What is the Science of Salvation?

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blessed Patience

The beginning of blessed patience is to accept dishonor with sorrow and bitterness of soul. The middle stage is to be free from pain in the midst of these things. But perfection is to regard dishonor as praise. Let the first rejoice; let the second be strong; blessed is the third, for he exults in the Lord.
                                                                 St. John Climacus
                                                                 "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 8)

Calmly Endure

  The temptations are profitable to the person that calmly endures them. Even if we are bothered by a passion, we must not be disturbed. If a person is disturbed when he is bothered by a passion that is a sign of ignorance, pride, not knowing his own condition and of idleness. The fathers say that we do not progress because we do not know our own measure and because we do not have patience in all our undertakings which we begin but we seek to obtain the virtues without labor.
                                                                              Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
                                                                              "Practical Teaching on the Christian Life"

Prayer to the Theotokos

  O loving Lady, thou hast shown me thy great love for all men. Glory to God Who receives the repentance of sinners through thee. What more can I recollect or say, I who am so sinful! It is time for me, O Lady, to fulfill my vow, according to thy witness. Now lead me by the hand along the path of repentance!

                                                           St. Mary of Egypt
                                                           (from her Life; conversation with the Theotokos)

Defense Against the Evil One

     May God defend us from the evil one and from his designs, for fierce is his struggle against us.
                                                                   St. Mary of Egypt
                                                                   (from her life; conversation with St. Zosimas)

Unceasing Prayer

     Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:21) says the Lord. If we would place all our treasure, that is all that is dear to us and loved by us, in the Lord alone, then without doubt He alone would fill our heart and thoughts and all our spiritual being with Himself. The instruction of the Apostle about unceasing prayer should not be an extremely difficult commandment for us, but should be only the fulfilling of our soul's need and the satisfaction of its yearning - to be always inseparably with the Lord in heart and mind. Unceasing "mental" prayer should be our indefeasible precious possession, a fountain of spiritual sweetness and of spaciousness of the heart.
                                                              Abbess Thaisia of Leushino
                                                              "Letters to a Beginner"

Will of God

     In order to do the will of God, it is necessary to know it. Only with this knowledge is the renunciation of one's damaged will possible and its healing by the will of God. The will of God is a divine mystery. No one knows the thoughts of God, says the Apostle, except the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:11). Consequently, men can obtain the knowledge of the will of God only through divine revelation.
                                                                Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
                                                                "The Arena"

Love Thy Neighbor

    ....An excellent clarification of this bond between love for God and neighbor is given by one of the great Orthodox strugglers, Abba Dorotheos. He gave the illustration that mankind is like the rim of a wheel. God is the hub, and each person is like a spoke. If we look at a wheel, we notice that the closer the spokes come to the hub, the closer they come to one another. But man can come close to God and neighbor only through love. It is clear that if one loves God, one will inevitably love one's neighbors.
                                                         St. Philaret of New York
                                                         "The Law of God"

Way of the Saints

     He who keeps in mind the way of the saints by imitating them not only shakes off the deadly paralysis of the passions but also takes up the life of the virtues.
                                                            St. Maximos the Confessor
                                                            "Second Century of Various Texts..."
                                                            (The Philokalia)

For Our Betterment

  May we humble ourselves, refrain from all condemnation of others, and accept in a spirit of love and devotion all that God sends for our betterment.
                                                        St. Macarius of Optina
                                                        "Russian Letters of Direction"

Deeds Not Words

     Let us try to learn Divine truth more by toil and sweat than by mere word, for at the time of our departure it is not words but deeds that will have to be shown.
                                   St. John Climacus
                                   "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 26)

Sign of True Repentance

     A sign of true repentance is the acknowledgment that we deserve all the afflictions, visible and invisible, that come upon us, and even greater ones.
                                                               St. John Climacus
                                                               "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 5)

Feed the Flame

 ...Like a flammable material, if you hold it a long time before the fire it not only will become hot, but it may also catch fire. So can the desire to lead a grace-filled life be inflamed if you hold it as long as you can under the influence of grace.
     Therefore estrange yourself from anything that might put out this igniting little flame, and surround yourself with everything that might feed it and fan it into a fire.
                                                                St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                                "The Path to Salvation"

On The Need For Guidance

 We need assistance, we need guidance in addition to God's grace. No one is more wretched, no one is more easily caught unawares, than a man who has no one to guide him along the road to God. It says, 'Those who have no guidance fall like leaves'. Leaves are always green in the beginning, they grow vigorously and are pleasing to look at. Then after a short time they dry up and fall off, and in the end they are blown about by the wind and trodden underfoot. So is the man who is not guided by someone. At first he has great fervor about fasting, keeping vigil, keeping silence, and obedience and other good customs. Then after a short time the fire is extinguished and, not having anyone to guide him and strengthen him and kindle his fire again, he shrivels up and so, becoming disobedient, he falls and finally becomes a tool in the hand of his enemies, who do what they like with him.
                                                               Abba Dorotheos of Sinai
                                                               "On the Need for Consultation"
                                                               (Discourses and Sayings)

Deny Yourself In All Things

  So let no one dream of acquiring a true Christian disposition and Christian virtue, and of working for God as he should, if he does not want to compel himself to renounce and overcome all the passionate impulses of the will of the flesh, whether great or small, which he was formerly accustomed to satisfy, willingly and fondly. The chief reason why so few people attain to full Christian perfection is exactly their reluctance, through self-pity, to force themselves to deny themselves absolutely everything. But if, having overcome great passionate tendencies, they do not wish, thereafter, to compel themselves to overcome small ones, which seem unimportant, then, since these small tendencies are the outcome and expression of the great, by indulging in them they inevitably feed the latter, and so make them continue to live and act in the heart, in spite of the fact that they no longer manifest themselves on a large scale. And so the heart remains passionate and impure, and, above all, in no whit freed from self-indulgence and self-pity, which always make any practice to please God of doubtful value.
                                                         Lorenzo Scupoli
                                                         (edited by Nicodemus of the Hoy Mountain
                                                            and revised by St. Theophan the Recluse)
                                                         "Unseen Warfare"

Profession of Faith

Peace is not preserved except by having a single profession of faith.

                                                St. Leo the Great
                                                (Letter 130)

Love and Joy

   A manifest sign of love for God is a heartfelt gladness in God, for we rejoice in what we love. Likewise, love of God cannot exist without joy, and whenever a man feels the sweetness of the love of God within his heart, he rejoices in God. For so sweet a virtue as love cannot be felt without joy.
                                                    St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
                                                    "Journey to Heaven"


 The Lord wishes you to regard every man as superior to yourself.
                                                       St. Barsanuphius and St. John
                                                       "Directions in Spiritual Work"
                                                       (The Philokalia)


   ...So contemplation in God and the sacred mystery of the Cross do not just drive away evil passions, and the devils who devise them, from the soul, but also heretical doctrines.
                                                                St. Gregory Palamas
                                                                "On the Precious and Life-Giving Cross"