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 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 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"


  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"


    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


   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)