What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christ Is Born! Glorify Him!

 I behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the shepherd's song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.
                                                                St. John Chrysostom

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Holy Gifts

   Christ does not demand anything from you to give you His holy gifts other than to acknowledge that anything good you happen to have belongs to Him.
                                                          Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                          "Monastic Wisdom" (Ninth Letter)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Taking Up His Cross

 We believe in Jesus Christ crucified; let us strive through faith to follow Him also, and to follow Him after each of us has taken up his cross.
                                                             St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Friday, January 3, 2014


   ...As water falls away from the mountain, so the words of truth forsake the mind of the proud.
                                                                    St. Gregory the Great

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Almsgiving and Fasting

    If women who have the care of a home will on certain days wash with water the garments that are soiled, should we not also make ready our souls for the Birth Day of the Lord, cleansing with our tears the stains of our conscience. And they, should they find the garments so soiled and stained, that they cannot be made clean with water alone, add to the water the softening of oil and the acrimony of soap. We likewise, should we have committed sins that are not washed away by repentance alone, let us add the oil of almsgiving and the bitterness of fasting.
     There is no sin so grave that abstinence will not cleanse, that almsgiving will not blot out. For, as the Holy Prophet says: as water puts out fire, so the giving of alms extinguishes sin (Ecclus. iii. 33). Great then is the power of almsgiving, which cools the glowing mass of our burning sins as from the fountain of its own good will, and puts out the fires of evil as with waters of its own generosity; so that God, though offended by us, though provoked by our iniquities, is compelled to free him, because of alms...
                                                       St. Maximus
                                                       "The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"

Diligence in Prayer

  The crown of every good endeavor and the highest of achievements is diligence in prayer. Through it, God guiding us and lending a helping hand, we come to acquire the other virtues. It is in prayer that the saints experience communion in the hidden energy of God's holiness and inner union with it, and their intellect itself is brought through unutterable love into the presence of the Lord.
                                                                                      St. Macarius of Egypt
                                                                                      "The Philokalia"

Do Not Despise Small Things

   Pursue the small consolation that is acquired in time of toil, that you may be accounted worthy of that great consolation which dispels the troubles of this life of sorrows for those who find it. Do not despise small things, lest you be deprived of great ones.
                                                                       St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                       "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Twenty-Five)

Power After Death

  The power of the saints after their death is much stronger than during their lifetime.
                                                 Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                 "The Prologue from Ochrid"

Humble Yourself

What joy is ours that the Lord not only forgives our sins but allows the soul to know Him, so soon as she humbles herself.
                                                  Staretz Silouan
                                                  "Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Do Not Abuse Your Free Will

  If we compare our way of responding to trials and suffering with that of the saints, we will see how far we are from their example. Adam began to suffer because he abused the free will given to him by God in subjecting it to sin. The saints did not abuse this great gift of God - their free will - but conformed their actions to God's law, and so tasted joy even in their sufferings. Today we, like Adam, constantly misuse our free will by sinning and transgressing God's commandments. This is where all our troubles come from, as well as our inability to be consoled in them.
                              Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev
                              "The Meaning of Suffering"

Faith in God

 Observation shows that faith in the immortality of the soul has always been inwardly inseparable from faith in God, to such an extent that the degree of the former is determined by the degree of the latter. The more lively is one's faith in God, the more firm and undoubting is one's faith in the immortality of the soul. And, on the contrary, the weaker and more lifeless is one's belief in God, the greater the wavering and doubt one brings to the truth of the immortality of the soul. One who completely loses or stifles faith in God within oneself usually ceases to believe in the immortality of the soul or the future life at all. And this is surely understandable. A man receives the power of faith from the very Source of life, and if he cuts off his tie with this Source, he loses this stream of living power, and then no rational proofs or persuasions will be able to pour the power of faith into him.
                                                                          Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
                                                                          "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology"

St. Herman of Alaska

     "How do you manage to live alone in the forest, Father Herman? Don't you ever become lonesome?" He answered, "No I am not there alone! God is here, as God is everywhere. The Holy Angels are there. With whom is it better to talk, with people, or with Angels? Most certainly with Angels."
                                                From the life of St. Herman of Alaska 


  It is well known that obedience is the chief among initiatory virtues, for first it displaces presumption and then it engenders humility within us. Thus it becomes, for those who willingly embrace it, a door leading to the love of God.
                                                                                St. Diadochos of Photiki
                                                                                "On Spiritual Knowledge"
                                                                                (The Philokalia)

Cleave to the Lord

 It is altogether impossible to attain the Holy Spirit unless you alienate yourself from all the things of this world and dedicate yourself to the pursuit of Christ's love. The intellect must divest itself of every material concern and give its attention solely to achieving this one goal, thus becoming worthy of uniting in one spirit with Christ. As St. Paul writes: 'He who cleaves to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him' (1 Cor. 6:17). The soul that is wholly attached to some worldly thing like riches or glory or natural affection is not able to escape and transcend the darkness of the powers of evil.
                                                                  St. Makarios of Egypt
                                                                  "The Philokalia"

Gathereth Not ~ Scattereth

     He that gathereth not with me scattereth. It is necessary to advance in the spiritual life, to ascend higher and higher, and to increase more and more the stores of our good works. If we stand still at one stage of moral progress, upon one step of the Christian ascent, we fall back; if we do not gather, we scatter.
                                                                     St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                     "My Life in Christ"

Where There Is No Love

     Christians, woe unto us without love! Where there is no love there is no faith, for faith does not exist without love. Where there is no faith, there is neither Christ nor salvation.
                                                                            St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                                            "Journey to Heaven"

As a Debtor

     He who asks God for gifts in return for his labors has laid unsure foundations. He who regards himself as a debtor will unexpectedly and suddenly receives riches.
                                                                     St. John Climacus
                                                                     "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 22)


 Deem him to be a man of God who by reason of much compassion has mortified himself even with regard to necessary wants; for he who gives alms to a poor man has God to take care of him. And a man who has become poor for his sake has found inexhaustible treasures.
                                                                      St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                      "Ascetical Homilies" (Homily Five)

Battling Sin

  ...To wage war only with the sins that make their appearance as actual deeds would be just as unsuccessful as cutting down weeds in a garden instead of digging them up at the root and throwing them out. Sins appear as inevitable outgrowths from their roots, the passions of the soul.
                                                                Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky

Sorrows and God's Mercy

     He who desires to be saved should not fear to look upon the fierce sorrows which come from demons or men, because in human life there are many changes. Men change from evil to good and loving. One who fears sorrows usually falls into weakness and faint-heartedness. If one becomes used to fleeing or escaping sorrows or goes from place to place, or chooses only a particular time to begin to labor and to struggle, such a one all the days of his life will not find a place and a time for receiving benefit. One should, on the contrary, look upon and have hope in the mercy of God and remember His glorious miracles from the ages and His help to those who have pleased Him, and that God will not abandon one in any need or sorrow. And never does He allow a temptation which is above our strength. Therefore, we should manfully bear our cross with thanksgiving for the sake of God and future eternal good things. We should endure everything sorrowful in the present time and place. According to the word of the Apostle, We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14-22). By this narrow, sorrowful path we come to the highest perfection of patience, and no matter in what place we are, we are not deprived of benefit, but we shall receive it by God's mercy.
                                                                           St. Paisius Velichkovsky
                                                                           "Field Flowers"

True Prayer

 True prayer is a gift of God, which is granted to him that prayeth, that is, to those who labor in it unremittingly, continually, without sloth, according to what is written: He granteth his prayer to him that prayeth. If with every virtue habit is not acquired at once, but according to the measure of one's practice in it, then even more the habit of prayer requires long-continued labor and unremitting forcing of oneself.
                                                              Abbess Thaisia of Leushino
                                                              "Letters to a Beginner"

Good versus Evil

     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. Iranaeus
                                                                 "The Preaching of the Apostles"

Powers of the Soul

   Loving-kindness cures the excitable part of the soul; fasting withers lust; prayer purifies the mind and prepares it for contemplation of what is. For the Lord gave us commandments corresponding to the powers of the soul.
                                                                          St. Maximus the Confessor
                                                                          "First Century on Love"
                                                                          (The Philokalia)

Hope in God

  Persist in your desire and the Almighty God will grant you according to your heart; for the beginning of the virtues and their source is one's disposition, one's desire for good in the Lord. A person cannot overcome the passions on his own. This is the work of the right hand of the Most High, the action of the power of God. On our part we have only to preserve intact the holy disposition given us by God, and, in keeping with it, offer our efforts to attain the land of passionlessness. The Most High, beyond doubt, will perfect the effort of the one who desires this. So, if you desire to rise from the tomb of the passions, then always keep your mind attentive to this; take care of this, and have unwavering action and zeal. Hope in God, who can manifest His power in our weakness through His grace, and you will be saved.
                                                                                  Elder Leonid of Optina

Living According to God's Will

 The task of man's earthly life is preparing himself for eternal salvation and beatitude. To attain this, a man must live in a holy and pure manner - that is, according to God's will.
                                                                  St. Philaret of New York
                                                                  "The Law of God"

Prayer for Salvation

 When praying, a man must lay aside worldly care, and care only for the salvation of his soul.
                                                                    St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                    "My Life in Christ"


When the soul loses humility she loses grace and love for God at the same time, and ardent prayer is extinguished.
                                     Staretz Silouan
                                     "Wisdom from Mount Athos"

Tests,Temptations and Afflictions

  Do you see how many good things temptations and afflictions cause? So if you want to see, to taste the love of Christ, endure whatever comes upon you - not whatever you like, but whatever the Lord wants to test you with. What we suffer voluntarily is absolutely nothing in comparison with the trials the Lord sends us against our will.
                                                           Elder Joseph the Hesychast
                                                           "Monastic Wisdom" (Fortieth Letter)