What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Love Truth and God

 
     Souls that love truth and God, that long with much hope and faith to put on Christ completely, do not need so much to be put in remembrance by others, nor do they endure, even for a while, to be deprived of the heavenly desire and of passionate affection to the Lord; but being wholly and entirely nailed to the cross of Christ, they perceive in themselves day by day a sense of spiritual advance towards the spiritual Bridegroom. Being smitten with heavenly longing, and hungering for the righteousness of the virtues, they have a great and insatiable desire for the shining forth of the Spirit. Even if they are privileged through their faith to receive the knowledge of Divine mysteries, or are made partakers of the gladness of heavenly grace, they put no trust in themselves to be somewhat, but the more they are permitted to receive spiritual gifts, the more insatiable they are of the heavenly longing, and the more they seek on with diligence. The more they perceive in themselves a spiritual advance, the more hungry and thirsty they are for the participation of grace; and the richer they spiritually are, the more do they esteem themselves to be poor, being insatiable in the spiritual longing for the heavenly Bridegroom, as the Scripture says, They that eat Me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink Me shall yet be thirsty. (Ecclus. xxiv. 21).
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. Macarius the Great
                                                                  "Spiritual Homilies" (Homily 10)

Hypocrisy

  When our Lord Jesus Christ reproached the Scribes and Pharisees, He usually called them hypocrites, by this indicating that dire form of falsehood - hypocrisy - with which these so-called leaders of the people were filled. The Pharisees were outwardly pretended saints but in their hearts and souls, they were malicious haters of truth and good. For this reason the Lord likened them to finely finished coffins which are beautiful on the outside but are full of dead bones and corruption. The vice of hypocrisy is widespread even now in the form of pretending and desiring to seem to be what one is not - not actually to be, but to seem to be what one is not. A Christian strives, of course not to seem to be, but to actually be good. This is not easy, and often passes almost unnoticed by anyone except for the All-seeing God. And many - especially among the youth - try to seem more clever, more beautiful, more gifted, more developed and more charitable than they are in reality. From this, they obtain that mortal deceit and insincerity which now so often destroys people and their happiness, which is clearly based on falsehood and not on truth.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                           St. Philaret of New York
                                                                           "The Law of God"

Healing the Soul

   As physicians, treating the body, do not prescribe the same remedy to all, so also God, in treating sicknesses of the soul, has more than one means of healing; and giving each soul what it needs, He makes it whole. So let us give thanks to Him when we are being healed, even if what happens to us brings suffering; for the end is bliss.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                          St. Maximos the Confessor
                                                          "The Philokalia"

Reaping What You Sow

 Whatever you sow in cultivated ground, you reap the same. If you plant fruit trees, or sow wheat, barley or some other useful crop, the earth brings them forth and they grow and are fruitful. But if the land is left untilled and unsown, it sprouts useless plants, mostly the thorns and thistles mentioned in the curse pronounced against us (Gen. 3:18). Even if a tree happens to grow, it will most probably have no fruit, be useless and full of thorns. It is the same with the soul. Whatever attitudes you instill in it, you will receive the same back. If you keep company with good people, listen to spiritual teaching and follow it, putting its precepts into practice, your soul cultivates virtues and becomes useful to God, to others, and to yourself. But if you delight in bad company and do not heed spiritual teaching, or even regard it as trivial, your soul turns wild and out of control, sprouts evil passions, and yields the stings and thorns of its own and the body's death, namely, sins.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                    St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                    "Homily Thirty-Three: On Virtues and Their Opposite Passions"

The Whole Earth Shines

 Everyone who comes here receives spiritual benefit according to his faith. Those whose faith is poor find little benefit, and, sometimes, none at all. On the other hand, God is the Lord of all places. Now - since the Incarnation - Jerusalem is no longer the only sanctified spot; the whole earth shines with glory; there is no place whence the incense of prayer cannot rightly rise. The manna of the Word of God rains down on every city and every wilderness; the incorruptible feast can be partaken of in the humblest church of the poorest village; the living waters of grace can be drunk by all who courageously and unflinchingly seek Him who says, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (John 7:37).
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                     Staretz Macarius of Optina
                                                     "Russian Letters of Direction"

Live Simply

 Live simply and God will not leave you.
 
 
 
 
 
                                    Elder Leonid of Optina

Concern For Your Soul

 Let us be concerned only about the soul, and in every need have, as the one who takes care of you, God. Nowhere, never, and in no need does God leave those who hope without doubt in Him entirely and who serve Him with all their hearts in love towards Him. If we shall live in hope upon God even if only for one day and thus we die, this is better than many years spent in doubleness of soul.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                    St. Paisius Velichkovsky
                                                                    "Field Flowers"

Grace of the Spirit

   The grace of the Spirit is one and unchanging, but energizes in each one of us as He wills. When rain falls upon the earth, it gives life to the quality inherent in each plant: sweetness in the sweet, astringency in the astringent; similarly, when grace falls upon the hearts of the faithful, it gives to each the energies appropriate to the different virtues without itself changing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                 St. Mark the Ascetic
                                                                 (The Philokalia)

Zealous Pleasing of God


     A merchant, a soldier, a judge, or a scholar has work which is full of cares and difficulties. How do they sustain themselves in the midst of their labors? By enthusiasm and love for their work. One cannot sustain oneself by anything else on the path of piety. Without this we will be serving God in a state of sluggishness, boredom, and lack of interest. An animal like the sloth also moves, but with difficulty, while for the swift gazelle or the nimble squirrel movement and getting about are a delight. Zealous pleasing of God is the path to God which is full of consolation and gives wings to the spirit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                             St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                             "The Path to Salvation"

Lowliness of Mind


     Let anyone desiring to find true humility and rest for his soul learn lowliness of mind and see that in it is all joy and all glory and all tranquility, and in pretensions to superiority, just the contrary.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                          Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
                                                                          "Discourses and Sayings"

Casting Out Evil


     For what purpose does the Lord add day after day, year after year, to our existence? In order that we may gradually put away, cast aside, evil from our souls, each one his own, and acquire blessed simplicity; in order that we may become, for instance, gentle as lambs, simple as infants; in order that we may learn not to have the least attachment to earthly things, but like loving, simple children, may cling with all our hearts to God alone, and love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our strength, and all our thoughts, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us hasten, therefore, to pray to the Lord, fervently and tearfully, to grant us simplicity of heart, and let us strive by every means to cast out the evil from our souls - for instance, evil suspiciousness, malevolence, malignity, malice, pride, arrogance, boastfulness, scornfulness, impatience, despondency, despair, irascibility and irritability, fearfulness and faint-heartedness, envy, avarice, gluttony, and satiety; fornication, mental and of the heart, and actual fornication; the love of money, and in general the passion for acquisition; slothfulness, disobedience, and all the dark horde of sins. Lord, without Thee we can do nothing! Bless us Thyself in this work, and give us the victory over our enemies and our passions. So be it!
 
 
 
 
                                                            St. John of Kronstadt
                                                            "My Life in Christ"

Fasting and Lowliness

  The body that is mingled with sin finds rest in the works of the flesh; but the Spirit of God does not find repose in its fruits. When the body is weakened by fasting and lowliness, the soul is spiritually strengthened in prayer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                        St. Isaac the Syrian
                                                                        "Ascetical Homilies"  (Homily 38)

Heirs of Christ

    If Christians are children of God, they are also heirs, heirs, then, of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). If they are children of God, what then, and whom should they fear?
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                                  "Journey to Heaven"

Repentance

  The greater a man's repentance, the more fully he is freed from the world and brought to zeal for God.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
                                                        "The Theophany"

See Yourself as Bad

    It is infinitely better for us to see ourselves as bad than good. In the first case, we acquire humility, and find the door to forgiveness, the door to grace; in the second, we grow proud; and pride blocks the way of grace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                           Starets Macarius of Optina      
                                                                           "Russian Letters of Direction"

Enduring Afflictions

May the Lord help you peacefully endure the afflictions which are befalling you. such is the path of the friends of God: to pass the days of this fleeting life in constriction and tribulations. in order to inherit eternal blessedness with all the saints. Many are the tribulations of the righteous (Ps. 33:19), many are the scourges of the sinner says the Psalmist, but mercy shall encircle him that hopeth in the Lord (Ps. 31:10). In your patience possess ye your souls(Luke 21:19), and it is only he that shall endure unto the end, who shall be saved (cf. Matt. 24:13).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                  St. Anatoly of Optina
                                                                  "A Collection of Letters to Nuns"

Acquire Virtue

  In order to acquire virtues a man's soul should be great and courageous; his will, not weak and indolent, but resolute and strong; he must have a sure foresight of the numerous obstacles and hard struggles and must be ready to undertake and endure them all. At the basis of such disposition should lie a strong love for each virtue and for all virtuous life and a burning zeal for them. This constitutes the force which moves a man on the laborious path of virtue, and it should therefore be constantly kept warm lest it be so weakened and exhausted, that all movement will inevitably stop. So do not neglect to keep warm your zeal for virtue. Make your heart share in reflections about how pleasing to God virtuous life is, and how high and beautiful is virtue in itself and how necessary and beneficial it is for us: for it is the beginning and end of true perfection, as well as of our progress in it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                  "Unseen Warfare"
                                                                                  Lorenzo Scupoli, edited by Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain
                                                                                         and revised by St. Theophan the Recluse

Peace In Christ


     There is nothing better than peace in Christ, for it brings victory over all the evil spirits on earth and in the air. When peace dwells in a man’s heart it enables him to contemplate the grace of the Holy Spirit from within. He who dwells in peace collects spiritual gifts as it were with a scoop, and he sheds the light of knowledge on others. All our thoughts, all our desires, all our efforts, and all our actions should make us say constantly with the Church: “O Lord, give us peace!” When a man lives in peace, God reveals mysteries to him..


                                                  St. Seraphim of Sarov

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"

The Way of the Sinner


     The Magi come by one way, and return by another. For they who had seen Christ, had come to know Christ; and they returned more truly believing than they came. The way is twofold: one that leads to destruction, an the other that leads to the Kingdom. There is the way of sinners, that leads to Herod: and this way is Christ by which we return to our country. For here we have no lasting dwelling, as it is written: My soul hath long been a sojourner (Ps. cxix. 6). Let us turn away from Herod, ruler for a while of an earthly power, that we may come to the everlasting dwelling of our heavenly country.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                   St. Ambrose of Milan

Ask For Forgiveness

 When you have sinned, and your sins torment you, then seek at once the only sacrifice for sins, eternal and living, and lay your sins before the face of that sacrifice. Do not think that you can be saved by your own efforts.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       St. John of Kronstadt
                                                                       "My Life in Christ"

Watch Your Activities!

    A man's soul takes on qualities according to its activity.
 
 
 
 
                                    Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
                                    "On Following our Lord Jesus Christ"

Glorify God!


     "Glory to God in the highest
       and on earth peace, goodwill among men"
 
 
     When men, in gladness of heart, give first place to glorifying God in the highest (and not some man-made god on earth, in the lowest), then this brings peace on earth - and both the one and the other produce goodwill among them. The Lord Jesus came on earth so that the whole earth raise up praise to God on high, and thus bring peace on earth and goodwill among men. "I am the Lord... I make peace..." (Isaiah 45: 6,7).
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                       Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic

The Word


     The Evangelist, wishing to make clear the ineffable condescension of God, speaks of the flesh, that we may praise His mercy; Since, for our salvation, He took upon Himself that which is so unlike, and so remote, from His own Nature; namely, flesh; for soul has some relationship with God. But if the Word had become Incarnate, yet did not assume a human soul, it would follow that our souls would not yet be healed; for what He did not assume, He did not sanctify.
 
 
 
 
                                                 Blessed Theophylact

Raising of Man

 What mind can comprehend this mystery? What tongue describe this wondrous grace? Iniquity returns to the ways of innocence, old age to newness of life. Strangers are received into adoption as sons, and they without claim enter upon an inheritance. The evil-living begin to live as righteous, the parsimonious become bountiful, the incontinent chaste, and the earthly heaven minded. What is this transformation unless the witness of the Hand of God? Since the Son of man came that He might destroy the works of the devil, and so joined Himself to us and us to Him, that the descent of God to what was human, has brought about the raising of man to what is divine (I Jn. iii. 8).
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                          St. Leo the Great
                                                                          "The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"