.
  St. John of Damascus
  Sermon on the Dormition

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Faith

 Our prayers are necessary precisely to strengthen our faith, through which alone we can be saved: By grace are ye saved through faith. And: O woman, great is thy faith. For this reason the Lord made the woman pray earnestly, in order to awaken her faith and strengthen it.
 
 
 
 
                                                   St. John of Kronstadt
                                                   "My Life in Christ"