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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: Νεκτάριος on February 11, 2005, 03:32:34 PM

Title: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 11, 2005, 03:32:34 PM
I think it would be useful and beneficial to all to compile a thread that is quotes from some of the great luminaries of Orthodoxy in our times.  I especially like our modern fathers because they are the same as the ancient ones and clearly illustrate how grace filled Orthodoxy has remained unchanged from its foundation by Christ even to our day. 

To start off from Elder Amphilochios of Patmos directed toward Orthodox Christians of the diaspora:

"Do not be afraid because of your Orthodoxy, do not be afraid because , as an Orthodox in the west, you will be often isolated and always in a small minority.  Do not make compromises but do not attack other Christians; do not be either offensive or aggresive; simply be yourself."
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 11, 2005, 04:25:25 PM
"For what does it mean for someone to profess to be Orthodox? It means this: to be part of the continuous struggle that leads from man to God-man, that is, to be involved in the unending improvement of oneself through the theanthropic mysteries, struggles, and virtues. Here the Orthodox Christian is never alone. Every feeling, act, and thought is both individual and universal, not merely personal and catholic but theanthropic." - St. Justin Popovich (GÇá1979), Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, p. 86

"For all these reasons, there can be no salvation, deification, or christification, no Paradise, no Kingdom of Heaven, without the holy virtues. The holy mysteries are, without doubt, the holy dogmas of our faith, our salvation. But so also are the holy virtues. Without Holy Baptism, there is no salvation. This is the unalterable dogma of salvation in the Saviour's theanthropic Church. But neither is their salvation without faith and love, and they are therefore also unalterable dogmas of salvation. Every holy mystery is a dogma, as is every evangelical virtue. Together, they holy mysteries and virtues constitute an organic and indivisible ascesis of salvation, the theanthropic ascesis of salvation." - St. Justin Popovich (GÇá1979), The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, p. 72
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 12, 2005, 01:59:25 PM
Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain:

"Let us not expect the spiritual spring if we don't first pass through the spiritual winter during which the spiritual vermin die.  We mustn't expect the divine to blossom within us if the human hasn't first died."
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 13, 2005, 12:25:03 AM
"You are an experienced gardener, and you know how much work is required to grow even one vegetable. You wouldn't leave even one plant without some attention. How, then, can we not labor on our soul, our unique treasure, which the grave itself cannot destroy? You have acquired a garden in Jerusalem. This was not one of God's commandments, and yet you undertook this labor out of love for God and for the sake of your soul's salvation. How, then, can we disdain even one of our Saviour's commandments as something inconsequential?" -  St. Nikolai of Serbia, Answers to Questions, 3 (http://www.stvladimirs.ca/library/answers-to-questions.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 13, 2005, 03:58:50 AM
"It is more difficult to make a genuine monk than it is to make a cathedral!" - Elder Cleopas of Romania
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 19, 2005, 01:42:15 PM
"Therefore, do come frequently to the Pure Mysteries and recieve the Holy Communion.  `But take care that you do so with the appropriate preperation, namely, after confession, after fasting in accordance with your powers, with temperance, prayers, attention, contrition of the heart and a clear conscience, examining yourself as the Apostle counsels, so that recieving the Holy Communion may not turn to your damnation.  And in accordance with the preperations you make, you shall be given the grace of Communion."  - Saint Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 20, 2005, 08:07:08 PM
"The study of any of the Patristic books helps to warm your soul and increase your struggle to imitate the Saints.  At the same time, they will leave you with great humility, provided that you compare yourself with the Saints. This will, without a doubt, drive out every previously created illusion, such as considering yourself a saint in comparison to hippies. For, whereas we judge "according to appearance," God alone knows the hearts of men." Elder Paisios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on February 20, 2005, 09:41:46 PM
These quotes and the account listed below are from
Hieroscemamonk Michael the last Elder of Valaam
http://www.roca.org/OA/29/29d.htm

"Everything needs a certain preparation.' Pay no attention to all these methods and breathing techniques you’ve been reading about; they can only harm the soul-and there have been such cases. The Jesus Prayer must come as a cry from the depths of the heart-then it is true prayer."

 "When the devil tries to irritate you over trifles, or stir you to anger, to destroy your peace of soul, just say, 'Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen!' He fears these words above all. They scorch him like fire and he will flee from you."

His astonishing eyes, bright and clear, looked at me. I realized at once that Fr. Michael read my thoughts and knew my past.

"Father", I asked him, "what do you think of death?"

"There is no death," he answered, "there is merely a passing from one state to another. To me personally, the life of another world is much more real than my life here."

"I know one Archimandrite, " I said, " who thinks likewise."

" Blessed is he," the Starets answered. "He is on the right road and perhaps nearing that other life. The more the Christian lives the interior life, the more he is detached from this world, and imperceptibly he approaches the other world. When the end comes it is easy: the thin curtain simply dissolves."

"Can you feel a living contact with the dead, Father?"

"Certainly. The prayers for the dead maintain this contact. Those who omit that prayer break off contact, with deplorable results. Prayers for the dead are needful not only to them, but to us as well."
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on February 21, 2005, 01:42:34 PM
A true Christian is made by faith and love of Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder our Christianity, according to the word of the Savior Himself. He said: I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents than over ninety and nine just ones. Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His feet, He said to the Pharisee Simon: to one who has love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love, even a small debt will be demanded. From these judgements a Christian should bring himself to hope and joy, and not in the least accept the torment of despair. Here one needs the shield of faith.

Sin, to one who loves God, is nothing other than an arrow from the enemy in battle. The true Christian is a warrior fighting his way through the regiments of the unseen enemy to his heavenly homeland. According to the word of the Apostle, our homeland is in heaven; and about the warrior he says: we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6: 12)].

The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them and habit clothe our soul as if in a hideous garment. This is called by the Apostles the outward man. We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rather one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired health, do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves.
-St.Herman of Alaska

+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é
Where is cutoff line for Modern? Would a good point be after St.Gregory Palamas? The Fall of Constantinople? Tsar Peter I? Originally I wasn't sure if I should go as far back as St.John of Kronstadt
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 21, 2005, 04:51:04 PM
Sabbas, I am not really sure what I would classify as modern.  I posted a quote from Saint Nikodemos.... I think he really represents the birth of the "school" of a lot of the modern Fathers.  But 20th century is probably a good definition.  We could always start a thread of ancient church fathers to compliment this one.  Actually I think that would be a very good idea, as it would show the complete oneness of the fathers, regardless of time period. 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 23, 2005, 01:55:55 AM
"We know many converts who grasp at 'correctness' like a baby's bottle, and I think they could save their souls better by being a little 'incorrect' but humbler." - Father Seraphim of Platina

"Strictness will not save us if we don't have any more the feeling and taste of Orthodoxy." - Father Seraphim of Platina

"Fanaticism hinders a man's understanding but true faith gives it freedom." Elder Macarius of Optina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 26, 2005, 03:37:42 AM
"Wherever Orthodox monasicism is absent, the Church does not exist... the monastics guard the boundries of our Church and protect Her from Her enemies, who, in our contemporary materialistic age rush to mangle Her like wolves." 
-Elder Amphilochios of Patmos
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 26, 2005, 03:50:24 AM
"Most of use, whether we are experienced or not, have abandoned the Holy Gospel, and are rushing to grasp the Rudder, which, is why the sacred vessel, our Church, is tossed by the waves."
-Elder Paisios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 26, 2005, 03:56:47 AM
<<+Æ’ +º-ü+¦-â-ä-î-é -ç-ä-Ã -Ç+¼+¦+¦ -â-ä++ +¦+¦-ü+¦+¦ +¦+¦+¦ ++  +¦+¦+¦+¦++++-é -â-ä++++ +¦+¦+¦+¡-Ã¥+¦++++.>>

-+ô+¦-ü-î++-ä+¦-é +á+¦-è-â+¦++-é
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: alexp4uni on February 26, 2005, 05:30:31 AM
I'm reading The Soul After Death, by Fr. Seraphim Rose what strucked me as odd is near-death experiences show that your soul will cling on to your body even after seperated. The soul from one Near Death Experience can be apart of the conformed world to vision a dream-like setting then the soul goes back to the body. The one account was a woman who "did not see the face of God, but death was God's interest for me to come back with preparation of heart and spirit. I had an ugly image that was not prepared and next time my life will be taken."

Of course, one can always act "wrong" even on a clear conscience! But even that is not a fatal mistake as long as one's mind and heart remain open and one keeps first things first. -  Fr. Seraphim Rose
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 26, 2005, 05:37:25 PM
"The Orthodox Church is deeply ascetic and those who don't love asceticism and are friends of luxury and comfort don't have a place within her."

-Elder Epiphanios of Athens
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: alexp4uni on February 26, 2005, 07:32:08 PM
"I am alone, exhausted and I feel quite sick. I care about our monastery more than I do about my own life..." 

-Archimandrite Nikodim from Krka in Kosovo who wrote at the end of his life.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 28, 2005, 02:58:17 PM
"Our Felecity lies in one world or the other, not in both."
-Father Seraphim of Platina

"One can't be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely, or not at all."
-Father Seraphim of Platina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 28, 2005, 04:22:29 PM
"Saints are people who live on earth by holy, eternal Divine truths. That is why the Lives of the Saints are actually applied dogmatics, for in them all the holy eternal dogmatic truths are experienced in all their life-creating and creative energies. In The Lives of the Saints it is most evidently shown that dogmas are not only ontological truths in themselves and for themselves, but that each one of them is a wellspring of eternal life and a source of holy spirituality." - St. Justin Popovich, Introduction to the Lives of the Saints

"All the Divine moral laws have their source in the holy mysteries and are realized in the holy virtues. For this reason the Lives of the Saints are indeed experiential ethics, applied ethics. Actually, the Lives of the Saints prove irrefutably that Ethics is nothing other than Applied Dogmatics." - St. Justin Popovich, Introduction to the Lives of the Saints

Interestingly, according to Hieromonk Damascene, "Fr. Seraphim Rose once counseled a budding Orthodox writer to make use of the Lives of the Saints as 'applied dogmatic theology' and as 'applied ethics.'" (The Orthodox Word, No. 221 [Nov-Dec. 2001], p. 266)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Pravoslavbob on February 28, 2005, 04:58:44 PM
"The Orthodox Church is deeply ascetic and those who don't love asceticism and are friends of luxury and comfort don't have a place within her."

-Elder Epiphanios of Athens

That's a line drawn in the sand if I ever saw one.  (A good one, I mean.  :))  Lord, have mercy.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Matthew777 on February 28, 2005, 06:37:25 PM
What is the position of the modern fathers on the creation vs. evolution issue?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 28, 2005, 07:25:15 PM
Saint Nektarios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Saint Justin Popovich and Father Seraphim Rose all wrote and or spoke against evolution.  I don't know of any that spoke in favor evolution. 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on March 01, 2005, 12:15:52 AM
"No sacrifice is more fragrant in the sight of God than purity of body, which is realized through blood and great struggles."

"The powers of darkness are not fought with sweets and Turkish delight, but with conduits of tears, with pain of soul until death, with extreme humility and great patience, with unceasing painful prayer."

"Whatever we don't give to God for Him to use, the other will use. For this reason our Lord gave us the commandment to love with all our heart and soul so that the evil one won't be able to find a place of rest within us."

-Elder Joseph the Hesychast
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on March 01, 2005, 01:20:35 PM
"The greatest sickness of our age is the vain thoughts of secular people, which bring stress.  Only Christ can provide a cure with spiritual serenity, along with eternity, provided you repent and turn to Him."
-Elder Pa-èsios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 02, 2005, 11:18:48 AM
Suffering is an indication of another Kingdom which we look to. If being Christian meant being “happy” in this life, we wouldn’t need the Kingdom of Heaven.

Orthodoxy can’t be comfortable unless it is fake.

-Father Seraphim of Platina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Marjorie on March 03, 2005, 09:58:55 AM
"The powers of darkness are not fought with sweets and Turkish delight, but with conduits of tears, with pain of soul until death, with extreme humility and great patience, with unceasing painful prayer."

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought of Edmund from the Chronicles of Narnia when I read this!

These quotes are all great.

Marjorie
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on March 05, 2005, 11:57:39 PM
"Love all your fellow men, even your enemies. This is the most basic thing. Always love not only those who love us, but also those who hate us. Let us forgive them and love them all even if they have done us the greatest evil; then we are truly children of God. Then our own sins are also forgiven...Always preach love. This is the most basic law of God: love and love alone."

Elder George of Drama
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: AdAbDaIsChAp on March 06, 2005, 12:11:31 AM
Elder George of Drama

What part of Greece does he live in?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on March 08, 2005, 12:50:33 PM
The Elder reposed in 1959.
He lived in the village of Sipsa (now Taxiarches) near Drama in Northern Greece.
He established a small monastery there.

Michael
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on March 08, 2005, 01:56:28 PM
"We mustn't despair when we struggle and continuously see nothing but the slightest progress. We all do nearly nothing, some a little more, some a little less. When Christ sees our little effort He gives us an analogous token and so our nearly nothing becomes valuable and we can see a little progress. For this reason we mustn't despair, but hope in God."

Elder Paisios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 08, 2005, 02:12:38 PM
What is the position of the modern fathers on the creation vs. evolution issue?

I think that you probably wanted quotes so here goes:
"Those who deny the immortality of the soul undermine both the moral law and the foundations of societies, which they want to see collapsing into ruins, in order that they might prove that man is an ape, from which they boast that they are descended." Study Concerning the Immortality of the Soul Athens 1901 -St.+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é
also
"The two volumes of the work Philosophie zoologique are in their entirety intended to uphold the degrading evolutionary theory regarding man. The first volume seeks to prove that the human organism evolved from that of an ape, as a result fo chance circumstances. And the second volume seeks to prove that the distinctive excellences of the human mind are nothing but an extension of a power which the animals have, differing only in degree. Having weak and badly set foundations . . . Lamarck claims to prove that in earlier times nature produced through marvelous evolution one species from another, earlier one. He seeks to establish a a gradual chain having successive (not contemporaneous) links and thuos to produce finally the human species through a metamorphosis that is the reverse of the truth, and not less marvelous than the transformations one reads about in myth! . . .
"The Darwinian theories imagined that they arrived at the solution of the anthropological qustion by accepting the mode of evolution. These theories, not being based on sound foundations, instead of solving the problem rendered it more enigmatic, because they denied the validity of revealed truth, viewed man as belonging to the same order as the irrational animals, denied his spiritual origin and attributed to him a very lowly origin, Their failure had as its chief reason the negation of his lofty origin and of his spiritual nature, which is altogether alien to matter and to the physical world. iI general, without the acceptance of revealed truth, man will remain an insoluble problem. The acceptance of it is the firm and safe foundation upon which every inquirer about man must base himself. It is from this that he must begin in order to rightly solve the various parts of the question and learn the truth by means of true science."
Sketch concerning Man Athens 1893 -St.+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é

Both of these quotes are on page 451 of Fr.Seraphim of Platina's Genesis, Creation and Early Man:The Orthodox Christian Vision

"The English philogsopher Darwin created an entire system according to which life is a struggle for existence, a struggle o fthe strong against the weak, where thsoe that are conqered are doomed to destruction. . . This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy , and those who come to believe in it wouldn't think twice about killing a man, assaulting a woman, or robbing their closest friend - and they would do all this calmly, with full recognition of their right to commit these crimes." -St.Barsanuphius of Optina http://www.stherman.com/catalog/chapter_six/barsanuphius_book.htm
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on March 08, 2005, 05:41:17 PM
"Our human attempts to repent are often zeros; but God sees all the zeros. Sometimes, He waits until we have accumulated many of them, and then He adds, through His Spirit, the number one in front of them."

Elder Paisios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on March 19, 2005, 09:27:47 PM
"True love is like the flame of a candle. However many candles you light from the flame, the initial flame remains unaffected. It doesn't lessen at all. And every freshly lit candle has as much flame as the others do."

Elder Epiphianos
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: icxn on April 10, 2005, 07:36:52 PM
Not a knowledge that you learn, but a knowledge that you suffer. That is Orthodox spirituality. - Mother Gavrielia (http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/index.php?p=14)

Oups I did it again, she is not a father... she is a mother ;)

icxn
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on April 26, 2005, 11:52:34 AM
A Word on Repentance
Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco
 

Open to me the doors of repentance,
0 Giver of Life!


Repentance is expressed by the Greek word, metanoia. In the literal sense, this means a change of mind. In other words, repentance is a change of one's disposition, one's way of thinking; a change of one's inner self. Repentance is a reconsideration of one's views, an alteration of one's life.

How can this come about? In the same way that a dark room into which a man enters is illumined by the rays of the sun. Looking around the room in the dark, he can make out certain things, but there is a great deal he does not see and does not even suspect is there. Many things are perceived quite different from what they actually are. He has to move carefully, not knowing what obstacles he might encounter. When, however, the room becomes bright, he can see things clearly and move about freely.

The same thing happens in spiritual life.

When we are immersed in sins, and our mind is occupied solely with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent to who we are inwardly, and we persist along false path without being aware of it.

But then a ray of God's Light penetrates our soul. And what filth we see in ourselves! How much untruth, how much falsehood! How hideous many of our actions prove to be, which we fancied to be so wonderful. And it becomes clear to us which true path.

If we then recognize our spiritual nothingness, our sin and earnestly desire our amendment -- we are near to salvation. From the depths of our soul we shall cry out to God: Have mercy on me, 0 God, have mercy according to Thy Mercy!" "Forgive me and save me!" "Grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother!"
 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on May 11, 2005, 08:40:49 PM
"Through baptism we are enrolled as members of the Church.  However if we do not activate the grace of Baptism by the whole ascetic life which the Church has then we are not really members of it."

Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on May 12, 2005, 12:26:43 PM
In order to live a Christian life and sustain the spirit within us, private and communal prayers are essential. Just as it is necessary to add oil to an image-lamp so that it does not go out, so is it essential to attend church services and pray there with faith, understanding and fervor. Because through self-restraint a prayer becomes more sincere and fervent, it is necessary to live in moderation and to fast. Nothing extinguishes the spirit within us as quickly as immoderation, overindulgence and a dissipated way of life.
-St.John of Kronstadt
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on May 12, 2005, 02:10:25 PM
"The life of the Church does away with every nationalistic tendency.  Of course we cannot do away with nations and the native lands but we can do away with nationalism, which is a heresy, a great danger to the Church of Christ."

Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on May 12, 2005, 03:02:35 PM
"Let us not expect the spiritual spring if we don't first pass through the spiritual winter durring which the spiritual vermin die.We mustn't expect the divine to blossom within us if the human hasn't first died."

Elder Paisios the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Matthew777 on May 12, 2005, 03:17:50 PM
Perhaps we should consider C.S. Lewis an honorary modern church father.  O0
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Brigidsboy on May 12, 2005, 05:02:44 PM
The word of God is food for the soul. The word of God is both power and light for the soul. He who reads the word of God gives food, power and light to his soul. He who can, should read read the word of God in Holy Scripture, and he who cannot shold listen to him who reads Holy Scripture. All the saints emphasized the benefit of reading Holy Scripture. St Seraphim of Sarov says: "The soul should be provided with the word of God. For the word of God, as Gregory the Theologian says, is the bread of angels, which feeds the soul that is hungry for God. But, above all, one should read the New Testament and the Psalter. From this proceeds the illumination of the mind.... It is very beneficial to read the word of God in solitude and to read the entire Bible with understanding. The Lord gives His mercy to a man for endeavoring to do this, more than for other good deeds, and fill him with the gift of understanding. When a man provides his soul with the word of God, then he is filled with the understanding of good and evil."

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on June 05, 2005, 03:01:50 AM
"The Staretz began to understand the commandment , "Love thy neighbor as thyself' as something more than an ethical imperative.  In the word as he saw an indication, not of a required degree of love but of an ontological community of being."

Elder Sophrony of Essex concerning his Elder Saint Silouan
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on June 05, 2005, 04:57:39 AM
"Do not read rebellious books or pamphlets that mention Church matters if you wish to be calm, since you are not responsible for such serious affairs.  You have need of books that will assist in your repentance.  If you want to help the Church, correct yourself, and immediately amendment is made to a small part of the Church.  Naturally, if everyone did this, then the Church would be put in order."

Elder Paisios the Athonite, Epistles page 42
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on June 06, 2005, 06:29:44 AM
"True Christianity does not mean just having the right opinions about Christianity—this is not enough to save one’s soul. St. Tikhon (of Zadonsk) says: ‘If someone should say that true faith is the correct holding and confession of correct dogmas, he would be telling the truth, for a believer absolutely needs the Orthodox holding and confession of dogmas. But this knowledge and confession by itself does not make a man a faithful and true Christian. The keeping and confession of Orthodox dogmas is always to be found in true faith in Christ, but the true faith of Christ is not always to be found in the confession of OrthodoxyGǪ. The knowledge of correct dogmas is in the mind, and it is often fruitless, arrogant, and proudGǪ. The true faith in Christ is in the heart, and it is fruitful, humble, patient, loving, merciful, compassionate, hungering and thirsting for righteousness; it withdraws from worldly lusts and clings to God alone, strives and seeks always for what is heavenly and eternal, struggles against every sin, and constantly seeks and begs help from God for this."

Father Seraphim of Platina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: beewolf on June 07, 2005, 11:28:04 PM
Thank you for posting these sayings, they warm the heart and teach the mind.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on June 08, 2005, 12:18:45 AM
"Not many believed in the witness of previous fathers; and this not because the testimony is false but because faith entails ascetic living."

Elder Sophrony
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on June 09, 2005, 02:38:36 AM
"We must live in fear of that fire being quenched which impelled us to forsake the world and love the Lord."ÂÂ  

Saint Silouan the Athonite
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on June 11, 2005, 10:55:44 PM
"Dogmatic differences, reduced to an issue of faith, leave the matter of love free and unchallenged; dogma does not set itself against love.... Christian love is constant, and for this reason the deformed faith of the heterodox cannot change our feelings of love towards them.... Issues of faith must in no way diminish the feeling of love."
St. Nectarios of Pentapolis
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: arjuna3110 on July 12, 2005, 10:13:04 AM
For a list of modern Church fathers, I would suggest :

Vladimir Lossky for his "Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church"

and

Tito Colliander for his "Way of the Ascetics."


By the way, have these men been declared saints by the Orthodox Church?  If not, is there a move to do so?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: arjuna3110 on July 12, 2005, 10:31:53 AM
Vladimir Lossky, from "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church," the chapter on "The Economy of the Holy Spirit":

"Now it is the divine life which is opened up within us in the Holy Spirit.  For He mysteriously identifies Himself with human persons whilst remaining incommunicable.  He substitues Himself, so to speak, for ourselves; for it is He who cries in our hearts Abba, Father! as St. Paul puts it.  We should say, rather, that the Holy Spirit effaces Himself, as Person, before the created persons to whom He appropriates grace.  In Him the will of God is no longer external to ourselves:  it confers grace inwardly, manifesting itself within our very person in so far as our human will remains in accord with the divine will and co-operates with it in acquiring grace, in making it ours.  This is the way of deification leading to the Kingdom of God which is introduced into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, even in this present life.  For the Holy Spirit is the sovereign unction resting upon the Christ and upon all Christians called to reign with Him in the age to come.  It is then that this divine Person, now unknown, not having His image in another Hypostatis, will manifest Himself in deified persons: for the multitude of saints will be His image. "

 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: arjuna3110 on July 12, 2005, 10:36:18 AM
Vladimir Lossky, from "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church," from the introduction :

"The eastern tradition has never made a sharp distinction between mysticism and theology; between personal experience of the divine mysteries and the dogma affirmed by the Church."
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: arjuna3110 on July 12, 2005, 10:52:12 AM
Tito Colliander, from "Way of the Ascetics," chapter 1:


"If you wish to save your soul and win eternal life, arise from your lethargy, make the sign of the Cross and say:  "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen."

"Faith comes not through pondering but through action.  Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is.  To let in fresh air, we have to open a window; to get tanned, we must go out into the sunshine.  Achieving faith is no different; we never reach a goal by just sitting in comfort and waiting, say the holy Fathers.  Let the Prodigal Son be our example.  He arose and came (Luke 15:20)

"However weighted down and entangled in earthly fetters you may be, it can never be too late.  Not without reason is it written that Abraham was seventy-five when he set forth, and the laborer who comes in the eleventh hour gets the same wages as the one who comes in the first.

"Nor can it be too early.  A forest fire cannot be put out too soon; would you see your soul ravaged and charred?

"In baptism, you received the command to wage the invisibnle warefare against the enemies of your soul; take it up now.  Long have you dallied; sunk in indifference and laziness, you have let much valuable time go to waste.  Therefore, you must begin again from the beginning: for you have let the purity you received in baptism to be sullied in dire fashion.

"Arise, then; but do so at once, without delay.  Do not defer your purpose till "tonight" or "tomorrow" or "later, when I have finished what I have to do just now."  The interval may be fatal.

"No, this moment, the instant you make you resolution, you will show by your action that you have taken leave of your old self and have now begun a new life, with a new destination and a new way of living.  Arise, therefore, without fear and say:  "Lord, let me begin now.  Help me !"  For what we need above all is God's help.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: t0m_dR on July 23, 2005, 05:19:02 PM
    “Now that conveniences have exceeded all bounds, they have become inconveniences. Machines have multiplied; distractions have also multiplied and man has been made into a machine. Machines and iron order men around, which is why their hearts have become as hard as steel.”

—Elder Paisios, from “The Return to God from Earth to Heaven”
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on August 19, 2005, 06:55:18 PM
"Orthodox Christians must not rely on anything of this world. We cannot rely on the idea that we can create a paradise on earth by wise politics, strong armies, and economic welfare. It is all transient and temporary. We must not seek the peace of this world but the peace which can only be given to us by Christ."

-Abbot Teodosije of Dečani, taken from this interview http://www.kosovo.com/theodos.html
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Silouan on August 20, 2005, 06:48:52 AM
"When our theology is not tied to the so-called hesychastic life, when it is not ascetic, then it is secular, it is scholastic theology, it is varlaamist theology -- even if we seem to be fighting western theology and struggle to be orthodox."

Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpatkos quoted from http://www.pelagia.org/htm/ar01.en.secularism_in_church.htm#s2b
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: observer on August 29, 2005, 11:42:33 PM
"Religion without power and mystery is not religion but philosophy.  It is simply secularism with sacred rituals.   For the person who has become infected with secularism, their understanding of mystery or of the supernatural tends to be psychological rather than spiritual.  It is heavily dependent on their rational perception.
While the intellect is a necessary partner in our quest for the truth, it has its limitations.  Even in this finite universe, our reason cannot penetrate the mystery of infinity or the natural laws that govern the microscopic world of the atom.  Who can understand the origin of life?" - Hieromartyr Valentin Sventsitsky  in "Living Theology" Pokrov Press.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Shankar on October 23, 2005, 12:22:34 AM
Thank you all so much for these quotes!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: odox on November 18, 2005, 09:39:22 AM
This is a wonderful wonderful thread! Thanks so much!

odox
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Isaac on December 08, 2006, 03:02:27 PM
"What is a more beautiful example [of obedience] than that of the Lord Jesus?  Didn't obedience towards His Father lead Him to the Cross and death?  Couldn't He, being of one essence with the Father, have opposed this?  But no, He walked with sweat; He fell to His knees with pain beneath the weight of cutting off His will as He ascended Golgotha.  But He had to ascend it, reach the top, be lifted up on the glorious-- and to the demons, dreadful-- Cross, and there on it show perfect and absolute obedience and receive the unfading crown of eternal glory.  This is how the resurrection of our soul is gained, and not be vascillating between obedience and disobedience with self-will.  The crown is not acquired like that, but by a willingness to sacrifice.  All obstacles are surmounted by the strong thought of preferring to die rather than betray the obedience of doing one's duty."
-- Elder Ephraim, Counsels from the Holy Mountain
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Isaac on December 08, 2006, 03:07:47 PM
"Always remember death; meditating on it should become a rule of life for you.  What a struggle the soul has when it separates from the body, when the books are opened and people's hidden deeds revealed!  How much it sighs then, how much it weeps, but it has no help except from good deeds it has done... Weep bitterly if you want to find consolation in the distressing hour of death.  Bear in mind the dreadful tribunal... Even the saints feared this hour; how much more so should we?"
-- Elder Ephraim, Counsels from the Holy Mountain
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Isaac on December 08, 2006, 03:19:26 PM
"You can give people a penance to give alms, but do not give anyone wealthy such a penance, since someone who has full pockets may feel as if he can throw a wad of bills down on the table and say, 'OK! I'm set for salvation!'  These people who are wealthy have to know that the Kingdom of God is not purchased with money.  Instead of giving them a penance that involves almsgiving, tell them to fast more, make prostrations, or keep vigil.  They will have to labor and strive in these things, and these efforts are rewarded by God.  Those who are struggling financially are the ones that need to give alms; they need to work very long and hard in order to earn enough to meet their most basic needs, and thus their sacrifice of giving alms receives a greater blessing from God."
-- Elder Cleopa of Sihastria, quoted in Elder Cleopa of Sihastria: In the Tradition of St. Paisius Velichkovsky
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Heorhij on May 14, 2007, 06:20:18 PM
"Christianity brings together three fundamental truths. First of all, the Bible and the Church both proclaim the truth of, what I would call, "the experience of Creation." Oh, I am not speaking now about how creation was revealed through seven days, through proteins, or exactly how old Adam was when he was created, things like that. Those things are absolutely not important. What is important — when we say "Creation," is revealed every evening when we sing Psalm 104, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name..." This is the affirmation of the essential goodness of the world — the Divine Image in it. "The heavens proclaim Thy glory!" Maybe the authors of Bible had no traumatic experiences? Maybe they had never gone through psychological nervous breakdowns? Of course people in this world have always suffered. How then did that Book appear, which is one endless hymn of Doxology, of glorification?

This is the first affirmation: Everything is good. The Greek fathers say, "Don’t you ever dare to say the devil is bad. He is bad by behavior, but he is good by nature." Or else, you go back to the dualism of the extreme "good god/bad god." The devil is the most perfect creation of God. That is why he became so powerful and so bad, ontologically speaking.

Now, the second affirmation: This world is fallen. Not because of one little transgression — that famous apple. (Why apple? I don’t know who decided that the forbidden fruit was an apple. I have tried to find out, but I never could.) The world has rejected goodness, has rejected first of all, God, who is goodness. And, therefore, the whole world is fallen — not just some things in the world. Not, for instance, extramarital love as opposed to marital love, or cognac as opposed to tomato juice: the whole world is fallen. Marriage is fallen. And tomato juice is fallen, not only bourbon. Everything has become fallen. The best religion is first among the most fallen things of all! Because religion replaces joy about God with calculations: how many candles, how many dollars, how many rules, how many commandments, how many Fathers, how many sacraments, how many?... — "Numerical theology." So, everything is fallen. Everything has become darkened. And here the Orthodox Christian would immediately say: "Yes, the world is sick, mutilated, fundamentally mutilated by sin. But, it still sings the divine glory! It is still capable of God!"

And finally, the third affirmation: The world is redeemed. But it is redeemed not in order to guarantee success, even of the excellent fiscal policy of Dr. Stockman. It is redeemed not in order to assure that we will have "tomorrows that sing." The redemption occurs now, right now. This is Christian eschatology. It is not only an eschatology of the future. Yes, every day, many times a day, we say: "Thy Kingdom come." And it comes now. That famous French formula, Metro, boulot, dodo, is exactly what is being redeemed. Redemption does not mean the replacement of all those inevitable mundane things with meaningful jobs. What job is meaningful, by the way? Every job, which has had three Mondays in its history, already becomes meaningless, or at least to some extent oppressive. Redemption means exactly that of which St. John writes in his epistle: "That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the eternal life which was made manifest to us." And this is the paradox, the antinomy, the message, which Christians could not endure because it was too much for them. It is much easier to have a little religion of the past, present and future, of commandments and prescriptions. Of saying that God did not love the world; He loved the good things in the world. He loved people who did go to church. He loved people who contributed (although it is tax-deductible, but still it is good that they contribute), and so on and so forth. Redemption means that the Kingdom which is to come has already come, it is in the midst of us.

The great drama of redemption takes place all the time. And this point of view, this eschatology, this doctrine, this faith in the ultimate is what the early church held together. The church was persecuted. She was denied. The Roman Empire said to Christians: "You cannot exist." But read the early Christian prayers, and you will see that they are cosmic, they are historic. Nero! My goodness, what a horrible guy he was! And at that time Paul writes to Timothy and says, "Pray first of all . . . for kings and for all that are in authority." (1 Tim. 2:2) He does not say, "Picket!" He does not say, "Go to—!" He says, "Pray for them." Why? Because the church is not a little forum for social reforms. It introduces, it reiterates the single fact that the history of the world’s redemption, for which we are responsible, takes place in our hearts, and that Kingdom, that light, which comes to us, is the only power left with us — the realized, inaugurated eschatology of the Kingdom and, at the same time, the real knowledge of the Kingdom. The knowledge that nothing is solved by recipes and therapies, but, when a man decides to know the truth of all things, he, like Saint Anthony of the Desert, the great father of monasticism, turns to God. Anthony went to the desert and asked God for the ability to see the devil always. Because the devil always takes the form of an angel of light. The devil is always one who says something sentimental, nice, good. And finally God gave Anthony the ability to see the devil. And then, while still within the dimensions of human existence, for the saint this world became the Kingdom.

This ultimate experience of the Kingdom holds together that, which I call the "triune intuition"— created, fallen, redeemed. Created: it means good. It means that the foundation of everything, which we question in our utopianism and our escapism, is good. However, everything can also be bad. Systems? Metro, boulot, dodo? But perhaps all systems are merely caricatures of that which truly is the fate of man? Someone would come to me and say: "I can’t take a meaningless life. The subways, the beds, the breakfasts, the venison, and so on and so forth..." And I would reply: Christ couldn’t take it either. He died on the cross. And Paul said: "Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31) The other day, I was preaching in Montreal, and one man came up to me and said: "Thank you for teaching me that I can read even the Wall Street Journal to the glory of God." Yes, of course you can. The glory of God is not only in Mr. Ralph Nader's office, believe me. It is wherever a man wants it to be.

There is this intuition of the created, and then — of the fallen world. Let’s be realistic. Let us not subscribe to the idea that just one more institute, one more think tank, one more discovery, one more therapy and finally evil will be taken care of. Evil is here, all around us. But, we don’t have to panic. We do not have to immediately go overboard and escape, no! I recall that little 16-year-old French boy who was playing ball, and some Jesuit came up and said: "You are playing ball! Suppose Christ were to come back today. What would you do?" And the boy answered: "Play ball." He did not think there was anything wrong with playing ball.

Sometimes, I feel like I joined a kind of metaphysical Peace Corps made out of Christianity. Very often in Geneva, when I used to go to ecumenical meetings, I heard the expression "churches, synagogues, and other agencies." I was not baptized into an agency. And I think that everyone is free not to be part of an agency. Keep me out of it.

And so, there is this vision of the created, fallen, and redeemed world. Until this triune vision broke apart, there was no way for our culture, which is rooted in the Gospel, to either go all the way into utopianism or all the way into escapism. And today, the real intellectual and spiritual work that we, Christians, face is not simply to choose either Utopia or Escape. It is not to sell religion as a little Valium, a holy Valium pill. Our real challenge is to recover that, which I call the fundamental Christian eschatology. Whatever the Other World is (and we know nothing about it) this Other World is first of all revealed to us here and now. Nowhere else, but here. If we do not know it today, we will never discover it. If we cannot find the Kingdom of God, I repeat again, in Chicago, Wilmington, Times square, and so on, we will never find it anywhere else. If you think we can find it somewhere in Transvaal, and you are rich enough, go there. And you will find that it is no different there from what it is here.

When my friend, the sociologist Peter Berger, recently criticized the modern idea that Paradise is always somewhere very far from Manhattan, from factories, but somehow it is always found in a commune in northern Vermont, where we bake our own bread and have children in common, — he said: "Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, when God speaks of the symbol for His Kingdom, that Kingdom is a city, not a little farm in Vermont." And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending from heaven. (Rev.21:2) And Jerusalem is of course a city.

The fundamental Christian eschatology has been destroyed by either the optimism leading to the Utopia, or by the pessimism leading to the Escape. If there are two heretical words in the Christian vocabulary, they would be "optimism" and "pessimism." These two things are utterly anti-biblical and anti-Christian.

It is for us, Christians, to reconstruct this unique faith, in which there are no illusions, no illusions at all, about the evil. We simply cannot afford a cheap faith that just requires from us to give up smoking and drinking, a small religion that promises that you just quit drinking coffee and tomorrow will start singing. Our faith is not based on anything except on these two fundamental revelations: God so loved the world, and: The fallen world has been secretly, mysteriously redeemed.

We are people of a certain tradition, of a certain culture. I do not speak about a specific religious heritage of our culture, the cathedrals of Chartres, of Notre Dame, or about great religious poetry. I am speaking about the unique culture, about the reality, and about the faith that produced people like Dante and Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, the faith in which all that I am trying to say is perfectly expressed: there is real evil, and there is real good. There is the world, which is loveable, and there is the world, which is hateful. There are vertical and horizontal dimensions of human life. Nothing is betrayed. Nothing is mutilated. When there is joy, that joy is full. When there is sadness, that sadness if full. Life cannot be reduced to those psychological gravies and all kinds of similar things. I really feel that the only true kind of religion is the religion, which is cosmic, religion, which does not deny the Fall. Religion, which bears witness to not only the belief in, but also the experience of the redemption that takes place here and now. And this belief and experience will condemn, as two heresies, both utopianism and escapism.

"When the Son of Man comes back, will He find faith on earth?"(Lk. 18:8) Maybe we are headed for a catastrophe. It is not for the Christian church to guarantee that everything will be bigger and better. This is utopianism. On the other hand, we have to also exclude escapism as a betrayal of God, who so loved the world. These two realities — the fallen world that was created good — must be kept together, antinomically. This is the conditio sine qua non, which the Christians always were able to find in the very acts by which the Church was defined. One was the proclamation of the Good News — evangelion. And the other one was the Sacrament of Thanksgiving. That great eucharistia, thanksgiving, which teaches us: You want to understand what something is? Of course, you can buy a dictionary, or you can buy an encyclopedia. You want to know what the human body is? Buy, of course, a book of anatomy, etc. But if you really want to know what anything in this world is, start by thanking God for it. Then you will not fall into the heresy of reducing: man — to economy and to sex, nature — to determinism. Then you will know that man became man, not because he invented the wheel, — important as it may have been. Not because he is the Homo Sapiens, or because he discovered the logic of Aristotle. But, he became man when he became Homo Adoratus, the man who gives thanks. The man who is not saying to God, I am entitled to it, it is my constitutional right to always have this or that. It is the man who, by thanking God, all of a sudden, exclaims: "Heaven and earth are full of Thy Glory." If only we will return — from our lapse, from our confession, from our morbidity, or from our cheap optimism — to the spiritual oxygen of that cosmical thanksgiving, which provides for us the terms of reference, the context of our existence, which transforms that famous Metro, boulot, dodo! If only we could recover that — and, my goodness, no resources are missing, — we would be not passive followers of that growing polarization: either Utopia or Escape (and by "we" I mean believers, for whom God is still a Reality). We would be active participants in the constant process of saving the world, the world, which God has created, the world, which has fallen, the world, which is being redeemed — by those who believe in redemption."

Protopresbyter Fr. Alexander Schmemann, "Between Utopia and Escape"
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Christodoulos on September 23, 2007, 08:35:32 AM
God bless!+

"If strict perseverance in Tradition does not entail the deadening of the Church, but on the contrary is absolutely necessary for the preservation and fruitfulness of the life of the Church, as much again the disregard for and even partial abandonment of Tradition entails the slackening of her life and her gradual decomposition."

 Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, Orthodox Tradition and Modernism

"The followers of unenlightened custom are themselves innocent; they merely accept what has been 'handed down' to them. But not seeing the meaning and not knowing the sources of what has been handed down, they are easily led into error, accepting customs which the Church has allowed only out of her condescension or economy as if they were the best of Orthodoxy, and also improper customs of recent heterodox origin and inspiration, together with the pure and meaningful Orthodox customs handed down from the Holy Fathers. Under strict yet prudent pastors, such people can be guided in the true path of Orthodoxy; but in our own time of such widespread irresponsible Church leadership, these people are more often guided gradually into a path of ever greater and more senseless innovation and reform, the clearest example of which is perhaps the Greek Archdiocese of America, where pews, organs, and Uniat spirituality and theology have become the new 'customs' of an unfortunate people whose Orthodoxy has been stolen from it....

"Today the situation of Orthodoxy is rather different, and much worse, than it was in the time of the Elder Paisius. In place of the veneer of paganism and Latinism which never actually touched the heart of Orthodoxy, we have today a prevailing atmosphere of modernist heterodoxy and senseless "keeping up with the times" which has pierced the very heart of some Orthodox Churches so deeply that they will doubtless never recover, and their children are deprived of Orthodoxy without even knowing what they have lost."

 Father Seraphim Rose in his Introduction to Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky.

"The Sunday evening lecture on Victories of the Orthodox Church over Innovations and Heresies had a mixed reaction from the faithful. Many of the Greek Orthodox and Antiochean Orthodox who were in attendance thought this Homily (Lecture) was too long or too theological, and beyond their understanding. A deeper investigation revealed that those who complained about the Lecture truly did not agree with the message and were even offended that Dr. Cavarnos criticized some of the Orthodox hierarchy. Also, they had never heard of these Innovations and Heresies that they have grown to accept and love. No priest or Bishop had ever made them aware of these Innovations."

Dr. Constantine Cavarnos
 
In CHRIST
 
 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on October 17, 2007, 10:22:55 PM
"There is an entire world full of people who are continually doing things, questioning, amusing themselves, and scrounging about, whose every way in all of this has led to a system, placed everyone under it's laws, made these laws a necessity for everyone who belongs to this sphere.  In this common alliance, they inevitably come into contact, rub up against each other, and in this rubbing succeed in elevating inquisitiveness, self-interest, and self-pleasure to the tenth, hundredth and thousandth degree, thereby placing all happiness, joy and life in this frenzy.  This is the world of vanity, in which occupations, ways, rule, connections, language, diversions, amusements, concepts--everything, from the smallest to the greatest thing--are permeated by the spirit of these three fiends of many cares and trouble mentioned above.  It is what constitutes the dreary going around in circles by the spirits of worldly people.  Being in living communion with this entire world, each sinner is caught up in its thousandfold net, and is so deeply entangled in it that it is invisible to him."

St. Theophan the Recluse  1802 - 1894 +Memory Eternal
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on October 17, 2007, 10:31:08 PM
"If we truly believe that which is written in the Holy Scripture, we must honor and respect the Mother of the Lord, for Scripture tells us that all generations of nations will bless her for the glory with which God adorned her."

Father Cleopa Ilie 1912 - 1998 +Memory Eternal
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Anastasios on October 20, 2007, 11:33:14 PM
The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.

Elder Ieronymos of Aegina (+1966) (http://www.thehtm.org/images/b046-elder-ieronymos-flier.pdf)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Perspacitos on October 27, 2007, 07:21:04 PM
Really great thread.  I enjoyed reading the quotes. 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Αριστοκλής on October 28, 2007, 06:22:30 AM
Welcome to OC.net, Perspacitos.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: parkershockley on March 02, 2008, 11:04:37 PM



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Section Moderator
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on March 03, 2008, 02:24:34 PM
"Those of you who earn your bread by means of your toil and sweat should rejoice, because that bread is blessed; and if you give a little of it as alms it is reckoned as much. But those who live by means of injustice and grasping should mourn, for what you thus acquire is cursed; and if you give alms out of these they do not benefit you at all, being fire that consumes you. "-St. Kosmas the Aitolan
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2008, 05:45:48 AM
"The Orthodox Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation without going into any scientific or Roman Catholic explanation. The technical word which She uses for the sublime act of the priest by Christ's authority to consecrate is 'transmuting' (Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom). She, as I have said, offers no explanation, but She believes and confesses that Christ, the Son of the living God Who came into the world to save sinners, is of a truth in His 'all-pure Body' and 'precious Blood' (Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom) objectively present, and to be worshiped in that Sacrament as He was on earth and is now in risen and glorified majesty in Heaven; and that 'the precious and holy and life-giving Body and Blood of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ are imparted' (to each soul that comes to that blessed Sacrament) 'Unto the remission of sins, and unto life everlasting' (Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom)." - St. Raphael of Brooklyn
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 05, 2008, 11:09:53 PM
"In the same way a Christian in the strict sense is he only who confesses the true doctrine of Christ and lives in accordance with it. The designation of a Christian consists in glorifying the Heavenly Father by one's life. 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven' (Matt. 5:16). But true glorification of God is possible only if one rightly believes and expresses his right belief in words and deeds. Therefore true Christianity and it alone may be named "right-glorifying" (Ortho-doxy). By the word 'Orthodoxy' we confess our firm conviction that it is precisely our Faith that is the true doctrine of Christ. When we call anyone or anything Orthodox, we by this very fact indicate his or its non-counterfeit and uncorrupted Christianity, rejecting at the same time that which falsely appropriates the name of Christ." - Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 29, 2009, 04:20:05 AM
A monk must be extremely cautious of carnal and animal zeal, which outwardly appears pious but in reality is foolish and harmful to the soul. Worldly people and many living the monastic life, through ignorance and inexperience, often praise such zeal without understanding that it springs from conceit and pride.  They extol this zeal as zeal for the faith, for piety, for the Church, for God.  It consists in a more or less harsh condemnation and criticism of one's neighbours in their moral faults, and in faults against good order in  church and in the performance of the church services.  Deceived by a wrong conception of zeal, these imprudent zealots think that by yielding themselves to it they are imitating the holy fathers and holy martyrs, forgetting that they--the zealots--are not saints, but sinners.

If the saints accused or convicted those who were living in sin or irreligion, they did so at the command of God as their duty, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not at the instigation of their passions and demons.  Whoever decides of his own self-will to convict his brother or make some reprimand, clearly betrays and proves that he considers himself more prudent and virtuous than the person he blames, and that he is acting at the instigation of passion and deception and diabolic thoughts.  We need to remember the Saviour's injunction: "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye', when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matt 7:3-5)

--St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, (Holy Trinity Monastery, 1997), p. 140
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on November 21, 2009, 03:37:41 AM
A pilgrim once asked the Elder [Paisios] the following:
“ Elder, I am confused because some members of the Church state obedience is the most important virtue whilst others say prayer. Some Fathers of the Church state that it is love. As a result I am confused as to what Christ requires of us.
The Elder responded as follows:
"A pre-condition for acquiring any virtue is not to have your own will but rather to totally, unconditionally and voluntarily submit it to God and your fellow man. It is then that Divine Inspiration guides one in life and simultaneously also acquires virtues. The situation is like a rocket that is ready for a mission into space. The countdown begins so that when zero is reached the rocket blasts off. In a likewise manner, when our own will reaches zero, then we take off spiritually."
Thus, the Elder was trying to emphasise humility as the mother of all virtues. That is, from humility one can acquire all the other virtues, with God’s help.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Ortho_cat on November 21, 2009, 03:39:39 AM
St. Theophan the Recluse
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: John of the North on November 21, 2009, 04:00:56 AM
St. Theophan the Recluse

This is typically a thread for actual quotes....did you have any quotes from Ven. Theophan to share??
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Ortho_cat on November 21, 2009, 04:33:30 AM

This is typically a thread for actual quotes....did you have any quotes from Ven. Theophan to share??

Oops...apologies!  :-[

How about this:
 
"The prince of this world has an entire horde of servile spirits of malice that are subordinate to him. At each instant they scurry along every boundary of the inhabited world to sow various things in different places, deepen entanglement in the net of sins, repair traps that have become weak and broken, and especially to guard against anyone who might take it into his mind to rid himself of his bonds and escape to freedom. In the latter case, they hurriedly gather around the self-willed person. First they come one by one, then by detachments and legions until finally, the entire horde is there. This happens in various ways and forms so as to block all exits and mend the strands and nets, and using the other analogy, to push back into the abyss any person who has begun to crawl out along its steep slopes."

(St. Theophan the Recluse, "Path to Salvation" pg. 98 )
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on February 16, 2010, 03:35:16 AM
"The soul can't find rest through worldy considerations, that is, in luxury, relaxation, welfare. The soul can't find rest in there, which is why we see people who have all those yet they have no rest nor joy. So in order to find joy and rest, our soul must love God. In order to love God -for a man to love God- he must believe His Gospel; the whole Gospel, not a part of the Gospel, not some chapters of the Gospel, but the whole Gospel. And in order for a man to believe the whole Gospel of God, he must be released from material things. And in order for a man to be released from material things, he mustn't love those. The man who is acquisitive is a slave of passions. In order to bridle our passions, we must be merciful. The merciful person gives from what he has earned by his hard work, by his sweat, not by iniquities. Every merciful man must be righteous, because if he is not righteous, then he is blind, he can't see, because it is not possible to steal and injure other people in order to give alms."

Elder Paisios.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2010, 01:18:00 AM
"Only in the Lord Christ, the Theanthropos, has man for the first time felt himself to be a completely unified, triune being. He has found, in this godlike triunity, the unity of his being, along with godlike immortality and eternal life. This is why eternal life consists in the knowledge of the Triune God (cf. Jn. 17:3). Conforming to the Triune Godhead, being filled with all the fullness of God (Col. 2:9-10; Eph. 3:19), becoming perfect even as God is perfect (Matt. 5:48); this is our calling, the hope of our calling, a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9), a heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1), the calling of God (Phil. 3:14; Eph. 1:18; Rom. 11:29)." - St. Justin Popovich, The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, p. 11
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2010, 10:12:04 PM
I pulled these quotes from various books by Saint Justin Popovich tonight, and figured I'd post them here as well...

"All the truths of Orthodoxy emerge from one truth and converge in one truth, infinite and eternal. That truth is the God-man Christ. If you experience any truth of Orthodoxy to its limit, you will inevitably discover that its kernel is the God-man Christ. In fact, all the truths of Orthodoxy are nothing other than different aspects of the one Truth--the God-man Christ. Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy by reason of the God-man, and not be reason of anything else or anyone else. Hence another name for Orthodoxy is God-manhood." ( Man and the God-Man, p. 13)

"If truth were anything but Christ the Theanthropos, it would be puny, deficient, transient and mortal. It would be such if it were a concept, or an idea, a theory, a scheme, reason, science, philosophy, culture, man or humanity, the world or all the worlds, or anyone or anything, or all these together. But the Truth is the Person of Christ the Theanthropos, and is therefore perfect, everlasting, and eternal. In the Lord Christ, Truth and Life are of the same essence; eternal Truth and eternal Life (cf. Jn. 14:6; 1:4, 17). He who believes in the Lord Christ continually grows by His Truth into its divine infinity; grows with all his being, his mind, heart and soul. Thus he lives constantly by Christ's Truth, as it constitutes life itself in Christ. Life in Christ is life in truth (Eph. 4:15), a constant abiding with all our being in the truth of Christ." (The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, p. 27)

"The ever-living personality of God-human Christ is precisely the Church. The Church is always personality, God-human body and spirit. The definition of Church, her life, her purpose, her spirit, her plan, her ways, all tehse are given in the wondrous Person of God-human Christ. Hence, the mission of the Church is to make every one of her faithful, organically and in person, one with the Person of Christ; to turn their sense of self into a sense of Christ, and their self-knowledge (self-awareness) into Christ-knowledge (Christ-awareness); for their life to become the life in Christ and for Christ; their personality to become personlity in Christ and for Christ; that within them might live not they themselves but Christ in them (Gal. 2:20). The mission of the Church is still to bring about in her members the conviction that the proper state of human personhood is composed of immortality and eternity and not of the realm of time and mortality... and the conviction that man is a wayfarer who is wending his way in the sway of time and mortality towards immortality and all eternity." (Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, p. 23)

"'Ye are God's building' (1 Cor. 3:9). A Christian builds the Church by every gift that he is given by grace, every virtue, every ascetic endeavor (cf 1 Cor. 14:4-5, 12, 26). We all grow heavenwards through the Church and each of us grows through all, and all through each. Each and every one of us is therefore directed towards these good tidings and this command: to make 'the increase of the body [the Church] unto the edifying of [itself] in love' (Eph. 4:16). The edifying, upbuilding force is provided by all the holy mysteries and virtues. With love in the first place: love builds, 'charity edifies' (1 Cor. 8:1)". (The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, pp. 19-20)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: mackadam on December 23, 2010, 03:03:07 PM
The information which you have given for modern fathers are nice also beneficial for me and also for others who wants to know this. I liked and very much impressed by this. I like only the thing that there living changes not their behaviour changes.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Iconodule on December 23, 2010, 08:56:22 PM
The information which you have given for modern fathers are nice also beneficial for me and also for others who wants to know this. I liked and very much impressed by this. I like only the thing that there living changes not their behaviour changes.

We're always happy to encourage you in the fdgbdf faith.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Hermogenes on January 13, 2011, 05:23:34 PM
Not a knowledge that you learn, but a knowledge that you suffer. That is Orthodox spirituality. - Mother Gavrielia (http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/index.php?p=14)

Oups I did it again, she is not a father... she is a mother ;)

icxn

Why should we not include elders who are women? Mother Maria Skobtsova was one of the wisest of the modern age, to name but one.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 13, 2011, 06:23:16 PM
Not a knowledge that you learn, but a knowledge that you suffer. That is Orthodox spirituality. - Mother Gavrielia (http://sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery/index.php?p=14)

Oups I did it again, she is not a father... she is a mother ;)

icxn

Why should we not include elders who are women? Mother Maria Skobtsova was one of the wisest of the modern age, to name but one.
Because we already have a separate thread for Church mothers.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: fisherman on January 13, 2011, 08:23:36 PM
"the part that makees me afraid is that people are supposed to see christ when they look back at me...." Fr Ivan mackillop
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on January 14, 2011, 02:20:33 AM
I ask a sensual man: "Who are you? And he replies: "I am I".- and is thinking of his body.
I ask a thinking man: "Who are you?" And he replies: "I see two sides in myself, and I make my way between them, associating first with one and then with the other." And he is thinking of his instinctive and conscious soul.
I ask a spiritual man: "Who are you?" And he replies: "There is someone in the depths of my soul. I stretch out my hand to grasp him, but see that, so do so, I would need arms longer than the universe. Ask Him who I am."

                                                                                – St. Nikolai Velimirovic
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on February 13, 2011, 11:35:41 PM
Τι ειρωνία αδελφοι μου. Ακομα και ο διαβολος ο πατερας της αμαρτιας, δεν εχει ποτε βλασφημίσει το ονομα Του Κυριου μας. ΠΟΤΕ!
Αντίθετα τον προσκυνεί και φρίττει προστα Του. Εμεις συχνότατα και με την σκεψη και με τα λογια και με τις πράξεις μας !
Ημαρτον Κυριε . Ημαρτον!

"What irony my Brethren! Even the devil, the father of sin, has never blasphemed the Name of Our Lord. NEVER! Instead he falls down and trembles before Him. We, however, frequently and thoughtlessly do so both with our words and our deeds!
I have sinned Lord! I have sinned!"


Today's Facebook status of Fr. Panteleimon Giannikouris
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 10, 2011, 04:19:13 PM
"Living in the Theanthropic body of the Church, 'with all the saints,' man gradually becomes theanthropised through the holy mysteries and the holy virtues. He is carried by the joy of the holy proclamation and precept of Saint Basil the Great: 'Man is a being who has been ordered to become God.' ...By theanthropising himself through and in the Church, man returns to the likeness to God that he had before he sinned, spledidly bringing it to completion with the divine beauty of likeness to Christ (Gal. 4:19; 3:27; Rom. 8:29)." - St. Justin Popovich, The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, p. 141
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 02, 2011, 01:42:41 AM
"Seek God daily. But seek Him in your heart, not outside it. And when you find Him, stand with fear and trembling, like the Cherubim and the Seraphim, for your heart has become a throne of God. But in order to find God, become humble as dust before the Lord, for the Lord abhors the proud, whereas He visits those that are humble in heart, wherefore He says: 'To whom will I look, but to him that is meek and humble in heart?'" - St. Nectarios of Aegina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 03, 2011, 12:20:07 AM
"I agree with much of what you say," said Father Arseny, "but I want to add that spiritual illness is frightening because under the influence of dark powers it is contagious and can spread like an epidemic... Demonic evil spreads like an epidemic with the help of books, newspapers, magazines, radio programs, but mostly with the rapidly spreading influence of television. All this enters the home of people and poisons the soul of a child, a youngster or an adult."

--Father Arseny: A Cloud of Witnesses, p. 40
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2011, 08:31:06 PM
"When we are immersed in sins, and our mind is occupied solely with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent to who we are inwardly, and we persist along false path without being aware of it. But then a ray of God's Light penetrates our soul. And what filth we see in ourselves! How much untruth, how much falsehood! How hideous many of our actions prove to be, which we fancied to be so wonderful. And it becomes clear to us which true path. If we then recognize our spiritual nothingness, our sin and earnestly desire our amendment--we are near to salvation. From the depths of our soul we shall cry out to God: 'Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy according to Thy Mercy!' 'Forgive me and save me!' 'Grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother!'"

--St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Shiny on May 06, 2011, 11:45:24 PM
"When we are immersed in sins, and our mind is occupied solely with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent to who we are inwardly, and we persist along false path without being aware of it. But then a ray of God's Light penetrates our soul. And what filth we see in ourselves! How much untruth, how much falsehood! How hideous many of our actions prove to be, which we fancied to be so wonderful. And it becomes clear to us which true path. If we then recognize our spiritual nothingness, our sin and earnestly desire our amendment--we are near to salvation. From the depths of our soul we shall cry out to God: 'Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy according to Thy Mercy!' 'Forgive me and save me!' 'Grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother!'"

--St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Beautiful quote, yes coming closer to God does make sin much more clearer.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on June 08, 2011, 02:28:57 AM
"Have you ever seen burial shrouds with pockets? All remains here."
Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 28, 2011, 03:24:47 AM
"We can never see the state of our soul in all its nakedness or vividly realize its danger without the special grace and help of God, because the interior of our soul is always hidden from us by our self-love, prejudices, passions, worldly cares, delusions. And if it sometimes seems to us that we see the state of our soul ourselves, yet we see it only superficially and no more than our own reason and conscience can show us." - St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2011, 11:00:29 PM
"Prayer is truly a heavenly armor, and is alone can keep safe those who have dedicated themselves to God. Prayer is the common medicine for purifying ourselves from the passions, for hindering sin and curing our faults. Prayer is an inexhaustible treasure, an unruffled harbor, the foundation of serenity,the root and mother of myriads of blessings." - St. Nektarios of Aegina
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 04, 2011, 05:44:48 PM
We faithful have a great weapon – this is the power of the Life-Giving Cross. Thank how terrifying it become for unbelievers; they are completely helpless. It is as if a person set out completely unarmed into the thick forest at night. Yes, the first beast he came across would tear him up, and he would have nothing to defend himself with. But we will not be afraid of the demons! The power of the Sign of the Cross and name of Jesus is terrifying to the enemies of Christ, and saves us from the evil nets of the demons.
 - St. Barsanuphius of Optina (1911)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2011, 05:52:37 PM
Just fyi, there's a separate thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5394.0.html) for modern Church Fathers. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction, but what's the point in nit picking? :)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 04, 2011, 05:56:50 PM
Just fyi, there's a separate thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5394.0.html) for modern Church Fathers. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction, but what's the point in nit picking? :)

This is that thread. :P :)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2011, 05:59:39 PM
Just fyi, there's a separate thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5394.0.html) for modern Church Fathers. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction, but what's the point in nit picking? :)

This is that thread. :P :)

ROFL. Excuse me while I grab a towel...

(http://theprudentindian.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/egg-on-face1.jpg?w=420&h=427)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: John of the North on August 04, 2011, 06:13:47 PM
<<+Æ’ +º-ü+¦-â-ä-î-é -ç-ä-Ã -Ç+¼+¦+¦ -â-ä++ +¦+¦-ü+¦+¦ +¦+¦+¦ ++  +¦+¦+¦+¦++++-é -â-ä++++ +¦+¦+¦+¡-Ã¥+¦++++.>>

-+ô+¦-ü-î++-ä+¦-é +á+¦-è-â+¦++-é

Wise words, that.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 01, 2011, 02:51:13 PM
The demonic hosts tremble when they see the Cross, for by the Cross the kingdom of hell was destroyed. They do not dare to draw near to anyone who is guarded by the Cross. The whole human race, by the death of Christ on the Cross, received deliverance from the authority of the devil, and everyone who makes use of this saving weapon is inaccessible to the demons. When legions of demons appeared to St. Anthony the Great and other desert-dwellers, they guarded themselves with the Sign of the Cross, and the demons vanished. When they appeared to Saint Symeon the Stylite, who was standing on his pillar, what seemed to be a chariot to carry him to heaven, the Saint, before mounting it, crossed himself; it disappeared and the enemy, who had hoped to cast down the ascetic from the height of his pillar, was put to shame. One cannot enumerate all the separate examples of the manifestation of the power of the Cross in various incidents. Invisibly and unceasingly there gushes from it the Divine grace that saves the world.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, The Cross Preserves the Universe
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2011, 03:48:38 PM
After this perception [ie. using the eyes to see the world] the mind, by exercising its rational thought, can wonder at the order, the size, the beauty, the light, and all the other attributes of the sky. And in all of these, the contemplative man can see the wisdom, the creativity, the power, and the beauty of him who created it. He can thus reason and so: If the sky which is created is so beautiful, so full of light, how much more beautiful and more luminous is the Creator of the sky? On this point St. Dionysius said: "For essentially the effects are present, standing clearly before their causes." And so the mind climbs as high as it possibly can to the knowledge of the Creator, and with this knowledge the mind excites the heart and the will to love this Creator.

St. Basil encourages us to think such thoughts and through them to rise from the visible to the invisible and from the ephemeral to the eternal. He wrote: "If these ephemeral things are so wonderful, how much more are the eternal? And if the visible are so good, how much more good are the invisible? If the magnitude of heaven goes beyond the ability of human reason to measure, which mind  can discern the nature of the divine things? If the physical sun that is subject to corruption is so beneficial, so great, so quick to move and establish the oderly seasons, and if one does not tire of looking upon it, how much more beautiful is the Sun of Righteousness? And if it is a loss even for a blind man not to see the sun, how much greater is the loss for the sinner who is deprived of the true light?"

-- St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2011, 03:58:16 PM
In addition to its own efforts to nourish itself spiritually, the mind also attempts as much as possible to bring back the senses toward the mind so that they too may enjoy with it spiritual pleasures and thus become accustomed gradually to prefer them. This is how it happened before with the mind when it became accustomed through the senses to prefer physical pleasures. At first, generally speaking, the body attempted through the senses and the physical pleasures to make the mind and the spirit of man into flesh. On the contrary now, the mind seeks purposely through the enjoyment of the immaterial and spiritual realities to uplift the body also from its physical heaviness, and in a sense to make it into spirit, as St. Maximos has witnessed in many of his writings. Here is one example:

"When desire is added to the sense perception, it becomes a passion of pleasure procuring for itself a specific image. When the sense is moved by desire it again makes the perception it receives into a passion of pleasure. When the soul is attracted against its very nature toward matter through the body, it insinuates upon itself the earthly form. Knowing this, the saints seek to move toward God through the natural tendency of the soul, while at the same time they try appropriately to familiarize the body with God through the practice of the virtues, hoping thus to beautify the body with divine outward appearances."

St. Gregory the Theologian too spoke about this important point, saying that this is the reason why the soul was joined to the body: to be for the body what God is for the soul, that is, to instruct and guide the body and to bring it home to God.

-- St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2011, 04:36:42 PM
Just to give an idea of the variety of quotes in the thread, here is a listing of the number of times each person has been quoted so far:

13 Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain
10 St. Justin Popovich
8 Father Seraphim of Platina
5 St. Nectarios of Aegina
4 St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco
3 St. Nikolai of Serbia
3 Met. Hierotheos
3 St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
3 Elder Cleopa of Romania
2 St. Theophan the Recluse
2 Elder Amphilochios of Patmos
2 Vladimir Lossky
2 St. John of Kronstadt
2 Dr. Constantine Cavarnos
1 Elder Sophrony of Essex
1 Elder Sophrony
1 Hieroscemamonk Michael of Valaam
1 Elder Cleopas of Romania
1 Elder Epiphianos
1 Mother Gavrielia
1 St. Innocent of Alaska
1 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
1 Abbot Teodosije of Visoki Decani Monastery
1 Hieromartyr Valentin Sventsitsky
1 Elder Ephraim
1 Fr. Arseny
1 Fr. Ivan mackillop
1 Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
1 St. Kosmas the Aitolan
1 St. Raphael of Brooklyn
1 St. Barsanuphius of Optina
1 Elder Joseph the Hesychast
1 Fr. Alexander Schmemann
1 Tito Colliander
1 Elder Epiphanios of Athens
1 Archimandrite Nikodim of Krka
1 Elder Macarius of Optina
1 Elder George of Drama
1 Fr. Panteleimon Giannikouris

(There have been roughly 87 quotes in total)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Hermogenes on September 13, 2011, 04:26:27 PM
Just fyi, there's a separate thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5394.0.html) for modern Church Fathers. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction, but what's the point in nit picking? :)

This is that thread. :P :)

Well, I believe the point was that many of these blessed fathers died more than 100 years ago. As wonderful and healing as their counsel may be, they aren't recent. St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite's book on confession is wonderful, as are all his works, but he died more than 200 years ago. St. Nektarios of Aegina died in 1920; St. Theophan the Recluse in 1894. If the thread is open to citations from fathers of the further past, there's quite a lot we might explore...
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on October 01, 2011, 12:42:52 PM
I would call Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty as a "modern Church Father". Would my OO brethren agree?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: JamesR on December 07, 2011, 11:22:59 PM
Alexis Khomiakov
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 07, 2011, 11:40:03 PM
Fr. Thomas Hopko.  :police:
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 31, 2011, 09:49:58 PM
It is necessary always to be patient and to accept everything that happens, no matter what, with gratitude for God’s sake. Our life — is a minute compared to eternity. And for this reason "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).

--St. Seraphim of Sarov, Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/seraphim_e.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2012, 10:14:58 PM
In order that you should have steadfast assurance during prayer, of receiving every spiritual blessing from the Lord, believe that by uniting yourself unto the Lord during your prayer you become one spirit with Him, (1 Cor. 6:17) and that God is most gracious, almighty, and most wise. He is all-perfect perfection, therefore you, too, according to your receptivity, according to your faith and love, will become a partaker of His Divine perfections. In the union of your soul with God, do not consider anything impossible or difficult of fulfilment, "for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27)--not only the things which you can think of, or are thinking of, but also those which you cannot think of, or which you think of as impossible, for God is an infinite Being, and all His perfections are infinite. If you doubt of obtaining the blessings you ask of God, then remember at least that even you, being evil and avaricious, and not rich, not almighty, give to those in want who ask of you, and sometimes even before they ask you, when you only know of their need. "How much more shall your Father Which is in heaven," who is most gracious, most rich, most wise and almighty, " give good things to them that ask Him." (Matt 8:11)

--St. John of Kronstadt, Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kronstadt/christlife.iii.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 04, 2012, 09:52:45 PM
The principal Tradition, the transcendent Tradition, of the Orthodox Church is the living God-man Christ, entire in the theanthropic Body of the Church of which He is the immortal, eternal Head. This is not merely the message, but the transcendent message of the holy apostles and the holy fathers. They know Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, Christ ascended. They all, by their integral lives and teachings, with a single soul and a single voice, confess that Christ the God-man is wholly in His Church, as in His Body. Each of the holy fathers could rightly repeat with St. Maximus the Confessor: "In no wise am I expounding my own opinion, but that which I have been taught by the fathers, without changing aught in their teaching."

--St. Justin Popovich, Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/church/AttributesofChurch.asp)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on January 04, 2012, 11:09:14 PM
The gift of apostleship is bestowed upon each member of the Church on the day of his Baptism and Chrismation. If we call our Church "apostolic" it is because She is sent, "apostle" meaning "sent by God." It is because She is sent in Her totality, and this means in all Her members, into the world to preach the Gospel of Christ, to manifest His presence, to fulfill the salvation which He accomplished. In this sense, we all are apostolic and apostles. We all carry the responsibility for the apostolicity of the Church.

Father Alexander Schmemann, Apostleship and America
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/apostleshipandamerica.html (http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/apostleshipandamerica.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Hermogenes on January 05, 2012, 12:47:53 AM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2012, 12:55:52 AM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?

I would have no problem with that, though if we did I think we should make another thread for Fathers that fit in between the early and modern periods.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Hermogenes on January 05, 2012, 01:07:10 AM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?

I would have no problem with that, though if we did I think we should make another thread for Fathers that fit in between the early and modern periods.

I'm just cranky because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to find some new names here.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Shanghaiski on January 05, 2012, 01:24:14 AM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?

I would have no problem with that, though if we did I think we should make another thread for Fathers that fit in between the early and modern periods.

I'm just cranky because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to find some new names here.
LOL. You want "new" in Orthodoxy?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Hermogenes on January 05, 2012, 01:27:45 AM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?

I would have no problem with that, though if we did I think we should make another thread for Fathers that fit in between the early and modern periods.

I'm just cranky because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to find some new names here.
LOL. You want "new" in Orthodoxy?

Next thing you know, I'll be expecting it to be organized!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Shanghaiski on January 05, 2012, 04:36:20 PM
I have a request/suggestion. Could we keep the references to people who have been dead no more than 75 years? Would that make sense, given the thread's title?

I would have no problem with that, though if we did I think we should make another thread for Fathers that fit in between the early and modern periods.

I'm just cranky because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to find some new names here.
LOL. You want "new" in Orthodoxy?

Next thing you know, I'll be expecting it to be organized!

From there, it's but a small step to jumbo TV sets and dancing girls.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2012, 11:47:42 PM
I'm just cranky because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to find some new names here.

I could try to dig up some quotes by authors who are less known, but then they probably wouldn't qualify as "Modern Church Fathers".  ;)

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2012, 11:52:14 PM
Only for my own plans, my own wishes-to study, to work, to rest, eat, or do a service to my fellowman--can some external circumstance "get in the way," and then I am grieved. But for the person who has found the narrow way that leads to life, that is to God, there is only one conceivable hindrance, and that is his own, sinful will. If he now wishes to do something but is not permitted to carry it out, how can he grieve? For the rest he is not making any plans (James 4:13-16).

-- Tito Colliander, Way of the Ascetics
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 06, 2012, 02:32:50 PM
He who does not know himself does not know God, either. And he who does not know God does not know the truth and the nature of things in general... He who does not know himself continually sins against God and continually moves farther away from Him. He who does not know the nature of things and what they truly are in themselves is powerless to evaluate them according to their worth and to discriminate between the mean and the precious, the worthless and the valuable. Wherefore, such a person wears himself out in the pursuit of vain and trivial things, and is unconcerned about and indifferent to the things that are eternal and most precious.

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina, Source (http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/nektarios/knowledge.shtml)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 07, 2012, 08:28:08 PM
It is good, very good, to memorize several psalms and recite them while you are working or between tasks, doing this instead of short prayers sometimes, with concentration. This is one of the most ancient Christian customs, mentioned by and included in the rules of St. Pachomius and St. Anthony. After spending the day in this manner, you must pray more diligently and with more concentration in the evening. Increase your prostrations and petitions to God, and after you have placed yourself in Divine hands once again, go to bed with a short prayer on your lips and fall asleep with it or recite some psalm.

--St. Theophan the Recluse, Source (http://www.orthodox.net/articles/prayer-rule-theophan-the-recluse.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: J.M.C on January 08, 2012, 08:08:08 AM
It is good, very good, to memorize several psalms and recite them while you are working or between tasks, doing this instead of short prayers sometimes, with concentration. This is one of the most ancient Christian customs, mentioned by and included in the rules of St. Pachomius and St. Anthony. After spending the day in this manner, you must pray more diligently and with more concentration in the evening. Increase your prostrations and petitions to God, and after you have placed yourself in Divine hands once again, go to bed with a short prayer on your lips and fall asleep with it or recite some psalm.

--St. Theophan the Recluse, Source (http://www.orthodox.net/articles/prayer-rule-theophan-the-recluse.html)

From the book "The Spiritual Life and How to Be Attuned to It"; altogether a wonderful book.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 09, 2012, 02:05:15 AM
Truth is not so much liberation and salvation in this world, as it is liberation and salvation from this world. Full acceptance of the truth of the Gospel, consent to its actual realization, would lead to the destruction of the states, civilizations, societies organized according to the laws of this world - to the end of this world which in every way is opposite to the Gospel Truth: therefore men and nations have corrected the Gospel, filled it with 'truths' of this world which were really pragmatic, because they were false and adapted to falsehood. The recognition and the confession of truth is connected, not with usefulness and profit, but with risk and danger.

-- Nikolai Berdyaev, The Beginning and the End

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 10, 2012, 04:37:13 PM
Man's freedom is indissolubly linked with his obligations. Man's freedom is not a claim, but a duty, not so much what he demands as what is demanded of him. Man must be free. God demands and expects this of him.

-- Nikolai Berdyaev, Christianity and Class War
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 11, 2012, 01:04:36 PM
But such a one as believes in his resurrection from the dead, the same prepares here for the future life; attempts to live in accordance with the commandments of the Lord; honours the feasts of the Lord; and takes care not to offend against their sanctity through deeds of carnal impurity. And what was done among us, us Orthodox Christians, on this radiant Feast? It is shameful even to speak of it; but it is necessary to do so. Christians, to the great grief of Holy Mother the Church, turned the bright days of Pascha Week into dark days, days deserving of tears and lamentation. So very many celebrated not the feast of Christ's Resurrection, and our own resurrection from dead works, but a feast of demonic resurrection in their souls. The Great Fast was a defeat of, was death for, the devil; because he fled from many souls and died to them, as it were, after their sincere repentance and communion of the Holy Mysteries; but on the feast of Pascha he rose again in not a few souls. How did he arise? Through gluttony, drunkenness, outrage and other vices that drunkenness gives rise to, and to which many Christians gave themselves over.

-- St. John of Kronstadt, What has the Feast of Pascha Left in our Souls?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 12, 2012, 07:25:16 AM
In only one place is there to be found the fount of true teaching, coming from God Himself, not diminished over the centuries but ever fresh, being one and the same in all those who truly teach it, leading those who follow it to eternal salvation. This place is the Orthodox Church of Christ, the fount is the grace of the All-Holy Spirit, and the true teachers of the Divine doctrine that issues forth from this fount are the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church.

-- Fr. Seraphim Rose, Source (http://www.desertwisdom.org/dttw/truth/fr-seraphim-rose/fathers.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 11:41:55 AM
First of all I must clarify what I said earlier, that Orthodox theology is, first and foremost, experience, Revelation. God reveals Himself to those worthy of this revelation. And those who have other gifts as well become theologians in the Church. St. Gregory the Theologian has said epigrammatically that the Fathers of the Church do not theologize in the manner of Aristotle but in that of the Apostles. This means that they do not theologize rationally, but in the manner the holy Apostles, who were fishermen, theologized. Yet, when they received the Holy Spirit they were proved to be the real theologians of the Church. Theology, therefore, is experience.

-- Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, The Illness and Cure of the Soul
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 10:35:48 PM
Sources for the quotes on this page:

Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, The Illness and Cure of the Soul (http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm#me7)
St. John of Kronstadt, What has the Feast of Pascha Left in our Souls? (http://lasvegasorthodox.com/writing-saints-kronstadt.php)
Nikolai Berdyaev, Christianity and Class War (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Sui-Generis/Berdyaev/qf.htm)
Nikolai Berdyaev, The Beginning and the End (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Sui-Generis/Berdyaev/qt.htm)
Tito Colliander, Way of the Ascetics (http://thewayoftheascetics.blogspot.com/2007/11/chapter-seven-on-transfer-of-love-from.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 14, 2012, 06:50:56 PM
It will, perhaps, be objected that the dogmatic dissension between East and West only arose by chance, that it has not been of decisive importance, that it was rather a question of two different historical spheres which must sooner or later have separated in order that each might follow its own path; and, finally, that the dogmatic dispute was no more than a pretext for the breaking asunder once and for all of an ecclesiastical unity which had in fact long ceased to be a reality. Such assertions, which are heard very frequently in the East as in the West, are the outcome of a purely secular mentality and of the widespread habit of treating Church history according to methods which exclude the religious nature of the Church.

--Vladimir Lossky, Theology and Mysticism in the Tradition of the Eastern Church (http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/lossky_intro.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 15, 2012, 04:20:46 AM
Through the Incarnation both the love and the humility of God are made known. And man is to love God and fellow mankind because love contains absolute, positive value, a value derived because love is the very nature of God. And man is to experience humility, to become inflamed by humility precisely because humility belongs also to God and hence its value is derived from God. But to become filled innerly with love and humility is not easy. It demands not a mere acknowledgement of the fact that God is love and humility is Divine. Rather, it demands the complete purification of our inner nature by God. And this is the struggle, the spiritual warfare that must be waged to enter and maintain the reality of love and humility.

--Fr. Georges Florovsky, Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/fathers_florovsky_4.htm#_Toc27729535)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 16, 2012, 12:37:16 PM
Limitless and without consolation would have been our sorrow for close ones who are dying, if the Lord had not given us eternal life. Our life would be pointless if it ended with death. What benefit would there then be from virtue and good deed? Then they would be correct who say: "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" But man was created for immortality, and by His resurrection Christ opened the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom, of eternal blessedness for those who have believed in Him and have lived righteously. Our earthly life is a preparation for the future life, and this preparation ends with our death. "It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb 9:27). Then a man leaves all his earthly cares; the body disintegrates, in order to rise anew at the General Resurrection.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Life After Death (http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/library/st_john_maximovich/life_after_death.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 17, 2012, 02:54:14 AM
In fact, man, having been created 'in the image' of the infinite God, is called by his own nature--and this is precisely the sense of 'in the image' from this point of view--to transcend the limited boundaries of creation and to become infinite.

-- Panagiotis Nellas, Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=S71LD61qImUC&lpg=PA170&dq=Panayiotis%20Nellas&pg=PA175#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 18, 2012, 06:18:44 PM
Miracles are not impossible from a logical standpoint, and right reason does not deny them. Natural laws do not have the claim to be the only ones, nor are they threatened with being overturned by the appearance of other laws, supernatural ones, which also are conducive to the development and furtherance of creation... Miracles are consequence of the Creator's love for his creatures.

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina, Source (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stnectarios.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 19, 2012, 06:43:25 PM
Throughout his Orations and poetry Gregory is very enthusiastic about the language describing the soul’s ‘kinship’ or ‘affinity’ with the divine nature. He regularly describes the soul as a ‘breath of God’  or a ‘spirit emanating from the invisible deity’, or an ‘offshoot of the divine.’ Adam was deified, he says, by his inborn propensity towards God and it is that natural kinship which is at the root of our return to God and the deified life; but understood as a gift of God the creator, not the reassertion of any divine element innate within creaturely nature. To live the life of the true philosopher is, par excellence, the life lived in God. Already on this earth it is a deification, but for Gregory this transformation begun is only a harbinger of a greater glory to come when we are transfigured after this life.

-- Fr. John Anthony McGuckin, Source (http://www.sgtt.org/Writings/Patristics/Deification.html)

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 20, 2012, 11:45:55 AM
We should be with God at all times! Listen to what Psalm 33 says: 'I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth' For prayer is the life of our soul. We must pray to God at all times!

-- Elder Cleopa of Romania, Source (http://youtu.be/wOGXdLoNl2w)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 21, 2012, 03:31:13 AM
Gregory's doctrine on the ways of attaining a knowledge of God is one of the most important aspects of his system of theology. This doctrine is not merely an introduction to his thought. For Gregory man's basic task in life is to know God, and through this man can achieve salvation and "deification." The created mind recognizes God and through intellectual contemplation is united, or reunited, with Him. In this way God is united with man when He assumes human nature through the human intellect, which is similar to His own. In his writings against Apollinarius Gregory states that "mind is united with mind, since this is what is closest to it."

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky, Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/fathers_florovsky_1.htm#_Toc3723874)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2012, 04:53:30 AM
It is the mystery of the Church as new creation in its two dimensions – the cosmic and eschatological – that reveals to us the meaning and structure of the Church as institution. The nature of the institution can be termed sacramental, and this means not only a given or static inter-dependence between the visible and the invisible, nature and grace, the material and the spiritual, but also, and primarily, the dynamic essence of the Church as passage from the old into the new, from this world into the world to come, from the kingdom of nature into the Kingdom of Grace. The Church, as visible society and organization, belongs to this world; it is truly a part of it. And she must belong to it because she is "instituted" to represent and to stand for the world, to assume the whole creation.

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Source (http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/ecclesiological-notes.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2012, 06:29:30 AM
A key element in hesychasm is frequent repetition: continual prayer as a means to uninterrupted and ever deeper communion with God. The psalmist declared, "I keep the Lord always before me; /because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Ps. 15/16:8). The apostle Paul exhorts his followers to "pray without ceasing" (... 1 Thes. 5:17), urging them to persevere, seeking constancy in prayer (... Rom. 12:12). [The same idea is expressed in Col. 4:2, "Be constant in prayer"; and he adds, "being watchful in it with thanksgiving."]

-- Fr. John Breck, Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=6r7lQ6np94YC&lpg=PA215&ots=kqVrWWsGJq&dq=Macarius%20of%20Corinth&pg=PA217#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 28, 2012, 11:22:00 PM
Everything that man is, and everything that is of man perfectly lives, works, thinks, feels, is human, immortal, divine, and eternal only and solely in the God-man and through the God-man. Only through the God-man Christ is man divine majesty and the highest value next to God in all worlds. For this reason God became man, and has remained the God-man for all eternity. With the God-man Christ, all that is God's has become man's, human, ours, so that each of us individually and all of us assembled together in the Divine-human body of Christ, the Church, might become god-men, having at­tained "to the perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:12-13).

-- St. Justin Popovich, Perfect God and Perfect Man (http://www.sv-luka.org/library/perfectgod_jp.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2012, 08:49:46 PM
The path of our life is like unto a voyage across a broad sea. It is sometimes calm on that sea, and sometimes a favorable wind blows; but most often there are storms on it. Seeing the approach of a storm, seeing the storm itself, we must not become disturbed, or fall into despondency or despair; we must fight against the waves and the opposing winds. Otherwise the ship of our soul might undergo shipwreck, and might even sink. If during a storm something breaks or is damaged in the ship of our soul—again, we must not despond, we must not be troubled. We must spy out a dependable harbor, enter into it, fix and repair that which was damaged, and then continue our voyage with hope in Almighty God.

And Almighty God will not abandon one who hopes in Him! The storms themselves serve for the benefit of the true servant of Christ: they make him an experienced sailor. The harbor in which the ship of the soul is repaired is prayer in a contrite spirit, the reading of the Holy Scriptures and Patristic books, and the counsel of one’s neighbor, if that neighbor is capable of giving counsel in the Lord. Calm down—blessed is the man, says the Scriptures, who endures temptations. Contrary to this, he who is untried is unskilled. May the storm that has passed serve for you as a preparation in advance, as a learning experience for the endurance of future storms. Consider in advance what your conduct should be during them—prepare in advance, study it. Storms will follow without fail.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, On the Necessity of Temptations for Salvation (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theorthodoxword.com%2Fback%2520articles%2FOW%2520PDFs%2F222%2FLetters%2520of%2520St%2520Ignatius.pdf&ei=1V9yT9fFLZGL0QG2v_TRAQ&usg=AFQjCNFE96XEKDZZNS5CfbmmIWLTGbtRxg&sig2=prxKjlGiMhaxZJLRP5n-Wg) (PDF)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2012, 03:12:00 PM
The Christian must unremittingly care for his spiritual education for which he was born anew in the holy font through the Holy Spirit, received spiritual regeneration, was sealed with chrism, or the seal of the Holy Spirit, and was made worthy of the right to communicate in the Most immaculate Blood of Christ. According to God's intent, the holy Church is the first and most lawful educator of Christian souls. There is no more important work than that of Christian education. Judge and understand for yourselves how dear are these rational, immortal souls unto God, which were redeemed by the Blood of the Son of God Himself, which were called out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of the knowledge of God by the Lord Himself, which were betrothed and united to the Lord as pure virgins to a most pure Bridegroom! How dear is the salvation of these souls, to whom He offers His most immaculate Body and most pure Blood as food and drink, whom He Himself undertook to educate spiritually through these wonderful, dreadful, life-creating and deifying Mysteries! Devote yourselves, all of you, to your spiritual education with all attention and diligence; devote yourselves to thoughts concerning God, to prayer, self-investigation, self-condemnation, with self-amendment in every way; exercise yourselves in the virtues of meekness, humility, obedience, patience, compassion, chastity, simplicity, and guilelessness; and cut off all sinful thoughts, lusts, habits, and passions.

-- St. John of Kronstadt, Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/johnkr_on_church_ext.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 29, 2012, 09:34:49 PM
Peace is a heaveny gift which is not lost by the passions themselves, but rather by their nature which they receive at the time of defeat or struggle. If in fighting them, you win, the fact that you have risen above them will become an opportunity for you to find new happiness and peace. If you lose, which I hope does not happen, then sorrow and sadness will be born... Yet, if after a powerful struggle a human suffering comes, and for a moment sin prevails, then go in again and fight. With perseverance, the fighter will win and peace will return.

-- St. Netkarios

Source: Sotos Chondropoulos, ed. and trans. by Peter and Aliki Los, Saint Nektarios: The Saint of our Century, pp. 194-195
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 29, 2012, 01:55:37 AM
Sin, to one who loves God, is nothing other than an arrow from the enemy in battle. The true Christian is a warrior fighting his way through the regiments of the unseen enemy to his heavenly homeland. According to the word of the Apostle, our homeland is in heaven; and about the warrior he says: we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6: 12). The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them and habit clothe our soul as if in a hideous garment. This is called by the Apostles the outward man. We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rather one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired health, do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves.

-- St. Herman of Alaska, Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/herman.htm#n2)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 17, 2012, 08:18:48 PM
Zealous Christians have a certain technique that they apply to secure the continual remembrance of God more firmly. It is the constant repetition of a short prayer, ordinarily either, "Lord, have mercy," or "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner." If you haven't heard this, then listen now. If you have never done this, begin now.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse, Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/theoph_prayer.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 20, 2012, 12:58:39 AM
The natural and essential attribute of the mind, because it is mind, is to be always preoccupied with the spiritual matters related to it: because it is immaterial with the immaterial; because it is immortal with the immortal. In one word, the mind is to be preoccupied with what is truly good and to have only these good things for nourishment, growth, and pleasure. By contrast, the natural attribute of the body, because it is the body, is to be inclined always to the bodily things: because it is physical to the physical; because it is material to the material.

-- St. Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain, A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, p. 69 (http://books.google.com/books?id=PosT287bj-0C&lpg=PP1&dq=saint%20nicodemus%20of%20the%20holy%20mountain&pg=PA69#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 24, 2012, 07:32:11 AM
When man seriously contemplates the mysteries of his life and the world around him in the light of the Gospel, he is forced to conlude that his ultimate need is to renounce all needs and resolutely follow the Lord Christ, being united to Him by the practice of evangelical ascesis. If he does not do so, he remains spiritually sterile, insensate and lifeless; his soul withers, dissipates and decays, and he dies gradually until he is completely lifeless and nothing remains.

-- St. Justin Popovich,  Humanistic and Theanthropic Culture (Man and God-man, p. 52)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Zenovia on May 24, 2012, 03:05:11 PM
I would like to make a suggestion here...and I really hope I'm not offending anyone, but  I have noticed some of the quotes are from theologians who may or may not be saints.    I find the words of elders  who have been blessed by God with charisms and heroic virtue; such as the Elder Porphyrios and Paisios,  as being more edifying to ones soul.     

Here is an excerpt from the book by the Elder Porphyrios:  Wounded by Love.

"Man has such powers that he can transmit good or evil to his environment. These matters are very delicate. Great care is needed. We need to see everything in a positive frame of mind. We mustn’t think anything evil about others. Even a simple glance or a sigh influences those around us. And even the slightest anger or indignation does harm. We need to have goodness and love in our soul and to transmit these things.

We need to be careful not to harbour any resentment against those who harm us, but rather to pray for them with love. Whatever any of our fellow men does, we should never think evil of him. We need always to have thoughts of love and always to think good of others. Look at Saint Stephen the first martyr. He prayed, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.  We need to do the same.

When we speak evil about someone, an evil power proceeds from within us and is transmitted to the other person, just as the voice is transmitted on sound waves, and in point of fact the other person suffers evil. It is something like the bewitchment of the evil eye, when someone has evil thoughts about others. This occurs through our own indignation.

We transmit our evil in a mystical way. It is not God who provokes evil, but rather people’s wickedness. God does not punish, but our own evil disposition is transmitted to the soul of the other in a mysterious way and does evil. Christ never wishes evil. On the contrary, He commands, Bless those who curse you...

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderporphyrios_dispositions.aspx   
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ialmisry on May 24, 2012, 03:19:33 PM
I have noticed some of the quotes are from theologians who may or may not be saints.    I find the words of elders  who have been blessed by God with charisms and heroic virtue
My false dichotomy meter is going off.

Especially as all the quotes from the past four months have been from glorified saints.

Has either Elder Porphyrios or Elder Paisios been glorified?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Zenovia on May 25, 2012, 08:55:40 PM
I have noticed some of the quotes are from theologians who may or may not be saints.    I find the words of elders  who have been blessed by God with charisms and heroic virtue
My false dichotomy meter is going off.

Especially as all the quotes from the past four months have been from glorified saints.

Has either Elder Porphyrios or Elder Paisios been glorified?

Some of the posts are by Fathers such as Schmemann and Flavosky as well as others.  Neither Elder Porphyrios nor Elder Paisios have been glorified but they have the perquisite virtues and charisms customary with saints, such as the ability to read the souls and minds of others and perform miraculous cures.  I don't know if the Elder Porphyrios had the additional charism of bi location, but he  was able to find underground water and  I believe  also able to see through mountains so his future glorification is almost assured.

Don't you like what he said? I find it very edifying.  ???

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Zenovia on May 26, 2012, 06:36:56 PM
I have noticed some of the quotes are from theologians who may or may not be saints.    I find the words of elders  who have been blessed by God with charisms and heroic virtue
My false dichotomy meter is going off.

Especially as all the quotes from the past four months have been from glorified saints.

Has either Elder Porphyrios or Elder Paisios been glorified?


Some of the posts are by Fathers such as Schmemann and Flavosky as well as others.  Neither Elder Porphyrios nor Elder Paisios have been glorified but they have the perquisite virtues and charisms customary with saints, such as the ability to read the souls and minds of others and perform miraculous cures.  I don't know if the Elder Porphyrios had the additional charism of bi location, but he  was able to find underground water and  I believe  also able to see through mountains so his future glorification is almost assured.

Don't you like what he said? I find it very edifying.  ???


This does not mean that what the Fathers said are not edifying, since they are quoting saints.  But as usual one tiny little thing annoyed me and I jumped to a conclusion.   Sorry 'bout that. :-[
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: JamesR on May 26, 2012, 06:59:35 PM
Bukharev is one excellent theologian, Soloviev was too liberal for my taste and Bolgakav is a good moderate theologian-philosopher.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 16, 2012, 12:26:51 AM
Therefore, the ecumenical councils always had a Christological, soteriological, ecclesiological character, which means that their sole and central topic - their Good News - was always the God-Man Jesus Christ and our salvation in Him, our deification in Him. Yes, He - the Son of God, only-begotten and consubstantial, incarnate; He - the eternal Head of the Body of the Church for the salvation and deification of man; He - wholly in the Church by the grace of the Holy Spirit, by true faith in Him, by the Orthodox Faith. This is the truly Orthodox, apostolic and patristic theme, the immortal theme of the Church of the God-Man, for all times, past, present and future.

-- St. Justin Popovich, On a Summoning of the Great Council of the Orthodox Church (http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stjustin_council.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2012, 11:01:36 PM
Since there is need of much work in the mystical Vineyard of the Lord, since the harvest is great while the workers few, since financial obligations and family reasons exist, it is more pleasing to God for you to remain in the world working and struggling, and later on with the permission and opinion of your spiritual father, and if it is God's will, then you can go to the wilderness to worship and serve God there also. Now remain in that in which you were called...

-- St. Philotheos Zervakos, Excerpts from Paternal Counsels, Vol. I and II (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/paternalcounsels.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 19, 2012, 08:55:43 PM
A Monk is he, who mourns and cries for his sins and does not judge the sins of others, nor does he become angry, but he suffers with patience everything and all contempt of men in order to stand worthy before the Lord of all.

-- Saint Savvas the New (d. 1947), St. Savvas' Rules Concerning the Unexceptionable Monastic Way of Life (Source--PDF (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CIABEBYwBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.orthodox-mitropolitan-of-antinoes-panteleimon.com%2Fbooks%2Fen%2Fst-savvas.pdf&ei=5qwIUL_jLOKR6wHh7Zj2CQ&usg=AFQjCNGpv_7YGXUm9QGbKlG3rZUYQsbq_g&sig2=qEzSL377SPIFPuHFcv08Yw))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 20, 2012, 03:52:43 PM
It will remain as the greatest wonder in history how a poor Man, who preached in Palestine for about two years, who scarcely had a hundred followers at the end of His mission, who was crucified and died a shameful death, whose cause seemed a quite desperate episode, scornfully rejected or fearfully abandoned by all those who knew it—how this poor Man replaced successively the mightiest gods the human imagination ever invented: Zeus in Olympus, Jupiter in the Capitol, Wothan in the North, and at last also Perun in Kieff. The secret lies, I think, in the reality of His human life, in the mystery of His resurrection, and in the amazing enthusiasm with which thousands of His followers afterwards suffered death for Him and His cause.

-- St. Nicholas Velimirovic (d. 1956), The Religious Spirit of the Slavs, Lecture 1: Slav Orthodoxy (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13388/13388-h/13388-h.htm#SLAV_ORTHODOXY)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 21, 2012, 04:40:30 PM
At the present time, we have a proliferation of nihilists, spiritists and other pernicious clever ones who are carried away with the false teachers of the West. Do you really think that our holy Church would keep silence and not raise her voice to condemn and anathematize them, if their destructive teachings were something new? By no means. A council would be held, and in council all of them with their teachings would be given over to anathema, and to the current Rite of Orthodoxy there would be appended an additional item: To Feyerbach, Buchner, and Renan, to the spiritists, and to all their followers -- to the nihilists - - be anathema. But there is no need for such a council, and there is no need either for such an addition. Their false teachings have already all been anathematized in advance in those points where anathema is pronounced to those who deny the existence of God, the spirituality and immortality of the soul, the teachings concerning the all-holy Trinity and concerning the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you not see with what wisdom and foresight the holy Church acts when she makes us perform the present proclamation and listen to it?

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), What is an Anathema? (http://www.orthodox.net/articles/anathema-bp-theophan.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 22, 2012, 12:28:39 PM
People say that if you do not feel inclined to pray it is better not to pray; but this is crafty carnal sophistry. If you pray only when you are inclined to, you will cease praying altogether; this is what the flesh desires. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. You will not be able to work out your salvation without forcing yourself.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), Perseverance in Prayer (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=ltcZhYCQ0w0C&lpg=PR7&ots=JpH8D2BYFm&dq=my%20life%20in%20christ&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on July 22, 2012, 02:36:30 PM
People say that if you do not feel inclined to pray it is better not to pray; but this is crafty carnal sophistry. If you pray only when you are inclined to, you will cease praying altogether; this is what the flesh desires. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. You will not be able to work out your salvation without forcing yourself.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), Perseverance in Prayer (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=ltcZhYCQ0w0C&lpg=PR7&ots=JpH8D2BYFm&dq=my%20life%20in%20christ&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q&f=false))
This is just the sort of quote I needed! Thank you so much for uploading it!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 23, 2012, 12:08:52 PM
The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them and habit clothe our soul as if in a hideous garment. We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rather one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired (health), do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves.

-- St. Herman of Alaska (d. 1837), Source (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stherman.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 24, 2012, 02:08:08 PM
The phrases "to pray in secret, alone and in silence" need, I feel, a little expanding. "Secret" should be understood as it is used in the Bible: for instance, Jesus tells us to do our charity secretly--not letting the left hand know what the right one does. We should not parade our devotions, nor boast about them. "Alone" means to separate ourselves from our immediate surroundings and disturbing influences. As a matter of fact, never are we in so much company as when we pray ". . . seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses . . ." (Heb. 12:1). The witnesses are all those who pray: Angels, Archangels, saints and sinners, the living and the dead. It is in prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, that we become keenly aware of belonging to the living body of Christ. In "silence" implies that we do not speak our prayer audibly. We do not even meditate on the words; we use them only to reach beyond them to the essence itself.

-- Mother Alexandra (d. 1991), Introduction to the Jesus Prayer (Source (http://www.stlukeorthodox.com/html/supplication/jesusprayer.cfm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 25, 2012, 09:13:42 PM
From Apostolic times and to our days all who truly love Christ give veneration to Her Who gave birth to Him, raised Him and protected Him in the days of His youth. If God the Father chose Her, God the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, and God the Son dwelt in Her, submitted to Her in the days of His youth, was concerned for Her when hanging on the Crossthen should not everyone who confesses the Holy Trinity venerate Her?

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God (Source (http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/st_john/on_veneration_of_the_theotokos.htm#earthly_life))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2012, 01:27:11 PM
It is necessary always to be patient and to accept everything that happens, no matter what, with gratitude for God’s sake. Our life — is a minute compared to eternity. And for this reason "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). Bear the insults of your enemy in silence, and open your heart only to the Lord. Try in any way possible to forgive those who humiliate you or take away your honor, by the words of the Gospel: "Of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again" (Lk. 6:30). When people curse us, we must consider ourselves unworthy of praise, imagining that if we were worthy, everyone would be bowing down to us. We must always, and before everyone, humble ourselves, according to the teachings of St. Isaac the Syrian: "Humble yourself and you will see the glory of God within yourself."

-- St. Seraphim of Sarov (d. 1833), Patience and Humility (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/seraphim_e.htm#n13))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 28, 2012, 08:43:33 AM
Christian religion is not a certain philosophic system, about which learned men, trained in metaphysical studies, argue and then either espouse or reject, according to the opinion each one has formed. It is faith, established in the souls of men, which ought to be spread to the many and be maintained in their consciousnesses.

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina (d. 1920), On Christianity (Source (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stnectarios.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 29, 2012, 12:19:24 PM
This theanthropic apostolicity is integrally continued in the earthly successors of the Christ-bearing apostles: in the holy fathers. Among them, in essence, there is no difference: the same God-man Christ lives, acts, enlivens and makes them all eternal in equal measure, He Who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Through the holy fathers, the holy apostles live on with all their theanthropic riches, theanthropic worlds, theanthropic holy things, theanthropic mysteries, and theanthropic virtues. The holy fathers in fact are continuously apostolizing, whether as distinct godlike personalities, or as bishops of the local churches, or as members of the holy ecumenical and holy local councils. For all of them there is but one Truth, one Transcendent Truth: the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Behold, the holy ecumenical councils, from the first to the last, confess, defend, believe, announce, and vigilantly preserve but a single supreme value: the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), The Attributes of the Church (Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/church/AttributesofChurch.asp))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 30, 2012, 04:31:11 PM
The road into the Kingdom of Heaven was made by the Lord Jesus Christ, and He was the first one who travelled it. The Bible teaches that only he who follows Jesus can reach His Kingdom. But how can one follow Him? Hear what our Savior says about this: 'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me' (Mark 8:34). The words 'whoever desires' mean that Christ does not compel anyone to follow Him. He has no need of the unwilling ones, but He desires that each person freely follow Him. Consequently, only those who willingly choose the Savior's path reach the Kingdom of Heaven. Christian! Your salvation or perdition is entirely in your own hands. In His unspeakable wisdom and love, the Lord has given you freedom to chose what you wish, and He does not force you to do anything against your will. Therefore, if you truly wish to follow Jesus Christ, He will show you the way into the Kingdom of Heaven and will help you along each step. If you do not wish to follow Him, it is your decision.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven, (Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/introduction/WayKingdom.asp))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2012, 11:26:24 PM
A Christian intellectual development occurs when all the truths of the Faith are impressed so deeply into the intellect that the intellect's whole existence is made up of these truths alone. When it begins to reason over something, it reasons according to what it knows of the Christian truths, and would never make the slightest move without them. The Apostle calls this keeping the image of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7). Exercises or work related to this are: reading and hearing the Word of God, patristic literature, Lives of the Holy Fathers, mutual discourse and asking questions of those more experienced. It is good to read or listen, better to have a mutual discourse, and even better to ask questions of those more experienced. The most fruit-bearing is the Word of God, then patristic literature and the Lives of saints. Incidentally, it is needful to know that the Lives of saints are better for beginners, patristic literature for the intermediate, and the Word of God for the perfect. All of these are the sources of Truth as well as the means for drawing from them; obviously, impressing them in the mind along with preserving the spirit of zeal also help.

-- Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), The Three Powers of the Soul and Their Curative Exercises (Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/spirituality/ThreePowers.asp))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2012, 11:11:09 PM
Reverence with all the powers of your soul all the sacraments, and say to yourself in respect of every sacrament before the celebration or communion of it, "This is God's mystery--I myself am only the unworthy witness or partaker of it". Otherwise our proud intellect even wishes to search out the mystery of God, and if unable to penetrate it, rejects it as not coming under its own small measure.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), Sacraments and Sacramentals (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=ltcZhYCQ0w0C&lpg=PR7&ots=JpH8D2BYFm&dq=my%20life%20in%20christ&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 02, 2012, 05:49:03 PM
People, like animals, do not pay attention to what exists in excessive abundance, but only open their eyes before what is rare or exceptional. There is too much of You, O Lord, my breath, therefore people do not see You. You are too obvious, O Lord, my sighing, therefore the attention of people is diverted from You and directed toward polar bears, toward rarities in the distance.

-- St. Nicholas Velimirovic (d. 1956), Prayers By the Lake, 7 (Source (http://www.sv-luka.org/praylake/pl7.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2012, 05:44:25 PM
The empty years of these desires separate us from our heavenly homeland, and our Love for these desires and our habits clothe us, as it were, in an odious dress; it is called by the Apostle 'the external (earthy) man.' (I Cor. 15:47). We who are wanderers in the journey of this life call to God for aid. We must divest ourselves of this repulsiveness, and put on new desires, and a new love for the coming age. Thus, through this we will know either an attraction or a repulsion for the heavenly homeland. It is possible to do this quickly, but we must follow the example of the sick, who wishing for desired health, do not stop searching for means of curing themselves.

-- St. Herman of Alaska (d. 1837), Source (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/st-herman-alaska.htm#12)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2012, 01:38:34 PM
The false approach at the opposite extreme is one that one might call false spirituality. As translations of Orthodox books on the spiritual life become more widely available, an the Orthodox vocabulary of spiritual struggle is placed more and more in the air, one finds an increasing number of people talking about hesychasm, the Jesus Prayer, the ascetic life, exalted states of prayer, and the most exalted Holy Fathers like St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. Gregory Palamas, and St. Gregory the Sianite. It is all very well to be aware of this truly exalted side of Orthodox spiritual life and to have reverence for the great saints who have actually lived it; but unless we have a very realistic and very humble awareness of how far away all of us today are from the life of hesychasm and how little prepared we are even to approach it, our interest in it will be only one more expression of our self-centered, plastic universe. "The me-generation goes hesychast!"—that is what some are trying to do today; but in actuality they are only adding a new game called "hesychasm" to the attractions of Disneyland.

-- Fr. Seraphim Rose (d. 1982), The Orthodox World-View (Source (http://www.desertwisdom.org/dttw/truth/fr-seraphim-rose/worldview.html#3))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2012, 07:39:12 PM
Many men, however, after asking God to give them opportunities to practice the virtues, grumble when they are faced with a certain difficulty. For example, sometimes the Good God, in His boundless love, and in order to provide practice in humility and patience, will take away his Grace from the wife, and she will begin acting outlandishly and treating the husband inconsiderately. Then the husband should not complain, but rather rejoice and thank God for the opportunity to struggle which He has given him. Or, a mother asks God to grant her patience. Her little child then comes in, and as soon as she has the table set for dinner, he pulls on the table cloth and everything spills on the floor. At such times it’s as if the child is saying to his mother: “Mama, be patient!” In general, the difficulties which exist today in the world force those who desire to live a little spiritual life to be watchful. Just as, may God protect us, in a war the people are in a watchful state, I see the same thing happening now with whomever strives to live spiritually.

-- Elder Paisios of Athos (d. 1994), Family Life (Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elder-paisios-on-family-life.aspx))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 07, 2012, 02:00:11 PM
No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is given over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

-- Elder Sophrony (d. 1993), Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimandrite_Sophrony#Quotes)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2012, 04:56:27 AM
Faith comes not through pondering but through action. Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is. To let in fresh air we have to open a window; to get tanned we must go out into the sunshine. Achieving faith is no different; we never reach a goal by just sitting in comfort and waiting, say the holy Fathers. Let the Prodigal Son be our example. He arose and came (Luke 15:20)... Arise, then; but do so at once, without delay. Do not defer your purpose till "tonight" or "tomorrow" or "later, when I have finished what I have to do just now." The interval may be fatal. No, this moment, the instant you make your resolution, you will show by your action that you have taken leave of your old self and have now begun a new life, with a new destination and a new way of living.

Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics (Source (http://thewayoftheascetics.blogspot.com/2007/11/chapter-one-on-resolute-and-sustained.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2012, 11:45:41 PM
The Orthodox Church has ever taught that there are seven Sacraments. She plainly points out the fact that each of the seven has an outward and visible sign and an inward and spiritual Grace, and that they are of gospel and apostolic origin. Again, the Orthodox Church has certain rites and practices associated and necessary in the administration of the Sacraments which neither time nor circumstances must set aside where churches are organized.

-- St. Raphael of Brooklyn (d. 1915), Pastoral Letter Source (http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/straphaelcanonized/lives/Anglican.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 09, 2012, 09:28:24 PM
'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us' ... He reveals with these words that He wants and love of us to have bowels of compassion and mercy towards each other, because in no other respect is man more likened to God than in compassion. Therefore, we must behave towards our brothers in a way similar to God's way towards us. No one should say that such and such a person has done to me so many evils that I cannot forgive him. Because if we consider how many times each day and each hour we are blameworthy towards God who, nevertheless, forgives us, we would find that they are so many and so incomprably greater than the trespasses of our brothers that we would stand no chance of vindication before the righteousness of God.

-- St. Makarios of Corinth (d. 1804), The Lord's Prayer According to St. Makarios of Corinth (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=URRVyJkki48C&lpg=PP1&ots=o2Xz3PBxr-&dq=makarios%20of%20corinth&pg=PA85#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2012, 04:46:25 PM
Father Arseny prayed constantly. Whether he was thinking about something, or walking, or going somewhere you could perceive the slight movement of his lips pronouncing the Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." He lived to help people in any possible way. Even in camp, where he himself was undernourished and exhasted, he helped others, did their work for them, and cared for the sick, sharing with them his meager ration.

-- Father Arseny, 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father, p. 137 (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=4qj3v3x18UoC&lpg=PP1&ots=3WS5Z_8gTW&dq=father%20arseny&pg=PA137#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2012, 07:19:21 PM
The gift [of Prayer of the Heart] is given to those who humble and abase themselves before the greatness of the gift. The gift is given to those who renounce their own will and surrender themselves to the will of God. The gift is given to those who subdue and mortify their flesh and blood, who subdue and mortify the mind of the flesh by the commandments of the Gospel. Life dawns and rises according to the degree of our mortification. It comes unexpectedly, entirely at its own good pleasure, and then it completes and perfects the mortification begun voluntarily.

Careless, especially self-willed, pround, and sle-fdirected seekers of a high state of prayer are always sealed with the seal of rejection, with the precision of spiritual law (Matt. 22:12-14). The removal of that seal is very difficult, mostly impossible. Why? Because pride and self-confidence, which lead to self-deception, to fellowship with demons, and enslavement of them, do not allow us to see the wrongness and peril of our positions, do not allow us to see our woeful fellowship with the dmons, nor our disastrous, fatal enslavement to them. "Clothe yourself first with leaves, and then when God commands bring the fruits," said the Fathers. First acquire attentive prayer, trained and qualified by the commandments of the Gospel and grounded on them, God--the all-merciful God--will give in His time the prayer of grace.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), On the Prayer of Jesus, pp. 65-66 (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=DIbDjwk0MiwC&lpg=PA146&ots=lo9sWVX45i&dq=russian%20philokalia&pg=PA65#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 12, 2012, 08:48:41 AM
Some want to go to the Resurrection without passing by way of Golgotha.

We desire our freedom. Why? In order to be slaves to our passions.

When you have thought of critcism... judging others, ask God to take hold of you at that hour so that you can love that person as He loves. Then God will help you see your condition. If Christ were visible, could you criticize?

-- Mother Gabrielia (d. 1992), (Source (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gabrielia_(Papayannis)#Assorted_short_sayings))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on August 12, 2012, 10:36:09 AM
Wow, this a wonderful collection of quotes and teachings. Thanks for sharing, Asteriktos!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 13, 2012, 12:21:19 PM
Again, the Annunciation is "the beginning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery which is from eternity: the Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaimeth good tidings of grace" (Troparion of the Feast of the Annunciation). The divine will has been declared and proclaimed by the archangel. But the Virgin was not silent. She responded to the divine call, responded in humility and faith. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Divine will is accepted and responded to. And this human response is highly relevant at this point. The obedience of Mary counterbalances the disobedience of Eve. In this sense the Virgin Mary is the Second Eve, as her Son is the Second Adam.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky, The Ever-Virgin Mother of God (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/maria_florovsky_e.htm#n5))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on August 13, 2012, 11:34:07 PM
***subscribed***
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2012, 02:27:32 PM
Starets Ambrose further instructed his students on humility: "Once, a visitor called on Father Superior Moses, and not finding him home, went to see his brother Abbot Anthony. During their conversation, the visitor posed the question: "Tell me batushka, what type of precepts do you maintain?" Fr.Anthony answered: "I had many precepts: I lived in the desert and monasteries and they all had different rules. Now there remains only one endeavour left: ‘God have mercy on me.’"

-- St. Ambrose of Optina (d. 1891), On Humility (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/ambrose_e.htm#n8))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2012, 05:04:13 PM
The notion of holiness has an upper pole and a lower pole, and in our consciousness it always moves between the two poles, going up and coming down … And this ladder, leading from the bottom up, is considered to be the path of denying the world … However, it also can be considered as leading in the opposite direction. In this case, it will be considered as the way of affirming of world reality through consecration of the latter.

Thus, according to the Apostle Paul, holiness is, first of all, alienation in relation to the world of sin, denial of it. Secondly, it is specific positive content, because the nature of holiness is Divine, it is ontologically established in God. At the same time, holiness, he underlines, is not moral perfection, though it is inseparably connected with it, but is "co-eternity with unworldly energies." Finally, holiness is not only the denial, the absence of any evil, and not only a phenomenon of another, Divine world, but is also a firm assertion of "world reality through consecration of the latter."

This third side of holiness says that it is a power, transfiguring not only a man, but also the world overall, so that "God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28). In the final analysis, all creation must change ("And I saw a new heaven and a new earth" — Rev. 21:1) and reveal God. However, only man can play an active role on the part of creation in this process, and that is why he is given full responsibility for creatures (Rom. 8:19-21). And here the importance of saints is revealed with particular force, who became the rudiments (Rom. 11:16) of future universal and complete consecration under the conditions of earthly existence.

Saints are, first of all, different people, differing from those living "after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). Different, because they struggle and with God’s help overcome "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16), everything that enslaves the people of this world. In this weaning of saints away from the world of threefold lust, from the atmosphere of sin, can be seen one of the fundamental characteristics of sanctity and unity of the initial apostolic and Church-traditional understanding of it.

-- A. I. Osipov, The Path of Reason in Search of the Truth (Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/apologetics_osipov_e.htm#_Toc108417100))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2012, 05:07:03 PM
I would like to make a suggestion here...and I really hope I'm not offending anyone, but  I have noticed some of the quotes are from theologians who may or may not be saints.    I find the words of elders  who have been blessed by God with charisms and heroic virtue; such as the Elder Porphyrios and Paisios,  as being more edifying to ones soul.     

Fwiw, if I felt like I had enough quotes to quote only just saints, like we have with the early Church, I would quote just those. Unfortunately we are dealing with a more condensed period of time, and many of the saints have not yet been translated into English... so I'm just trying to make due with what I have available to me. The only other option is to quote the same dozen people over and over. Instead I try to find things of value among all sorts of writers, whether they are glorified or not (or even if we have no expectation of them being glorified). By all means though, if you have a helpful quote, then please post it.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 16, 2012, 12:34:12 PM
When we begin to pray, we do not immediately break off from our daily tasks and just start praying, but we must prepare ourselves. As the Prayerbook says: "Stand in silence for a few moments until all your senses are calmed." Furthermore, as Holy Scripture tells us: Before offering a prayer, prepare yourself; and do not be like a man who tempts the Lord (Sirach 18:23). In addition to this, before entering into prayer, one must prepare himself not only inwardly, but also outwardly.

During prayer one should stand straight with ones eyes fixed on the icon or lowered to the ground, while, at the same time, the eyes of the soul, together with one's soulful aspirations, should be lifted up to God. This outward attitude of piety in prayer is both necessary and beneficial, for the disposition of the soul is in conformity with the disposition of the body.

One must also prepare himself for prayer in the soul, the essence of which consists of purging all vengeful thoughts from one's heart (Mark 11:25-26), in an awareness of one's own sinfulness and with the contrition and humility of soul that such awareness brings. For the only sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise (Ps. 50:17). As the Holy Fathers teach us, "whosoever does not avow himself a sinner, his prayer shall not be pleasing to the Lord."

In his daily devotions, the Christian must adhere to a strict home rule of prayer. All the great ascetics had such a rule and kept to it diligently. The extent of our home rule of prayer is determined for each of us in accordance with our manner of life and the state of our spiritual and physical strength. It is better that we offer up a few prayers, made, however, in proper devotion, than that we say many prayers in haste, a danger difficult to avoid if we take upon ourselves too heavy a burden.

-- Saint Tikhon's Monastery, These Truths We Hold (Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/truth_we_hold.htm#_Toc26519142))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 17, 2012, 11:22:18 AM
When you know and are certain that our Orthodox faith is based on Sacred Scripture and not on fictions or speculations, and that Holy Scripture really is the Word of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through the Prophets and Apostles, then do not pry into what is hidden from us. Believe implicitly, without doubt or reservation, all that Holy Scripture teaches. Do not listen to any natural explanations and interpretations of what is beyond the human mind.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven (Source pdf (http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/Indication.pdf))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 18, 2012, 07:38:40 PM
Q. Which is the more ancient, holy tradition or holy Scripture?

The most ancient and original instrument for spreading divine revelation is holy tradition. From Adam to Moses there were no sacred books. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself delivered his divine doctrine and ordinances to his Disciples by word and example, but not by writing. The same method was followed by the Apostles also at first, when they spread abroad the faith and established the Church of Christ. The necessity of tradition is further evident from this, that books can be available only to a small part of mankind, but tradition to all.

Q. Why, then, was holy Scripture given?

To this end, that divine revelation might be preserved more exactly and unchangeably. In holy Scripture we read the words of the Prophets and Apostles precisely as if we were living with them and listening to them, although the latest of the sacred books were written a thousand and some hundred years before our time.

Q. Must we follow holy tradition, even when we possess holy Scripture?

We must follow that tradition which agrees with the divine revelation and with holy Scripture, as is taught us by holy Scripture itself. The Apostle Paul writes: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. (2 Thes. 2:15)

-- St. Philaret of Moscow (d. 1867), The Longer Catechism (Source (http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm#ii.xv.iii.i.p41))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 20, 2012, 01:50:23 AM
Every action of the Church, directed by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of life and truth, sets forth the full completeness of all His gifts of faith, hope, and love: or in Scripture not faith only, but also the hope of the Church, is made manifest, and the love of God; and in works well pleasing to God there is made manifest not only love, but likewise faith and hope and grace; and in the living tradition of the Church which awaits from God her crown and consummation in Christ, not hope only, but also faith and love are manifested. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are inseparably united in one holy and living unity; but as works well pleasing to God belong more especially to love, and prayer well pleasing to God belongs more especially to hope, so a Creed well pleasing to God belongs more especially to faith, and the Church's creed is rightly called the Confession or Symbol of the Faith.

-- Alexei Khomiakov (d. 1860), The Church Is One (Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/khomiakov_church.aspx))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 22, 2012, 10:11:37 PM
Be patient and endure all the suffering brought on by maliciousness, the full weight of labor, reproach, and slander, but most of all be afraid to despair, which is the most grievous sin.  

Everything needs a certain preparation. Pay no attention to all these methods and breathing techniques you’ve been reading about; they can only harm the soul--and there have been such cases. The Jesus Prayer must come as a cry from the depths of the heart--then it is true prayer.

-- Elder Michael of Valaam (d. 1962), On Patience (Source (http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/fathers/FathersE/e_0801_patience.htm)) (Source 2 (http://www.roca.org/OA/29/29d.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 23, 2012, 05:00:55 PM
Acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit also by practicing all the other virtues for Christ's sake. Trade spiritually with them; trade with those which give you the greatest profit. Accumulate capital from the superabundance of God's grace, deposit it in God's eternal bank which will bring you immaterial interest, not four or six per cent, but one hundred per cent for one spiritual ruble, and even infinitely more than that. For example, if prayer and watching gives you more of God's grace, watch and pray; if fasting gives you much of the spirit of God, fast; if almsgiving gives you more, give alms. Weigh every virtue done for Christ's sake in this manner.

-- St. Seraphim of Sarov (d. 1833), On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/sermon_st_seraphim.htm#n3))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 24, 2012, 07:32:12 PM
So the world is a creation of God, an ornament, a jewel. God created the world with His uncreated energy, for God is creator by energy and not by substance. It is characteristic that at the end of creation, the Bible notes "and God saw that it was good". God not only created the world, He also maintains it with His uncreated providential energies. Christ saying which demonstrates God's love for the world is significant: "for God so loved the world so that He gave His only begotten Son in order that whoever believes in Him is not lost but lives eternally" (John 3:6). God's love for the world wsa expressed mainly through Christ's incarnation and man's salvation. After all, man is the microcosm within the macrocosm and is the summation of all creation.

-- Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Secularism in Church, Theology and Pastoral Care (Source (http://www.pelagia.org.gr/images/books/keimena/secular/index.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 25, 2012, 06:53:12 PM
Love of God is founded on love of one's neighbor. When the remembrance of wrongs is obliterated in you: then you are close to love. When your heart is overshadowed by holy, grace-given peace towards all humanity: then you are at the very doors of love. But these doors are opened by the Holy Spirit alone. Love of God is a gift from God in a person who has prepared himself to receive this gift by purity of heart, mind, and body. The degree of the gift is according to the degree of preparation: because God, even in His mercy, is just.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), Love of God (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/love_god_ext.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 26, 2012, 03:43:22 PM
The church prays for all who have died in the faith, and asks forgiveness for their sins, for there is no man without sin, “if he have lived even a single day upon earth” (Job 14:5 LXX). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Therefore, no matter how righteous a man might be, when he departs from this world, the Church accompanies his departure with prayer for him to the Lord. “Brethren, pray for us,” the holy Apostle Paul asks his spiritual children (1 Thes. 5:25). At the same time, when the common voice of the Church testifies to the righteousness of the reposed person, Christians, apart from prayer for him, are taught by the good example of his life and place him as an example to be imitated.

-- Fr. Michael Pomazansky (d. 1988), Orthodox Dogmatic Theology (Source (http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0824/_P2A.HTM))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 27, 2012, 05:15:34 PM
When the soul is full of God's love, it is from immeasurable joy that it grieves and tearfully prays that the whole world would come to know its master and heavenly Father, neither knowing peace, nor wanting it, until all enjoy the grace of His love.

Elder Silouan of Athos (d. 1938), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/depression_fr_stephen.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 28, 2012, 12:31:06 PM
There is a constant communion of prayer between the visible, earthly part of the Church, and the invisible, heavenly part, and indeed each day of the year is dedicated to the memory of some saints whose names are known. The stories of their struggles are told in hymns dedicated to them and they are asked to make intercession. Thus we follow the Apostle's exhortation: "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith." (Heb. 13:7)  In glorifying the saints' spiritual struggle and victory the Church is in fact glorifying God's work of salvation, the work of the Holy Spirit; it experiences the salvation already accomplished in them, the goal towards which the members of the Church militant are still pressing on. (Phil. 3:12, 14)

Archbp. Paul of Karelia, The Faith We Hold, (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1980), pp. 27-28
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 30, 2012, 11:04:49 AM
The complete and correct prayer is one in which the words of the prayer are accepted by both thought and emotion; attentiveness is therefore needful. Do not let your thoughts wander; imprison them again and again, and always begin anew from the point where you left off praying. You may read from the Psalter, in the same way, especially if you do not have a prayer book. Thus you learn patience and watchfulness.

A person standing at an open window hears the sounds from outside; it is impossible not to do so. But he can give the voices his attention or not, as he himself wishes. The praying person is continually beset by a stream of inappropriate thoughts, feelings and mental impressions. To stop this tiresome stream is as impracticable as to stop the air from circulating in an open room. But one can notice them or not. This, say the saints, one learns only through practice.

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics (Source (http://thewayoftheascetics.blogspot.com/2007/11/chapter-seventeen-on-prayer.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 31, 2012, 02:05:40 PM
How is one who wishes to preserve oneself pure and chaste to struggle with the temptation of this sin? The answer is simple: first of all by purity of thought and imagination. It is often claimed that sexual need acts with such insurmountable strength that man is powerless to withstand it. This is a falsehood! This is not a matter of "need" but of depravity and lechery and results from a person's unrestrained provoking of himself with thoughts and desires. Of course such a person builds upon the natural sexual inclination to an excessive degree and this brings him to sin. An Orthodox Christian, however, who is God-loving and strict with himself will never allow, never permit that bad desires and thoughts possess his mind and heart.

In order to accomplish this, he will call upon God's help in prayer and by the sign of the Cross and struggle against such thoughts the instant they appear. By effort of the will one will bring one's thoughts over to prayer or at least to other more edifying subjects. If one allows oneself to be inflamed by impure imagination, it means that one has depraved and ruined oneself. In order to struggle with bad thoughts, an Orthodox person must firmly turn away from and quickly depart from all that can elicit these bad thoughts. Our Savior was not speaking in vain when He so strictly warns us of the impure, lecherous gaze - and the gaze Christ warned us about went no further than looking. So dangerous is mental temptation.

-- Met. Philaret of New York (d. 1985), On the Law of God (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/law_of_god.htm#n15))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 05, 2012, 06:05:00 AM
Many people pray hypocritically, and their hypocritical prayer becomes a habit with them; they do not even observe themselves, and do not wish to observe, that they pray hypocritically, and not in spirit and truth, so that if anybody were to accuse them of praying hypocritically, they would be angry with those who dared to say, in their opinion, such an absurdity. Men do not suddenly become hypocritical, but gradually. At first, perhaps, they prayed with their whole hearts, but afterwards—for always to pray with the whole heart is a difficult work, to which we must force ourselves, and "the kingdom of heaven" (it is said) "suffereth violence" (Matt. 11:12)—they begin to pray more with their lips superficially, not from the depths of the soul, which is much easier, and finally at the increased assaults of the flesh and Devil, they only pray with their lips, without the power of the words of the prayer reaching the heart.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), My Life in Christ (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kronstadt/christlife.iii.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: tweety234 on December 03, 2012, 09:09:26 PM
"Our human attempts to repent are often zeros; but God sees all the zeros. Sometimes, He waits until we have accumulated many of them, and then He adds, through His Spirit, the number one in front of them."

Elder Paisios the Athonite

I wonder what he means.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 28, 2012, 12:25:33 AM
The virgin Mary, having given herself entirely up to God, even though she repulsed from herself every impulse to sin, still felt the weakness of human nature more powerfully than others and ardently desired the coming of the Saviour. In her humility she considered herself unworthy to be even the servant-girl of the virgin who was to give Him birth. So that nothing might distract her from prayer and heedfulness to herself, Mary gave to God a vow not to become married, in order to please only Him Her whole life long.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God (http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/st_john/on_veneration_of_the_theotokos.htm#orthodox_veneration)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 28, 2012, 09:34:38 PM
There are three things I cannot take in: nondogmatic faith, nonecclesiological Christianity and nonascetic Christianity. These three--the church, dogma, and asceticism--constitute one single life for me.

-- Elder Sophrony (d. 1993) -- (Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophrony_(Sakharov)#Quotes))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 29, 2012, 02:20:15 PM
It is evident that unbelief is an evil offspring of an evil heart; for the guileless and pure heart everywhere discovers God, everywhere discerns Him, and always unhesitatingly believes in His existence. When the man of pure heart looks at the World of Nature, that is, at the sky, the earth, and the sea and at all things in them, and observes the systems constituting them, the infinite multitude of stars of heaven, the innumerable multitudes of birds and quadrupeds and every kind of animal of the earth, the variety of plants on it, the abundance of fish in the sea, he is immediately amazed and exclaims with the Prophet David: "How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom Thou made them all."

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina (d. 1920), Discovering God (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stnectarios.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 30, 2012, 06:11:50 PM
Fr. Justin Popovic has pointed that Europe is dominated by the desire for power, lust, and knowledge. The entire Europe "is the desire for power and lust and knowledge. Both are human: human desire and human knowledge." All of Europe is personified in the Pope and in Luther. "The european pope is the human desire for power. The european Luther is man's stubborn insistence to explain everything with his mind. The pope as the ruler of the world and the scientists as the commander of the world." This is the whole Europe.

-- Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (b. 1945), Orthodox and Western Traditions in Our Life (http://www.pelagia.org.gr/images/books/keimena/tradition/index.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 01, 2013, 05:55:51 AM
Elder Cleopa: For how many hours do you pray in the morning? And how many in the evening? Saint John Chrysostom says: we should pray 3 hours both in the morning and the evening, and for at least one hour at midnight. How many hours do you pray to God, in the morning when you awaken?

Person #2: Hours, no...

Elder Cleopa: We should, but we don't pray for hours. You see? And death comes tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Our Savior said: "Be alert and pray, since you know neither the day nor the hour..."  We leave tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. We all leave!

-- Elder Cleopa of Romania (d. 1998), Source (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=I3RwPwvh8uA)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2013, 04:39:35 PM
You must set about rooting out the very desire to have things pleasant, to get on well, to be contented. You must learn to like sadness, poverty, pain, hardship. You must learn to follow privately the Lord's bidding: not to speak empty words, not to adorn yourself, always to obey authority, not to look at a woman with desire, not to be angry and much else. For all these biddings are given us not in order for us to act as if they did not exist, but for us to follow: otherwise the Lord of mercy would not have burdened us with them. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, He said (Matt. 16:24), thereby leaving it to each person's own will-if any man will-and to each person's endeavour: let him deny himself.

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics (Source (http://thewayoftheascetics.blogspot.com/2007/11/chapter-six-on-eradicating-desire-for.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2013, 02:09:18 PM
Ephraem's most outstanding characteristic as a teacher is his close adherence to the Bible. His attitude to Scripture is reverent, for the Divine books have been given to us from God through the Holy Spirit. They are the means of our salvation. The mysteries of the holy books and their wonderful harmony are accessible only to those who approach them with faith. On the twenty-two streams a tree grows forth which bears many fruits, and its branches extend beyond the bounds of the earth. Ephraem uses the Old Testament text of the Peshitta and only rarely cites the Septuagint, probably referring to a Syriac translation or relying on a glossary. Occasionally he mentions the Hebrew text or Hebrew commentary, but he never quotes these directly.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/fathers_florovsky_1.htm#_Toc3723931)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2013, 04:38:25 AM
To recover the missionary dimension of the Church is today’s greatest imperative. We have to recover a very basic truth: that the Church is essentially Mission, that the very roots of her life are in the commandment of Christ: "Go Ye therefore and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19). A Christian community that would lose this missionary zeal and purpose, that would become selfish and self-centered, that would limit itself to "satisfying the spiritual needs of its members", that would identify itself completely with a nation, a society, a social or ethnic group – is on its way to spiritual decadence and death, because the essential spiritual need of a Christian is precisely that of sharing the life and the Truth with as many men as possible and ultimately with the whole world. Mission thus is the organic need and task of the Church in the world, the real meaning of Church’s presence in history between the first and the second advents of her Lord, or, in other terms, the meaning of Christian history. Obviously not all members of the Church can go and preach in the literal sense of the word. But all can have a concern for the missionary function of the Church, feel responsible for it, help and support it. In this respect each diocese, each parish and each member of the Church are involved in the missionary ministry.

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), Orthodoxy and Mission (http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/orthodoxyandmission.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 06, 2013, 03:44:13 PM
Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out
Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance

-- Fr. Thomas Hopko (b. 1939), 55 Maxims, 37-38
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 07, 2013, 02:38:04 PM
The deepest sadness and the greatest joy in Christian life are caused by an innate longing for God, a passionate quest for intimate and eternal communion with the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Such longing brings sadness, because in this life it goes largely unfulfilled. Yet rather than lead to frustration, it can produce ineffable joy, nourished by the certitude that ultimately nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, that our desire for union with him will ultimately be answered beyond our most fervent hope.

-- Fr. John Breck (b. 1939), Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=6r7lQ6np94YC&lpg=PA215&ots=kqVrWWsGJq&dq=Macarius%20of%20Corinth&pg=PA217#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 09, 2013, 03:29:09 AM
Stand at prayer before the invisible God as if you saw Him, and with the conviction that He sees you and is looking at you attentively. Stand before the invisible God just as a guilty criminal convicted of countless crimes and condemned to death stands before a. stem, impartial judge. Exactly! You are standing before your sovereign Lord and Judge; you are standing before the Judge in Whose sight no living soul will be justified. Who always wins when He is judged, Who does not condemn only when, in His unspeakable love for men, He forgives a man his sin and enters not into judgment with His servant. Feeling the fear of God, and feeling from the action of this fear the presence of God when you pray, you will see without seeing, spiritually, Him Who is invisible, and you will realize that prayer is a standing by anticipation at the awful judgment of God.


-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), The Arena (Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/arena_prayer.aspx))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 10, 2013, 08:16:54 AM
Of all the ancients
You I think I could live with,
(some of the time)
comfortable in you
like an old coat
sagged and fraying at the back,
(its pockets drooping with unimportant nothings
like string, and manuscripts of poems)
perfect for watching you off your guard,
rambling around your country garden,
planting roses, not turnips,
contrary to the manual
for a sensible monk;
master of the maybe;
anxious they might take you up all wrong;
shaking your fist at an Emperor,
(once he had turned the corner
out of sight); every foray into speech
a costed regret

Your heart was like a spider's silk
swinging wildly at the slightest breeze
too tender for this tumbling world
of mountebanks and quacks and gobs
but tuned to hear the distant voices
of the singing stars
and marvel at the mercy of it all.

-- Fr. John Anthony McGuckin (b. 1952), St Gregory Nazianzen
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: walter1234 on January 10, 2013, 08:23:33 AM
Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: mike on January 10, 2013, 09:46:41 AM
Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?

I think I heard about a females Saint that was pretending to be a male and lived in a male monstery.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 10, 2013, 09:48:12 PM
Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?

Not exactly, the women are called Church Mothers (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12870.0.html), and there is a separate thread for them :)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 11, 2013, 03:40:51 PM
The Hebrew version of the Old Testament contains thirty-nine books. The Septuagint contains in addition ten further books, not present in the Hebrew, which are known in the Orthodox Church as the ‘Deutero-Canonical Books’ (3 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; 1, 2, and 3 Maccabees; Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus; Baruch; Letter of Jeremias. In the west these books are often called the ‘Apocrypha’). These were declared by the Councils of Jassy (1642) and Jerusalem (1672) to be ‘genuine parts of Scripture;’ most Orthodox scholars at the present day, however, following the opinion of Athanasius and Jerome, consider that the Deutero-Canonical Books, although part of the Bible, stand on a lower footing than the rest of the Old Testament.

-- Met. Kallistos (Ware), The Orthodox Church
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on January 11, 2013, 03:59:50 PM
Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?

Not exactly, the women are called Church Mothers (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12870.0.html), and there is a separate thread for them :)

I truly see the utility of such a distinction, but I do not think that they should be considered separately. I know that I am in a very small (and rapidly vanishing minority) but I think that the masculine forms can and should be used for all males and females (and not to discriminate against them, neuters).
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: walter1234 on January 11, 2013, 04:35:45 PM
Was there any holy women Christian recognised as Church mother in 1st century to 5rd century?

It seems that there are less or even nearly no holy women Christians recognised as Church mothers in the history. Is it because the status of women were too low in the history?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 11, 2013, 04:41:17 PM
Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?

Not exactly, the women are called Church Mothers (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12870.0.html), and there is a separate thread for them :)

I truly see the utility of such a distinction, but I do not think that they should be considered separately. I know that I am in a very small (and rapidly vanishing minority) but I think that the masculine forms can and should be used for all males and females (and not to discriminate against them, neuters).

A fair point. Fwiw I don't have a problem with this in theory. Though I don't know where society is at the moment on it  (as you said, the view seems to be a minority nowadays).

Was there any holy women Christian recognise an Church mother in 1st century to 5rd century?

It seems that there are less or even nearly no holy women Christians recognised as Church mothers in the history. Is it because the status of women were too low in the history?

It somewhat depends on how you define the terms. There were many saintly women in the early centuries, and many learned ones, that you can read about in hagiographical texts. We don't have a lot of writings from them unfortunately, and mostly rely on short sayings or dialogues recorded by others.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2013, 02:04:47 PM
There is still a strong tendency to treat "Byzantinism" as an inferior sequel, or even as a decadent epilogue, to the patristic age. Probably, we are prepared, now more than before, to admit the authority of the Fathers. But "Byzantine theologians" are not yet counted among the Fathers. In fact, however, Byzantine theology was much more than a servile "repetition" of Patristics. It was an organic continuation of the patristic endeavor. It suffices to mention St. Symeon the New Theologian, in the Eleventh century, and St. Gregory Palamas, in the Fourteenth. A restrictive commitment of the Seven Ecumenical Councils actually contradicts the basic principle of the Living Tradition in the Church. Indeed, all Seven. But not only the Seven.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/florov_fathers.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 14, 2013, 12:41:12 PM
I must tell you first of all that, to the best of our knowledge, there are no startsi today—that is, truly God-bearing elders (in the spirit of the Optina elders) who could guide you not by their own wisdom and understanding of the Holy Fathers, but by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.  This kind of guidance is not given to our times—and frankly, we in our weakness and corruption and sins do not deserve it. To our times is given a more humble kind of spiritual life, which Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov in his excellent book The Arena (do you have it?) calls life by counsel—that is, life according to the commandments of God as learned in the Holy Scriptures and Holy Fathers and helped by those who are elder and more experienced.  A starets can give commands; but a counsellor gives advice, which you must test in experience.

-- Fr. Seraphim Rose (d. 1982), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frseraphimspeaks.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 15, 2013, 10:38:43 PM
The Fathers of the Church--and I have in mind in particular St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and some others who dealt with these issues, as well as St. Gregory Palamas--operate not in the framework of classical and western metaphysics but in a contrary direction. In fact, orthodox theology, as expressed by the Fathers of the Church, is anti-metaphysical...

-- Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (b. 1945), Theology and Science (http://www.pelagia.org.gr/images/books/keimena/theo_science/index.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 17, 2013, 10:17:54 PM
I would not like to say a word about the meaning of tradition. Whenever someone dares to suggest the slightest change in the ways of the Church he is accused of breaking with tradition. And here it is important for us to treasure tradition, but also to understand it rightly and not to become prisoners and slaves of false tradition. Tradition is something that is handed down to us from the very beginning, from one generation to the other. But what is handed down to us is the substance and the meaning and not the form. A Russian bishop in the early years of the emigration wrote that it was not permissible to celebrate in a western language because most heresies were born in the West, forgetting that there were enough heretics in Byzantium and elsewhere! If tradition is understood in that sense you become its prisoner. Tradition is the living memory of the Church. We all have a memory but more often than not, too often, we forget our past. The Church does not. The Church has an eternal, unshakeable memory. But memory does not mean that nothing new can enter into our experience. But this memory does not force us backward at every step. It is an experience that has gradually grown into new and further experience rooted in God and inspired by the Holy Spirit. What the Church does is to look at every step of its development and its life for what St. Paul calls "the mind of Christ." To listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is always young, always new, always modern.

-- Met. Anthony Bloom (d. 2003), Source (http://www.jacwell.org/articles/1997-WINTER-MetAnthony.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 21, 2013, 07:28:41 PM
There is a great richness of forms of the spiritual life to be found within the bounds of Orthodoxy, but monasticism remains the most classical of all. Unlike western monasticism, however, that of the East does not include a, multiplicity of different orders. This fact is explained by the conception of the monastic life, the aim of which can only be union with God in a complete renunciation of the life of this present world. If the secular clergy (married priests and deacons), or confraternities of laymen may occupy themselves with social work, or devote themselves to other outward activities, it is otherwise with the monks. The latter take the habit above all in order to apply themselves to prayer, to the interior life, in cloister or hermitage.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/lossky_intro.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2013, 09:16:52 PM
In the celebration, the Spirit presents, or "re-presents", Christ's work. Man becomes the celebrant of the "cosmic liturgy". To those who are willing to offer their science, their art, their technical ability, their political and social responsibility, the Spirit offers in exchange the power to discover the world, not in order to destroy it, but in order to change it. He enables them to serve men and not become their slaves, to know, but with respect for beings and things; to create beauty, not in the reductive sense, but rather in order to "re-awaken". This is how the radiating Spirit of worship (since true prophecy is sacramental) has been and could become again leaven for an authentic culture.

-- Olivier Clement (d. 2009), Source (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/magazine/documents/ju_mag_01041998_p-17_en.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 23, 2013, 10:39:09 AM
The sixth fruit, however, is not easily assimilated by mankind. It demands the supreme sacrifice from a person, as expressed in the Savior’s words to the rich youth, "sell all you have and give the money to the poor . . . then come and follow Me" (Mtt. 19:21). This offering is made through the purification of our souls and bodies from all impurity and stain. It comes through renunciation of father and mother, of all earthy pleasures, of the sinful flesh and the world which is "under the rule of the Evil One" as St. John says (1 Jn. 5:19). This offering is expressed in the establishment of monasteries and cloisters for men and women. It consists in taking on the likeness of the angels. There all the offerings we have enumerated come together as flowers of paradise to form a single bouquet. Word and song, building, remembering the living and the departed, church construction and love for one’s brothers, invocation of the grace of God on the world and the whole universe — all of this is present in its highest form; all is done in a "proper and orderly way" [1 Cor. 14:40] for the restoration of the old man in the new order of the Kingdom of God.

-- Met. Leontius (d. 1965), The Seven Gifts (Source (http://www.schmemann.org/memoriam/1984.svtq3.leonty.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 24, 2013, 07:13:37 PM
Because theology seeks to proclaim the Gospel in time and space, it has by its very nature a missionary and evangelical quality. This means that Orthodox theology cannot be the possession of a particular people. It is universal in scope, offering the saving and transforming power of Christ’s gospel to all nations. Our history teaches us that as the Church sojourned in time and space, it used the culture of empires and nations to articulate a living theology. This is certainly the method employed by the Church Fathers.  Knowing the language, art, philosophy, literature, science and politics of their time, they were able to convey the gospel to people of varying intellectual and social backgrounds.  They were able to proclaim Christ who is the “same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb.13:8) using the cultural tools that were at their disposal.

-- Fr. Robert Arida (Source (http://holytrinityorthodox.org/articles_and_talks/Theological%20Education.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 24, 2013, 08:31:57 PM
"Love your neighbor in the following way: Do not get angry with him and do not bear resentment or a grudge against him. Do not allow yourself to say to your neighbor any reproachful, abusive, sarcastic, or caustic words. Maintain peace with him as far as possible. Humble yourself in his presence. Do not try to have revenge on him either directly or indirectly. Whenever possible, yield to him. Get out of the habit of arguing and quarreling, and reject it as a sign of pride and self-love. Speak well of those who speak evil of you. Pay good for evil. Pray for those who cause you various offenses, wrongs, temptations, persecutions. Whatever you do, on no account condemn anyone; do not even try to judge whether a person is good or bad, but keep your eyes on that one evil person for whom you must give an account before God - yourself."

--St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Arena

I should read this everyday... :)

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 24, 2013, 08:59:10 PM
"Through humility in your dealings with your neighbor, and through love of your neighbor, hardness and callousness is expelled from the heart. It is rolled away like a heavy rock from the entrance to a tomb, and the heart revives for spiritual relations with God for which it has been hitherto dead. A new vista opens to the gaze of the mind: the multitudinous wounds of sin with which the whole of fallen nature is riddled. It begins to confess its wretched state to God and implore Him for His mercy. The heart assists the mind with mourning and compunction. This is the beginning of true prayer."

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Arena
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 26, 2013, 06:05:03 PM
Some Romish theologians having asserted, in the face of all historical documents, that Chrysostom had appealed to Rome for the purpose of suspending the proceedings against him by the interposition of the papal authority, we will remark, that, according to St. Chrysostom himself, he addressed his protest, not only to the Bishop of Rome, but to other bishops. "I have also addressed this same letter," he says, "to Venerius, Bishop of Milan, and to Chromatins, Bishop of Aquileia." Here is what he asks of his colleagues in the West: " I pray you, therefore, to write letters declaring null and void all that has been done against me, granting me intercommunion with you as in the past, since I am condemned without a hearing, and since l am ready to justify myself before any impartial tribunal."

-- Vladimir Guettée (d. 1892), The Papacy: It's Historic Origin and Primitive Relations With the Eastern Churches (Source (http://archive.org/stream/papacyitshistori00guet/papacyitshistori00guet_djvu.txt))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 27, 2013, 04:12:59 PM
Every Christian, when faced with an attack on the faith he confesses, is obliged to defend it to the extent of his intellectual ability, not waiting for any special authorization, since the Church has no official advocates.

-- Aleksei Stepanovich Khomyakov (d. 1860), On the Western Confessions of Faith (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=cIjjp65FSXYC&pg=PA135&dq=pavel+florensky&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VIkFUdrLK4rW0gHhpYCYAQ&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 28, 2013, 06:05:37 PM
Our ordinary condition, the condition of all mankind, is one of fallenness, of spiritual deception, of perdition. Apprehending—and to the degree that we apprehend, experiencing—that condition, let us cry out from it in prayer, let us cry in spiritual humility, let us cry with wails and sighs, let us cry for clemency! Let us turn away from all spiritual gratifications, let us renounce all lofty states of prayer of which we are unworthy and incapable! It is impossible "to sing the Lord's song in a strange land" (Ps. 136:5), in a heart held captive by passions. Should we hear an invitation to sing, we can know surely that it emanates "from them that have taken us captive" (Ps. 136:3). "By the waters of Babylon" tears alone are possible and necessary (Ps. 136:1).

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/ignaty_jesus.aspx))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 30, 2013, 05:59:17 PM
Cut off from Byzantium, the west proceeded to set up a "Roman" Empire of its own. On Christmas Day in the year 800 the Pope crowned Charles the Great, King of the Franks, as Emperor. Charlemagne sought recognition from the ruler at Byzantium, but without success; for the Byzantines, still adhering to the principle of imperial unity, regarded Charlemagne as an intruder and the Papal coronation as an act of schism within the Empire. The creation of a Holy Roman Empire in the west, instead of drawing Europe closer together, only served to alienate east and west more than before.

-- Met. Kallistos (b. 1934), The Orthodox Church (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/history_timothy_ware_1.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 31, 2013, 03:26:49 PM
On May 25 my wife and I were at Liturgy. Before the Cherubic Hymn a lady passed by where we were standing; she was modestly dressed and led by the hand a boy of about five.  For some reason she attracted our attention.  At the end of the service, before the royal moleben (it was the birthday of the Empress Alexandra), we saw her again as she went to get a candle.

Now that's a servant of God! I thought to myself.  One of her children from his early years and another still in the womb-both are sanctified by the mother's prayers and holy contemplations.  Smart woman!  May the Lord and the Mother of God bless her!

At that moment she approached the icon of the Mother of God "Quick to Hear",  before which we usually stood in the church of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple, and she kneeled down to pray.  By chance I caught sight of her expression, directed at the icon.  And what an expression it was, what faith emanated from it, what love for God, for what is divine, what is holy!...  Oh, if only I could pray like that!  Mother of God, my heart prayed for her, answer her prayers according to her faith!

-- Sergei Nilus (d. 1929), Source (http://www.roca.org/OA/123/123h.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 31, 2013, 04:21:02 PM
"Because the easiest way of practicing unceasing prayer is to pray the Jesus Prayer, a beginner should apply himself to the Jesus Prayer as often as possible. Do you happen to have a moment free? Do not waste it in idleness! Do not waste it by using it for some impracticable and fatuous castle-building, or for some vain and trivial employment! Use it for the practice of the Jesus Prayer."

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Arena
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 01, 2013, 06:32:25 PM
Poverty is not the goal but the beginning point of monastic and ascetical life in early Christianity. Was this a precedent established by St. Antony, a new notion and movement never before contained within Christian thought? Again it is our Lord who establishes the spiritual value of poverty. In the Gospel of St. Matthew (19:21) our Lord commands the rich man who has claimed he has kept all the commandments: "If you will to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor ... and come follow me." It was not St. Antony who established the precedent. Rather it was St. Antony who heard the word of our Lord and put it into action, who "did the word of the Lord." It is Christ, the God-Man who has put forth the ideal of perfection, who has commanded us to be perfect (see also 5:48), who has put forth the ideal of poverty as a starting-point for a certain form of spiritual life. Elsewhere in the Gospel of St. Matthew (13:44) Christ makes a similar point, asserting that one sells everything in exchange for the kingdom of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Source (http://www.romanity.org/htm/flo.01.en.the_ascetic_ideal_and_the_new_testament.01.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 03, 2013, 01:34:22 AM
Because of the character of the principle of sin, perfection in this age is attained to not fully but in part according to the quality of the war carried against the powers of the devil. Good works are not part of a business agreement between God and man whereby God is obligated to reward external and utilitarian acts of charity. Rather good works are the product of the double struggle waged against the devil and for non-utilitarian selfless love for God and the neighbor. Therefore communion of divine life through the human nature of Christ is not enough for salvation. The mystical (sacramental) life is not a magical guarantee of eternal life. Christians must also wage an intense war against Satan. "... if we endure all the assaults of the prince of this world and escape them we shall attain to ( or enjoy) God." (Mag. 1)

-- Fr. John Romanides (d. 2001), The Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch (Source (http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.11.en.the_ecclesiology_of_st._ignatius_of_antioch.01.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 06, 2013, 12:14:23 PM
It is erroneous to think that all Orthodox are in reality not sectarians and that all sectarians are in reality not Orthodox. Not every Orthodox in name is so in spirit, and not every sectarian in name is so in spirit, and, especially at the present time, it is possible to meet "Orthodox" who are in fact sectarians at heart: fanatic, unloving, narrow minded, persistent in human precision, not hungering or thirsting after God’s truth, but gorged with their own presumptuous truth, strictly judging others from the summit of this their imaginary truth dogmatically correct from the outside, but lacking origin in the Spirit. And, conversely, it is possible to meet a sectarian who apparently does not understand the meaning of the Orthodox worship of God in Spirit and in Truth, who doesn’t "recognize" this or that expression of ecclesiastical truth, but who in fact conceals within himself much that is truly divine, who is truly filled with love in Christ, truly a brother to his fellow man.

-- Archbp. John (Shahovskoy) of San Francisco (d. 1989), Sectarianism in Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy in Sectarianism, (Source (http://www.holy-trinity.org/spirituality/john.sectarianism.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 08, 2013, 07:43:12 PM
When you are being plagued, never ask what for and why. You will never find that in the Scripture. Instead, it says: "If somebody strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him." It is really difficult to strike one on the right cheek and should be understood as: if somebody starts to denigrate you or provoke you unjustifiably, that will mean hitting you on your right cheek. Do not grumble but bear this blow patiently, and turn your left cheek, that is, remembering your past faulty deeds. If in this time you are innocent, then you have sinned greatly in the past; with this you will be convinced that you deserve punishment. Self justification is a large sin."

-- St. Ambrose of Optina (d. 1891), On Humility (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/ambrose_e.htm#n15))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 10, 2013, 07:09:05 PM
Even though we distinguish the energy from the nature and the nature from the persons, we do not attribute any synthetic character to nature itself; we do not divide and we do not fragment the nature into persons and energies: the persons and the energies are neither ‘parts’ nor ‘components’ nor ‘passions’ nor ‘accidents’ of nature, but the mode of being of nature. The personal expression of each energy recapitulates ‘impartially’ and ‘wholely’ the entire nature; it is the existence of nature. The how of the energy of will (or the energy of creativity or of love or whatever other energy) recapitulates the what of the natural energy of will; the possibility of nature to will exists and is expressed only through the otherness of the personal will. Painting, music, sculpture are creative energies of the human nature, but they do not exist except as expressions of personal otherness: as music of Mozart, as painting of Van Gogh, as sculpture of Rodin. Nor is there any other manner of expressing and defining essence or nature outside its active ecstasis in terms of personal otherness. The only way we can name nature is in the personally expressed energy of nature; energy ‘signifies’ nature: ‘Essence and energy can both receive the same name (λόγος)’.

-- Christos Yannaras (b. 1935), The Distinction Between Essence and Energies (Source (http://www.reocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/yannaras.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on February 11, 2013, 03:59:23 AM
When you are being plagued, never ask what for and why. You will never find that in the Scripture. Instead, it says: "If somebody strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him." It is really difficult to strike one on the right cheek and should be understood as: if somebody starts to denigrate you or provoke you unjustifiably, that will mean hitting you on your right cheek. Do not grumble but bear this blow patiently, and turn your left cheek, that is, remembering your past faulty deeds. If in this time you are innocent, then you have sinned greatly in the past; with this you will be convinced that you deserve punishment. Self justification is a large sin."

-- St. Ambrose of Optina (d. 1891), On Humility (Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/ambrose_e.htm#n15))


I really need this one. Thank you.



Selam
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 12, 2013, 02:55:14 PM
Holy Scripture is like a very deep well wherein is comprised the infinite wisdom of God. If someone thirsty dives into this well to drink of all its water, he will be drowned within. If, however, he will fetch the water with a bucket and from there will drink with a cup, then there is no fear of being engulfed. What man is so crazed as to wish to plunge into such an abyss of water without knowing how to swim? Holy Scripture, according to the Fathers, is bone and no one will venture with teeth fit for milk to break the strong bones of Holy Scripture - for those teeth will be crushed.

-- Elder Cleopa (d. 1998), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/ec_holy_scripture.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 14, 2013, 06:37:41 AM
We see, therefore, that in Christian consciousness this concept of the Church and the nature of her life are inseparable from the idea of struggle and the presence of this struggle in the living experience of Church life. Given this understanding, it becomes clear that if a pastor, as the continuation of the work of Christ and the Apostles, must work in the Church and for the Church, the very nature of his services, its direction and its character, must define this particular nature of the Church. Inasmuch as this is inseparable from warfare and podvig (spiritual and also external), a pastor must, therefore, base all his activity exclusively on the principle of podvig and warfare.

From this it is clear that pastoral work is not foreign to asceticism; on the contrary, it is intimately connected with it, and any departure from this, any attempt to define himself and his work on the basis of any other principle will lead to the ruin not only of the pastoral work but also of the pastor himself. The special nature of the Church and her life determines the unique nature of pastoral work, which is unlike any other kind of service, and therefore any attempt--whether through misunderstanding or through obstinacy--to make it into conventional social service will only result in the ruin of all church activity and the ruin of the pastor himself. 

-- St. Theodorus Pozdeev (d. 1938), The Ascetic Nature of the Church (Source (http://www.roca.org/OA/92/92c.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 16, 2013, 01:10:58 PM
The elder said: Whether we pray for ourselves or for others, the prayer must be from the heart. The problems of others should become our problems. You have to prepare for prayer. Read a bit of the Gospel or the Gerontiko and then pray. It requires an attempt to take the mind to the divine space. Study is like a gift which God gives us to direct us to greater spirituality. With study the soul is warmed.

-- Elder Paisios the Athonite (d. 1994), Source (http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Orthodox_Elders/Greek/Fr._Paisios/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 17, 2013, 10:21:29 AM
Other people's opinion concerning us is that mirror before which all, almost without exception, pose. A man makes himself such as he wishes others to see him. But the real man, as he is in actual fact, is not known to anyone, including often even himself, while what lives and acts is a kind of fabricated and embellished figure. This striving for deception is so great that, distorting his nature, a man will sacrifice to it even his own self something unique and inimitable, which is what each human person is.

-- Fr. Alexander Elchaninov (d. 1934), Source (http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/fathers/FathersE/e_9508b.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 18, 2013, 09:38:50 PM
A true Christian is made by faith and love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder our Christianity, according to the word of the Saviour Himself. He deigned to say: not the rigteous have I come to call, but sinners to salvation; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents then over ninety righteous ones. Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His feet, He deigned to say to the the Pharisee Simon: to one who has love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love, even a small debt will be demanded. From these judgements a Christian should bring himself to hope and joy, and not in the least accept an inflicted despair. Here one needs the shield of faith.

-- St. Herman of Alaska (d. 1837), Source (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stherman.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 18, 2013, 09:46:50 PM
O marvellous! A sun is made, and no counsel precedes; a heaven likewise; and to these no single thing in creation is equal. So great a wonder is formed by a word alone, and the saying indicates neither when, nor how, nor any such detail. So too in all particular cases, the æther, the stars, the intermediate air, the sea, the earth, the animals, the plants—all are brought into being with a word, while only to the making of man does the Maker of all draw near with circumspection, so as to prepare beforehand for him material for his formation, and to liken his form to an archetypal beauty, and, setting before him a mark for which he is to come into being, to make for him a nature appropriate and allied to the operations, and suitable for the object in hand.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. c. 395), On the Making of Man, 3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2914.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Romaios on February 18, 2013, 10:04:28 PM
-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. c. 395), On the Making of Man, 3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2914.htm)

St. Gregory is modern when he waxes astronomical?  ;D
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 18, 2013, 10:05:49 PM
-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. c. 395), On the Making of Man, 3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2914.htm)

St. Gregory is modern when he waxes astronomical?  ;D

 :D  Oops!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 19, 2013, 04:05:36 PM
Of course, the other path--the spiritual path--is not an easy one. There are many sorrows and at times it seems (and it is definitely so) that the whole world, including your closest ones, is armed against you. But then, in accordance with the degree of growing sorrows, one feels an increase of Gracefilled power, an increase in the help which strengthens and gives comfort in sorrow, consolation and even joy. The sorrows of the world, on the other hand, are gloomy and bring us no benefit.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), Source (http://saintjohnwonderworker.org/letters.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 24, 2013, 08:51:59 AM
Father Herman gave them all one common question: "What do you, gentlemen, love above all, and what would each of you wish for his happiness?" Diverse answers followed. One desired wealth, one glory, one a beautiful wife, one a fine ship which he should command, and so on in this fashion. "Is it not true," said Father Herman at this, "that all your various desires can be reduced to one - that each of you desires that which, in his understanding, he considers best and most worthy of love?" "Yes, it is so," they all replied. "Well, then, tell me," he continued, "can there be anything better, higher above everything, more surpassing everything and in general more worthy of love, than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who created us, perfectly adorned us, gave life to all, supports all, nourishes and loves all, who Himself is love and more excellent than all men? Should not a person then love God high above all and desire and seek Him more than all else?" All began to say: "Well, yes! That is understood! That speaks for itself!"

-- St. Herman of Alaska (d. 1837), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/herman.htm#n2)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on April 02, 2013, 08:06:07 AM
Let us not, who would be Christians, expect anything else from it than to be crucified. For to be a Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example–and warning–to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. If we would rise with Christ, we must first be humbled with Him–even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world. And we must be crucified outwardly, in the eyes of the world; for Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, and the world cannot bear it, even in a single representation of it, even for a single moment. The world can only accept Antichrist, now or at anytime. No wonder, then, that it is so hard to be Christian–it is not hard, it is impossible. No one can knowingly accept a way of life which, the more truly it is lived, leads more surely to one’s own destruction. And that is way we constantly rebel, try to make life easier, try to be half-Christian, try to make the best of both worlds. We must ultimately choose–our felicity lies in one world or the other, not in both. God give is the strength to pursue the path of crucifixion; there is not other way to be Christian.

-- Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina
http://deathtotheworld.com/articles/blessed-hieromonk-seraphim-rose/
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 23, 2013, 12:32:51 AM
In order for a person to be immortal he must, at the very core of his sense of self, feel himself immortal. For him to be eternal, in his center of consciousness of self he must know himself eternal. Without doing this, for him both immortality and eternity alike will be conditions imposed from the outside.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), The Inward Mission of Our Church (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/spirituality/InwardMission.asp)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2013, 03:18:50 AM
It is madness for a Christian to be envious. In Christ we have all received infinitely great blessings; are all made godly; are all made inheritors of the unspeakable and eternal blessings of the kingdom of heaven. And we are also promised a sufficiency of earthly blessings, upon the condition of seeking the righteousness of God and the Kingdom of God. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." We are commended to be contented with what we have, and not to be covetous.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), My Life in Christ (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kronstadt/christlife.ii.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2013, 09:43:48 PM
If you pray without giving alms, your prayer is dead. Your hands should always be open. Give alms to orphans and widows. Alms and prayers go together.

-- George (Karslidis) the New Confessor of Drama (d. 1959), Source (http://orthodoxwiki.org/George_(Karslidis)_of_Drama)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: ialmisry on June 25, 2013, 12:15:22 AM
(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/1013413_10152956716165297_1319119605_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: c.warren165 on June 28, 2013, 06:13:12 PM
where is the "like" button? 

 ;)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2013, 09:28:36 AM
Prayers before confession should never be omitted. Confession transcends the level of a human dialogue and also that of a purely rational acknowledgment of guilt. The man can say "guilty" and yet feel no repentance. All sacraments are acts of transformation. And the first transformation in the sacrament of penance is precisely that of a human confession of transgressions into Christian repentance, i.e., into a purifying crisis of the human soul, which turns itself to God and from Him receives the vision of both sin and the overwhelming love of God "covering" that sin. But this transformation requires Divine help, and prayers before confession invoke and call for this help. They are, therefore, an integral part of the sacrament.

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), Some Reflections on Confession (http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/reflectionsonconfession.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 27, 2013, 05:26:25 PM
The late Francis Dvornik has clearly described the contrast which gradually developed between East and West in interpreting the meaning of regional primacies. In the East, the power of the major sees or patriarchates was interpreted pragmatically, as an expression of the prestige of cities around which local churches gathered themselves quite naturally and whose leadership, at first taken for granted, was later formally defined in conciliar legislation. Thus, Constantinople owed its rise to the fact of being the new imperial capital. In the West, meanwhile, the early collapse of imperial administration and the fact that Rome was the only "apostolic" see led to the development of papal primacy, which claimed a divinely-established origin and frequently served as a healthy balance to secularistic and caesaropapistic trends in Byzantium. It is interesting that the collapse of imperial Byzantium in the late medieval period gave rise to a similar "primacy phenomenon" in the East.

-- Fr. John Meyendorff (d. 1992), The Byzantine Legacy in the Orthodox Church, pp. 222-223 (http://books.google.com/books?id=9HQ3YU9SAG8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+meyendorff&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mTr0UcCSBfTF4AOQhID4Dg&ved=0CEIQuwUwAw#v=onepage&q=john%20meyendorff&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 29, 2013, 11:43:01 PM
Prayer is the offering of the mind and heart to God. However, while we are living in the body upon earth, our prayer naturally is expressed in various outward forms: bows and prostrations, the sign of the Cross, the lifting up of the hands, the use of various objects in the Divine services, and all the outward actions of the public Divine services of Orthodox Christians...

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself did not avoid the outward manifestations of prayer and sacrifice actions: He bowed the knee, fell on His face and prayed; He raised His hands and blessed; He breathed and said to His disciples: “Peace be to you;” He used outward actions when healing; He visited the Temple in Jerusalem and called it “the house of My Father:” “My house shall be called the house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13). The Apostle also did all these things. Spiritual worship must be accompanied by bodily worship, as a result of the close bond and mutual influence of soul and body. “What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

-- Fr. Michael Pomazansky (d. 1988), Orthodox Dogmatic Theology (http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0824/_P2B.HTM)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 06, 2013, 06:59:08 AM
It is true that Our Lord Jesus Christ, seeing the slipping away of human nature, receives with open arms the returned sinner. At the same time, however, He says: “Watch and pray, for ye know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh.” He thereby motivates us to be always prepared and to have in our vessels the oil of repentance and every other virtue, so as not to be excluded from the bridal chamber like the foolish virgins. True, there exists repentance, and when a young man is pure and avoids bad company and drunkenness, but deviates slightly, then repentance quickly wipes out the young sins. When, however, through bad habits the body becomes a slave to sin, it becomes very difficult, and out of many, only a few will be able to be liberated from the [enemy’s] sophisticated snares.

-- Elder Daniel Katounakiotis (d. 1929), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/09/counsel-for-youth-from-elder-daniel.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2013, 08:28:31 PM
In general it is very important that we avoid at all cost being scrupulously anxious over our sins to the point where we doubt God’s mercy or think that His forgiveness depends upon our human worthiness or our frail memory. God judges our intentions and sincerity in repentance and not our capacity at memorization. This, of course, does not mean that a “sincere intention” takes the place of an actual confession of sins. But it certainly does mean that the power of God’s forgiveness is not bound to our recollection of actual sins, or even our ability to avoid them. There are never so many or so great sins that God is not able to forgive them. There is never a confession so perfect that it merits God’s mercy because of its perfection. There is never a Holy Communion, which is not both given and received by a sinner. Any other thoughts on any of these points is not only bad theology, but blasphemy; and could even lead to
mental and spiritual disorder.

-- Fr. Thomas Hopko (b. 1939), If We Confess Our Sins (pdf (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stgeorgegreenville.org%2FOurFaith%2FArticles%2FConfession%2520Booklet-If%2520We%2520Confess%2520Our%2520Sins.pdf&ei=BS8IUsycL4WI9QSv64CQBw&usg=AFQjCNFsBAB5L96IydFGVsaMz6ufDagcsg&sig2=AgtdCf3mLevNTwV80nt7Mw))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2013, 06:23:04 AM
At every moment of his existence the Christian ought to seek a perfection like to that of his heavenly Father and to lay claim to the divine Kingdom; all his life is subject to the words "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." The fact that our nature is sinful and that the ideal is in every way unattainable on earth must not paralyse our striving after perfection or quench our longing for the kingdom and righteousness of God. Man has to try to apply divine truth without worrying about how it will be realized in the fulness of life.

-- Nikolai Berdyaev (d. 1948), The Worth of Christianity and the Unworthiness of Christians, 4 (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Sui-Generis/Berdyaev/essays/worth.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2013, 09:08:35 PM
Unfortunately, brethren, we do not like to acknowledge our transgressions. It would seem natural and easy for a person to know his own self, his own soul and his shortcomings. This, however, is actually not so. We are ready to attend to anything but a deeper understanding of ourselves, an investigation of our sins. We examine various things with curiosity, we attentively study friends and strangers, but when faced with solitude without extraneous preoccupation even for a short while, we immediately become bored and attempt to seek amusement. For example, do we spend much time examining our own conscience even before confession? Perhaps a few minutes, and once a year at that. Casting a cursory glance at our soul, correcting some of its more glaring faults, we immediately cover it over with the veil of oblivion until next year, until our next uncomfortable exercise in boredom.

-- St. Tikhon of Moscow (d. 1925), Homily on Cheesefare Sunday (http://www.holy-trinity.org/spirituality/sttikhon-cheesefare.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 17, 2013, 12:36:28 AM
This plan, this entrance of God’s into the world, into Creation – this penetration of the Uncreated into the created state for the purpose of uniting the two – is performed only by the one Person of the Holy Trinity; this is an “entry” in the form of a union; an undertaking to act as a bridge. However, given that the Persons of the Holy Trinity are never separated between themselves, nor are the other two Persons ever absent from this action of the one person,  it means that every Person of the Holy Trinity participates in this event of Christology.

-- Met. John Zizioulas (b. 1931), Lessons on Christian Dogmatics (http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/E6.htm#3)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 17, 2013, 12:25:21 PM
It is also possible to "live" the Word of Scripture. In the perspective of the Church Fathers, this means to "hear" the Word in the true sense of that expression. In biblical languages, "to hear" implies "to obey". To hear the Word in this sense is to open oneself to it, on the level of the heart as well as the mind. It is to hear the voice of God in Scripture and to accept its challenge in the sphere of human relationships. Finally, this degree of hearing leads to an actual praying of the Word.

-- Fr. John Breck (b. 1939), Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=6r7lQ6np94YC&lpg=PA215&ots=kqVrWWsGJq&dq=Macarius%20of%20Corinth&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 18, 2013, 10:10:35 PM
Do not think that we are talking about something very lofty which is an unattainable state for living people. No. It truly is a lofty state, but attainable by all. Does not everyone at some time feel warmth in their hearts in prayer, when the soul separates itself from all things and deeply enters into itself and prays hotly to God? This movement of the prayerful spirit, although it was once only temporary, must be made into a constant state, and it will reach the limits of prayer.

The means to this, as I have said, is the work of prayer. When one rubs two sticks together, they warm up and catch fire. Similarly, when the soul is rubbed in the work of prayer, it eventually leads to prayerful fire. The work of prayer consists of a proper completion of the two types of prayer of which I have already spoken, namely - pious, attentive, and feeling completion of our usual prayers, and then training of the soul to frequently ascend to God through divine contemplation, turning of all things to the glory of God, and frequent crying to God from the heart.

-- St. Theophan the Reculse (d. 1894), On Prayer, Homily 3 (http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/230-theophan-prayer3)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2013, 06:39:14 PM
This consideration is developed by St. Maximus, for whom creatures are defined in the first place as beings who are limited, which is as much as to say (according to St. Maximus) that their end is outside of themselves, that there is something towards which they tend, that they are in a perpetual state of becoming. Wherever there is diversity and multiplicity there is becoming; everything in the created world is in a state of becoming, the intelligible as well as the sensible, and this limitation and this movement of becoming are the domain of the forms of space and time. God alone remains in absolute repose; and His perfect unmovability places him outside space and time. If one attributes movement to Him in His relationship to created being, it is meant that He produces in creatures the love which makes them tend towards Himself, that He draws them to Him, 'desiring to be desired and loving to be loved'.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, pp. 97-98 (PDF (http://jbburnett.com/resources/lossky/lossky-createdbeing.pdf))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 20, 2013, 11:26:36 AM
Finally, [for a true and correct confession]  it is necessary to set forth a firm intention to live prudently in the future. If you want to be in the kingdom of heaven, if you want God to forgive your sins—then stop sinning! Only on this condition does the Church absolve the penitent of his sins. And he who does not think at all about correcting himself confesses in vain, labors in vain, for even if the priest says, “I forgive and absolve,” the Holy Spirit does not forgive and absolve him!

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), What is Necessary For a Saving Confession? (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/confession.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 22, 2013, 10:49:14 PM
The effects of man's fall were both physical and moral. On the physical level human beings became subject to pain and disease, to the debility and bodily disintegration of old age. Woman's joy in bringing forth new life became mixed with the pangs of childbirth. None of this was part of God's initial plan for humanity. In consequence of the fall, men and women also became subject to the seperation of the soul and body in physical death... On the moral level, in consequence of the fall human beings became subject to frustration, boredom, depression. Work, which was intended to be a source of joy for man and a means of communion with God, had now to be performed for the most part unwillingly, 'in the sweat of the face'. Nor was this all. Man became subject to inward alienation: weakened in will, divided against himself, he became his own enemy and executioner.

-- Met. Kallistos Ware (b. 1934), The Orthodox Way (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1979), p. 60
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 24, 2013, 02:42:38 AM
[Q.] Is there any sure repository of holy tradition?

[A.] All true believers united by the holy tradition of the faith, collectively and successively, by the will of God, compose the Church; and she is the sure repository of holy tradition, or, as St. Paul expresses it, 'The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.' (1 Tim. 3:15).

-- St. Met. Philaret (d. 1867), The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, 18 (http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm#ii.xv.iii.i.p41)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 26, 2013, 01:39:38 AM
In the Saviour's words there is a certain elixir of immortality, which drips drop by drop into the soul of the man who reads His words and brings his soul from death to life, from impermanence to permanence. The Saviour indicated this when He said: "Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever listens to my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life ...and has passed over from death to life" (John 5:24). Thus the Saviour makes the crucial assertion: "Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever keeps my words will never see death" (John 8:51). Every word of Christ is full of God. Thus, when it enters a man's soul it cleanses it from every defilement. From each of His words comes a power that cleanses us from sin. Hence at the Mystical Supper the Saviour told His disciples, who used to listen to His word without ceasing: "You have already been cleansed by the word which I have spoken to you" (John 15:3).

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), How To Read The Bible And Why (http://www.sv-luka.org/library/howtoread_jp.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 01, 2013, 09:25:06 AM
I sincerely wish for you too the goal of the Theologian, finding you capable to a certain degree of complying with this purpose, and your reward will be great on earth and in heaven. Take the yoke of this goal upon yourself, as one obliged to render an answer at some point to the Giver for the talent given you. Take upon yourself the labor needed to attain this goal. Putting aside all vexation, apply yourself continually and humbly to the prayer of repentance that you are now occupied with, drawing inspiration from it for your writing. Then subject your writings to your own strictest criticism, and in the light of your conscience, enlightened by the prayer of repentance, mercilessly throw out of your works everything that belongs to the spirit of the world, that is foreign to the spirit of Christ.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), The Collected Letters of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (PDF (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theorthodoxword.com%2Fback%2520articles%2FOW%2520PDFs%2F222%2FLetters%2520of%2520St%2520Ignatius.pdf&ei=1V9yT9fFLZGL0QG2v_TRAQ&usg=AFQjCNFE96XEKDZZNS5CfbmmIWLTGbtRxg&sig2=prxKjlGiMhaxZJLRP5n-Wg))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 06, 2013, 12:30:41 AM
Man and woman move toward one another by "mutually getting to know each other," by revealing themselves to each other for a shared ascent; nothing comes to ennoble or legitimize, still less to "pardon" this meaning that royally imposes itself before, or even independent of, procreation. It is from this overflowing fullness that the child can come as fruit, but it is not procreation that determines and establishes the value of marriage. St. John Chrysostom says: "When there is no child, will they not be two? Most certainly, for their coming together has this effect, it diffuses and commingles the bodies of both. And as one who has cast ointment into oil, who has made the whole one, so in truth is also here." (Homily 12 on Colossians) "Two souls so united have nothing to fear. With harmony, peace and mutual love, man and woman own all possessions. They can live in peace behind the impregnable wall that protects them, which is love according to God. By love's grace, they are harder than diamond and stronger than iron, they sail in abundance, steer a course toward eternal glory and attract more and more grace from God." (Homily 38 on Genesis)

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), The Sacrament of Love: The Nuptial Mystery in the Light of the Orthodox Tradition, p. 45 (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=8OceakiKqmwC&lpg=PP1&dq=paul%20evdokimov&pg=PA45#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 16, 2013, 06:57:05 AM
God's grace always assists a struggler, but this does not mean that a struggler is always in the position of a victor; sometimes the beasts did not touch the righteous ones, but by no means did they not touch them always. What is important is not victory or the position of a victor, but rather the labor of striving towards God and devotion to Him. Great is the Apostle Paul, but he asks the Lord many times ('thrice" means not once, but many times) that the messenger of Satan depart from him, for he "buffets" him, making some sort of attacks that are difficult and averse to his spirit. But the Lord leaves him in such a position: "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:7-9) - enough assistance of grace and gifts are provided for him. The Lord wants from the apostle the striving which cleanses his soul.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), Source (http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/john/1/humility.shtml)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 17, 2013, 01:24:18 PM
When you embrace a dear one you do not stop to meditate how and why you love—you just love wholeheartedly. It is the same when spiritually we grasp Jesus the Christ to our heart. If we pay heed to the depth and quality of our love, it means that we are preoccupied with our own reactions, rather than giving ourselves unreservedly to Jesus--holding nothing back.  Think the prayer as you breathe in and out; calm both mind and body, using as rhythm the heartbeat. Do not search for words, but go on repeating the Prayer, or Jesus' name alone, in love and adoration. That is ALL! Strange—in this little there is more than all!

-- Mother Alexandra (d. 1991), Introduction to the Jesus Prayer (http://www.tkinter.smig.net/PrincessIleana/JesusPrayer/index.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 18, 2013, 01:30:27 PM
Sometimes prayer consumes the heart like fire; and when the heart succumbs to the burning flame, unexpectedly there falls the dew of Divine consolation. When we become so conscious of our frailty that our spirit despairs, somehow, in an unknown fashion, a wondrous light appears, proclaiming life incorruptible. When the darkness within us is so appalling that we are paralyzed with dread, the same light will turn black night into bright day... When we are so overwhelmed by the feeling of our own nothingness, the uncreated light transfigures and brings us like sons into the Father's house.

-- Elder Sophrony (d. 1993), Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=6wcEQdkvt3EC&pg=PA115&dq=Sophrony&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Xd-xUqKVLYqwsQS6m4CQBg&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 20, 2014, 05:52:47 PM
To bear your cross means not only to accept patiently all difficulties that befall you but also to strive for spiritual perfection, as the Scriptures teach us. For example, we must do good to others: work for the prosperity of your parish, visit the sick and imprisoned, help the needy, collect money for the poor, and assist in spreading spiritual enlightenment. In other words, we must seek out tasks which will lead to the salvation and welfare of those around us and then, with perseverance and meekness, strive in that direction by our actions, words, prayer, and advice.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven (http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/kingdomofheaven.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 20, 2014, 06:29:01 PM
In the light of Orthodox spirituality, Christian morality no longer appears as the simple fulfillment of duties imposed by God's commands, duties that in this life lead nowhere, but only assure him of salvation as an exterior reward in the next life... The Christian grows in God, even in the course of this life because response to these commands brings about a step by step transformation in his being; he is filled more and more with the working presence of God.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide for the Faithful and a Definitive Manual for the Scholar
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 20, 2014, 06:34:41 PM
Our perfection, or our union with God, is therefore not only a goal, but also an unending process. On this road two great steps can be distinguished: first, the moving ahead toward perfection through purification from the passions and the acquiring of the virtues and secondly a life progressively moving ahead in the union with God. At this point, man's work is replaced by God's.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide for the Faithful and a Definitive Manual for the Scholar
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Syriac.Aramaic on January 21, 2014, 04:01:06 PM
"The highest form of prayer, is to stay in silence before god." - St. isaac the syrian

This one is my favorite.
"If you notice that your mind constantly wanders off to various chores that you have to do, you must realize that your not doing well spiritually, and this should alarm you because you have distanced yourself from god." - Elder Paisios
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: stavros_388 on January 21, 2014, 04:15:45 PM
"If you notice that your mind constantly wanders off to various chores that you have to do, you must realize that your not doing well spiritually, and this should alarm you because you have distanced yourself from god." - Elder Paisios

Oh, good to know. My mind constantly wanders off, but rarely to "chores". l must be doing alright, then!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2014, 12:58:25 AM
Those who seek after Christ find Him in accordance with the true words of the Gospel, “Knock, and it shall be opened, seek, and ye shall find.” “In My Father’s house there are many mansions.” Note that here the Lord is speaking not just of Heavenly mansions, but about earthly abodes as well. He is speaking not just of interior ones, but of external ones as well.

The Lord places each soul into the position, surrounded by such circumstances, that best facilitates its success. That is the external abode. It is the interior abode, prepared by the Lord for those who love and seek after Him, that fills the soul with peace and joy.

-- St. Barsanuphius of Optina (d. 1913), (Source (http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/fathers/FathersE/e_0604_Barsanuphius.htm))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 13, 2014, 02:08:08 AM
Mistaken and untrue is that theological minimalism, which wants to choose and set apart the "most important, most certain, and most binding" of all the experiences and teachings of the Church. This is a false path, and a false statement of the question. Of course, not everything in the historical institutions of the Church is equally important and venerable; not everything in the empirical actions of the Church has even been sanctioned. There is much that is only historical. However, we have no outward criterion to discriminate between the two. The methods of outward historical criticism are inadequate and insufficient. Only from within the Church can we discern the sacred from the historical. From within we see what is catholic and belongs to all time, and what is only "theological opinion," or even a simple casual historical accident.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Volume One in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky: Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View, p. 50
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 21, 2014, 02:47:53 AM
Repentance signifies regret, change of mind. The distinguishing marks of repentance are contrition, tears, aversion towards sin, and love of the good.

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina (d. 1920), Source (http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stnectarios.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2014, 08:47:05 AM
Where is the heart? Where sadness, joy, anger, and other emotions are felt, here is the heart. Stand there with attention. The physical heart is a piece of muscular flesh, but it is not the flesh that feels, but the soul; the carnal heart serves as an instrument for these feelings, just as the brain serves as an instrument for the mind. Stand in the heart, with the faith that God is also there, but how He is there do not speculate. Pray and entreat that in due time love for God may stir within you by His grace.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, p. 191
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 24, 2014, 11:31:25 PM
Because this mind of ours is enclosed within the "palace" of the body, as if in a dark prison, God has chosen to create the five senses of the body to serve as so many openings to the world around us. I am talking about the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, and the common sense of touch, through which the mind can generally receive unto itself primarily spiritual nurture and pleasure. And first of all the mind can come to sense and to understand this visible creation around us, as well as the Holy Scriptures. Second, through this sense perception the mind is guided through rational thought to acquire wisdom, goodness, power, grace, truth, sweetness, and all other activities and perfections of the Creator that can be discerned in the creation and in the Bible. Third, the mind can move with the wings of thought to go beyond these activities and perfections to the knowledge and vision of God himself, the Creator of the world, the giver of Sacred Scripture and the possessor of such perfections. And as for creation the wise Solomon said: "From the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator." (Wis. 13:5) St. Paul also spoke about this: "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made" (Rom. 1:20).

-- St. Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain (d. 1809), A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel (http://books.google.com/books?id=PosT287bj-0C&lpg=PP1&dq=saint%20nicodemus%20of%20the%20holy%20mountain&pg=PA70#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2014, 09:41:27 PM
But we only act true to our human nature when we ardently desire good, and persistently, valiantly strive to bring it about. This is no evil practice. It is nonsense to say that all desire is sinful, that we should never ask God to fulfil our wishes, that we should feebly abandon ourselves to what comes along. Surely, to act in this manner would be contrary to reason, to human nature, and to Holy Writ. Desire is not a sin; only the desire of evil is wrong. How could man belong to the kingdom of the Word, be a reasonable creature and free--if all desires were wrong? And if you should now strive to wish for nothing, neither for a happy marriage nor for the purity of the virginal life, what kind of a life would yours be? You are not a log or a stone; nor were you ever intended to be. You were made woman, free to desire, choose, and act.

-- St. Macarius of Optina (d. 1860), Source (http://stvladimirs.ca/wordpress/letters-of-elder-macarius-of-optina/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 01, 2014, 02:07:15 AM
One distressed intellectual wrote to me: "I’m having a very difficult time. Outwardly everything is fine--business is going well, there’s harmony in my family, and I have a good wife. But the trouble is that I have no one to whom I can bare my soul. My wife doesn’t understand what I’m depressed over, and the children are still small. What can I do? How can I be delivered from melancholy and sorrow?" I advised him to read the Psalter. "In the 93rd Psalm is the following: 'According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart, Thy consolations brought gladness unto my soul' (Ps. 93:19). Take this verse and start reading the Psalter. I think God will comfort you," I wrote to him. Some time passed. I received a letter: "I heeded you and began to read the Psalter, but I don’t understand anything at all in it." I wrote to him: "The great Elder Ambrose replied to such a statement, 'You don’t understand, but then again, the demons understand perfectly and run away.' Read for now, without understanding, and at some point you’ll begin to understand." I don’t know what will happen next. And to you I repeat--read the Psalter daily, even a little, and the Lord in His mercy will not abandon you, and will always be your Helper and Comforter.

-- St. Barsanuphius of Optina (d. 1913), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderbars_talks1.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 09, 2014, 02:24:44 AM
A very important principle about the spiritual life [is] that it must grow in the soil of humility. Christian prayer will reach profound depths: there is no end to the depths that Christian prayer can go into because it falls into the endless heart of God. On the other hand, Christian prayer is the search for the God who came down to us in humility, the God who accepted suffering, the God who was crucified. Not a God of the Platonists, but our Lord Jesus Christ, who told us that if we want to find the face of God we have to follow in his footsteps. And one of the things that most powerfully characterized our Lord, while he was on earth, and still as Lord of heaven and earth, was his immense humility. People often think that God is incomprehensible because of his spiritual majesty. Even more so our God in Christ is almost incomprehensible because of his depth of humility.

-- Fr. John Anthony McGuckin (b. 1952), Turning To The Fathers
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 09, 2014, 04:21:38 PM
The discipline involved in the spiritual life at first is hard. It's like being weaned away from massive amounts of sugar in one's coffee. And you say, 'I take five sugars in my coffee, I could never possibly drink coffee without five spoons of sugar in it.' And it's true, if somebody gave it to you without the sugar that you're dependent on, it would taste foul. But slowly bring down your dependency on sugar, and after a while it tastes just as good as it did, in fact, you know, even better. You get used to the discipline, and it's exactly the same with the discipline of prayer.

I know many people who would rather run around the park, they'd rather do a two mile run, than actually go to the appointed time for their prayer. They'd do anything rather than pray, it just seems a burden. But my advice is: just acknowledge that's the case, and don't let it become a burden. Even if you can't pray, just go in front of the icon, wait till dusk comes, light the icon lamp. If you can't pray, just say: 'This is a very pretty icon lamp, and it's a very pretty icon, and may God be blessed and praised by the lighting of the lamps.' And next night you find you won't be so antagonistic to prayer, it actually becomes something that you might look forward to, when dusk comes you light the lamps, cheerful light of God the Father's glory, that beautiful hymn of Vespers...

If we find we can't pray mentally, open the Psalms, just read as long as you need. When your heart starts to lift--it's one of the great sayings of the desert Fathers again: 'you read the Psalms and your heart starts to lift'--close the book. If your mind starts wandering, open the book again. It's very important, St. Antony the great hermit said, that we have to give and take, that we have to be aware that our body has to be trained, but it has to be helped and comforted as well.

It's a difficult matter, following the path of the spirit, learning how to pray. But it brings immense joy and immense sense as we go into the life of prayer of self-righting. I mean in the sense of, when you drop a thing into the water you can see it wobble around, but if it floats it will eventually find its own level, it'll find its right way up, a self-righting mechanism. Prayer will give us a ballast in our daily life, it will give us the stability: intellectual, psychological, affective, spiritual...

-- Fr. John Anthony McGuckin (b. 1952), Turning To The Fathers
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 10, 2014, 03:34:17 PM
Before we can make a self-study, we must make a study of the Gospel and the New Testament as whole. How can we judge ourselves according to strictly Christians standards when we do not really know, or take seriously, what these standards are? In preparing for confession, therefore, we should really spend more time looking at Christ than looking at ourselves. For it is certainly true to say that we can see ourselves more clearly by looking intensely at Christ for a short time than by hours of personal introspection.

Christians should know the Gospel and the teaching of the New Testament. In preparation for confession the Fathers of the Church give us some particular scriptural passages, which can help us to see what we are in respect to what we should be.

a. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7; Luke 6)
b. The Last Chapters of St. Paul’s Letters to Romans (Romans 12, 13, 14)
c. The 13th Chapter of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13)
d. The First Letter of St. John (1 John)

Of course these sections do not exhaust the totality of Christian life, but they are invaluable in self-examination. If we read them carefully, with attention and in application to our own attitudes and actions we will have more than sufficient opportunity to judge ourselves by the standards on which Christians are to be judged. Altogether they do not add up to more than 13 pages in a normal sized Bible.

-- Fr. John Vesic, If We Confess Our Sins: An Orthodox Explanation of the Mystery of Confession (pdf (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stgeorgegreenville.org%2FOurFaith%2FArticles%2FConfession%2520Booklet-If%2520We%2520Confess%2520Our%2520Sins.pdf&ei=O35uU_TrF_HisATY6YDwDw&usg=AFQjCNFsBAB5L96IydFGVsaMz6ufDagcsg))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 13, 2014, 06:38:24 PM
Christ, according to Saint Maximus the Confessor, was born once in the flesh, but He is always born spiritually in those who are united with Him. The birth of Christ within us, which is experienced as our regeneration, takes place through the sacramental life of the Church, especially through Holy Communion, when we commune with the prerequisites of prayer, repentance and the hesychastic life, which is called the neptic tradition of the Church. This is why Saint John Chrysostom speaks of the "eternal Christmas", the "eternal Pentecost".

When one reads the works of Saint Symeon the New Theologian, they understand what it is for Christ to be born within us. A person must feel within themselves Christ "stirring in the womb", like a pregnant woman feels the stirrings of an embryo within her. Our union with Christ does not take place in an abstract way, but existentially and spiritually, and it is experienced psychosomatically. One feels within themselves repentance, love for God and man, the sense of eternal life, the transformation of the passions, unceasing prayer and finally, if God allows, man can see God in His uncreated Light. The birth of God should cause our personal spiritual regeneration. If we do not experience this, it is as if Christ was not born for us. And it is a terrible thing to celebrate the Nativity of Christ, without feeling our own regeneration. It is as if we are celebrating the birth of an infant that is absent.

-- Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (b. 1945), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/12/christmas-christology-interview-with.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 18, 2014, 12:35:03 AM
We have to start where people are, even if our goal is always going to be to bring them to the next step, to invite people to rethink things. So before hoping that people might accept some theological concepts, perhaps just get them to begin to consider what it means to say that human beings are made in the image of God. Before people accept the tri-personal Godhead, maybe get them to consider the possibility that there is a God. And before they accept the Christ of the Ecumenical Councils, why not preach Christ crucified, and what that might mean to somebody in their life, as they consider their life, their death, their suffering.

-- Peter Bouteneff, Sweeter Than Honey: A Ready Defense
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 22, 2014, 10:08:16 PM
The complete and correct prayer is one in which the words of the prayer are accepted by both thought and emotion; attentiveness is therefore needful. Do not let your thoughts wander; imprison them again and again, and always begin anew from the point where you left off praying. You may read from the Psalter, in the same -way, especially if you do not have a prayer book. Thus you learn patience and watchfulness.

A person standing at an open window hears the sounds from outside; it is impossible not to do so. But he can give the voices his attention or not, as he himself wishes. The praying person is continually beset by a stream of inappropriate thoughts, feelings and mental impressions. To stop this tiresome stream is as impracticable as to stop the air from circulating in an open room. But one can notice them or not. This, say the saints, one learns only through practice.

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics, Source (http://thewayoftheascetics.blogspot.com/2007/11/chapter-seventeen-on-prayer.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2014, 01:01:04 AM
Do not let pass any opportunity for praying for any man, either at his request or at the request of his relatives, friends, of those who esteem him, or of his acquaintances. The Lord looks favourably upon the prayer of our love, and upon our boldness before him. Besides this, prayer for others is very beneficial to the man himself who prays for others; it purifies the heart, strengthens faith and hope in God, and enkindles our love for God and our neighbour. When praying, say thus: "Lord, it is possible for Thee to do this or that to this servant of Thine; do this for him, for Thy name is the Merciful Lover of Men and the Almighty."

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), My Life in Christ (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kronstadt/christlife.ii.html))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 12, 2014, 01:46:44 AM
Therefore, the order by which the Church upholds the unwritten is as follows: Whatever is of Apostolic origin and is practiced by the Fathers becomes valid as tradition, and has the power of law in the Church of Christ... It must be preserved accordingly, because its importance and benefit springs from the relationship that exists between it and Holy Scripture. It is true that both have remained within a reciprocal unity and intimate relationship—a relationship based upon the fact that both comprise the holy Revelation of God, and are the fount and source of Revelation for us. Hence, it is not possible for an inner contradiction to exist between the two, or for us to exclude one from the other. Holy Scripture possesses its unique witness of scriptural canon, as well as its dogmatic character (its divine inspiration), only in and with Holy Tradition; while Holy Tradition is able to prove the authenticity of its truth only together with Holy Scripture.

-- Elder Cleopa (d. 1998), Source (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/38631.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 14, 2014, 07:03:15 PM
St. Basil the Great remarks, “Every theological statement falls short of the understanding of the speaker. Our understanding is weak, and our tongue is even more defective.” So that’s two levels there. First, we do not even understand the things about which theology is concerned. But secondly, even that which we do understand, we cannot adequately express in words. According to Basil and the other Cappadocians, once theology forgets the inevitable limits of human understanding; once it replaces the ineffable Word of God with our limited human logic, it ceases to be theologia and sinks to the level of technologia or technology, which was a pejorative term in the Cappadocians. So we must try to be theologians, not technologians.

And we might recall Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:2, we see through a glass doctored. Theology has to be expressed, using Paul’s words, in a riddling and enigmatic way. And this means that in theology we are often stretching human language beyond its proper limits. Our language is adapted to speaking about the things of this world, but in theology we are reaching out into the age to come. And to do that, we have to speak in a riddling, enigmatic way. Indeed often in theology, we have to seem to be contradicting ourselves. There’s a place in theology for antinome or affirming two statements which seemingly contradict one another. Yet on a level higher than our human logic, there may be a reconciliation. St. Gregory Palamas says that the mark of the true theologian is to say sometimes one thing and sometimes another when both are true.

-- Met. Kallistos Ware (b. 1934), Source (http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/cambridge/what_is_theology)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 18, 2014, 03:03:53 AM
MISPOST
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 20, 2014, 09:32:46 PM
Apostolic succession, the apostolic heritage, is theanthropic from first to last. What is it that the holy apostles are transmitting to their successors as their heritage? The Lord Christ, the God-man Himself, with all the imperishable riches of His wondrous theanthropic Personality, Christ—the Head of the Church, her sole Head. If it does not transmit that, apostolic succession ceases to be apostolic, and the apostolic Tradition is lost, for there is no longer an apostolic hierarchy and an apostolic Church.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/church/AttributesofChurch.asp)

Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Pravoslavac on December 27, 2014, 02:36:22 PM
"Ecumenism is supreme heresy."

Saint Justin Popovich
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 27, 2014, 08:42:16 PM
My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
Awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
Into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.
Amen.

-- St. Philaret of Moscow (d. 1867), Source (http://www.orthodox.net/trebnic/of-philaret-of-moscow.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: biro on December 28, 2014, 08:06:24 PM
My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
Awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
Into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.
Amen.

-- St. Philaret of Moscow (d. 1867), Source (http://www.orthodox.net/trebnic/of-philaret-of-moscow.html)

Amen.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: hecma925 on February 07, 2015, 07:28:43 AM
Q:  Who are those others, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth?  (II Tim. 3:7)

A:  [They] are those who, having entered in the realm of faith, do nothing but invent questions:  "What is this?  What is that?  Why this way?  Why that way?"  They are people suffering from empty inquisitiveness.  They do not chase after the truth, but only ask and ask.  Having found the answer to their questions, they do not dwell on them for long, but soon feel the necessity to look for another answer.  And so they whirl about day and night, questioning and questioning, and are never fully satisfied with what they learn.  Some people chase after pleasures, but these chase after the satisfaction of their inquisitiveness.

St. Theophan the Recluse.  Thoughts for Each Day of the Year.  Platina:  St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2010. Print (page 43).
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2015, 10:38:40 PM
Suppose that for some reason the Church were to be bereft of all her liturgical books, of the Old and New Testaments, the works of the Holy Fathers—what would happen? Sacred Tradition would restore the Scriptures, not word for word, perhaps—the verbal form might be different but in essence the new Scriptures would be the expression of that same 'faith which was once delivered unto the saints.' They would be the expression of the one and only Holy Spirit continuously active in the Church, her foundation and her very substance...

- Archimandrite Sophrony (d. 1993), Source (http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/holy_tradition.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 28, 2015, 09:55:19 PM
Moved from non-existence to All-existence, man – dressed in the wondrous forms of matter and spirit – journeys through the wondrous mysteries of God. The further he is from non-being and the closer to All-being, the more he hungers for immortality and sinlessness and the more he thirsts for the inaccessible and eternal. But there is a tyrannical pull towards non-existence, while sin and death greedily rob the soul. All the wisdom of life is contained in overcoming non-being in and around us and immersing ourselves entirely in All-being.

The Holy Spirit teaches this wisdom, for He is wisdom and knowledge – grace-filled wisdom and grace-filled knowledge about the nature of being. The center of this wisdom is knowledge of the Divine and the human, of the invisible and the visible. Divine contemplation of the Holy Spirit is at the same time a morally creative power, through which the process of man imitating God on the path of ascetic, grace filled perfection multiplies Divine knowledge of God and the world in man. Being quickened by the Holy Spirit is the only art that can sculpt a variegated and very complex human being into a person in the likeness of God, in the image of Christ.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Through the Pages of the Theological Works of Archimandrite Justin (Popović)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2016, 12:42:30 AM
As concerning a woman who is pregnant, we decree that she ought to be illuminated whenever she so wishes. For in this case there is no intercommunion of the woman with the child, owing to the fact that every person possesses a will of his own which is shown in connection with his confession of faith. (Canon 6 of NeoCaesarea--c. 315)

...the present Canon decrees that a pregnant woman who is a catechumen may be baptized whenever she wishes, since she does not impart the illumination and baptism to the embryo in her womb, but, on the contrary, she alone is baptized. For in confessing that one is joining forces with Christ and renouncing the Devil, in baptism, and, speaking in general, whenever one gets baptized, he needs to show his own will, either through himself directly, as in the case of persons being baptized at an age when they are capable of rational speech, such as is that of this pregnant mother-to-be, or by means of a sponsor, as in the case of persons being baptized in their infancy, but an embryo in the belly cannot show this will either through itself, not yet having developed a will of its own, nor through a sponsor since it has not yet been born nor is it capable of being baptized.

-- Sts. Nikodemus (d. 1809) and Agapios (???), The Rudder
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 29, 2016, 02:18:32 AM
A monk must be extremely cautious of carnal and animal zeal, which outwardly appears pious but in reality is foolish and harmful to the soul. Worldly people and many living the monastic life, though ignorance and inexperience, often praise such zeal without understanding that it springs from conceit and pride. They extol this zeal as zeal for the faith, for piety, for the Church, for God. It consists in a more or less harsh condemnation and criticism of one's neighbors in their moral faults, and in faults against good order in church and in the performance of the church services. Deceived by a wrong conception of zeal, these imprudent zealots think that by yielding themselves to it they are imitating the holy fathers and holy martyrs, forgetting that they--the zealots--are not saints, but sinners.

If the saints accused or convicted those who were living in sin or irreligion, they did so at the command of God, as their duty, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not at the instigation of their passions and demons. Whoever decides  of his own self-will to convict his brother or make some reprimand, clearly betrays and proves that he considers himself more prudent and virtuous than the person he blames, and that he is acting at the instigation of passion and deception and diabolic thoughts. We need to remember the Savior's injunction: 'Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.' (Matt. 7:3-5)

What is a log in this connection? It is the earthly wisdom or carnal outlook, hard as a log, which deprives the heart and mind of all capacity for true vision, so that one is quite unable to judge either one's own inner state or the state of one's neighbor. such a person judges himself and others as he imagines himself to be, and as his neighbors appear to him outwardly, by his carnal mind (Rom. 8:6), mistakenly. And so the Word of God is extremely just in calling him a hypocrite.

A Christian, after being healed by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, gains a true view of his spiritual state and of that of his neighbors. the carnal mind, by striking his neighbor with a log, always upsets and confuses him, often ruins him, never does any good and cannot bring any benefit, and has not the least effect on sin. On the other hand, the spiritual mind acts exclusively on the soul-sickiness of one's neighbor, compassionates, heals and saves him...

If you want to be a true, zealous son of the Orthodox Church, you can do so by the fulfilment of the commandments of the Gospel in regard to your neighbor. Do not dare to convict him. Do not dare to teach him. do not dare to condemn or reproach him. To correct your neighbor in this way is not an act of faith, but of foolish zeal, self-opinion and pride. Poemen the Great was asked, 'What is faith?' The great man replied that faith consists in remaining in humility and showing mercy; that is to say, in humbling onseself before one's neighbors and forgiven them all discourtesies and offenses, all their sins. As foolish zealots make out that faith is the prime cause of their zeal, let them know that truth faith, and consequently also true zeal, must express themselves in humility regarding our neighbors and in mercy towards them. Let us leave the work of judging and convicting people to those persons on whose shoulders it is laid the duty of judging and ruling brethren.

--St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), The Arena, pp. 140-142
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on May 10, 2016, 08:32:05 PM
Has any Modern contemporary Orthodox Church Father written a complete (or at least lengthy) commentary on the Psalms? It would be great if there was something in English, but otherwise I'd be satisfacted to use Google Translate if it's on PDF. Among the Early Church Fathers, I've only found St. Augustine and Cassiodorus to have written such complete commentaries, and Cassiodorus's work is basically a brief of St. Augustine's, apparently...
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on May 10, 2016, 10:29:24 PM
Additionally, it seems St. John Chrysostom made a very extensive commentary on the Psalms! Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason (given his relevance), it was only translated to English recently and the internet only has it in Greek.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 19, 2017, 01:03:47 AM
Living at home, although no one hindered me, I couldn't get myself into any kind of framework, I couldn't establish any schedule; basically, I personally didn't see the need for such discipline. At the same time I wanted Batiushka to give me something to do as a kind of (external) podvig, and I asked him about this. At first he didn't answer, but when he asked if I had developed a regimen, I replied that it simply didn't work out. He listened in silence and never reproached me, but in answer to my request that he give me a podvig, he commented with a smile: "I've told you: establish a fixed schedule [in your life], and you're always telling me that you can't.' Only then did my eyes open and I saw in my trifling attitude towards Batiushka's counsel--disobedience and a lack of seriousness. I had not attributed much significance to the simple and seemingly "odd" exhortation to discipline my life, but Batiushka, it appeared, looked at this as its own kind of 'podvig,' for my character.

-- St. Alexei Mechev (d. 1923), Counsels for a Spiritual Life (https://web.archive.org/web/20050320083356/http://www.roca.org/OA/80/80b.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 08, 2017, 07:24:57 PM
I was close to Metropolitan Evlogy, if one can say, physically. From the age of twelve I was an acolyte, crosier bearer, ripidion bearer and subdeacon... But, since that closeness was always at the altar, because everything in it was related to that sacred and mystical beauty of the Divine Services, it changed more and more into that love and that joy, which for me defines to this day the essential nature of the Church. I could not, I firmly believe, have achieved this experience through later and sad exposures to the pedestrian and consistorial sides of Church life. Through Metropolitan Evlogy and my service to him was opened for me that, which I perceive to be the basic foundation of the Orthodox experience: its grandeur, its boundless loftiness, the remoteness, the awesomeness of everything Divine and at the same time, its immediacy with its joy and radiance.

Those solemn arrivals, the vesting, the reverences, that constant consciousness of knowing oneself to be at someone’s service, never once, not even for a single second, ever questioned his entitlement to that service. For it is through him and us, the swarms of acolytes and subdeacons, that somehow the power and beauty of God’s Kingdom was revealed. All this, for me, is forever linked with Metropolitan Evlogy. He unites within himself the indefinable and the incomprehensible as well as all the grandeur and that Divine foundation of the Episcopacy and through that, of the Church and at the same time their nature in their immediacy and love. He had no need to remind himself or anyone else of the majesty of his office because that majesty being self-evident to him became self-evident for all those who encountered him. He did not need to defend his authority because it calmly and again in a self-evident way flowed from him. He did not need to look for an artificial familiarity with people because the majesty and the authority in him were indeed the majesty and the authority of love

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), Source (http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/threemets.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 09, 2017, 08:55:17 PM
Clearly imagine the senselessness, folly and danger of procrastination. You say: "later," but later it will be even harder to do, because you will become even more accustomed to the sin, and your sinful situations and connections will become even more involved. But what point is there for one who is entangled to become more and more entangled, thinking all the while that it will be just as easy later as now to disentangle oneself? If you have already understood that you must not stay the way you are, then why tarry? After all, God may finally say: ye have become loathsome to me, I will no more pardon your sins (Is. 1:14), and you may pass beyond the point of no return. This is such a catastrophe that no labor can be justifiably stinted in order to avoid it. If care is conscientiously taken to imagine this clearly and energetically, then all those who labor over their souls will naturally turn away from procrastination, for procrastination will have no internal proponent. You will see that it is your enemy, and you will look at it with disdain.

We procrastinate because the beneficial thought that had visited us still remains in us as nothing more than a thought, not yet having attracted our sympathy; and it does not motivate us. The thought has come to us amongst all our other interests, like a strange guest, beckoning from afar, and without making any impression on us. It is your business to lead it deeper into the soul and take note of its value and attraction. Thus you must place it in the forefront, picture its veracity and the joy and loftiness that it promises, assure yourself that it is easy to accomplish. A beneficial thought is feeble and does not attract the heart because the head contains different plans and more interesting subjects, according to the thoughts previously therein entertained. So call it all into account and differentiate dispassionately. Nothing can compare with what the beneficial thought represents — everything else finds itself far, far in the background. The beneficial thought will stand alone, and being singular and beautiful, it attracts.

We suffer from procrastination mostly because at that moment we allow our energies to wane, indulge our laziness, our slackness, sleepiness, and indecisiveness in our powers of thought and activity. You can take hold of yourself from the other side — energetically imagine how humiliating it is to allow this in everyday affairs. It is even more so in the matter of your salvation, for which you should always prove lively and quick to act. It is shameful to allow the opposite, shameful to put off until tomorrow what can and should be done today

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/salvation_theofan.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 11, 2017, 07:49:25 PM
Theology is concerned with life and survival, and therefore with salvation. The Church articulates its theology, not simply to add to our knowledge of God or the world, but so that we may gain the life which can never be brought to an end. Christian doctrine tells us that there is redemption for us and for the world, and each particular doctrine articulates some aspect of this redemption. We have to inquire how each doctrine contributes to knowledge of our salvation. Rather than isolating each doctrine, we have to set each doctrine out in the context of all other doctrines. Theology seeks a living comprehension of the Christian faith, of our place in the world and relationship with one another. It does not just want to preserve the statements of the Church as they were originally made, but also to provide the best contemporary expression of the teaching of the Church.

-- Met. John Zizioulas (b. 1931), Lectures in Christian Dogmatics, p. 1
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 11, 2017, 08:16:25 PM
Additionally, it seems St. John Chrysostom made a very extensive commentary on the Psalms! Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason (given his relevance), it was only translated to English recently and the internet only has it in Greek.

I don't know of a complete contemporary commentary in English, but regarding the early Church, besides the three you mention there are also a few others that I'm aware of--though none are fully online. There is a volume of homilies by St. Jerome, published by the Catholic University of America Press, which does not cover anywhere near all the Psalms, but it does add up to over 400 pages worth of material. Another is by (St.?) Theodoret of Cyrus, which seems to be a complete commentary in two volumes, and is also published by the CUA Press. There's also the Ancient Christian Commentary On Scripture series, which gives blurbs of the Fathers for each passage. Preview versions of all these are available on Google Books.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on March 12, 2017, 06:46:12 PM
Additionally, it seems St. John Chrysostom made a very extensive commentary on the Psalms! Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason (given his relevance), it was only translated to English recently and the internet only has it in Greek.

I don't know of a complete contemporary commentary in English, but regarding the early Church, besides the three you mention there are also a few others that I'm aware of--though none are fully online. There is a volume of homilies by St. Jerome, published by the Catholic University of America Press, which does not cover anywhere near all the Psalms, but it does add up to over 400 pages worth of material. Another is by (St.?) Theodoret of Cyrus, which seems to be a complete commentary in two volumes, and is also published by the CUA Press. There's also the Ancient Christian Commentary On Scripture series, which gives blurbs of the Fathers for each passage. Preview versions of all these are available on Google Books.
I bought St. John's commentary and ACCS's first volume. Worth it, summed to St. Augustine's extensive commentary.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 13, 2017, 01:05:07 AM
"It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to be king over the ends of the earth. I seek him who died for our sake. I desire him who rose for us. Birth-pangs are upon me. suffer me, my brethren; hinder me not from living, do not wish me to die... Suffer me to receive the pure light; when I shall have arrived there, I shall become a human being. Suffer me to follow the example of the passion of my God." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 6)

Life and death are reversed for Ignatius, compared to our usual patterns of speech. "Hinder me not from living," by seeking to stop my martyrdom; "do not wish me to die: by trying to keep me "alive"! He is in the process of being born, in a birth through which he will become a "human being"--a human being in the stature of Christ, the "perfect human being" (Smyrnaeans 4) or the "new human being" (Ephesians 20), as the martyr refers to "the faithful Martyr, the Firstborn of the dead" (Rev. 1:5), :the Pioneer of our salvation" (Heb. 2:10).

Death, here, is a defining moment: not the end, but the beginning; not disappearance, but revelation. As Ignatius also pointed out to the Romans: "Now that Christ is with the Father, he is more visible than he was before" (Romans 3). That is, when Christ walked amongst us in the flesh his disciples never really understood who he was; now that he has passed through his passion, the "exodus" that he accomplishes in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31), and is with the Father in the kingdom, now they can finally "see" who he is.

-- Fr. John Behr (b. 1966), The Role of Death in Life, p. 80
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 14, 2017, 02:52:14 PM
Can you believe that Christ the Saviour portrayed Himself in the guise of a woman in two of His parables? One is that of the woman who took three measures of flour and made dough. But first let us speak of the other one where the Lord tells us about the woman who had ten drachmas and lost one. These are the most mysterious of all the Saviour's parables. As the parable of the lost drachma is short, we quote it in full. "Or what woman, having ten drachmas, if she lose one, does not light a candle and sweep the house and look diligently till she finds it? And after she has found it, she calls in her friends and neighbors and says, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma that I lost." (Luke 15:8-9).

At first glance this parable seems so simple, or even naive, that it does not impress the reader of the Gospel. In fact, however, the mystery of the universe is revealed in this simple parable. If we take it literally, it evokes bewilderment. The woman lost only one drachma. Even ten drachmas do not represent a great sum; in fact, a woman who has only ten drachmas must be very poor indeed. Let us assume, first of all, that the finding of the lost drachma meant a great gain for her. Yet it still presents a paradox, for how is it that if she is such a poor woman she lights lamps, sweeps the house and calls in all her friends and neighbors to share her joy. And all because of one drachma! Such a waste of time-lighting a candle and setting the house in order first of all! Furthermore, if she invites her neighbors she is obliged, according to Eastern custom, to offer them something to eat and drink, no small expense for a poor woman. To fail to do so would be to ignore an unalterable custom.

Another important point to note is that she did not invite only one woman to whom she might have offered sweets, which would not have involved great expense. But she invited many friends and neighbors, and even if she entertained them modestly the expense would far exceed the value of the drachma she had found. Why then should she seek the drachma so diligently and rejoice at finding it, only to lose it again in another way? If we try to understand this parable in its literal sense, it does not fit into the frame of everyday life, but leaves the impression of something exaggerated and incomprehensible. So let us try to discover its mystical or hidden meaning. Who is the woman? And why is it a woman and not a man, when a man is more likely to lose money in the ordinary routine of life? Whose house is it that she sweeps and fills with light? Who are her friends and neighbors? If we look for the spiritual instead of the literal meaning of the parable we shall find the answers to those questions. The Lord said, Seek and ye shall find.

The woman represents Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God. The ten drachmas are His. It is He Who has lost one of them and sets out to look for it. The drachmas are not coins of gold or silver. According to Orthodox theologians, the number ten represents fulness. The nine unlost drachmas are the nine orders of angels. The number of angels is beyond the grasp of mortals, for it exceeds our power of calculation. The lost drachma represents mankind in its entirety. Therefore Christ the Saviour came down from heaven to earth, to His house, and lit a candle, the light of the knowledge of Himself. He cleaned out the house-that is, He purified the world of diabolic impurity-and found the lost drachma, erring and lost humanity. Then He called his friends and neighbors (after His glorious Resurrection and Ascension), that is to say, all the countless hosts of the cherubim and seraphim, angels and archangels, and revealed to them His great joy. Rejoice with Me. I have found the lost drachma! That means: I have found men to fill the void in the Kingdom of Heaven, caused by the fall of the proud angels who apostasized from God. At the end of time the number of these found and saved souls will have grown to billions, or, in the language of Scripture, will be as countless as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.

-- St. Nicholas Velimirovic (d. 1956), Source (http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107b.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 16, 2017, 02:44:57 AM
It is the consensus of voice that matters: reading the Fathers within the Scripture; the Scripture within the horizon of the church; the liturgy within the context of prayer: all together forming a 'seamless robe.' The seamless harmony of the whole tradition shores up all the different parts, self-correcting and self-regulating in its wholeness. It ever converges to what it essentially is: not a systematician's 'reduction' of Christian faith in millions of propositions, but rather the record of a whole people’s long pilgrimage towards God across the desert horizons of a long history, as well as a compass for keeping the right course for the future.

-- Fr. John McGuckin (b. 1952), The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture, p. 102
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 18, 2017, 01:07:44 AM
The holy fathers in fact are continuously apostolizing, whether as distinct godlike personalities, or as bishops of the local churches, or as members of the holy ecumenical and holy local councils. For all of them there is but one Truth, one Transcendent Truth: the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/church/AttributesofChurch.asp)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2017, 09:09:28 PM
Where shall we seek criteria of truth? All too often men seek these criteria in what is lower than truth, in the objective world with its compulsions, seek criteria for spirit in the material world. And they fall into a vicious circle. Discursive truth can provide no criteria for final truth: it is only at the half-way mark, and knows neither the beginning nor the end. Every proof rests upon the unproven, the postulate, the created. There is risk, and no guarantee. The very search for guarantee is wrong and really means subjecting the higher to the lower. Freedom of the spirit knows no guarantees. The sole criterion of truth is truth itself, the light which streams out of it. All other criteria exist only for the every-day, objective world, for social communication.

-- Nicholas Berdyaev (d. 1948), Source (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Sui-Generis/Berdyaev/qt.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 24, 2017, 08:42:51 PM
It is impossible for God not to show mercy on one who is genuinely striving to be saved.

-- St. Pachomius of Chios (d. 1905), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/10/spiritual-counsels-of-saint-pachomios.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 26, 2017, 02:19:23 AM
One desiring salvation must always have a heart inclined towards penitence and contrition: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:19). With such a contrite spirit a person can avoid without trouble all the artful tricks of the devil, whose efforts are all directed towards disturbing the spirit of a person. By this disturbance he sows tares (i.e., weeds), according to the words of the Gospel: "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this’" (Mt. 13:27-28). But when a person struggles to have a meek heart and to keep peace in his thoughts, then are all the wiles of the enemy powerless; for, where there is peace of thought, God Himself resides: "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion" (Ps. 76:2).

-- St. Seraphim of Sarov (d. 1833), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/seraphim_e.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2017, 12:57:40 AM
The motion of spiritual beings is movement of ascension, which will last eternally. St. Gregory Palamas said: "The proof for this hiddenness beyond all knowledge is Moses' desire, request, and ascent towards a more and more acute seeing, but also the continuous advance of the angels and of the saints in the endless age toward ever clearer visions..." The created subject never comes to an end in the act of understanding the absolute subject. But this movement is at the same time given the name of stability because the motion is maintained permanently in its path.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, p. 145 (https://books.google.com/books?id=VZVsh4VV5OYC&lpg=PP1&dq=Dumitru%20St%C3%A3niloae&pg=PA145#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2017, 01:19:14 PM
The fundamental difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy depends on the relationship by which an historical body is established as the Church. For Karl Barth, for example, the relationship is with God alone, who continually 'appears,' his presence having the character of an 'event' (ereignishaft) as opposed to an 'institution.' The emphasis is vertical; the divine act, like a tangent, touches the circle but does not penetrate it.

For the Orthodox, the link is cross-shaped, the Church being at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical. the connection here is theandric. Theandrism constitutes the Church, places it at the centre of the world, transforms its human content into theandric substance by filling it with its reality, and thus supplies horizontal continuity: the Apostolic succession, the sacraments (the extension of the visible Christ), the incorporation of the faithful in the historical body.

According to the Reformers the Church is on Earth, visible but undiscernible; it is, so t speak, the Church 'itinerant.' It is certainly somewhere, but we cannot say exactly where: the sacraments may be correctly administered and the Word correctly preached, but the elect, marked with an invisible sign, are scattered everywhere and unidentifiable.

For the Orthodox, the Church is objectively present where the Apostolic ministry of incorporation is exercised; where the Bishop, by his apostolic power, celebrates the Eucharist, demonstrates his authority and unites in himself the people gathered for the Liturgy, the Body of Christ.

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), Orthodoxy (https://books.google.com/books?id=AkRhkwChdZsC&lpg=PP1&dq=olivier%20clement&pg=PA134#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 29, 2017, 03:23:36 AM
We must pity every evil man, and not be angered with him, and not thus gratify Satan; we must look upon even every enemy, simply as upon God's creation, as upon one created after the image of God, and as upon our own member, and not breathe malice against him, that is, not become a devil, for every one who breathes malice becomes a devil himself, while he is angered. We must always be meek, gentle, kind-hearted, patient, as though we did not notice the malice of others, we must "overcome evil," or wicked people "with good," (Rom. 12:21) by kindness, benefits. May God deliver us from evil suspiciousness, through which everything in our neighbour has the worst construction put upon it; his movements, gestures, look, voice, step, and every word.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), My Life in Christ (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kronstadt/christlife.iii.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 01, 2017, 09:58:41 PM
The first time you are victorious over self may be a sign to you: Now I am on the way! But do not consider yourself virtuous, only thank God, for it was He who gave you the power; and do not rejoice beyond measure, but swiftly go on. Otherwise the vanquished evil may come to life and conquer you from the rear. Remember: the Israelites received the command from God to drive out all the inhabitants of the land when they conquered the new land (Num. 33:52), in order that we might learn from them.

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 05, 2017, 09:33:58 PM
We must study and live through these divine events all the time. When someone studies the events of each feast day, he will be naturally moved to pray with particular reverence. Then, during liturgical services, our mind will be absorbed by the events we are celebrating and we will follow with great reverence the chanting of hymns. When our mind thinks divine thoughts, we get to live through these holy events, and in this manner we are transformed. We think of a Saint for whom we have a special devotion, or of the Saint whose feast day we are celebrating, and our mind rises higher toward Heaven. And when we keep the Saints in mind, they keep us in mind too, and they come to our assistance.

-- St. Paisios of Mount Athos (d. 1994), Source (http://hrocboston.org/ourfaith/164/95.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 06, 2017, 06:07:17 PM
The word "ecumenical," in the sense in which it was used by early Christians and throughout the Middle Ages, has meaning only in the context of the Byzantine "symphony" between Church and Empire. It cannot be translated simply as "imperial" because the Empire recognized in matters of faith the competence of the bishops and the power of public opinion. The interminable doctrinal controversies over the Trinity and the person of Christ prove the fact that the emperor was powerless in imposing theological statements by decree, and that the "ecumenical" councils convoked by him never enjoyed automatic infallibility. Byzantine society never accepted the idea that the mystery of the Church could be reduced to the legal principles of the pax Romana.

A clear and short definition of an ecumenical council is given by the Byzantine historian Cedrenus (eleventh cent.): Councils "were named ecumenical, because bishops of the whole Roman Empire were invited by imperial orders and in each of them, and especially in these six councils, there was discussion of the faith and a vote, i.e. dogmatic formulae were promulgated." (Hist. I, 3, ed. Bonn, 1838, p. 39.) Since the Byzantine emperor was considered as the protector of all Christians, the "ecumenical" councils held doctrinal validity even beyond the border of the empire. However, even inside the empire their acceptance was not automatic. "Ecumenical" councils were convoked in Sardica (343), Rimini (359), Ephesus (449), Constantinople (754), etc., which were eventually rejected, or accepted only as "local councils." A gap always remained between the ecclesiological  significance of a universal episcopal consensus, which "ecumenical" councils were supposed to represent, and the political management of church affairs in the framework of the Roman oikoumene.

The word "ecumenical" itself reflects the Byzantine politico-religious view of society. The patriarch of Constantinople was called "ecumenical" because of his responsibility in the empire, and the head of imperial university merited the title oikoumenikos didaskalos.It is, therefore, obviously impossible to transpose the byzantine criteria of "ecumenicity" to our own times. With the disappearance of the Empire these criteria have necessarily disappeared also. Only the concept of an episcopal consensus, which the "ecumenical councils" reflected when they were recognized by the Church, remains fully valid.

-- Fr. John Meyendorff (d. 1992), Living Tradition: Orthodox Witness in the Contemporary World, pp. 54-55 (https://books.google.com/books?id=96nLw6UAwBYC&lpg=PP1&dq=john%20meyendorff&pg=PA54#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Iconodule on April 07, 2017, 12:08:11 PM
Thanks for posting all this, Asteriktos. You may not be getting much comment but these are being read.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Mor Ephrem on April 07, 2017, 12:26:28 PM
Thanks for posting all this, Asteriktos. You may not be getting much comment but these are being read.

Definitely!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Fr. George on April 07, 2017, 01:47:27 PM
Thanks for posting all this, Asteriktos. You may not be getting much comment but these are being read.

Definitely!

+ 1
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on April 07, 2017, 01:54:50 PM
Thanks for posting all this, Asteriktos. You may not be getting much comment but these are being read.

Definitely!

+ 1
+2
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 07, 2017, 02:14:27 PM
Thanks for saying so  :) I worry sometimes that the excerpts are too long... but then I figure there are lots of places that already give bite-size and more inspirational/pithy quotes.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 08, 2017, 10:33:19 PM
Christ gave us two commandments: to love God and to love our fellow man. Everything else, even the commandments contained in the Beatitudes, is merely an elaboration of these two commandments, which contain within themselves the totality of Christ’s “Good News.” Furthermore, Christ’s earthly life is nothing other than the revelation of the mystery of love of God and love of man. These are, in sum, not only the true but the only measure of all things. And it is remarkable that their truth is found only in the way they are linked together. Love for man alone leads us into the blind alley of an anti-Christian humanism, out of which the only exit is, at times, the rejection of the individual human being and love toward him in the name of all mankind. Love for God without love for man, however, is condemned: “You hypocrite, how can you love God whom you have not seen, if you hate your brother whom you have seen” (1 Jn. 4:20). Their linkage is not simply a combination of two great truths taken from two spiritual worlds. Their linkage is the union of two parts of a single whole.

These two commandments are two aspects of a single truth. Destroy either one of them and you destroy truth as a whole. In fact, if you take away love for man then you destroy man (because by not loving him you reject him, you reduce him to non-being) and no longer have a path toward the knowledge of God. God then becomes truly apophatic, having only negative attributes, and even these can be expressed only in the human language which you have rejected. He becomes inaccessible to your human soul because, in rejecting man, you have also rejected humanity, you have also rejected what is human in your own soul, though your humanity was the image of God within you and your only way to see the Prototype as well. This is to say nothing of the fact that man taught you in his own human language, describing in human words God’s truth, nor of the fact that God reveals himself through human concepts. By not loving, by not having contact with humanity we condemn ourselves to a kind of a deaf-mute blindness with respect to the divine as well. In this sense, not only did the Logos-Word-Son of God assume human nature to complete his work of redemption and by this sanctified it once and for all, destining it for deification, but the Word of God, as the “Good News,” as the Gospel, as revelation and enlightenment likewise needed to become incarnate in the flesh of insignificant human words. For it is with words that people express their feelings, their doubts, their thoughts, their good deeds and their sins. And in this way human speech, which is the symbol of man’s interior life, was likewise sanctified and filled with grace — and through it the whole of man’s inner life.

On the other hand, one cannot truly love man without loving God. As a matter of fact, what can we love in man if we do not discern God’s image within him? Without that image, on what is such love based? It becomes some kind of peculiar, monstrous, towering egoism in which every “other” becomes only a particular facet of my own self. I love that in the other which is compatible with me, which broadens me, which explains me — and at times simply entertains and charms me. If, however, this is not the case, if indeed there is desire for a selfless but non-religious love toward man, then it will move inevitably from a specific person of flesh and blood and turn toward the abstract man, toward humanity, even to the idea of humanity, and will almost always result in the sacrifice of the concrete individual upon the altar of this abstract idea — the common good, an earthly paradise, etc.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Source (http://incommunion.org/2005/01/20/types-of-religious-lives-5-the-evangelical-path/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 09, 2017, 10:54:03 PM
I must tell you first of all that, to the best of our knowledge, there are no startsi today—that is, truly God-bearing elders (in the spirit of the Optina elders) who could guide you not by their own wisdom and understanding of the Holy Fathers, but by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.  This kind of guidance is not given to our times—and frankly, we in our weakness and corruption and sins do not deserve it.

To our times is given a more humble kind of spiritual life, which Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov in his excellent book The Arena (do you have it?) calls life by counsel—that is, life according to the commandments of God as learned in the Holy Scriptures and Holy Fathers and helped by those who are elder and more experienced.  A starets can give commands; but a counsellor gives advice, which you must test in experience.

-- Fr. Seraphim Rose (d. 1982), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frseraphimspeaks.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on April 11, 2017, 12:33:22 AM
Does anyone have the book "Wounded by Love: The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios"...?

I need a picture of pages 106 and 107 urgently, to finish tomorrow's text for an official page of my archeparchy. If I can't find it on time, I can try to fit it for Holy Wednesday.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on April 11, 2017, 02:22:41 AM
Does anyone have the book "Wounded by Love: The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios"...?

I need a picture of pages 106 and 107 urgently, to finish tomorrow's text for an official page of my archeparchy. If I can't find it on time, I can try to fit it for Holy Wednesday.
Got it. :)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 12, 2017, 07:33:38 PM
The 20th century can be considered as the age of major accomplishments in the realm of knowledge about the universe and in the effort to submit creation to the will of man. During this century, both the power and weakness of humanity have manifested themselves. it is evident that man's dominion over his environment does not automatically bring happiness and the fullness of life... Scientific and technical progress can become an instrument fro the destruction of nature and of social life. This is particularly clear after the ruin of the Communist system. More broadly, there is also the failure of all anthropocentric ideologies, creating in the humanity a spiritual void and an existential insecurity, and leading many to seek salvation in new religious or pseudo-religious movements, in sects... and all sorts of proselytism which reveal the profound crisis of the contemporary world... And in the social sphere, only one part of humanity accumulates privileges and powers stemming from the rapid progress of technology and science, while the misery of other peoples increases, thus creating tensions and provoking wars... The risks also increase that man will not survive as a free person, made "in the image and likeness of God." Developments in the field of genetics, while they can be immensely helpful in combating disease, can also transform the human being into a thing, a controlled object, manipulated by those with power.

-- Synaxis of Orthodox Primates in Constantinople (1992) - Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=MhJGJbPKpz4C&lpg=PA106&dq=nectarios%20aegina&pg=PA161#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 13, 2017, 05:25:47 PM
481. What should be the effect and fruit of true faith in the Christian? Love, and good works conformable thereto. "In Jesus Christ," says the Apostle Paul, "neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love." (Gal. 5:6).

482. Is not faith alone enough for a Christian, without love and good works? No; for faith without love and good works is inactive and dead, and so can not lead to eternal life. "He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death." (1 John 3:14). "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (Jam 2:14, 26).

483. May not a man, on the other hand, be saved by love and good works, without faith? It is impossible that a man who has not faith in God should really love him; besides, man, being ruined by sin, can not do really good works, unless he receive through faith in Jesus Christ spiritual strength, or grace from God. "Without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him," (Heb. 11:6) "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Gal. 3:10) "For we through the spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (Gal. 5:5) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9).

484. What is to be thought of such love as is not accompanied by good works? Such love is not real: for true love naturally shows itself by good works. Jesus Christ says: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: if a man love me, he will keep my word." (John 14:21, 23) The Apostle John writes: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." (1 Jn 5:3) "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (1 Jn. 3:18)

-- St. Met. Philaret (d. 1867), The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church, 481-484
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 19, 2017, 01:41:36 AM
Once the Elder was invited on board a frigate that had come from St. Petersburg. The captain of the frigate was a man quite learned, highly educated; he had been sent to America by Imperial command to inspect all the colonies. With the captain were some 25 officers, likewise educated men. In this company there sat a desert-dwelling monk of small stature, in an old garment, who by his wise conversation brought all his listeners to such a state that they did not know how to answer him. The captain himself related: "We were speechless fools before him!"

Father Herman gave them all one common question: "What do you, gentlemen, love above all, and what would each of you wish for his happiness?" Diverse answers followed. One desired wealth, one glory, one a beautiful wife, one a fine ship which he should command, and so on in this fashion. "Is it not true," said Father Herman at this, "that all your various desires can be reduced to one - that each of you desires that which, in his understanding, he considers best and most worthy of love?" "Yes, it is so," they all replied. "Well, then, tell me," he continued, "can there be anything better, higher above everything, more surpassing everything and in general more worthy of love, than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who created us, perfectly adorned us, gave life to all, supports all, nourishes and loves all, who Himself is love and more excellent than all men? Should not a person then love God high above all and desire and seek Him more than all else?" All began to say: "Well, yes! That is understood! That speaks for itself!"

"And do you love God?" the Elder then asked. All replied: "Of course, we love God. How can one not love God?" "And I, sinful one, for more than forty years have been striving to love God, and cannot say that I perfectly love Him," answered Father Herman; then he began to show how a person should love God. "If we love someone," he said, "we always think of him, strive to please him, day and night our heart is occupied with this subject. Is it thus that you, gentlemen, love God? Do you often turn to Him, do you always think of Him, do you always pray to Him, and fulfill His holy commandments?" It had to be acknowledged that they did not! "For our good, for our happiness," concluded the Elder, "at least let us make a promise to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour, from this very moment we shall strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will!" Behold what an intelligent, superb conversation Father Herman conducted in society; without doubt this conversation must have imprinted itself on the hearts of his listeners for their whole life!

-- Said of St. Herman of Alaska (d. 1837), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/herman.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 21, 2017, 12:01:20 AM
Having gone thus far, I will take the liberty to observe that, in my opinion, many, even of the best disposed amongst English divines, are apt to fall into a strange and dangerous delusion. This delusion is to suppose that not only every particular church can run into partial errors without ceasing to belong to Catholicity, but that the whole of the Catholic Church can likewise be obscured by temporary errors, either the same in every part of it, or different in the different communities, so that Truth is to be distilled out of the corrupt mass by the rule of quod semper, quod omnes, quod ubique. [Ed. - This is the phrase of Saint Vincent of Lerins: That which is believed everywhere, always and by all, is truly and properly catholic. It is sometimes called the Vincentian Canon.] I have lately had the pleasure of reading a book, with which you are probably acquainted, of Mr. Dewar about German Rationalism. I consider it a masterpiece of fair and sound logic, free from passions and prejudices. The sharp intelligence of the author has not only perfectly found out the reasons of the inevitable development of Rationalism in Protestant Germany, but has found its traces in Latinism, not withstanding its continual pretensions to the contrary. This is certainly a great truth which could be corroborated by many other and even stronger proofs; but, strange to say, Mr. Dewar excepts the Anglican Church from the general accusation, as if a community which confesses to a reform did not stand self-convicted of Rationalism!

Indeed, if the totality of the Church could ever have fallen into errors of doctrine, individual criticism would have become not only a right, but an unavoidable necessity; and that is nothing but Rationalism, though it may hide itself behind the well-sounding words of Testimony of the Fathers, whose writings are nothing but heaps of written pages; or, Authority of the Catholic Church, which has no meaning at all if it could not escape error; or, Tradition, which, once interrupted, ceases to exist; or even Inspiration from heaven, which every man can pretend to be favoured with, though no other believes his pretensions. The continual presence of the Holy Spirit is a promise given to us by Truth Itself; and if this promise is believed, the light of pure doctrine must burn and shine brightly, through all ages, seeking our eyes, even when unsought for. If it is once bedimmed, it is obscured for ever, and the Church must become a mere word without a meaning in it, or must be considered, as many German Protestants indeed do consider it, as a society of good men differing in all their opinions, but earnestly seeking for Truth with a total certainty that it has not yet been found, and with no hope at all ever to find it. These consequences are unavoidable, though some of your worthiest divines do not seem to admit them, and this is certainly a dangerous self-delusion.

-- Alexei Khomiakov (d. 1860), Second Letter to William Palmer (http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~sshoemak/325/texts/alexei_khomiakov_letter2.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 22, 2017, 02:10:46 PM
Father Congar's book Divided Christendom, though very remarkable in many respects, remains, despite all his striving after objectivity, subject, in those pages which he devotes to the Orthodox Church, to certain preconceived notions. 'Where the West,' he says, 'on the basis at once developed and narrow of Augustinian ideology, claimed for the Church independence in life and organization, and thus laid down the lines of a very definite ecclesiology, the East settled down in practice, and to some extent in theory, to a principle of unity which was political, non-religious, and not truly universal.' To Father Congar, as to the majority of Catholic and Protestant writers who have expressed themselves on this subject, Orthodoxy represents itself under the form of a federation of national churches, having as its basis a political principles--the state-church.

One can venture upon such generalizations as these only by ignoring both the canonical groundwork and the history of the Eastern Church. The view which would base the unity of a local church on a political, racial or cultural principle is considered by the Orthodox Church as a heresy, specifically known by the name of philetism. It is the ecclesiastical territory, the area of sanctified by more or less ancient Christian tradition which forms the basis of a metropolitan province, administered by an archbishop or metropolitan, with the bishops from every diocese coming together from time to time in synod. If metropolitan provinces are grouped together to form local churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop who often bears the title of patriarch, it is still the community of local tradition and of historical destiny (as well as convenience in calling together a council from many providence), which determines the formation of these large circles of jurisdiction, the territories of which do not necessarily correspond to the political boundaries of a state.

(Footnote: Thus the Patriarchate of Moscow includes the dioceses of N. America and that of Tokyo beyond the frontiers of Russia. By contrast, the Catholicate of Georgia, though within the bounds of the U.S.S.R., does not form part of the Russian Church. The territories of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jurusalem are politically dependent on many different powers.)

The Patriarch of Constantinople enjoys a certain primacy of honour, arbitrating from time to time in disputes, but without exercising a jurisdiction over the whole body of the oecumenical Church. The local churches of the East had more or less the same attitude towards the apostolic patriarchate of Rome--first see of the Church before the separation, and symbol of her unity. Orthodoxy recognizes no visible heard of the Church. The unity of the Church expresses itself through the communion of the heads of local churches, among themselves, by the agreement of all the churches in regard to a local council--which thus acquires a universal import; finally, in exceptional cases, it may manifest itself through a general council.

(Footnote: The name Oecumenical Council given in the East to the first seven general synods corresponds to a reality of a purely historical character. These are the councils of the 'oecumenical' territories, that is to say of the Byzantine Empire which extended (theoretically, at least) throughout the Christian world. In later epochs the Orthodox Church had known general councils which, without bearing the title of 'oecumenical' were neither smaller nor less important.)

The catholicity of the Church, far from being the privilege of any one see or specific centre, is realised rather in the richness and multipolicity of the local traditions which bear witness unanimously to the single Truth: to that which is preserved always, everywhere and by all. Since the Church is catholic in all her parts, each one of her members--not only the clergy, but also each layman--is called to confess and to defend the truth of tradition; opposing even the bishops should they fall into heresy. A Christian who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of the Holy Chrism must have a full awareness of his faith: he is responsible for the Church. Hence the restless and sometimes agitated character of the ecclesiastical life of Byzantium, or Russia, and of other countries in the Orthodox world.

This, however, is the price paid for a religious vitality, an intensity of spiritual life which penetrates the whole mass of believers, united in the awareness that they form a single body with the hierarchy of the Church. From this, too, comes the unconquerable energy which enables Orthodoxy to go through all trials, all cataclysms and upheavals, adopting itself continually to the new historical reality and showing itself stronger than outward circumstances. The persecutions of the faithful in Russia, the systematic fury of which has not been able to destroy the Church, are the best witness to a power which is not of this world.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, pp. 14-16 (https://books.google.com/books?id=kIcSCgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA2&dq=vladimir%20lossky&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2017, 06:38:33 PM
The image of the Body is the commandment of love. "St. Paul demands such love of us, a love which should bind us one to the other, so that we no more shoul d be separated one from the other... St. Paul demands that our union should be as perfect as is that of the members of one body."1 The novelty of the Christian commandment of love consists in the fact that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. This is more than putting him on the same level with ourselves, of identifying him with ourselves; it means seeing our own self in another, in the beloved one, not in our own self. Therein lies the limit of love; the beloved is our "alter ego," an "ego" which is dearer to us than ourself. In love we are merged into one. "The quality of love is such that the loving and the beloved are no more two but one man."2 Even more: true Christian love sees in every one of our brethren "Christ Himself." Such love demands self-surrender, self-mastery. Such love is possible only in a catholic expansion and transfiguration of the soul. The commandment to be catholic is given to every Christian. The measure of his spiritual manhood is the measure of his catholicity. The Church is catholic in every one of its members, because a catholic whole cannot be built up or composed otherwise than through the catholicity of its members.

1 St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians, 11
2 St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on First Corinthians, 33

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View, p. 42
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 25, 2017, 07:29:33 PM
You write that during Great Lent you see [so-and-so] only on Saturdays and Sundays and visit her to drink mint tea, and that the nuns there wouldn't ever think of drinking real tea during Great Lent. Free-thinkers may think there's little difference between drinking real tea and an herbal infusion, when in fact, it is of no small significance. Every privation and every effort [to force oneself against one's pleasure] is of value in God's eyes. As the Gospel says "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force" (Matt. 11:12). Those who boldly and willfully transgress the rules of fasting are called "enemies of the cross," "whose God is their belly and whose glory is in their shame" (Phil. 3:18-19). And in the Psalms it is said: "from the belly they are gone astray" (Ps. 58 LXX). It is, of course, quite another matter if someone transgresses the fast by reason of illness or bodily infirmity. But healthy people by fasting become healthier and kinder, and what's more, they often live longer, although they may look rather gaunt. During periods of fasting and abstinence the flesh is less rebellious, one is less inclined to be drowsy, fewer vain thoughts crawl into one's head, there is greater desire for spiritual reading and it is better retained.

-- St. Ambrose of Optina (d. 1891), Source (http://www.roca.org/OA/96/96b.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2017, 10:10:09 PM
Repentance is very easy. It lies within man's intention. St. Mary of Egypt could not enter the church in Jerusalem, because some invisible power pushed her away. As soon as she recognized her offenses, she repented. She fell on her knees; she cried and chose the Lady Theotokos as the intercessor and guarantor of her repentance. The she got up and entered into the church, venerated the Precious Cross, and then embarked on a life of repentance and ceaseless asceticism. We people must realize and become aware that we are only dust and ashes. A moment comes when the soul is separated from the material body, and this fear of perceived death startles people and leads them to repentance...

Man's disposition, as we mentioned, is the power of the soul which dominates the body, and of the body which follows the soul. For this reason, if they transgress, both the soul and the body will be condemned in eternal hell. In the Symbol of our faith (Creed) we say that we look for the resurrection of the dead, where the sinners will proceed to the eternal fire, which 'is prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:42), and the righteous will inherit the 'kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world' (Matt. 25:34). So we have no excuse, we will go wherever we want, either to unending joy and life, or to eternal afflication and damnation.

The disposition goes hand in hand with the judgment which man possesses. All people are rational beings. Logic gives birth to judgment, and judgment gives birth to the advantage of each person. Everyone has a disposition. Even infants have a disposition. For this reason, when they see their parents, they run to them with joy, but when they see people they do not know they run away and cry.

-- Elder Anthimos of Saint Anne's (d. 1996), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=FM00Po_bwuYC&lpg=PA11&dq=Elder%20Amphilochios%20of%20Patmos&pg=PA111#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 27, 2017, 07:20:59 PM
The Panagia does not want big candles, she wants charity shown to the poor.

-- St. George of Drama (d. 1959), Source (http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/10/sayings-of-st-george-karslides.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2017, 08:53:17 PM
People, until they come to know something greater, are satisfied with the little that they have. Man is like a village rooster who lives in a small enclosure with few people and farm animals about, who knows his ten hens and is content with this life, because he knows no more. But an eagle, who circles high in the clouds, and sees great distances with his sharp eyes, who hears the sounds of the earth and revels in its beauty, who knows many lands, seas and rivers, and sees a multitude of animals and birds, would not be content to live in a small enclosure with a rooster. It is the same in spiritual life. Whoever has not known the grace of the Holy Spirit is like the rooster who does not know the flight of the eagle; he cannot comprehend the sweetness of tender emotion and love of God. He knows God from nature and from Scripture, he is satisfied with the law and is content with his lot as is the rooster, and does not feel sorrow that he is not an eagle. But he who has experienced the Lord through the Holy Spirit, he prays day and night, because the grace of the Holy Spirit calls him to love the Lord, and the sweetness of the Lord’s love gives him the ability to carry the burdens of the world with ease; his soul pines only for the Lord and searches constantly for the grace of the Holy Spirit.

We are all suffering on this earth and searching for freedom, but few know what freedom is and where it can be found. The Lord gives the repentant His peace and the freedom to love Him. Oh, my brothers, all the earth, repent while you still have time. God awaits our repentance with mercy. And all the heavens, all the saints await our repentance. As God is love, so the Holy Spirit in the saints is love. Ask, and the Lord shall forgive. And when you receive absolution from your sins, then your soul will be joyful and happy, and the grace of the Holy Spirit will enter your soul, and you will say, "Here is true freedom: it is in God and of God." The grace of God does not hinder freedom, but only helps to keep the commandments of God. Adam was in grace, and his will was not fettered. So too the angels are in the Holy Spirit, but their free will is not taken away. The Lord wants us to love each other; this is the essence of freedom — love for God and for your neighbor. This is both freedom and equality. But in earthly titles there can be no equality; this is of no concern to the soul, however. Not everyone can be a king or a prince; not everyone can be a patriarch or an abbot, or a leader, but no matter what your title you can love God and serve Him, and that is all that matters. And whoever loves God more on earth shall be in greater glory in the Kingdom.


-- St. Silouan the Athonite (d. 1938), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/siluan_e.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 29, 2017, 09:21:37 PM
Having created man, the Creator did not leave the first-created ones without His Providence. The grace of God dwelt constantly in our first ancestors and, in the expression of the Holy Fathers, served as a kind of heavenly clothing for them. They had a perfect feeling of closeness to God, God Himself was their first Instructor and Teacher and vouchsafed His immediate revelations to them. Appearing to them, He conversed with them and revealed His will to them. Chapters two and three of the book of Genesis depict for us the life of the first people. God placed Adam and Eve in Paradise, the Garden of Eden, the "Paradise of delight," where there grew every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food, commanding them to dress and keep it. The Garden of Eden was such a splendid place that the first people must have been involuntarily aroused to a feeling of joy and their minds raised to the most perfect Artist of the world. Labor itself must have facilitated the development both of their physical and spiritual powers.

As the writer of Genesis informs us, God brought all living creatures to man so that he might name them. It is clear that on the one hand this gave man the opportunity to become acquainted with the wealth and variety of the animal kingdom, and, on the other, facilitated the development of his mental capabilities, giving him a more complete knowledge of himself by comparison with the world which lay before his eyes, and an awareness of his royal superiority over all the other creatures of earth. Understandably, the original condition of the first people was one of spiritual childhood and simplicity joined to moral purity. But this condition contained the opportunity for a speedy and harmonious development and growth of all man's powers, directed towards a moral likeness to God and the most intimate union with Him. Man's mind was pure, bright, and sound. But at the same time it was a mind limited and untested by the experience of life, as was revealed at the time of the fall into sin. Man's mind had yet to develop and be perfected.

Morally, the first-created man was pure and innocent. The words, "They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25), is interpreted by St. John Damascene as "the pinnacle of dispassion." However, one should not understand this purity of the first people as meaning that from the very beginning they already possessed all virtues and were not in need of perfection. No, Adam and Eve, although they came from the hands of the Creator pure and innocent, had yet to be confirmed in the good and grow spiritually, with the help of God, by means of their own actions. "Man," as St. Irenaeus expresses it, "having received existence, was to grow and mature, then become strong, and, reaching full maturity should be glorified and, being glorified, should be vouchsafed to see God."

Man came from the hands of the Creator faultless also in body. His body, so remarkable in its organization, without any doubt received no inward or outward defects from the Creator. It possessed faculties which were fresh and uncorrupted. It had in itself not the least disorder and was able to be free of diseases and sufferings. Indeed, diseases and sufferings are presented in the book of Genesis as the consequences of our first ancestors' fall and as chastisements for sin. Additionally, the Book of Genesis gives a mystical indication of the Tree of Life, the tasting of which was accessible to the first ancestors before the fall into sin and preserved them from physical death. Death was not a necessity for man: "God created man neither completely mortal nor immortal, but capable of both the one and the other" (Theophilus of Antioch; see in Bishop Sylvester, An Essay in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, vol. 3, p. 379).

But no matter how perfect the natural powers of man were, as a limited creature he required even then constant strengthening from the Source of all life, from God, just as do all created beings. Appropriate means for man's strengthening on the path of good were needed. Such an elementary means was the commandment not to taste of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was a commandment of obedience. Free obedience is the path to moral advancement. Where there is voluntary obedience there is (a) the cutting off of the way to self-esteem, (b) respect and trust for that which is above us, and (c) continence. Obedience acts beneficially upon the mind, humbling its pride; upon the feelings, limiting self-love; and upon the will, directing the freedom of man towards the good. The grace of God cooperates and strengthens one on this path. This was the path which lay before the first people, our first ancestors.

-- Fr. Michael Pomazansky (d. 1988), Orthodox Dogmatic Theology (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/dogmatics_pomazansky.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 02, 2017, 01:42:32 AM
It is true, according to St. Isaac, that human knowledge is not faulty, but faith is higher (p.256). Knowledge is perfected by faith, since "knowledge is a step whereby a man can climb up to the lofty height of faith" (p.257). When faith comes, what is in part is abolished. Then "it is by our faith that we learn those things that cannot be comprehended by the investigation and power of knowledge" (p.257). All the works of righteousness which are the virtues, that is, fasting, alms, vigil, holiness and all the "rest of such works performed with the body" and all those which are performed in the soul, that is, love for one's neighbor, humility of heart, forgiving "those who have sinned", recollection of good things, investigation of the mysteries concealed in the Scriptures, the mind's occupation with good works, the bridling of the soul's passions, and the rest of such virtues, "all these require knowledge". Knowledge "guards them and teaches their order". And all these things are steps by which the soul ascends "to the more lofty height of faith". However, "faith's way of life is more exalted than virtue's labour, and it is not labour but perfect rest, consolation, and is accomplished in the heart and within the soul" (p.256-7).

-- Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos (b. 1945), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20040305064600/http://www.pelagia.org:80/htm/b02.en.orthodox_psychotherapy.06.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 04, 2017, 11:46:08 AM
Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous merit the enjoyment of blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but rather such a height of righteousness that men are filled with the Grace of God to such an extent, that it flows from them, upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness, which proceeds from personal experience of the Glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men's needs and upon their supplication, they also appear as intercessors and defenders before God. At the time of the high spiritual fervor in the first centuries of persecutions against Christians, such were the "martyrs also. The martyr's death became a door to the higher Mansions, and Christians at once began to invoke them as holy men pleasing to God. Miracles and signs confirmed this faith of the Christians and were a proof of their sanctity. Subsequently, the great ascetics likewise, began to be revered. No one decreed the veneration as saints such as Anthony the Great, Macarius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, Nicholas the Wonder-worker, and many others like them, but East and West equally revered them. Their sanctity can be denied only by those who do not believe in sanctity.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/sermons_john_maximovich.htm#_Toc100019545)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 05, 2017, 04:24:25 PM
Christ's Baptism is seen in the Orthodox tradition as possessing a cosmic significance, as embracing the whole created order. His Baptism is in a sense the reverse of our own. In our case, Baptism is a purification from sin. But Christ is sinless; why, then, should He be baptized? Such precisely is the query posed by St. John the Baptist: "I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" (Mt. 3:14) The Orthodox answer to this question can best be put in simple picture language. We are dirty; at Baptism we go down into clean water and we come out cleansed. At our Baptism, then, we are sanctified by the waters. But Christ is clean; at His Baptism He goes down into the dirty water and Himself cleanses the waters, making them pure. As we affirm in the liturgical texts for the feast of Epiphany, "Today the Master has come to sanctify the nature of the waters." At His Baptism it is not the waters that sanctify Christ, but Christ who imparts holiness to the waters, and so by extension to the entire material creation.

If we speak of the waters as "dirty," by this we mean that the world around us, while filled with meaning and beauty, is yet a fallen world, broken and shattered, marred by suffering and sinfulness. Into this fallen world God Himself enters, accepting a total solidarity with it, assuming into Himself the entirety of our human nature, body, soul and spirit. Through this act of assumption at His Incarnation and through all that follows after it--through His Baptism in the streams of Jordan, His Transfiguration, Crucifixion and Resurrection--Christ cleanses and heals the marred and fallen world, effecting the renewal not of humankind alone but of the whole creation. What we are doing, then, at each celebration of Epiphany, at every Blessing of the Waters, is ti reaffirm our sense of wonder before the essential goodness and beauty of the world, as originally created by God and as now recreated in Christ. Nothing is intrinsically ugly or despicable; it is solely our distorted vision that makes it seem so. Through the power of God incarnate shown in His Baptism in the Jordan, all persons and all things can be made holy, can be transfigured and rendered Spirit-bearing. All things are capable of acting as sacraments of God's presence. As we express it in one of our Epiphany hymns:

At Thine appearing in the body,
The earth was sanctified,
The water blessed,
the heaven illumined,
And humankind delivered
From the bitter tyanny of the enemy.

-- Met. Kallistos Ware (b. 1934), The Inner Kingdom (https://books.google.com/books?id=SZKQvru-viUC&lpg=PP1&dq=kallistos%20ware&pg=PA70#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2017, 08:17:47 PM
A man who has attained dispassion receives, as it were, a diploma with the right to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and becomes a converser with the angels and saints. A man who has not conquered the passions cannot be in Paradise—he’s detained at the tollhouses. But let’s assume that he has entered Paradise; he’ll be in no state to remain there, however—and what is more, he himself wouldn’t want to. As difficult as it is for an ill-bred man to be in the society of those that are well bred, so would it be impossible for a passionate man to be in the society of those that are dispassionate. The envious would remain envious, even in Paradise, and the proud, even in Heaven, would not become humble.

-- St. Barsanuphius of Optina (d. 1913), Source (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/92484.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 07, 2017, 07:09:35 PM
First of all, my child, know that there are great differences from man to man and monk to monk. There are souls with a soft character that are very easily persuaded. there are also souls with a tough character that are not subordinated so easily. They are as different as cotton is from iron. Cotton needs only to be rubbed with words, but iron requires fire and a furnace of temptations to be worked. Such a soul must be patient during temptations to be purified. When a monk does not have patience, he is like a lamp without oil: soon it will burn out. So, when a person with a nature harder than iron comes to be a monk, as soon as he enters the arena, he rebels against obedience. Immediately he breaks his promises and gives up the battle. Then you see that as soon as grace withdraws a little to test his intentions and patience, at once he throws away his weapons and starts regretting that he came to be a monk. Then he passes his days full of disobedience and bitterness, always talking back arrogantly. Then, through the prayers of his elder, grace disperses the clouds of temptations somewhat so that he comes to his senses a little and mends his ways. But soon afterwards he returns once more to his own will, to disobedience, agitation, and annoyance.

You write about the brother you see there and are amazed that although he works so hard at his diakonema [service/tasks], his ego within still overcomes him. But do you think it is easy for man to conquer a passion? Good deeds and almsgiving and all other external good things do not subdue the haughtiness of one's heart. But mental work, the pain of repentance, contrition, and humility are what humble the unsubmissive spirit. An insubordinate person is unbearable and toilsome to deal with. Only with utter patience can he be handled. Only with utter patience on behalf of the elders and with the forbearance and love of the brethren can stiff-necked disciples come to their senses. But behold: many times they, too, are as useful as your right hand. Almost always such people, who are in some way more gifted than the others, humble themselves with difficulty. they think highly of themselves and look down on others.

So a great deal of hard work and patience are needed until this old foundation of pride is dug up, and another foundation is set with Christ's humility and obedience. But the Lord, seeing their efforts and good intentions, allow another trial to come upon them which counteracts their passion, and by His mercy, He "Who will have all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4) saves them too. As for you, emulate whomever you want. It would be wonderful if everyone had a good character, humility, and obedience. But if one's nature happens to be tougher than iron, he should not despair. he needs to struggle, and by the grace of God he can win. God is not unjust in His expectations. he seeks repayment according to the gifts He has given.

-- St. Joseph the Hesychast (d. 1959), Monastic Wisdom: The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, 3rd Letter
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 08, 2017, 04:42:34 PM
If St. Basil the Great or St. Gregory of Nyssa could approach the Genesis creation stories as they did, it is because they discern in, through, and beyond the so-called historical count other levels of meaning. If St. Ephrem the Syrian and St. Andrew of Crete could interpret person and events of the Old Testament as images of Paradise and of the human soul, it is because they, too, discern in, through and beyond the biblical text transcendent reality and meaning. if a literal, historical reading of the biblical text is necessary yet inadequate, it is because Scripture is iconic, sacramental. It images and gives actual participation in divine reality, as that reality enfolds and transfigures every aspect of our daily life.

One of the most insightful biblical interpreters of our day is Frances Young, a Methodist theologian who taught for many years in a noted British University. Earlier we quoted from her book, Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). There she speaks about the current secularized worldview that hampers interpreters of the Bible in their attempts to uncover its true message because of the inability of that worldview to perceive transcendent, spiritual reality present and acting within the material universe. Young notes that a culture "receives" a text in such a way that the meaning of the text is accepted or contested depending on the "plausibility structures" of that culture. Where the plausibility structures of a particular mind-set do not allow for an interpenetration of transcendent, spiritual reality in the material world, then the ultimate criterion for what is true will be factuality: that is, whether the matter in question is objectively real and therefore historically determinable. And the biblical narratives will be considered true to the degree that they can be shown to recount such historical realities accurately.

To acquire the "mind of the Fathers" is to adopt and internalize "structures of plausibility" that see beyond historical facts to the transcendent, divine presence revealed in those facts. The Exodus, like the Exile into Babylon, is grounded in historical occurrence; some such liberation from Egypt actually happened. It it became the founding myth--the powerful, saving metaphor--of Israel's identity and spiritual destiny, it is because God was at work through that occurrence, but also through its interpretation in Israel's sacred literature. The same may be said for the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ, which we affirm without qualification to be historical events. Yet for those events to have meaning for us--to work their saving power in our lives--they must first be interpreted for us by the biblical authors, and then received by us in faith. Our worldview must be marked by a profound plausibility, a bedrock conviction that the material universe is indeed interpenetrated by another reality, a reality that is God--transcendent divine Life--who is present and active in every aspect of material reality, with the aim of leading us through this world and into His eternal Embrace.

Why read the writings of the Holy Fathers? Because those venerable elders perceived what each of us needs and longs to perceive. Firmly anchored in history, their spiritual vision enabled them to open the eyes of mind and soul to the beauty and glory of divine Reality, as it reveals itself and makes itself accessible in and through Scripture and Tradition, as well as in and through the most mundane aspects of our daily existence. The Fathers were not more objective than biblical scholars and theologians are today. They, too, gave subjective interpretations to events in the writings they have passed on to us. What makes their witness so unique and so valuable is their capacity to perceive, precisely in and through historical reality, the actual--the utterly real--presence of the living, loving, and life-giving God. They beheld, encountered, worshiped and served God in the fallen material world, in the very midst of everyday life. And they invite us to do the same.

-- Fr. John Breck (b. 1939), Longing For God: Orthodox Reflections on Bible, Ethics and Liturgy, pp. 71-73 (https://books.google.com/books?id=TW3QngRItrIC&lpg=PP2&dq=john%20breck&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 09, 2017, 10:06:40 PM
The Byzantine renaissance, contemporary with the Carolingian renovatio, came into being only with the resurgence of the orthodox veneration of icons in the last two decades of the eighth century. It would, however, be a mistake to think that this renaissance owed nothing to iconoclasm, and was in some way its antithesis. The renewal it represents must have built on the revived prosperity and discovered sense of identity that had been secured by the long and militarily successful reigns of the first two iconoclast emperors. Even the intellectual renewal is likely to have owed something to the scholarly return to the sources that marked both sides of the iconoclast controversy, the iconoclasts themselves as well as their iconophile opponents. Nikephoros, in his Brief History, tells us that education in the Byzantine Empire was in a state of decay by the beginning of the eighth century: a result of the inroads made by emergent Islam, both in territorial terms and in terms of Byzantium's self-confidence.

But the intellectual revival at the end of the century cannot have grown out of nothing. It is interesting to note that Greek culture had been better preserved under Islam than in the Byzantine Empire itself: John of Damascus is a striking example of the survival of Hellenism under Islam, and he is not an isolated example. There were, however, scholars, trained in letters, around at the end of the century, young men like Theodore of Stoudios, and older men such as Tarasios, Eirene's choice as patriarch, but where they acquired their learning we cannot say. It was, however, such as these who provided the seeds of the revival to come. leo the Deacon, whom we shall encounter later, ascribed his knowledge of Greek prosody to Tarasios; for Theodore, as we have already seen, the intellectual revival was bound up with his monastic reform, for it provided the resources needed to gain access to the ascetics who inspired him, and the Stoudite monasteries seem to have played an important part in the revival itself--the earlier example of the use of the cursive minuscule script for literary text, in the so-called Uspensky Gospels, comes from Stoudite circles, though that does not mean that the use of the minuscule script was itself a Stoudite innovation. The evidence for the beginnings of the renaissance can readily be set out. To the lull between the first and second periods of iconoclasm belongs the revival of both forms of history writing characteristic to Byzantium, as well as a revival of hagiography...


-- Fr. Andrew Louth (b. 1944), Greek East and Latin West: The Church AD 681-1071 (https://books.google.com/books?id=WlpPjOlVzQwC&lpg=PP1&dq=andrew%20louth&pg=PA152#v=onepage&q&f=false), pp. 152-153
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 14, 2017, 08:10:54 PM
The knowledge of God which arose from Abraham's personal encounter with him has nothing to do with theoretical assumptions, reductive syllogisms and logical proofs. It was an experience of relationship only and, like every true relationship, it was based only on the faith or trust which is born between those who are in a relationship with one another. God proved his divinity to Abraham only by his faithfulness to his promises. And Abraham trusted God, to the point of being ready to sacrifice the child whom Sarah had given him in her old age--this child who was the presupposition for the fulfillment of the promises of God.

Isaac and Jacob, the son and grandson of Abraham, have the same knowledge of God from immediate experience of a personal relationship with him. So, for the descendants of the family from which the people of Israel arise, God is neither an abstract concept nor an impersonal power. When the Hebrews speak about God, they say, "The God of our fathers." He is "The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," an actual person whom their ancestors knew and with whom they associated. The knowledge of God is based on faith and trust in their ancestors, in the trustworthiness of their testimony.

-- Christos Yannaras (b. 1935), Elements of Faith: An Introduction to Orthodoxy Theology, p. 8
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 16, 2017, 06:30:37 PM
(note: I apologize for the length, but I thought the info interesting enough, and it's also in book form so I had no way to give easy access to the rest on the internet; hopefully breaking it into two parts will make it a little easier to go through; footnotes are excluded but I can give them if needed)

Origen uses the word oikumene to denote the inhabited world and in it he sees the inhabitants of the churches of God. But he gives to the word another sense too: that of the soul which has Christ in it, because otherwise it is a desert, "is the oikumene when it is filled with God, when it has Christ, when the Holy Spirit is within it." Like the soul which sinned and God erected the oikumene i.e. the soul, so the oikumene in its general sense has fallen and then was restored. Origen thinks of the oikumene as comprised of people who have fallen into sin and were restored through Jesus Christ.

Eusebius during the fourth century, in his commentary on Psalm 16:15, clearly identified the oikumene with the Church. Analyzing his thought, he says that the foundation of the oikumene is the power of the wisdom of God, by which in the days of old the faith was founded and the oikumene thus made secure. If you like, he continues, you can take the Church of God as the oikumene; its foundation is the uncracked and solid stone upon which she was built (Matt. 16:18) and that is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4; 3:19). Apostolic and prophetic words are also its foundation (Eph. 2:20). Since the enemies of God, who obscured our minds, have been put away, we are liberated to perceive the foundation of the oikumene, i.e. of the Church. In other cases Eusebius identifies the oikumene with the whole world, which was filled with the power of the Saviour and in which Christ's Gospel was proclaimed. In other of his works we find also the simple geographical sense of the oikumene, which he believes to be divided in seven "climates."

Athanasius is aware of the double meaning of the word. In a geographical sense, according to him, the power of the Cross has filled the oikumene. He also identified the oikumene with the Church, implying that it is extended over the whole known world. St. John Chrysostom accepts the geographical sense of the word but in another place identifies the oikumene with territories conquered by Alexander the Great. Later, in the seventh century, Maximus the Confessor in a sort of mystical reduction said that the earth is divided into paradise and the oikumene. But Christ has united these two and formed one earth which is not divided into different parts; he has sanctified the oikumene. Therefore because it does not differ from paradise, He appeared to His disciples and lived with them after the resurrection, showing thus that the earth is one and undivided. In its older meaning oikumene designated the missionary field for the propagation of the new faith. Once the faith had been proclaimed throughout the known world, the term oikumene came to be identified with the Church. Still later on the Church, the oikumene, was called paradise, because Christ had united both Church and oikumene indissolubly.

-- John Anastasiou, Councils and the Ecumenical Movement,  pp. 24-25
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 16, 2017, 06:31:17 PM
This idea of the emperor as sovereign of the oikumene and of the bishop of Contantinople as president of the whole Church, is clearly expressed by Theodoret of Cyrus in the fifth century: he says of Nestorius that he was elected canonically by "the one who at the time held the sceptre of the oikumene" and in this manner was entrusted with the presidency (proedrain) "of the Orthodox Catholic Church in Constantinople, which is not less than the whole oikumene."

St. John Chrysostom called St. Paul "The Apostle of the oikumene" and in this way the title "ecumenical teacher" or "teacher of the oikumene" was attributed to the most eminent Fathers of the Church. Theodosius II called St. John Chrysostom "ecumenical teacher" in the sense that he was the teacher of the whole Christian world. St. Gregory of Nazianzus says of St. Basil the Great, "out of one town of Caesaria the whole oikumene is illuminated." Thedoret of Cyrus adds, "at that time there was in Caesaria Basil the Great, the shining light of the oikumene" and "ecumenical teacher." Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom were recognized by the Orthodox Church as teachers of the oikumene, and in church hymns they are referred to as those who "have illuminated the oikumene through the rays of divine teachings."

The title "ecumenical teacher" was attributed in the seventh century to Stephanos. In the time of the Emperor Heraclius he reintroduced the study of philosophy to Constantinople where he directed the "ecumenical didaskaleion," i.e. the Higher School of Constantinople. This title had a purely honorific character and in a like manner great jurists were called teachers of the oikumene. The title continued to designate the director of the "ecumenical didaskaleion" of Constantinople and in the eleventh century denoted the expounder of the Gospel.

Since the title developed in this way and the boundaries of Church and Empire were identical, a special title for the archbishop of Constantinople also evolved. In earlier times the archbishops of Armenia and Georgia were addressed as katholikos, i.e. general. The pope of Rome had the title universalis, i.e. general, ecumenical. Even the bishops of the East addressed him in this way: at the Synod of Chalcedon deacon Theodore of Alexandria addressed him as "the most holy and most blessed and ecumenical Archbishop and Patriarch of great Rome, Leo." This title was given to the pope of Rome in later times also. Bu the bishop of Evazon, Olympios, at the synod of Ephesus of 449 addressed Dioskoros as "ecumenical Patriarch."

The second and fourth Ecumenical Councils elevated the archbishop of Constantinople to the first rank in the East and second after the pope of Rome and so he received the same seniority of honour. This elevation was justified on account of the high position which was attributed to Constantinople, the New Rome, the capital of the Empire. Since Constantinople was elevated and became the capital of the Empire it was identified with the oikumene and the capital of the Church. Therefore the title of the archbishop of the capital was changed accordingly. Acacius (472-482) was first addressed as ecumenical. Pope Felix protested and wrote nescio quemadmodum te ecclesiae totius asseras esse principem. John the Cappadocian in 518 was addressed by the clergy and the monks of Antioch as "ecumenical." Justinian believed that the Empire should again acquire its old boundarities and struggled to restore them. He naturally identified more than anyone else the word oikumene with the Byzantine Empire and it is due to this that the title of ecumenical is given by Nearae and the synodical letters to the patriarchs of his time.

John IV, the Faster, (582-595) tried the Patriarch of Antioch who was accused of uncanonical acts. He is referred to as "ecumenical" in the minutes of the Synod, but he never used the title himself in his signature. At that synod the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem were present and they didn't protest. But Pope Pelagius (578-590) protested and even more so did Gregory the Great (590-604). Pelagius wrote episcopum universalem se subscribere. (The word scribere of Pelagius was falsified to subscribere by the Pseudo-Isidorian decretals.) Balsamon in the 12th century knows that the patriarch himself does not use this title "and his own signature as ecumenical does not magnify the father, although by us he is called and glorified so."

When patriarchs were confined to Nicaea after the fall of Constantinople to the crusaders of the fourth Crusade, Germanos II (1222-1240) used the title oecumenicos in his signature. This leads to the conclusion that when he was addressed by others as ecumenical he did not claim to be sovereign of the whole Church. The patriarchs regarded this title simply as honorific, because they were bishops of the capital of the Empire which extended throughout the oikumene. That it had such a meaning is shown by the fact that other thrones were also called ecumenical, just so that their significance and valour would be exalted; in this way it is said "the bishops of the great ecumenical thrones, I say, of Rome and Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem."

We have previously remkared that the meaning of "catholic" was identified with the meaning of "orthodoxy." The identification of the meaning of oikumene with the meaning of the Church resulted also in the identification of oikumene with orthodoxy. Whatever was ecumenical was also orthodox. If one was not orthodox, he was cut off from the oikumene, i.e. from the catholic Church, and was disapproved of by it.

-- John Anastasiou, Councils and the Ecumenical Movement,  pp. 26-27
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 17, 2017, 10:23:49 PM
But one should not forget that, already in the pre-eternal Adam, God had foreseen the image of the New Adam, just as in Eve He had foreseen the image of the New Eve. It is therefore idle to ask whether the Incarnation would have taken place if Adam had not fallen, since this very category of possibility or indeterminancy is inapplicable to the proper ways of God, for which there can be no either/or. The Incarnation is immanent to the very creation of the world, which has its head and center in man, the living image of God. That is why the redemption which is included in the Incarnation, is thus, as a possibility, equally immanent to the creation of the world. Man is a creature of God; in virtue of his creatureliness he contains relativity or changeability, which includes the possibility of sin. This possibility is a constantly threatening reality that cannot be overcome by the powers of the creature alone. The Creator Himself takes it upon Himself to overcome this possibility: He takes it upon Himself to overcome not only sin but even creatureliness itself. With this He concludes His creation and thereby justifies the act of creation.

If not for this divine action, creation would inevitably be imperfect in virtue of its origination out of nothing and thus in virtue of the limitedness and changeability of creaturely freedom. God cannot abandon the world--which, although it is perfect in the initial state of its creation ("it was good"), has in itself the inevitable ontological imperfection of creatureliness and the resulting incompleteness--to its own fate (as the Deists teach). A further task arises in connection with the creation of the world: the task of overcoming its creatureliness, of making the creation of uncreated or supercreated, of deifying it. Such is true theodicy, which is precisely the Incarnation. Such is the cost of creation for God Himself, such is the sacrifice of God's love manifested in the creation of the world: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Christ's cross is inscribed in creation at its very origin, and in its initial act the world is already called to receive Divinity into its depths.

-- Fr. Sergie Bulgakov (d. 1944), The Lamb of God (https://books.google.com/books?id=aW1Oeu2fVDQC&lpg=PP1&dq=sergei%20bulgakov&pg=PA345#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 18, 2017, 10:17:24 PM
Father Sophrony also makes another very interesting and important observation concerning the example given by Christ and our own theosis or deification. He points to the fact that even though the deification of Christ's human nature was, as Saint John Damascene says, effected from the very moment in which He assumed our nature, nevertheless Christ as Man shied away from anything which might give the impression of auto-theosis, that is to say, self-deification or self-divinization. That is why we see the action of the Holy Spirit underlined at His Holy birth: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee... therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35); also, the Holy Spirit descends upon Christ at His baptism in the Jordan (Matt. 3:15); and concerning the Resurrection, the Scriptures speak thus: "God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory" (1 Pet. 1:21); and finally, Christ Himself, teaching us the way of humility and how always to ascribe glory to Our Heavenly Father, says: "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true" (John 5:31-32)

The same movement may be observed in the Divine Liturgy. The Words of Institution--"take eat, this is my body," "drink of this all of you, this is my blood"--by themselves are not regarded as sufficient to effect the consecration of the Holy Gifts; they must be accompanied by the Epiklesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, precisely in order to avoid any notion of self-deification, to avoid, that is, giving the impression that simply by speaking the words which Christ spoke, we are able to transform the Holy Gifts into the precious body and blood of Christ.

-- Said of Elder Sophrony (d. 1993), (in: Christopher Veniamin - The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation: "Theosis" in Scripture and Tradition)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 19, 2017, 08:58:34 PM
The origin of the patristic insistence on the equality of all bishops can be understood only in terms of the presuppositions: 1) that the corporate eucharistic life locally manifested is an end in itself, 2) that individual communities are related to each other by their identity of existence in Christ, 3) that the fullness of Christ dwells in the faithful who gather together in the life of Christ epi to auto, and 4) that the episcopate is an inseparable part of this local life epi to auto. The order of the episcopate was not something that existed in itself, or itself, and over or apart from the local Church. It was definitely within the Church, and since the visible Church could be defined only in terms of the body of Christ locally manifested in its mystagogical life, the episcopate was definitely of local character. The existence of bishops in the smallest and remotest villages of the empire cannot be explained otherwise than in terms of the necessity to have a bishop and council of presbyters within and responsible for the life of each eucharistic center. Therefore bishops were equal because communities were equal. One local manifestation of the body of Christ could not be more body of Christ or less than another. Likewise the living image of Christ (the bishop) could not be more image or less image than another image because Christ, whose image the bishops are, is identically One and Equal with Himself.

-- Fr. John Romanides (d. 2001), The Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 7 (http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.11.en.the_ecclesiology_of_st._ignatius_of_antioch.01.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 21, 2017, 03:16:46 PM
If Adam had not sinned, he would have remained forever blessed, and all his descendants would have enjoyed blessedness. It was for this very purpose that God had created man. But Adam, having succumbed to the tempter-devil, transgressed against the law of the Maker and took pleasure in the taste of the forbidden fruit. When God appeared to Adam right after he had sinned, Adam, instead of repenting and promising obedience henceforth, began to justify himself and to blame his wife. Eve in turn blamed the serpent for everything. And so it was that sin became a part of human nature, deeply injuring it because of the lack of repentance of Adam and Eve. The existing communion with the Maker was cut and the blessedness lost. Having lost Paradise within himself, Adam became unworthy of the external Paradise and was therefore banished from it.

After the fall into sin, Adam's soul darkened: his thoughts and desires became muddled, and his imagination and memory began to cloud. Instead of peace and joy he met sorrow, agitation, ruination, misery, and woe. He experienced hard labor, poverty, hunger, and thirst. And after years of unsurpassed sorrows, sickly old age began to oppress him, and death neared. Worst of all, the devil, the perpetrator of every evil, obtained through sin the ability to influence Adam and to further alienate him from God.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven (http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/kingdomofheaven.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 27, 2017, 09:18:15 PM
First of all, concerning faith, one preliminary remark. Faith is very often understood by people as a defeat of intelligence. In other words, faith begins when I can no longer think creatively, when I let go of any attempt at rational understanding, and when I say 'I believe' because it is so absurd that it is the only way of facing the problem. This may be an act of credulity, it may be an act of cowardice, it may be a preliminary act, full of wisdom and intelligence, that teaches us not to draw conclusions or to come to conclusions before we have understood.

But his it not the faith as understood by the great men of all religions, and particularly the Christian faith. In the Epistle to the Hebrews in the eleventh chapter, faith is defined as 'certainty of things unseen.' We usually lay the stress on 'things unseen' and forget the 'certainty' about them. So when we think of faith we usually think of the invisible and instead of certainty put against it an interrogation mark. Then to solve the problem, we accept in a childish way, in an unintelligent way very often, what we are told by others--usually our grandparents of three generations back, or whoever else we choose to believe for reasons that are not always reasonable.

But if you try to see the way in which faith originates in those people who were the great men of faith, the heroes of faith, you can see that it always originates in an experience that makes the invisible certain, and which allows them, having discovered that the invisible is as real as the visible, to go further in searching the invisible by methods of their own.

-- Met. Anthony of Sourozh (d. 2003), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=bXkEDYYBmDoC&lpg=PP1&dq=Anthony%20of%20Sourozh&pg=PA32#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 29, 2017, 05:56:41 PM
Discernment was another marker of spiritual authority in the ascetic community. In many of his own letters, St. Anthony noted that he prayed that his disciples might receive the gift of discernment in order to understand better the difference between good and evil and thereby offer themselves more completely to God. He also related that he knew of men who had pursued asceticism for many years, but in the end, the lack of discernment led to their spiritual demise.

-- George Demacopoulos (b. 1970), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=oqIjyCKOAAUC&lpg=PA187&dq=stanley%20harakas&pg=PA98#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Mor Ephrem on May 29, 2017, 06:24:27 PM
-- George Demacopoulos (b. 1970), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=oqIjyCKOAAUC&lpg=PA187&dq=stanley%20harakas&pg=PA98#v=onepage&q&f=false)

You're killing my soul. 
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 29, 2017, 06:38:41 PM
-- George Demacopoulos (b. 1970), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=oqIjyCKOAAUC&lpg=PA187&dq=stanley%20harakas&pg=PA98#v=onepage&q&f=false)

You're killing my soul.

;D ;D ;D

Embrace this podvig, cast aside your prelestuous mindset that presumes you already know what is good for you, and you will verily acquire an Orthodox phronema!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Rohzek on May 29, 2017, 06:43:14 PM
-- George Demacopoulos (b. 1970), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=oqIjyCKOAAUC&lpg=PA187&dq=stanley%20harakas&pg=PA98#v=onepage&q&f=false)

You're killing my soul.

;D ;D ;D

Embrace this podvig, cast aside your prelestuous mindset that presumes you already know what is good for you, and you will verily acquire an Orthodox phronema!

You win the internets. 8)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 02, 2017, 06:26:06 PM
Having spoken about self-offering, vicarious self-denial and sacrifical service as the archetypal specifications of the Christian priesthood, St. Symeon turns next to the witness of Christian asceticism in order to elucidate further his understanding of the priesthood. What he implies here is that the ascetic model is basic to that of a priest. The ascetic is he, who loves the Lord above all else. The priest is he, who loves the Lord and accepts his calling to feed his sheep.  Is it not true, he asks, that the divine and cross-bearing, ascetic vesture is the sign of the poverty of Christ? Is it not the sign of the cross, the icon of death, the study of all that lies above and beyond the world, the laying off or the rejection of all things that lie below and are earthly? It is indeed so, he says. And yet, there have been so many great, spiritual masters, who fully understood and honored this ascetic vesture in their lives, but avoided assuming the height of the sacred glory of the priesthood. This was not, he explains, because they thought that the priesthood is something to be avoided, but because its height requires a soul that is very great and capable of dispensing sacred deeds. It requires a soul that is as pure as is possible for man; a soul that is totally eager and tireless to be of benefit to the brethren, for the priesthood is God's work, loved by Him and undertaken out of love for Him. This is exactly what Christ stressed to Peter three times, and what Christian asceticism is basically all about.

Many of the great, spiritual masters who wore the ascetic vesture with true humility, shrunk from entering the ranks of the priesthood, because they considered it much higher than their capability. These great and true ascetics were in fact much more eligible for the priesthood than those others, who openly sought it, instead of avoiding it, regarding themselves most worthy of it because of the height and purity of their monastic values. There is no doubt, says St. Symeon, that the monastic ideals fit perfectly with the lofty and pure calling of the priesthood. Indeed, the Church knows this and has, therefore, entrusted her protection to the holy ascetics. It has become customary to have ascetic priests promoted to the hierarchy of the Church, and it is demanded that those priests, who are to become hierarchs, should first assume the ascetic habit. According to St. Syemon, the linking of ascetic priests with higher ranks of the clergy represents the high view of the faithful and divine protectors of the Church. Yet, it often happens that ascetic priests themselves corrupt and render useless such a lofty view! What is the cause of such a problem, and how can it be cured?

The problem in this case, says St. Symeon, is the departure of such priests from their monastic ideals. By corrupting their ascetic vesture and habit, they fail to dispense their priesthood worthily. Such ascetics are usually only interested in acquiring this most divine authority. Thus, they employ all their powers and sacrifice everything they have in order to achieve this. yet, as soon as they gain it, they prove that they are unworthy of exercising it. They do the opposite to what they are supposed to do, to the detriment both of themselves and of the priesthood itself. No one, says St. Symeon, should aspire to acquire the priestly vesture in order to climb up to the ladder of hierarchy. Anyone, who is elected to the priesthood, should first consider the divine and lofty purpose of it, so that he may humble himself along with the Master, who humbles himself, and whose image he puts on. Failure to do this often leads newly ordained priests to turn this divine order into a source of conceit and blindness. This is not due to the priesthood as such, but to the priests' choice, which does not turn their mind to the divine truth, but makes them yawn in idleness and become attached, or literally nailed to, things that lie below and pertain to selfishness.

-- Fr. George Dragas (b. 1944), On the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist (https://books.google.com/books?id=7D7DhY-LijMC&lpg=PR1&dq=george%20dragas&pg=PA12#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 09, 2017, 11:12:58 PM
We take the liberty of saying that it seems our Brother Bishops have treated this matter without sufficient attention, without realizing how far our Church is being drawn into the sphere of anti-canonical and even of anti-dogmatical agreements with the heterodox. This fact is especially clear if one turns to the initial statements of the representatives of the Orthodox Churches as compared with what is taking place at present.

At the Conference in Lausanne in 1937, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Germanos, clearly stated that restoring unity with the Church means for Protestants that they must return to the doctrines of the ancient Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. "And what are the elements of the Christian doctrines," he said, "which should be regarded as necessary and essential? According to the understanding of the Orthodox Church there is no need now to make definitions of those necessary elements of faith, because they are already made in the ancient Creeds and the decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Therefore this teaching of the ancient undivided Church should be the basis of the reunion of the Church." That was the position taken by all the Orthodox delegates at the Lausanne and Oxford Conferences...

What, then, has changed? Have the Protestants abandoned their errors? No. They have not changed, and the Church has not changed; only the persons who are now said to represent her have changed. If the representatives of the Orthodox Churches had only continued firmly maintaining the basic principles of our belief in the Church, they would not have brought the Orthodox Church into the ambiguous position which was created for her by the decision of the Geneva Conference last year. Since the Assembly of the World Council of Churches in New Delhi, the Orthodox delegates no longer make separate statements, but have merged into one mass with the Protestant confessions. Thus all the decisions of the Uppsala Assembly are made in the name of "the Church," which is always spoken of in the singular.

-- Met. Philaret of New York (d. 1985), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/sorrow.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 17, 2017, 09:13:57 PM
Translation is the core of missionary work. Nowadays the work of a mission in general, in any country, cannot be limited to oral preaching alone... In Japan, where people like reading and respect the printed word so much, we must first of all provide the faithful and those who are about to be baptized with books printed in their mother tongue, by all means well-written and neatly and cheaply published... The printed word must be the soul of the mission.

-- St. Nicholas of Japan (d. 1912), Source (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/51599.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2017, 09:34:16 PM
We need to be careful not to harbour any resentment against those who harm us, but rather to pray for them with love. Whatever any of our fellow men does, we should never think evil of him. We need always to have thoughts of love and always to think good of others. Look at Saint Stephen the first martyr. He prayed, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. We need to do the same. We should never think about someone that God will send him some evil or that God will punish him for his sin. This thought brings about very great evil, without our being aware of it. We often feel indignation and say to someone: ‘Have you no fear of God’s justice, are you not afraid of God’s punishment?’ Or else we say, ‘God will punish you for what you’ve done,’ or, ‘O God, do not bring evil on that person for what he did to me,’ or, ‘May that person not suffer the same thing.’

In all these cases, we have a deep desire within us for the other person to be punished. Instead of confessing our anger over his error, we present our indignation in a different way, and we allegedly pray to God for him. In reality, however, in this way we are cursing our brother. And if, instead of praying, we say, ‘May God repay you for the evil you have done to me,’ then once again we are wishing for God to punish him. Even when we say, ‘All very well, God is witness,’ the disposition of our soul works in a mysterious way and influences the soul of our fellow man so that he suffers evil.

-- St. Porphyrios of Athos (d. 1991), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderporphyrios_dispositions.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 24, 2017, 07:28:40 PM
One of the best definitions of providence I ever heard was: God doing the best he can with what he’s got, and what he’s got is us. Poor God! But he doesn’t give up on us. No matter how often we fall, we can get up again, but we are told in Scripture—in Proverbs, in Psalms, in Prophets, in the New Testament, in the letter to the Romans, in the Book of Revelation—that we will answer for our works: kata ta erga; we will answer for what we have done, what is written in the books. It’s not just you say, “Oh, I believe in God; therefore I can relax and heaven is mine, because Jesus saved me.” That’s an abomination. It’s just an abomination.

-- Fr. Thomas Hopko (d. 2015), Source (http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/relax_god_is_in_control_final_thoughts)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 10, 2017, 10:16:30 PM
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Good News of Heaven and earth, God’s Gospel for men in this world. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In those few words, the Holy Forerunner expressed the fullness of the Gospels. Looking toward the East, he said to the entire human race, from Adam to our days, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The Kingdom of Heaven? Here it is: the Lord Jesus [come] from Heaven. In Him is the Kingdom of Heaven.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Source (http://orthochristian.com/39103.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 11, 2017, 08:15:25 PM
Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov once visited Optina hoping to meet and converse with monks experienced in the spiritual life, and was referred to Father Anatole, who was then a deacon. The bishop was impressed with Father Anatole, and related the details of their conversation to Father Macarius. The Elder began to beat him with his staff, and ordered him out of the room. When someone asked why he had been so harsh, Father Macarius said, “Why shouldn’t I scold him? It’s easy to become proud.”

-- said of St. Anatolius I of Optina (d. 1894), Source (https://oca.org/saints/lives/2017/01/25/148990-venerable-anatole-i-of-optina)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on October 12, 2017, 01:12:05 AM
Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov once visited Optina hoping to meet and converse with monks experienced in the spiritual life, and was referred to Father Anatole, who was then a deacon. The bishop was impressed with Father Anatole, and related the details of their conversation to Father Macarius. The Elder began to beat him with his staff, and ordered him out of the room. When someone asked why he had been so harsh, Father Macarius said, “Why shouldn’t I scold him? It’s easy to become proud.”

-- said of St. Anatolius I of Optina (d. 1894), Source (https://oca.org/saints/lives/2017/01/25/148990-venerable-anatole-i-of-optina)
That's powerful.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 13, 2017, 07:20:01 PM
The image [of God] comes to be seen here through participation in the Holy Trinity, and precisely through this participation, as something that belongs to the mental and rational soul of man, while grace comes to be seen as the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit, as active communion with God. Furthermore, St. Gregory Palamas regarded the living soul, which was breathed into humans, as eternally alive, immortal, and endowed with divine grace. "What did he breathe into him? The breath of life... 'The first man... became a living spirit.' But what does 'living' mean? Eternally living, immortal, which is the same as saying rational... it is also endowed with divine grace. For such is the truly living soul. And this is identical with 'in the image' and, if you like, 'in the likeness' too." The tendency exists within reason for it to go on knowing for all eternity, while within the word the tendency exists for it to go on speaking for all eternity.

This identification of the rational with immortality will be better understood, however, if on the one hand we take into account that a human existence pointed toward death is irrational and meaningless, and on the other hand, if we regard the rational as that which issues in speech. Man spaks because he is addressed by God, because through speech he is placed in relationship with God. And because man speaks or, better, because man resonds, he will never cease responding, for God will never cease to tell man what God is or cease to reveal his love. Nor will man ever cease to understand or cease to wish to understand still more, or cease to express his joy, gratitude, and praise for what God shows him. This inbreathing of God implants more than just biological life within man (for animals also have this and they do not receive the divine inbreathing); it bestows the life of understanding and also of communion with God, that is to say, spiritual life.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=VZVsh4VV5OYC&lpg=PA160&dq=Dumitru%20St%C4%83niloae&pg=PA83#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 14, 2017, 04:54:11 PM
The faith of our creed... sees in the witness of the Spirit, the very presence of God in our midst, which presence alone constitutes the true Tradition. Holy Tradition is a divine process; it is not ours but God's, reaching out from the soma to the fullness of the pleroma. Holy Tradition is not something static, to be safeguarded by dogmatic formulas; it is the dynamic movement of God in history, in which man shares as part of the perfect humanity of Christ.

-- Bp. Gerasimos Papadopoulos (d. 1995), (found in: Fr. John McGuckin, The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture, p. 93)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 15, 2017, 03:40:09 PM
Before the fourth century Christian worship had been the worship of a persecuted minority. This had helped to emphasize the corporate nature of the liturgy. Only true Christians, those who were prepared to accept the Gospel in all its fullness and in the full awareness of its meaning, were members of the Church. Christian worship was the mystery of the commnity meeting together. From the fourth century onward, however, it gradually became a worship dominated by the sanctuary. Was a development of this kind not inevitable once the liturgy came to be celebrated in the great basilicas which Constantine had erected throughout the Empire--in the "Great Church" of Hagia Sophia, for example, which held thousands of worshippers? Moreover, the faithful themselves felt that they now belonged to a privileged religion, to an imperial Christianity, they were no longer a group hated by the "world."

But, basically speaking, the Church did not modify either its stand toward the world or its consciousness of being "outside the world." [In] the new circumstances in which it found itself it could not help devising new methods for protecting the Christian mystery. Formerly the non-baptized had been forbidden to enter the ecclesia (church); henceforth the laity were forbidden to enter the sanctuary since many of them were only superficially baptized at best. The liturgy was gradually transformed into an "office" chanted by the clergy in the "presence" of people. In sermons, theological works, and the symbolism of church art, from now on there would be much more emphasis on the terrifying mystery of the divine presence in the Church, on the dangers of an unworthy reception of "communion" in the mystery, and on the role of the clergy as mediators between the people and the Mystery. This increased emphasis upon ecclesiastical formality, which obscured but did not deny the essential traits of Christian worship, was necessary in order to maintain the sense of the Sacred in the Church over the centuries.

-- Fr. John Meyendorff (d. 1992), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=E16XzwPdJtsC&lpg=PR5&pg=PA20#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on October 16, 2017, 04:36:15 AM
Before the fourth century Christian worship had been the worship of a persecuted minority. This had helped to emphasize the corporate nature of the liturgy. Only true Christians, those who were prepared to accept the Gospel in all its fullness and in the full awareness of its meaning, were members of the Church. Christian worship was the mystery of the commnity meeting together. From the fourth century onward, however, it gradually became a worship dominated by the sanctuary. Was a development of this kind not inevitable once the liturgy came to be celebrated in the great basilicas which Constantine had erected throughout the Empire--in the "Great Church" of Hagia Sophia, for example, which held thousands of worshippers? Moreover, the faithful themselves felt that they now belonged to a privileged religion, to an imperial Christianity, they were no longer a group hated by the "world."

But, basically speaking, the Church did not modify either its stand toward the world or its consciousness of being "outside the world." [In] the new circumstances in which it found itself it could not help devising new methods for protecting the Christian mystery. Formerly the non-baptized had been forbidden to enter the ecclesia (church); henceforth the laity were forbidden to enter the sanctuary since many of them were only superficially baptized at best. The liturgy was gradually transformed into an "office" chanted by the clergy in the "presence" of people. In sermons, theological works, and the symbolism of church art, from now on there would be much more emphasis on the terrifying mystery of the divine presence in the Church, on the dangers of an unworthy reception of "communion" in the mystery, and on the role of the clergy as mediators between the people and the Mystery. This increased emphasis upon ecclesiastical formality, which obscured but did not deny the essential traits of Christian worship, was necessary in order to maintain the sense of the Sacred in the Church over the centuries.

-- Fr. John Meyendorff (d. 1992), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=E16XzwPdJtsC&lpg=PR5&pg=PA20#v=onepage&q&f=false)
This strikes me as controversial. It clearly favours the Paris School idea of priesthood, which I'm not capacitated to criticise, but am still aware of being target of strong criticism from inside the Church.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 16, 2017, 06:51:02 PM
I have an issue or two with it, though likely not the same as you are speaking of (for example I think he romanticizes the pre-Constantinian church way too much). Anything in particular that strikes you as off?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 16, 2017, 07:00:29 PM
The genius of Dostoevsky in A Gentle Creature shows us the unbearable contrast between the infinite depths of suffering and the indifference of time: "'Men, love one another.' Who said that? The pedulum ticks callously, with a hateful monotony." (Dostoevsky, A Writer's Diary, vol. II) Time reminds us that everything is passing. In Crime and Punishment, the ghost of the woman murdered by Svidrigailov appears and reminds him that "he has forgotten to wind the clock"! We can stop the clock; we cannot stop time which moves implacably towards the Judgment. One of the most terrible images is that of stopped time. Kierkegaard describes the awakening of a sinner in hell: "'What is the time?' he cried; and with icy indifference Satan replied, 'Eternity.'"

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), Orthodoxy, p. 211 (fn 14) (https://books.google.com/books?id=AkRhkwChdZsC&lpg=PP1&dq=olivier%20clement&pg=PA211#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on October 16, 2017, 07:03:30 PM
I have an issue or two with it, though likely not the same as you are speaking of (for example I think he romanticizes the pre-Constantinian church way too much). Anything in particular that strikes you as off?
He seems to correlate the gradually disappearing restriction to the office of non-communicators with the gradual clericalisation of Christian liturgy, which seems to me to reflect the Parisian idea of concelebration between clergy and people of the sacrifice. Not sure if Parisian theologians actually taught that explicity, but St. Daniel Sysoev ascribes this idea to them.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 17, 2017, 03:28:42 PM
The other day a lady asked me what would happen with the "toll booths" after death. I said to her, "I will tell them the Light of Christ shines to All! You however are in darkness and I don't see you!"

-- Mother Gavrielia (d. 1992), Source (https://orthodoxwiki.org/Gabrielia_(Papayannis))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on October 17, 2017, 07:04:42 PM
I have an issue or two with it, though likely not the same as you are speaking of (for example I think he romanticizes the pre-Constantinian church way too much). Anything in particular that strikes you as off?
He seems to correlate the gradually disappearing restriction to the office of non-communicators with the gradual clericalisation of Christian liturgy, which seems to me to reflect the Parisian idea of concelebration between clergy and people of the sacrifice. Not sure if Parisian theologians actually taught that explicity, but St. Daniel Sysoev ascribes this idea to them.
I meant service rather than office, was thinking in Portuguese.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 17, 2017, 07:07:50 PM
Huh, well I'm not sure :)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 18, 2017, 07:45:21 PM
In 1937, Vladyka was arrested, and spent more than two difficult years undergoing tortuous interrogation. Nonetheless, resting his hope in the Lord, he courageously endured those trials, not only refusing to agree to false accusations against him, but engaging in active protests – refusing to eat, and sending complaints to the highest authorities against the prosecutors’ illegal actions. He would say to his fellow prisoners, “They demand that I remove my ryassa. I will never do so. It, my ryassa, will be with me to my very death… I help people as a physician, and I help them as a servant of the Church….”

-- said of St. Luke of Simferopol and Crimea (d. 1961), Source (http://www.stjohndc.org/en/orthodoxy-foundation/saints/hiero-confessor-luke-voino-yasenetsky)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 19, 2017, 10:24:12 PM
When now the historian of tradition goes on from Augustine to Augustinianism, the need to avoid the "great man theory" of history becomes all the more imperative. Augustine is probably the most influential figure in medieval intellectual history: as the saying goes, perhaps not the greatest of the Latin writers, but almost certainly the greatest man who ever wrote Latin. But he is this not only, and not even chiefly, because other giants of the Middle Ages who might deserve to stand along-side him--Anselm of Canterbury, or Bernard of Clairvaux, or Thomas Aquinas, or Bonaventure, or John Duns Scotus (to list them in strictly chronological order)--were all, in one way or another, Augustinians, as were, for that matter, Luther, Calvin, Pascal, and even, in some sense, Descartes.

What is so impressive about Augustine for our purposes here is that, as he drew from tradition and not only from Plato and Paul and other giants, so he also became part of the tradition, for literally millions of men and women who learned to look at the world and at human life as he had taught them--when not directly through his writings, which have circulated in millions of copies over the past fifteen centuries, then through the later catechisms, devotional books, and sermons that drew so much of their contents from him.

The rediscovery of Augustine was a component of each of the medieval "renaissances" I enumerated, including the Italian Renaissance itself, when Petrarch confronted Augustine and thus himself in My Secret atop Mount Ventoux. The Protestant Reformers likewise saw themselves as rediscovering the authentic Augustine after he had been hidden under an Aristotelian cloud in the systems of the scholastics. "Augustine is completely on our side" was Calvin's boast; he because the one figure who, more than any other, enabled the leaders of the Reformation to claim that they were not throwing over the Christian past after all. But more than any of these soloists of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation, it was, as far as we can tell, the silent in the land, those who did not write and could not read, who took over elements of the Augustinian tradition and transformed them into that protean mass of practices and beliefs that historians now call the medieval tradition.

-- Jaroslav Pelikan (d. 2006), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=ZhTPvDdv82AC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA19#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 20, 2017, 08:55:38 PM
The proper name of God is revealed in his total self-emptying on the Cross. "God is love," writes St. John. "He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." This is the mystery, everything else is but a glimmer.

-- Olivier Clement (d. 2009), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=MhJGJbPKpz4C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 21, 2017, 09:00:08 PM
Certainly the fact that the sudden development of the theme of the image coincided with the entry of the Greek language into the religious literature of Judaism was not fortuitous. But one may wonder if this recourse to a new vocabulary, rich in philosophical tradition, was not the answer to an internal need of Revelation itself, which thus received in the last stage of the Old Covenant an increase of light which was to lend new coloring to the sacred books of the Jews. “It is no accident” that the Jewish diaspora, in order to keep alive the word of Truth revealed to Israel, chose to give it an Hellenic expression, which allowed the authors of the deuterocanonical books to open up a theology of the image on the eve of the advent of Christianity.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), The Theology of the Image (pdf (http://jbburnett.com/resources/lossky/lossky-theol-image.pdf))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 22, 2017, 01:56:01 PM
He made a deep impression on his audience with his vitality and "the organic blending of intellectual curiosity and the faith of the heart." Filaret's method was a healthy combination of a philosophic inquisitiveness, theological reflection, pastoral sensitivity, and a well-founded biblical/patristic knowledge. In examining his scientific method, it soon becomes apparent that dogmas were not just unquestionable proofs from the past, but possessed a systematic foundation formulated by revelation and reason. Further, they were designed not only to be believe in but to increase in faith, when exposited with proper heed. Theological reflection and investigative epistemology were integral parts of his courses when lecturing at the Moscow Theological Academy where, without hesitation, he applied available methods of historical-source criticism, as well as proper philosophical considerations.

-- said of: St. Filaret Gumilevsky (d. 1866), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=WwcaAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PR1&pg=PA108#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 23, 2017, 08:49:43 PM
This Tree of Life was also a polarized descent of opposite qualities, the expansive movements of wisdom and kindness and the contractive of analysis and rigor, for example, with each in the process of interchange with its opposite... So for those teachers, the Tree is not just a static symbol, but something living and dynamic. Now this model of the tree is the organic form of the hierarchical picture of the universe which C.S. Lewis writes of in The Discarded Image, and the idea of hierarchy is not an easy one for many people today to use and understand, though it is important for religious faith, not only of course for the question of what we have made of hierarchy in our churches, but more basically in understanding our place in the world and our way of access to God.

The problem is that in our day, hierarchy is pretty well limited to the sense of chain-of-command. So Simone Weil, in her subtle analysis of the needs of the soul as paired opposites (in The Need For Roots) opposes hierarchy and equality as two equal but opposite needs of the spirit. Valid though that is, it is an essentially modern understanding. The ancient vision, or perhaps one should say, the alternative vision, for it still may be felt and held, starts with a dimension of 'height.' We, as C.S. Lewis observed, are with our radio telescopes aware of a vastly larger universe than the ancients knew. But if the Earth is so small, so is everything else, and so what?

But the other vision, of Dante for example, looks up into the night and sees sphere on sphere all the way back to the primum mobile, the high first stirrings of the universe, each greater and higher and more noble, so that the mind becomes dizzy with the abyss of height. If Pascal, allowing himself to see within the blinkers of modern sensibility, felt the terror of "the silence eternal and the space of infinity," for Dante, or anyone who sees into height, there is more the sense of being in an immense cathedral in whose ongoing building and beautification one had a specific place.

So when Dionysius, that mysterious sixth-century Syrian monk whose books exercised an enormous influence both in the east and in the west, writes his little books, Celestial Hierarchy and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, he is speaking of a living, growing world, in which each of us stands in relation to the Most High and can participate in the Divine Life which flows like sap in a tree or like a river of light from the Eden above, down through all created things. Each degree of the order of the Universe, or of the Church, exists only to receive the flow of the Glory of God and pass it on in its integrity... so that, because each who receives also fully relinquishes (it is, Dionysius would say, the Law of the Kingdom) the light and glory is full and integral at every stage.

-- Bp. Seraphim Sigrist (b. 1941), Theology of Wonder, pp. 9-10 (https://books.google.com/books?id=x-aP_67K8DoC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA9#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 24, 2017, 06:31:11 PM
Seek God daily. But seek Him in your heart, not outside it. And when you find Him, stand with fear and trembling, like the Cherubim and the Seraphim, for your heart has become a throne of God. But in order to find God, become humble as dust before the Lord, for the Lord abhors the proud, whereas He visits those that are humble in heart, wherefore He says: "To whom will I look, but to him that is meek and humble in heart?" (Isa. 66:2)

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina (d. 1920), Source (https://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/saint_nektarios_egina_e.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 25, 2017, 08:39:24 PM
A curious lack of theological studies was observed after the Greek Revolution, belying all optimistic hopes. One would be deeply disappointed if one sought to find out who were the theologians produced from mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. If the value of a literary contribution is measured by how long it continues to be read, then their contribution was meager, since no one today uses their writings-with few exceptions - while many are those who still utilize the works of the pre-revolutionary theologians.

It is true that some worthwhile commentaries were produced in the exegetical field, namely by Nicholas Damalas and Emmanuel Zolotas. But, on the other hand, it does no honor to Greek theological scholarship to note that it has not, to this day, been able to prepare a full series of commentaries of the New Testament, not to speak of the whole Bible. The only full commentary of the New Testament has come from outside of 'official ' theology-from Apostolos Makrakes. This weakness is obviously due to the fact that all those German-educated theologians, though they used German methodology, were not, at the same time, willing to accept the content of Protestant interpretation. As a result, they remained hesitant, or preferred to keep silent. The principles of an Orthodox hermeneutics were to be used with clearness and exactness only forty-five years ago by Evangelos Antoniades and Vasileios Vellas.

-- Panagiotes K. Christou (d. 1995), Neohellenic Theology at the Crossroads (http://www.apostoliki-diakonia.gr/en_main/catehism/theologia_zoi/themata.asp?cat=dogma&NF=1&contents=contents_Texts.asp&main=texts&file=5.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 26, 2017, 07:00:23 PM
The moral character and moral value of man's personality depends most of all on the direction and strength of the will. Of course, everyone understands that for a Christian it is necessary to have: first, a strong and decisive will, and second, a will which is firmly directed toward the good of his neighbor; toward the side of good and not evil. How is one to develop a strong will? The answer is simple--above all through the exercise of the will. To do this, as with bodily exercise, it is necessary to begin slowly, little by little. However, having begun to exercise one's will in anything (e.g. in a constant struggle with one's sinful habits or whims) this work on oneself must never cease. Moreover, a Christian who wishes to strengthen his will, his character, must from the very beginning avoid all dissipation, disorder and inconsistency of behavior. Otherwise, he will be a person without character, unreliable, a reed shaking in the wind, as we read in Holy Scripture.

Discipline is necessary for every one of us. It has such vital significance that without it, a correct, normal order and success in our endeavors is impossible. In the life of each individual it is of primary importance, for inner self-discipline takes the place here of external school or military discipline. Man must place himself in definite frameworks, having created definite conditions and an order of life--and not depart from this.

-- Met. Philaret Voznesensky (d. 1985), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20050421160945/http://www.stvladimirs.ca:80/library/metropolitan-philaret-modesty-will.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 27, 2017, 08:05:13 PM
Sin, and spiritual coldness in a lesser degree, is an incomprehensibility in the eyes of God, for it is a fading away into nothingness ontologically speaking. Even minor sins are a sickness of non-being that calls the Christian away from the fullness of life in Christ. Such is the strange paradox of post-baptismal sin. And yet, the fact that this paradox still cannot defile the purity of the church as Christ’s own body is seen also in the manner in which the sickness can be reversed and healed in the Christian community.

-- Fr. John McGuckin (b. 1952), The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture, p. 301
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 28, 2017, 04:31:46 PM
If there was any danger that a Christian people might deviate from the true teaching, the danger lay primarily in ignorance. The growth of rational knowledge, certainly, does not offer salvation, but guards against false knowledge. It is true that where the mind and heart have once been permeated by Divine truth, there the degree of learning becomes a side issue. It is also true that consciousness of the Divine is equally compatible with all stages of rational development. But, in order that Divine truth might permeate, enliven, and guide man’s intellectual life, it must subordinate external reason to itself and dominate it, not remain outside its sphere of action. Divine truth must stand above other truths in the general consciousness as the sovereign principle pervading all culture. For each separate Divine truth must be supported by the like-mindedness of cultivated society. Ignorance, by contrast, keeps minds from vital intellectual interchange through which truth among men and nations is sustained, advanced, and enlarged. An ignorant mind, even when accompanied by the most righteous convictions of the heart, gives birth to irrational jealousy, from which in turn springs the deviation of both mind and heart from true convictions.

-- Ivan Kireyevsky (d. 1856), On the Necessity and Possibility of New Principles in Philosophy (http://www.oocities.org/trvalentine/orthodox/kireyevsky_new-principles.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 29, 2017, 03:57:28 PM
Antonina Sergevna, knowing that Dmitri Evgenievich was a psychiatrist, asked him a question: "Tell me something. Jesus Christ healed possessed people. Were they mentally ill?"

Dmitri answered, "A person can be mentally ill or can be spiritual ill--these are distinct illnesses. People who are spiritually ill are possessed. They are possessed by a thirst to kill, an uncontrollable desire to do evil, to torture people, to make them suffer. All their spiritual essence is imbued with evil: they venerate evil and venerate demonic powers. Remember the two demoniacs who lived in the tombs (Mt. 8:23): they were possessed. Think of the NKVD investigators: the ones who interrogate people and torture them and, with a shrewd understanding of human weaknesses, verbally abuse and use people and demean women. These investigators are seriously spiritually ill; the power of evil, demonism, has seized their souls, but many of them are not mentally ill at all. I have met such spiritually ill people more than once. Psychiatry can do nothing for them: they are possessed.

"Healing from a spiritual illness can occur by the grace of God only with the help of a spiritual ascetic, one who is immersed entirely in prayer, in the love of God and of mankind. It is not just any priest who can heal such a possessed person. Jesus Christ Himself said, 'This kind can come out only through prayer and fasting' (Mk. 9:29). Mental illness can be treated in psychiatric hospitals or at home by medication, physiotherapy, work, psychanalysis. Many priests believe that psychoanalysis is sinful because the analyst forces himself onto the patient's soul, thus replacing confession; they think that only in confession should one open one's innermost treasure. But, as a doctor of psychiatry, I ahve seen more than once that psychoanalysis by an experienced psychoanalyst has entirely healed a patient.

-- Father Arseny: A Cloud of Witnesses, p. 37 (https://books.google.com/books?id=JZtRWXU1Xp8C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA37#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 30, 2017, 08:31:04 PM
The term Orthodoxy consists of two words: "orthos" (true, right) and "doxa". "Doxa" means, on the one hand, belief, faith, teaching and on the other, praise or doxology. These two meanings are closely connected. The true teaching about God incorporates the true praise of God; for if God is abstract, then prayer to this God is abstract as well. If God is personal then prayer assumes a personal character. God has revealed the true faith, the true teaching. Thus we say that the teaching about God and all matters associated with a person's salvation are the Revelation of God and not man's discovery.

God has revealed this truth to people who were prepared to receive it. Judas expresses this point well by saying: "contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). In this quotation as in many other related passages it is clear that God reveals Himself to the Saints, i.e. to those who have reached a certain level of spiritual growth so as to receive this Revelation. The Holy Apostles were "healed" first, and then received the Revelation. And they transmitted this Revelation to their spiritual children not only by teaching them but primarily by mystically effecting their spiritual rebirth. In order for this faith to be preserved the Holy Fathers formulated the dogmas and doctrines. We accept the dogmas and doctrines; in other words we accept this revealed faith and remain with the Church so as to be healed. For faith is, on the one hand, Revelation to those purified and healed and, on the other it is the right path to reach theosis, for those who choose to follow the "way".

-- Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos (b. 1945), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20060111004344/http://www.pelagia.org:80/htm/b15.en.orthodox_spirituality.01.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 31, 2017, 06:24:53 PM
In the usual celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, we exhort ourselves and one another to "lay aside all earthly cares," in order to receive "the King of all." On Holy Saturday, as we commemorate Christ's repose in the tomb and His descent into the realm of the dead, we recall the price paid for our own liberation from death and corruption. We declare that He, the preexistent divine Son of the Father, came into our world and into our life for one purpose: to die, that through His death we might have life, lived in eternal communion with the Holy Trinity.

There is nothing in human experience, nor even in the human imagination, that could offer greater promise and greater joy than this central message of the Christian gospel. Yet for most of us, the most familiar and painful aspect of our lenten journey is likely to be our inability to relate to that message--to the extraordinary promise--in a way that actually changes our life. Distraction, dispersion, and chaos, whether from outside or from deep within our own psyche, exercise their demonic influence in every phase of our daily life, while we are at work, with our friends or family, or in a liturgical service. And so we live our lives on the surface, feeling little and caring little for what is in fact the one thing in this world that really matters, the one thing that is truly needful.

Holy Saturday calls us back to what is essential. In the Entrance Hymn especially, it reminds us that our life is a battle ground, where a constant struggle pits us against the Enemy, against the worst inclinations of our fallen nature. Appropriately, it calls us to engage in that struggle with fear, with trembling, and in silence. One of the great teachers of the Orthodox tradition, the fifth-century mystic, Diodochos of Photiki, captured the vital link between inner silence and spiritual warfare with these words: "Spiritual knowledge comes through prayer, deep stillness and complete detachment... When the soul's incesive power [thymikon, spiritual wrath] is aroused against the passions, we should know it is time for silence, since the hour of battle is at hand." (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 255)

-- Fr. John Breck (b. 1939), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=nvNw04dSlbIC&lpg=PA1&pg=PA173#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 01, 2017, 07:30:50 PM
As a eucharistic organism, the Church realizes and maintains its unity through the act of Holy Communion. It is the Eucharist that creates the oneness of the Church. Unity is to be understood not in juridical but in eucharistic terms. Unity is not imposed from above by some hierarch or administrative center endowed with supreme power of jurisdiction, but it is created from within by the celebration of the liturgy. This is precisely what St. Paul affirms. "The bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all share in this one loaf" (1 Cor. 10:16-17). For ecclesiology there is no biblical text more decisive than this. Between communion in the one eucharist load and membership in the one body of Christ, St. Paul is asserting not just an analogy but a causal connection. Because we eat from the one loaf, therefore we are made one body in Christ.

The interdependence of the Eucharist and Church is a dominant theme throughout the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred c. 107). "Be careful to have but one Eucharist," he writes to the Philadelphians. "For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup for the union with his blood, one altar, just as there is one bishop with the presbytery and the deacons my fellow-servants." The repetition of the word one shows very clearly how Ignatius envisages Church unity: "...one Eucharist... one flesh... one cup... one altar... one bishop." the unity of the Church is manifested as a specific and objective reality at each local celebration of the Eucharist, when the faithful, gathered around the bishop epi to auto, "in the same place"--a favorite phrase of Ignatius--receive communion in the one Christ from one loaf and one chalice. There is an integral connection in Ignatius's mind between the shared communion in Christ's body and blood, and the unity of the local church gathered round the bishop.

-- Met. Kallistos Ware (b. 1934), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=rBehk8zQzYwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA189#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2017, 03:44:26 PM
Take a look at yourself, therefore, and see how bound you are by your desire to humour yourself and only yourself. Your freedom is curbed by the restraining bonds of self-love, and thus you wander, a captive corpse, from morning till eve. "Now I will drink," "now I will get up," "now I will read the paper." Thus you are led from moment to moment in your halter of preoccupation with self, and kindled instantly to displeasure, impatience or anger if an obstacle intervenes. If you look into the depths of your consciousness you meet the same sight. You recognize it readily by the unpleasant feeling you have when someone contradicts you. Thus we live in thralldom. But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics (http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/WayOfTheAscetics)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 03, 2017, 11:11:13 PM
The patristic teaching on the image and the "garments of skin: which we have been examining up to now offers, I believe, not only an Orthodox understanding of man but also a foundation upon which Orthodox theology can be based in order to give effective help to the modern world. the position of Orthodox theology vis-a-vis the world, as defined by this teaching, is at the same time both radically critical and radically positive.

Orthodox theology is called in the first place to judge autonomy on all its levels and in all its forms and to condemn it relentlessly. In our study of the anthropological dimension of sin we have seen how autonomy is the source and the content of sin, since it constitutes a counterfeit of the truth about man, his mutilation and his restriction to the biological level of existence. This crime becomes even greater when man, dressed in the "garments of skin," as a consequence treats even these as autonomous. Under such conditions the "garments of skin" appear in their negative aspect alone; they function as the will of the flesh and, according to Paul, lead inescapably to death. This means for us today that the making autonomous of the law, of sexuality, of technology, of politics and so on, is in danger of leading humanity to ultimate self-destruction on the moral, political and even biological levels. Christian theology has the duty to proclaim this truth most emphatically because we are in genuine reality living at the eleventh hour.

But in order to carry out this task contemporary Christian theology must recover its authentic evangelical and patristic voice. It is impossible for its message to be heard by any reasonable modern person at all when it presents sin as disobedience to a set of external rules, or even worse, as disobedience to an enshrined social or political establishment. An even greater problem, however, is created by the basic distortion of the biblical and patristic teaching about man by Christian theology, initially in the West. This has had painful consequences. The opinion that Adam's original nature lay in his biological constitution, to which grace was added by God as a supernatural gift, has led serious inquirers into the authentic nature of man to reject God's existence altogether (in the context, of course, of more general circumstances and also under other influences).

Similar consequences followed also from Augustine's axiom that "if man had not perished, the Son of Man would not have come." This trapped Christ, and by extension the Christian life and the realities of the Church, the sacraments, faith and the rest, within the bounds defined by sin. Christ in this perspective is not so much the creator and recapitulator of all things, the Alpha and Omega as Scripture says, but simply the redeemer from sin. The Christian life is regarded not so much as the realization of Adam's original destiny, as a dynamic transformation of man and the world and as union with God, but as a simple escape from sin. The sacraments are not realizations here and now of the kingdom of God and manifestations of it, but mere religious duties and means of acquiring grace. The same is true with regard to good works and faith. The boundaries are thus narrowed in an asphyxiating manner. The Church forgets her ontological bond with the world. And the world, seeing that its positive aspects are not appreciated within the Church, feels a sense of alienation and brakes off relations with it.

The theology of the image and of the garments of skin overcomes these difficulties and others like them and can offer the world real help. by seeing man and the world as an image, it honors the image and the matter which makes up the image. When the matter desires to become autonomous, to neglect not the archetype but itself, this theology does not hesitate to proclaim that by such an action the matter destroys itself. The theology of the image condemns the action of seeking autonomy in a radical way, but it also continues to love the matter, wounded and corrupt as it is, because God accepted it and in His love gave it the new powers and functions of the "garments of skin." It honors the "garments of skin," marriage, science, politics, art and the rest, without however hesitating to testify that when these are made autonomous they bring about the final consolidation of sin and the destruction of man. With this simultaneous judgment and appreciation of the world Orthodox theology remains faithful to the biblical and patristic teaching on the two-fold nature of the "garments of skin."

-- Panayiotis Nellas (d. 1986), Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person, pp. 93-95
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 04, 2017, 12:31:22 PM
Just as markers are placed on the sides of large roads so that those passing by them would know how far they have gone and how far remains, so in the spiritual life there are certain signs which indicate the degree of perfection of a life, which are also there, so that those who are zealous for perfection do not stop halfway and deprive themselves of the fruits of their labor, because they know how far they have come and how far remains to go. The fruit may be only a few turns away.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), Homily 3: On Prayer (pdf (https://www.straphaeldetroit.org/files/On-Prayer-by-St.-Theophan-the-Recluse.pdf))
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 05, 2017, 04:34:03 PM
You are now in the place which the Lord gave to you;
In the place where He has you assigned.
Only there will He be your staff and your shield,
Only there will you serve well His will.

And should He decide to send you His grace,
He will not search all over the earth;
In your very own place will He look for you,
In the place which He gave you Himself.

Remain, take courage, and firmly hold on
To the place where He has you assigned.
If your fate be the cross – descend not from the cross;
And if fire be your fate – do not fear.

Do not sigh or sorrowfully gaze all about,
If your place be humble and obscure;
In that very place given you by the Lord,
He desires you to glorify His name.

-- St. John of Riga (d. 1934), Source (http://www.holy-transfiguration.org/poetry/poetry_general.html#_23)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 06, 2017, 09:01:05 PM
Church life in the era of Constantine was a period of interaction between Christianity and paganism. This interaction began earlier, already in the second century. Can this really be considered a catastrophe, a collapse, a failure of Christianity? Not in the least! Can we say that this is wonderful and great? Neither can we say this. There is no single answer. Absorbing elements of paganism into itself, Christianity in this way sanctified all that was wonderful in the legacy from India to the New World. We can say that in the course of all millennia not a single soul which strove towards God passed unnoticed by him. Not one spark of the spectacular in the whole history of art passed unnoticed within the beauty of the world.

No matter where pagan concepts originated, they always had elements adaptable to Christianity, not in a spirit of compromise or expediency, but because of their innate worthiness. If some of our hymns contain echos of the hymn of Osiris, that only makes me happy, knowing that we have received that eternal intuition of the resurrection which the ancient Egyptian experienced on the shores of his native river. Within the surrounding lifeless desert, he suddenly saw from this clay, this earth, this silt, the rising of first shoots. He saw the sun pulling them upwards and he sang, "Osiris has conquered death by death." And we repeat those marvelous words , the Church adopts them. In the Church there were poets enough to invent something original. But this early Christian sensitivity was an act of reverence, if you will, of love and affection towards the whole non-biblical world, which we inaccurately call "pagan."

-- Fr. Alexander Men (d. 1990), Source (http://www.alexandermen.com/On_Christ_and_the_Church)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 08, 2017, 12:05:48 AM
[Christ's] sacrifice will bring no salvation if He is to experience only His personal suffering. He has to be tormented by the painful wounds of sin, which afflict mankind. The heart of the God-Man fills with inexpressible grief. All human sins, beginning with Adam's transgression and finishing with those to be committed at the sound of the last trumpet, all the great and small sins of all people appear before His mental eyes. As God, He always had them before Him, "all things are manifest before Him," but now His human nature, too, experiences all their burden and abomination. The holy, sinless soul fills with horror. His suffering surpasses that of the sinners themselves, whose hardened hearts are not aware to what extent sin defiles a man and alienates him from the Creator. His sufferings are more acute because He sees this hardening of hearts. He sees that 'people blinded their eyes so as not to see, and that they do not want to hear with their ears and to turn to Him to be healed' (Isa. 6:9).

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), Christ's Prayer in the Garden (quoted in: Emmanuel Hatzidakis, Jesus: Fallen?, p. 93)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 08, 2017, 04:11:33 PM
As we leave the church after the Sunday Eucharist we enter again into time, and time, therefore, is the first "object" of our Christian faith and action. For it is indeed the icon of our fundamental reality, of the optimism as well as of the pessimism of our life, of life as life and of life as death. Through time on the one hand we experience life as a possibility, growth, fulfillment, as a movement toward a future. Through time, on the other hand, all future is dissolved in death and annihilation. Time is the only reality of life, yet it is strangely nonexistent reality: it constantly dissolves life in a past which no longer is, and in a future which always leads to death. By itself time is nothing but a line of telegraph poles strung out into the distance and at some point along the way is our death.

All generations, all philosophers have always been aware of this anxiety of time, of its paradox. All philosophy, all religion is ultimately an attempt to solve the "problem of time." And thousands of books, Christian and non-Christian, have been written about it. It is not our purpose, however, to add another "theology of time" to all those that exist already. It is rather to describe very briefly the experience of time which Christians have had from the very beginning and which is still given to them in the Church. Here again what the Church offers is not a "solution" of a philosophical problem, but a gift. And it becomes a solution only as it is accepted as freely and joyfully as it is given. Or, it may be, the joy of that gift makes both the problem and the solution unnecessary, irrelevant.

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=gF3Orr5FW2MC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 09, 2017, 07:39:14 PM
Nocturnal prayer is traditional in Christian liturgical practice in general, and in particular, in the monastic practice of prayer. when recommending night vigils to monks, teachers of the ascetical life emphasised that night is the most suitable time for prayer, because then the whole world is immersed in sleep and there is nothing to distract the ascetic. 'Let every prayer that you offer in the night,' Isaac says, 'be more precious in your eyes than all your activities of the day.' Keeping night vigil is a 'work filled with delight' during which 'the soul experiences that immoral life, and by means of this experience she puts off the vesture of darkness and receives the gifts of the Spirit.'...

The person who guards himself during the day knows the power of night vigil. By itself, it can replace other virtues: '...If a man's body be enfeebled by illness and he cannot fast, vigil alone can gain for the intellefect steadfastness in prayer and bestow upon his heart noetic insight to understand the nature of spiritual power.' Moreover, if someone has not the strength to make prostrations and recite psalms by reason of spiritual darkening and laxity, then vigil alone, even while sitting, will be adequate for him: 'If these works [prostrations and psalmody] depart from you and you cannot perform them, at least remain wakeful in a sitting position, pray with your heart, and make every effort to pass the night without sleeping, sitting and pondering good thoughts. And if you do not harden your heart and darken it with sleep, then by the grace that first fervour, lightness and strength will return to you and you will leap with joy, giving thanks unto God.'

-- Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) (b. 1966), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=5hPODAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT191#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 10, 2017, 07:37:58 PM
Divine truth is simple and absolute, while man's truth is multi-faceted and relative. the more someone approaches divine truth, the more he approaches divine simplicity. This simplicity is neither poverty nor naivety; it is richness and wisdom, self-sufficiency and completeness. Simplicity again, is the absence of any deficiency, of any passion, of any lack; it is the absence of any need for supplementation.

-- Georgios Mantzaridis (b. 1935), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=DQ75DAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA21#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 11, 2017, 10:38:36 PM
The most abominable enemy endeavours to destroy love by love itself: love for God and our neighbor--by love for the world, for its fleeting blessings and its corrupt, impious habits, by carnal love, by the love of riches, of honours, of pleasure, of various amusements. Therefore let us extinguish every love for this world in ourselves, and let us kindle in ourselves by self-denial, love for God and our neighbour. Every beauty in this world (personal beauty) is only a faint, insignificant shadow of the uncreated beauty, of the unspeakable goodness of God's face; every earthly enjoyment is nothing in comparison to future delights. I pray, Lord, that the faith of Christ may penetrate into the depths of my heart, that Christ's Gospel may penetrate all my thoughts, feelings, and deeds, into my bones and my brains, and not me only, but all men, as the universal truth, the highest wisdom, and the life eternal. "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent." (Jn. 17:3)

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=g08rAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA335#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 12, 2017, 07:22:20 PM
As St. Paul writes, “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8). God wants us to provide for our families as much as He wants us to support His work through the church. The point I wish to make is that 95% of all the religious giving done by Americans today is out of our surplus. After our money is all spent (or at least contracted for) for all that new jewelry and cosmetics and three times as much for clothing as any human being requires, and pretty plush vacations, after all this, then we scream that we cannot be expected to give more sacrificially. The widow teaches us one thing: if our giving is not sacrificial, it isn’t Christian.

-- Fr. Anthony Coniaris (b. 1926), Source (http://becomeorthodox.org/on-giving-and-stewardship/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 13, 2017, 11:43:04 PM
There are six kinds of saints, or six types of holiness, listed here in relative importance for the Church:

Apostles: their teaching is the foundation of the Church

Martyrs and confessors: they are an example to us of supreme sacrifice

Prophets: they foretold the coming of Christ

Hierarchs and teaching saints: they preserve unity among the faithful; this includes saints such as St. John of Damascus and St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain

Monastics: they have died in peace praying for the world

Righteous: they have attained holiness in the world by keeping the commandments, participating in the liturgical life of the Church, etc.; this includes saints such as Abraham and Sarah, Joachim and Anna, St. Joseph, etc.

-- Fr. Ambrose (Alexey Young) (b. 1943), Source (http://orthochristian.com/94624.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 15, 2017, 03:22:35 AM
As his compensation for directing the School he was able to live in a mansion and have a diet rich and varied with servants and maids. But no, Athanasios was an ascetic. He lived in a meager cell belonging to the Holy Trinity Monastery, as a very poor monk. The things belonging to him he distributed to the poor. He considered it an inexcusable sin to enter the new year with even a penny from the previous year. He could have dressed in expensive and princely clothes. yet when he passed away on June 24, 1813 he left a shredded rason, some books, an inkwell and a lamp. Then he was living in an even poorer monastery and more meager cell at the Hermitage of St. George in Reston on Chios.

-- St. Athanasios Parios (d. 1813), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/06/saint-athanasios-parios-1722-1813.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 16, 2017, 01:45:29 AM
In the cultural and ideal tendencies of our epoch dehumanization moves in two directions, toward naturalism and toward technicism. Man is subject either to cosmic forces or to technical civilization. It is not enough to say that he subjects himself: he is dissolved and disappears either in cosmic life or else in almighty technics; he takes upon himself the image, either of nature or of the machine. But in either case he loses his own image and is dissolved into him component elements. Man as a whole being, as a creature centred within himself, disappears; he ceases to be a being with a spiritual centre, retaining his inner continuity and his unity. To the fractional and partial elements of man there is offered not only the right to autonomy, but to supremacy in life. The self-assertion of these disunited elements in man, as, for instance, the non-sublimated elements of the subconscious, sexual desire, or the will to dominance and power, bear witness to the fact that the unified, whole image of man is disappearing and giving place to non-human and natural elements. Man has disappeared; there remains only certain of his functions.

-- Nicholas Berdyaev (d. 1948), The Fate of Man in the Modern World (https://books.google.com/books?id=KLh8CgAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=berdyaev&pg=PT18#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 16, 2017, 10:30:00 PM
Consequently man's apostasy estranges the whole creation from God, devastates it, and, as it were, deprives it of God. The Fall of man shatters the cosmic harmony. Sin is disorder, discord, lawlessness. Strictly speaking it is only man that dies. Death indeed is a law of nature, a law of organic life. But man's death means just his fall or entanglement into this cyclical motion of nature, just what ought not to have happened at all. As St. Gregory says, "from the nature of dumb animals mortality is transferred to a nature created for immortality." Only for man is death contrary to nature and mortality is evil.

Only man is wounded and mutilated by death. In the generic life of dumb animals, death is rather a natural moment in the development of the species; it is the expression rather of the generating power of life than of infirmity. However, with the fall of man, mortality, even in nature, assumes an evil and tragic significance. Nature itself, as it were, is poisoned by the fatal venom of human decomposition. With dumb animals, death is but the discontinuation of individual existence. In the human world, death strikes at personality, and personality is much greater than mere individuality.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Creation and Redemption: Volume Three in the Collected Works, p. 106 (http://www.bulgarian-orthodox-church.org/rr/lode/florovsky3.pdf)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2017, 02:46:47 AM
The Alexandrine Fathers, and especially St Cyril, developed this mysticism of the adoption that deifies. Only the Word is the Son by nature, but in his body, in his Spirit, we become 'sons by participation'. This is an energy-based, spirit-filled Christology in which the humanity is shot through with the brightness of the divinity like iron red-hot in the fire.

"Participation in the Hοly Spirit gives human beings the grace to be shaped as a complete cοpy of the divine nature." - Cyril of Alexandria, Treasure, 13 (PG 75,228)

"Anyone who receives the image of the Son, that is the Spirit, possesses thereby in all fullness the Son, and the Father who is in him." - Cyril of Alexandria, Treasure, 33 (PG 75,572)

Tο be deified is therefore to become someone living with a life stronger than death, since the Word is life itself and the Spirit is the one who brings life. All human possibilities are brought into play. The structures of thought, feeling, friendship, creativity, while remaining οnly human structures, receive an infinite capacity for light and joy and love.

-- Olivier Clement (d. 2009), Source (http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/clement_7.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2017, 08:22:32 PM
Jesus teaches that there are those to whom the gift of virginity is given 'for the sake of the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 19:12) The Apostle Paul later expounds on this teaching in 1 Cor. 7, indicating that marriage is good, but virginity is better--but that virginity is only for those who are gifted for it. Neither Jesus nor Paul implies anything negative about marriage, about the material body, or about sexual union... Both Jesus and Paul describe virginity "for the kingdom of heaven's sake" as being a special gift, a charisma. This gift of virginity is an exceptional vocation, while marriage is the ordinary vocation, the normal course of events in the world.

-- Kristofer Carlson (b. 20th century), Why Mary Matters (https://books.google.com/books?id=hERpCQAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA200#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 23, 2017, 07:57:01 AM
My argument hinges on the way in which St Maximos's understanding manifests a general intuition that is implicit throughout the Eastern Christian tradition: that it is quite wrong to speak--as Western theology so often has--of divine grace as something added as a supernatural gift to "pure nature." Rather, as Vladimir Lossky has rightly noted, this Eastern tradition knows nothing of "pure nature" since it sees grace as being "implied in the act of creation itself." Because of this, as he goes on to note, the cosmos is seen as inherently "dynamic, tending always to its final end."

The belief that things have a natural "place" or telos toward which they naturally tend to move is known as teleology, and what Lossky hints at here is the way in which, for important strands of Byzantine theology, at least some aspects of the divine providence arise from within the creation through the intrinsically teleological factors that have been, so to speak, built into its components. This is particularly clear in the work of St Maximos himself since he sees the logos that constitutes the inner reality of each created thing, not only as a manifestation of the divine Logos of which the fourth gospel speaks, but also as what Metropolitan Kallistos has described as "God's intention for that thing, its inner essence, that which makes it distinctively itself and at the same time draws it towards the divine realm."

For St Maximos--and for the strange of the Greek patristic tradition that culminates in his work--the way in which each created thing has its origin and intended final end in God is intimately linked to the constitutive presence in it of a characteristic logos which is a manifestation, in some sense, of the divine Logos itself. This presence not only gives, to each created thing, the being it has in the temporal world, but also draws it--from within, not by some external, special action--toward its ultimate fulfillment in Christ.

-- Fr. Christopher Knight, Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=93bSYVOeXqIC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA46#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 24, 2017, 07:18:40 AM
Even though the body, inasmuch as it is a body, is naturally inclined to the pleasure derived from physical things, it is nevertheless led, governed, and controlled by the mind (soul) when reason is whole and complete. For according to St. John Damascene, the difference between a rational and an irrational soul is this: The irrational soul is led and ruled by the body and the senses, while the rational soul leads and rules the body and the senses. It has been thus determined by God for the rational to rule over the irrational, and the better to rule over the worse, and to subdue the latter's instinctive moves. This is why when the body has a desire, it does not directly rush into action to satisfy the desire, but is obstructed by the hegemonious mind.

-- St. Nicodumus of the Holy Mountain (d. 1809), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=PosT287bj-0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA69#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 26, 2017, 03:55:53 PM
Get into the habit, train yourselves, to do whatever you are doing conscientiously, with elegance, with distinction, don't blur your work, don't do anything in bad taste, all anyhow. Remember that you can waste a whole lifetime on all anyhow, whereas in measured, rhythmic activity even things or tasks of secondary importance may help you discover much that may later serve you, perhaps, as a most profound source of new creative insights... Thought is God's gift and requires cultivation. To be clear and precise in thought is the guarantee of spiritual freedom and delight in thinking.

-- Fr. Pavel Florensky (d. 1937), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=7wgNPoIkh_8C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA137#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 28, 2017, 01:47:59 PM
The population of the Empire at any one period of its existence is not known, and, given the nature of the sources; it is not likely ever to be known. For about the year 1000, Ε. Stein has estimated a population of approximately 20,000,000; another scholar has put it at 15,000,000. For reasons which have been explained elsewhere, the latter figure is probably too low, but we may use it as a conservative representation of reality. Applying to this figure the ratio of monks to the general population of Constantinople on the eve of its fall, we may say that in the year 1000 there were in the Byzantine Empire slightly more than 150,000 monks and over 7,000 monastic establishments. This estimate may be too low. Nicephorus II Phocas, in his famous novel prohibiting new monastic establishments, speaks of myriads of monasteries already in existence, and Basil II, in his, conveys the idea that in many of the villages located in every theme of the Empire there existed establishments which could be called monasteries. And, for purposes of comparison, the situation which obtained in Crete in 1632 may be cited. In that year there were 376 monasteries and 4,000 monks in Crete, whose total population then was 200,000. These figures yield an average of slightly less than eleven monks per monastery and α ratio of two monks per one hundred inhabitants...

The remark of Zosimus that the monk "appropriates the greater part of the earth," was, of course, a rhetorical exaggeration. Nevertheless, a competent modern authority on the internal history of the Byzantine Empire has estimated that at the end of the seventh century, about one-third of the usable land of the Empire was in the possession of the church and the monasteries.

-- Peter Charanis (d. 1985), The Monk as an Element of Byzantine Society (http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/charanis_monk.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 30, 2017, 05:37:11 PM
The future Bishop Gorazd (Pavlik) was born on 26 May 1879 in the Moravian town of Hrubavrbka in the Czech Rupublic and was baptised Matthias. After schooling he finished the Roman Catholic theological faculty in Olomouc and was ordained priest. During his studies he had become interested in Orthodox Christianity and the mission of Sts Cyril and Methodius and visited Kiev. With the formation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and freedom from Austro-Hungarian Catholic tyranny, hundreds of thousands of people left the Catholic Church, among them Matthias Pavlik. Some of these people turned for help to the Serbian Orthodox Church (parts of which had also suffered from the same tyranny). As a result the Serbian Church consented to consecrate Fr Matthias bishop with the monastic name of Gorazd...

Together with those who had remained faithful to Orthodoxy, the Bishop [Gorazd] set to work. Churches were built and parishes organised in various parts of Bohemia. In all eleven churches and two chapels were built under him. Services were in Czech. Essential church books were published, for example the Book of Needs, catechisms and so on. Using his knowledge, experience and contacts, Bishop Gorazd also helped those who had returned to their ancestral Orthodox Faith in Slovakia and Subcarpathian Russia, which was then part of Czechoslovakia...

In 1942 the Czech Resistance assassinated the Nazi governor Heydrich in Prague. The resistance fighters were allowed to hide in the crypt of Sts Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Cathedral. When Bishop Gorazd learned of this a few days later, he was greatly troubled, realising that if the occupying Germans found out, then the whole Czech Orthodox Church would suffer repression. Before leaving for Berlin to take part with the Metropolitan in consecrating Fr. Philip (Gardner) 9 to the episcopate, he asked that the resistance fighters be moved elsewhere as soon as possible. However the Nazis found the Czech hiding-place and on 18 June 1942, seven of them were shot there. The two Cathedral priests and other Orthodox were arrested. Bishop Gorazd did not try to save himself, but wishing to avert repression of the Czech Church, took all responsibility on himself. He wrote three letters to the Germans with the words: 'I am giving myself up to the authorities and am prepared to face any punishment, including death'.

On the 27 June 1942 Bishop Gorazd was arrested and tortured. He was executed by firing squad on 4 September 1942. He was aged 63. The two Cathedral priests were also shot. The Orthodox Church in Bohemia and Moravia was forbidden to operate and its churches and chapels closed. Orthodox priests were exiled to forced labour camps in Germany. For his part Metropolitan Seraphim courageously refused to issue any statement condemning Bishop Gorazd.

-- St. Gorazd Pavlik (d. 1942), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20110726093416/http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/oeczech.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 01, 2017, 09:01:11 PM
When a pilgrim stops on his way in a house for pilgrims, he does not pay any attention to the state of the house. Why would he, when he is staying there only for a short time? He is content with only the basic necessities; he tries not to waste the money that he needs to continue his journey and to find housing in that great city to which he travels. He bears privation and lack of comfort with patience, knowing that they are only accidents to which every traveler is subject, and that undisturbed calm awaits him in the place to which he travels. He does not become attached to any object in his hostel, no matter how attractive such an object may be. He does not lose time doing unnecessary things—he needs all the time he can muster to complete the difficult journey. He is constantly deep in thought about the glorious capital city, the aim of his travels; the significant difficulties he will have to overcome and various things that could make his travels easier; about ambushes by robbers along the highways and the misery of those who were unable to complete the journey; and about the blissfulness of those who were able to complete it successfully. Having stayed in the hostel for as long as necessary, the pilgrim thanks the owner, and having left, forgets about the hostel or only remembers it in passing, because his heart was cold toward it. Let us develop the same indifference to the world.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), The Field: Cultivating Salvation
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 07, 2017, 10:28:58 PM
For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils.

-- Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848) (http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 12, 2017, 09:31:56 PM
For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils.

-- Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848) (http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx)

I wonder when "long ago" was for them, when the faith was "sealed." At the end of the Apostolic age? After the final book of the NT was written? After the Ecumenical Councils? Another interesting thing about it is that throughout the document they speak loftily of the "seven ecumenical councils," and yet we also find this:

"Some of the Bishops of that City, styled Popes, for example Leo III and John VIII, did indeed, as has been said, denounce the innovation, and published the denunciation to the world, the former by those silver plates, the latter by his letter to the holy Photius at the eighth Ecumenical Council"
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on December 12, 2017, 09:53:40 PM
The former is definitely interesting. The latter I think is not too contradictory. I think Orthodoxy will forever speak of "the Seven Ecumenical Councils," even if she accepts more as being on the same footing. I personally feel that the eighth and ninth are indisputably Ecumenical, but I still speak of "the Seven," for instance.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2018, 03:08:54 AM
Biblicists up to the seventies of the last century (when new studies began to elucidate Origen's exegetical principles in greater depth and charity) tended to dismiss Origen as someone who had little regard for the historical reality of the texts and events. This too is far from being the case when the context of Origen's work is closely studied. What he says is not that the history does not matter, but rather behind it lies an even more significant history, precisely because the trans-historical society of the Church recognizes universal relevance out of accidental event. Indeed, for Origen this very process of seeing the deeper significance (its universal import) out of the raw data of history and text, is that "scriptural principle" that is the Church's perennial instinct in "reading" history in the light of providence...

-- Fr. John McGuckin (b. 1952), Volume 2 of Collected Studies, Seeing the Glory: Studies in Patristic Theology, p. 118
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2018, 10:43:03 PM
It is sometimes said that Orthodox Christians kiss the Gospel Book, but they don't read it. I hope that is not true, but it is certainly true that we do not only read the Gospel, the Gospel Book is an object of veneration: it is carried in procession at the Little Entrance, its binding is usually decorated with icons, of the resurrection and of the cross--there are examples of Gospel Books with marvellous illuminations throughout. This is not irrelevant, or superfluous, for the Gospel Book is seen as an icon of Christ. St. Theodore the Studite, in the second stage of the Iconoclast controversy, spoke of icons as 'written in god,' compared with the Gospel that was 'written in ink.' The comparison works both ways: just as an icon is venerated, because it images forth the one depicted and so provides access to the one depicted, so the Gospel, through what is written in it, provides us with access to the one who is the Gospel: Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us. It is still 'writing in ink,' which needs to be interpreted, but it is important because it discloses Christ, it invites us to an encounter with Christ.

The Orthodox approach to the Scriptures endeavours to keep a balance between these two dimensions. The patient work of scholarship is important. The Bible is a collection of books written over hundreds, even thousands of years. They were written and rewritten in particular historical circumstances, and understanding those historical circumstances will help us to read them in an appropriate way. The text of the scriptural books themselves is not something we can take for granted. There are a host of manuscripts, with different readings, and there are scholarly methods for seeking to establish the original meaning.

All this is useful, and there is no reason why an Orthodox Christian should ignore it. But it is not the whole story. Scholarly interpretation has been governed by an overriding concern to establish the original text and meaning. But there are many circumstances in which this is either not appropriate or not the whole story. For the Scriptures do not simply belong to their original context: they have been read and re-read over the centuries. When we venerate the Book of the Gospels we are acknowledging it as something that belongs in the present: it bodies forth Christ now.

-- Fr. Andrew Louth (b. 1944), Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology, p. 8 (https://books.google.com/books?id=w6B7AwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA8#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 26, 2018, 04:34:20 PM
If we manage to free our minds from the concept of the Eucharist as a thing or a means of grace and recognize it mainly as an act of the worshiping synaxis, we shall easily realize that for the ancient Church the Eucharist was not simply a communio in sacris, but also a communio sanctorum and therefore the expression of the very "ecclesia of God" in a certain place. In the body of the Eucharist the Early Church could see at once the body of Christ and the body of the Church. For "the bread which we break is it not a koinonia of the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the same loaf." (1 Cor. 10:15) This understanding of the Eucharist makes it easy for Paul to imply clearly the striking identification of the "ecclesia of God" with the eucharistic gathering. (1 Cor. 11:18-22)  For Paul, as well as for Ignatius, the Didascalia, Cyprian and many other sources of early Christianity, the celebration of the Eucharist and the communion of the faithful in it bear a deep ecclesiological significance: they express the "ecclesia of God" and her unity par excellence.

-- Met. John Zizioulas (b. 1931), Councils and the Ecumenical Movement, pp. 40-41
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 27, 2018, 07:57:41 PM
Only after this did Holy Mother Olga speak. She spoke about God and people who choose to do evil things. She said the people who hurt me thought they could make me carry their evil inside of me by rape. She was very firm when she said, "That's a lie. Only God can carry evil away. The only thing they could put inside you was the seed of life which is a creation of God and cannot pollute anyone." I was never polluted. It just felt that way because of the evil intentions of the people near me. What I had held inside me was the pain, terror, shame, and helplessness I felt. We had labored together and that was all out of me now. She burned some grass over the little flame and the smoke went straight up to God who is both the judge and the forgiver. I understood by the "incense" that it wasn't my job to carry the sins of people against me either. It was God's, and what an ever-unfolding richness this taste of salvation is.

-- Matushka Olga Michael (d. 1979), Source (http://www.jacwell.org/articles/1997-SPRING-Matushka_olga.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 01, 2018, 06:26:38 AM
Unlike many Christians in our day, for example, the fathers generally did not doubt Adam and Eve's historic existence; Adam was, after all, the root of the key scriptural genealogies. Unlike us, they had no scientific reason to doubt them as the first physical parents of humanity. Thinkers such as Origen, especially, took the literary cues of the biblical narratives as indicating an interweaving of fictive and historical material and pointed out that the "historical" tends to be completely beyond our means either to access or to prove. Yet even he, like the other fathers, when speaking genealogically, looked back to Adam. Taking this for granted, the fathers approached the narratives on the allegorical, typological, and moral levels, milking each for truth and meaning. Whatever their different conclusions about the details and historicity, they saw the narratives as telling the truth about God and created reality, about human sinfulness and the need for redemption, and ultimately abot the person and work of Christ, the Son of the Father, anointed by and proclaiming the Holy Spirit.

-- Peter C. Bouteneff, Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives, pp. 182-183
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 01, 2018, 06:48:19 PM
Filaret captured the attention of many by his little book, On the Dogmatic Significance and Protective Usages of the LXX and Slavonic Translation of the Holy Scripture, published in Moscow in 1858. this book was part of an ongoing dispute between those who opposed translated the Hebrew text, who wanted instead to translate the Old Testament from the LXX, and those who preferred to translate into Russian directly from the ancient Hebrew. Filaret demonstrated in this book how and why the exegete must consider the best text not only from a philological point of view, but also from the view of its dogmatic worthiness. Filaret, for the first time, manifestly related an exegetical methodological direction to Orthodox dogmatic teaching by: (1) making a distinction in the meaningfulness between the biblical text of the Hebrew Old testament and LXX for the Orthodox; and (2) insisting that only the text of the LXX can do justice to the theology of the Russian Orthodox Church in challenging the validity of the Hebrew texts for the understanding of the Old Testament.

The LXX, for him, represented the harmony for the whole of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. While the books of the LXX are valid sources for Orthodox doctrines, he felt that the Hebrew texts might lead the interpreter to conclusions that are contradictory to ecclesiastical dogma. Although Filaret prepared the way for recognition of the theological character and significance of the LXX texts for the Orthodox Church, he admittedly denied that it is possible to interpret the Old Testament  without considering the Hebrew text. It is also important to note, that Filaret, in laying the foundation for Old testament interpretation with its comparative study between textual readings in Hebrew, Septuagint, and Slavonic Bible, agreed with the Orthodox thought that there is no differentiation of the biblical texts on the basis of their canonicity. He says, that the Orthodox Church canonized the books of Scripture, but "it did not determine in which reading or reading variant a given passage originally existed; the interpreter has to determine which to follow and which readings to rule out." In the end, this allowed the possibility for Orthodox Bible interpreters to practice their work with different biblical texts and to reconstruct the original textual reading.

-- said of St. Philaret of Moscow (d. 1867), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=FTiQH9UtDwgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA83#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on March 01, 2018, 08:24:53 PM
Filaret captured the attention of many by his little book, On the Dogmatic Significance and Protective Usages of the LXX and Slavonic Translation of the Holy Scripture, published in Moscow in 1858. this book was part of an ongoing dispute between those who opposed translated the Hebrew text, who wanted instead to translate the Old Testament from the LXX, and those who preferred to translate into Russian directly from the ancient Hebrew. Filaret demonstrated in this book how and why the exegete must consider the best text not only from a philological point of view, but also from the view of its dogmatic worthiness. Filaret, for the first time, manifestly related an exegetical methodological direction to Orthodox dogmatic teaching by: (1) making a distinction in the meaningfulness between the biblical text of the Hebrew Old testament and LXX for the Orthodox; and (2) insisting that only the text of the LXX can do justice to the theology of the Russian Orthodox Church in challenging the validity of the Hebrew texts for the understanding of the Old Testament.

The LXX, for him, represented the harmony for the whole of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. While the books of the LXX are valid sources for Orthodox doctrines, he felt that the Hebrew texts might lead the interpreter to conclusions that are contradictory to ecclesiastical dogma. Although Filaret prepared the way for recognition of the theological character and significance of the LXX texts for the Orthodox Church, he admittedly denied that it is possible to interpret the Old Testament  without considering the Hebrew text. It is also important to note, that Filaret, in laying the foundation for Old testament interpretation with its comparative study between textual readings in Hebrew, Septuagint, and Slavonic Bible, agreed with the Orthodox thought that there is no differentiation of the biblical texts on the basis of their canonicity. He says, that the Orthodox Church canonized the books of Scripture, but "it did not determine in which reading or reading variant a given passage originally existed; the interpreter has to determine which to follow and which readings to rule out." In the end, this allowed the possibility for Orthodox Bible interpreters to practice their work with different biblical texts and to reconstruct the original textual reading.

-- said of St. Philaret of Moscow (d. 1867), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=FTiQH9UtDwgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA83#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Wow, thanks! This book by St. Philaret would be really helpful for me, since I have this ongoing project to make an Orthodox Psalter in Portuguese. I doubt it has been translated to any language, but if I can find an online version, Google Translate should help.

Edit: Found it! (https://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%9E_%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC_%D0%B4%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B5_%D0%B8_%D0%BE%D1%85%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BC_%D1%83%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B8_%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2_%D0%A1%D0%B2%D1%8F%D1%89%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE_%D0%9F%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F_(%D1%81%D0%B2%D1%8F%D1%82._%D0%A4%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%82)/%D0%94%D0%9E)  :D Thanks, Asteriktos.  :-*  Since it's so short and elucidative, maybe I can get a friend to translate it to Portuguese to me. My best friend studied Russian and Portuguese for two years in university.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 02, 2018, 06:59:12 PM
Sounds like a good project, hope it goes well!
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 02, 2018, 07:18:39 PM
How can we know God? How can we penetrate into the depths of His essence and examine His nature, His composition and His hypostasis? It is impossible. And it is impossible because God is a spiritual essence and nature while we are carnal and earthly men. God is infinite and we are finite. He is our Creator and we His creatures. How can the infinite be contained by the finite, and how can the imperfect comprehend the perfect? The creatures fathom their Creator? "Our God is inaccessible and our mind cannot contain Him."  Nor can we approach so close as to know Him completely. Nor can our narrow and limited mind contain the infinite and all-perfect God. This is what Holy Scripture means when it says that "No one has ever seen God" (John 1:18) and that "no man has ever seen God or is able to see Him." (1 Tim. 6:16)

(Footnote: The wise Solomon declares the same thing when he says: "What man is he that can know the will of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is?" (Wis. 9:13) Holy Scripture in this way wants to tell us that the Divine is inscrutable and incomprehensible to man. For this reason St. Cyril of Jerusalem says, "We do not explain to you what God is, for in matters concerning God it is great knowledge to be able to confess our unknowability." And St. Athanasius adds: "And though it is impossible for us to understand what God is, it is possible for us to say what He is not." He is not small, limited, imperfect, weak, mortal, sinful as man is, and so man cannot know him.)

-- Carl S. Tyneh (ed.), Orthodox Christianity: Overview and Bibliography, p. 7 (https://books.google.com/books?id=clcAYIDSQnAC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 03, 2018, 11:07:30 PM
Second, John is far removed from ferocious monastic misanthropists, who use the wicked and the worldly as a scapegoat loaded perhaps with the detestable acts they have been tempted to commit themselves. He is also an ascetic writer for whom life is a way of giving. And to give, in acts of even the most extreme renunciation and mortification, was to give to others, by virtue of an undefined--or undefinable--law of generosity. To give away and expect nothing--nothing whatever in return--to embrace all things in self-giving love, is the air that John of the Ladder breathes.

-- John Chryssavgis (b. 1958), John Climacus: From the Egyptian Desert to the Sinaite Mountain (https://books.google.com/books?id=amhBDgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA1&pg=PT19#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 04, 2018, 05:30:19 PM
Contrary to Scully's Westernized interpretation, the Great Church--like all authentic Byzantine temples--serves not to transport the worshipper to heaven, as the Goth temple would do, or to replace the natural and earthly with an abstract, Platonized heaven, or even less elicits a psychologized "inner" space. Rather, it serves to join together heaven and earth, to be the ontological bridge between them. The great dome, originally lined with solid gold, still seems to float weightlessly above, as if suspended from heaven or borne by seraphic orders. It is heaven itself, but brought down to earth and joined with it. The Divine Liturgy, for whose sake the church is built, dramatically enacts the joining of heaven and earth: the drama is a progressive interaction and eventual communion of the heavenly (the sacred space and the celebrants in teh sanctuary, behind the chancel or iconostasis) and the earthly sphere of the nave, toward whome the icons face, offing the vision of heaven.

-- Bruce V. Foltz, The Noetics of Nature: Environmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible (https://books.google.com/books?id=MGXwAgAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT125#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 05, 2018, 07:08:02 PM
If it is impossible not to become indignant, then at least restrain your tongue according to the words of the Psalmist: "I am so troubled that I cannot speak" (Ps. 77:4). In this instance we can take as examples for ourselves St. Spyridon of Tremifunt and St. Ephraim the Syrian. The first bore an insult when he entered the palace by the demand of the Greek emperor: one of the servants present in the emperor’s chamber, taking him for a beggar, laughed at him, did not allow him to enter the chamber and even struck him on the cheek. St. Spyridon, being without malice, turned the other cheek to him, according the word of the Lord (Mt. 5:39). The Blessed Ephraim, living in the desert, was once deprived of food in the following fashion. His pupil, carrying the food, accidentally broke the vessel on the way. Blessed Ephraim, seeing the pupil downcast, said to him: "Do not grieve, brother. If the food did not want to come to us, then we will go to it." And so the monk went, sat next to the broken vessel, and, gathering the food together, ate it. He was thus without malice!

-- St. Seraphim of Sarov (d. 1833), Source (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/seraphim_e.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 06, 2018, 10:30:45 PM
In 1931, Bishop Dositheus was appointed the first bishop of the newly established Zagreb Diocese. Here in the capital city of Croatia, Orthodox Christians were a minority in a predominately Roman Catholic nation. The new bishop arrived in his diocese among Catholics who were not welcoming of an Orthodox bishop especially since his missionary work was well known in leading Carpatho-Russians out of the Greek Catholic Church. Bishop Dositheus became the target of insults in the streets and stones were thrown into his windows at night. When told that he should contact the police he responded that it was inappropriate for a bishop to do this. The bishop told a friend "When they swear at me or spit at me, I simply raise my hand and bless them". Bishop Dositheus took seriously the words of the Beatitudes: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth...

Upon the ascent of the Ustashi, Bishop Dositheus was immediately arrested. Ill and lying in bed, half-dressed, he was taken into the street to face a Catholic mob. He was led through the streets, beaten and mocked by the crowd. On his arrival at a hospital for treatment, he was nearly unconscious. His mistreatment at the hospital continued where he was the object of scorn and derision by the Catholic nuns who staffed the hospital. Seriously ill, he was taken by two Nazi SS guards to a prison in Belgrade, Serbia where he was found dressed in rags, his body covered with bruises. At the request of the Serbian government, Bishop Dositheus was released from the hospital and placed in the Monastery of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. The nuns of the monastery cared for him until he died from his injuries on January 13, 1945

-- St. Dositheus of Zagreb (d. 1945), Source (http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/saints/met-dositheus)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 08, 2018, 12:32:12 AM
Showing great zeal not only in thy spiritual labours as a novice, but also in thine Apostolic fervour as thou preached to a people sitting in darkness, thee, O Venerable Herman, revealed the light of Christ to them with great power. Remembering thine apostolic labours and thy efforts to preach, with love we praise thee:

Rejoice; uncomplaining giver of obedience to thy spiritual father!
Rejoice; preacher who brought the Good News from afar!
Rejoice; faithful son of Holy Russia!
Rejoice; adopted son of North America!
Rejoice; initiator of the monastic way in our land!
Rejoice; zealous preacher of the Orthodox Faith!
Rejoice; our Venerable Father Herman of Alaska, America's most glorious doer of wonders!

-- Akathist to St. Herman of Alaska (https://books.google.com/books?id=QC1O0-G4p1EC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA211#v=onepage&q&f=false) (d. 1836)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 17, 2018, 11:30:59 AM
The assertion that there is such a thing as right faith came to be expressed, by the end of the second century, in terms of the canon (rule) of faith or truth, where canon does not mean an ultimately arbitrary list of articles of belief which must be adhered to, or a list of authoritative books which must be accepted, but is rather a crystallization of the hypothesis of Scripture itself. The canon in this sense is the presupposition for reading Scripture on its own terms--it is the canon of truth, where Scripture is the body of truth.

-- Fr. John Behr (b. 1966), The Way to Nicaea, p. 15
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on March 18, 2018, 06:47:10 PM
"God allowed the Orthodox to be scattered to the world, so that they would announce to all nations the true Orthodox faith, and prepare the world to the second coming of Christ." (1953 Synod of ROCOR)

I'm translating this back into English from a Portuguese book on Orthodox liturgics, so the original form should be different. I would like to read the full text.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2018, 07:10:12 PM
He never spoke in his own name, but would always quote the holy Fathers or what Father Macarius had said in similar circumstances. His words of instruction were clear, concise and based on his own experience of the battle with passionate thoughts. He was always approachable and received all his visitors with the same attention and courtesy whatever their rank in society. When he observed that people who sought his help had need of confession, he would give them a space of three days to examine their consciences and make known the causes of their maladies. Thus he put numerous sinners on the path of godliness, and cured many who were mentally sick by his prayer.

-- said of: St. Hilarion of Optina (1873), Source (http://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/optina-elders/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 20, 2018, 04:51:19 PM
When we think of spiritual discipline we usually think in terms of life, rules of thinking and meditation, rules of prayers, which are aimed at drilling us into what we imagine to be the pattern of a real Christian life. but when we observe people who submit themselves to that kind of strict discipline, and when we ourselves attempt this, we usually see that the results are far less than we would expect. And this generally comes from the fact that we take the means for the end, that we concentrate so much on the means that we never achieve the end at all, or  that we achieve them to so small a degree that it was not worth putting in all that effort to achieve so little. this results, I believe, from not understanding what spiritual discipline is and what it is aimed at.

We must remember that the discipline is not the same thing as drill. Discipline is the condition of the disciple, the situation of the disciple with regard both to his master and to what he is learning. And if we try to understand what discipleship means when it is put into action, when it results in discipline, we may easily find the following things. First of all, discipleship means a sincere desire to learn and a determination to learnt at all cost. I know that the words 'at all cost' may mean a great deal more for one person than for another. It depends on the zeal and the conviction or the longing we have for the learning. yet it is always 'at all cost' for this particular person. A sincere desire to learn is not so often to be discovered in our hearts. Quite often we wish to learn up to a point, provided the efforts will not be too great, provided we have guarantees that the final result will be worth the effort. We do not launch into this learning wholeheartedly enough and this is why so often we do not achieve what we could achieve. So the first condition if we wish to become disciples fruitfully and learn a discipline which will give results, is integrity of purpose. This is not easily acquired.

-- Met. Anthony of Sourozh (d. 2003), Meditations on a Theme: A Spiritual Journey (https://books.google.com/books?id=y06tAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=Anthony%20of%20Sourozh&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on March 21, 2018, 03:24:33 AM
He never spoke in his own name, but would always quote the holy Fathers or what Father Macarius had said in similar circumstances. His words of instruction were clear, concise and based on his own experience of the battle with passionate thoughts. He was always approachable and received all his visitors with the same attention and courtesy whatever their rank in society. When he observed that people who sought his help had need of confession, he would give them a space of three days to examine their consciences and make known the causes of their maladies. Thus he put numerous sinners on the path of godliness, and cured many who were mentally sick by his prayer.

-- said of: St. Hilarion of Optina (1873), Source (http://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/optina-elders/)
Okay, this almost made me cry warm for some reason.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 21, 2018, 05:56:11 AM
He never spoke in his own name, but would always quote the holy Fathers or what Father Macarius had said in similar circumstances. His words of instruction were clear, concise and based on his own experience of the battle with passionate thoughts. He was always approachable and received all his visitors with the same attention and courtesy whatever their rank in society. When he observed that people who sought his help had need of confession, he would give them a space of three days to examine their consciences and make known the causes of their maladies. Thus he put numerous sinners on the path of godliness, and cured many who were mentally sick by his prayer.

-- said of: St. Hilarion of Optina (1873), Source (http://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/optina-elders/)
Okay, this almost made me cry warm for some reason.

It is a nice picture of compassion. I wish I could be as caring of other people as St. Hilarion.

May he pray for us.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 21, 2018, 07:00:56 PM
"And how is Fr. Seraphim?"
"He's as happy as a clam."

-- said of: Fr. Seraphim Rose (d. 1982), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=8v17BAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Porter ODoran on March 21, 2018, 07:48:57 PM
He never spoke in his own name, but would always quote the holy Fathers or what Father Macarius had said in similar circumstances. His words of instruction were clear, concise and based on his own experience of the battle with passionate thoughts. He was always approachable and received all his visitors with the same attention and courtesy whatever their rank in society. When he observed that people who sought his help had need of confession, he would give them a space of three days to examine their consciences and make known the causes of their maladies. Thus he put numerous sinners on the path of godliness, and cured many who were mentally sick by his prayer.

-- said of: St. Hilarion of Optina (1873), Source (http://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/optina-elders/)
Okay, this almost made me cry warm for some reason.

So unlike ourselves.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 22, 2018, 07:10:20 PM
The way into the heavenly Kingdom is Jesus Christ Himself. Only those who go by this way follow Jesus Christ. But as to how we must go by this way, listen to what Jesus Christ Himself says: Whoever wishes to follow Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. And what it means to deny oneself, take up one’s cross and follow Jesus Christ will be told in the following pages. Jesus Christ said: Whoever wishes to follow Me. These words mean that Jesus Christ does not compel or force anyone to follow Him. He does not want to have as His disciples those who are unwilling or those who have no special desire to follow Him, but wants us willingly and without any compulsion to surrender ourselves wholly to Him. Consequentially, only those who desire to do so enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Christian, your salvation or perdition depends on your own will! In His unspeakable wisdom and love, the Lord has given you freedom to do what you like, and He does not wish to take this most precious gift away from you. And so, if you wish to follow Jesus Christ, He will show you the way into the Kingdom of Heaven and will even help you along the way. But if you do not wish to follow Him, do as you like; no one is going to compel you or force you. But beware of despising the call of Jesus Christ and His loving kindness. In His great goodness, Jesus Christ knocks for a long, long time on the door of everyone’s heart in order to awaken his soul and arouse in it a desire for salvation. But woe to the man whom He finally abandons and whom He casts out as a son of perdition!

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven (https://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/Indication.pdf) (pdf)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 23, 2018, 10:31:04 PM
At the age of eight or nine, he was reprimanded and punished by his parents for some mischief. Angry because of this, Matthew, in the presence of some Muslims, responded by saying that he would become a Muslim. Because of this, the Muslims sought to take him away and have him circumcised but his parents with difficulty kept them at bay and he never became a Muslim... On Holy Thursday, Onouphrios made his final preparations. He shaved his beard and head, was anointed with oil from the oil lamps of a church, and he prayed there all night. In the morning he received Holy Communion from the reserved Sacrament, since on Holy and Great Friday a Divine Liturgy is prohibited. He then put on Turkish clothing and set off for the city of Chios...

Finally he entered the courthouse and asked for the judge. Kadi Muxurbasi appeared and Onouphrios issued his complaint, saying: "Fifteen years ago, I received such a wound in this place that since then I have traveled to various places, but I have been unable to cure the wound. This is why I have returned here again to heal it." After the judge asked what was the nature of this wound, Onouphrios replied that as a youth he denied his Orthodox Christian faith and confessed Islam, though never observed it and always remained an Orthodox Christian. But when he came of age and became cognizant of the evil he had done as a child, he became wounded in his conscience, which is why he returned to confess his Christian faith and anathematize Islam. Saying such things, Onouphrios then took his green Turkish headdress and threw it to the floor. This left all those in attendance speechless.

...Onouphrios was arrested and taken to prison, where he endured various tortures. Remaining steadfast in his faith, Onouphrios was sentenced to be decapitated. Onouphrios was therefore taken to the place of execution, where he knelt in prayer. Then a Muslim chef took his knife and stuck it into the neck of the Saint. Though the Christians desired to gather something of his relics or even some blood from the ground, the Turks forbid this and had the body gathered up with three barrels of dirt stained with his blood and put them aboard a ship, and they were dumped in the sea. And when they arrived back to shore, they were dumped in the sea. And when they arrived back to shore, they washed the boat to make sure there was no blood for the Christians to gather.

-- St. Onouphrios of Chios (d. 1818), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2018/01/holy-new-venerable-martyr-onouphrios.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 23, 2018, 10:33:53 PM
At the age of eight or nine, he was reprimanded and punished by his parents for some mischief. Angry because of this, Matthew, in the presence of some Muslims, responded by saying that he would become a Muslim. Because of this, the Muslims sought to take him away and have him circumcised but his parents with difficulty kept them at bay and he never became a Muslim... On Holy Thursday, Onouphrios made his final preparations. He shaved his beard and head, was anointed with oil from the oil lamps of a church, and he prayed there all night. In the morning he received Holy Communion from the reserved Sacrament, since on Holy and Great Friday a Divine Liturgy is prohibited. He then put on Turkish clothing and set off for the city of Chios...

Finally he entered the courthouse and asked for the judge. Kadi Muxurbasi appeared and Onouphrios issued his complaint, saying: "Fifteen years ago, I received such a wound in this place that since then I have traveled to various places, but I have been unable to cure the wound. This is why I have returned here again to heal it." After the judge asked what was the nature of this wound, Onouphrios replied that as a youth he denied his Orthodox Christian faith and confessed Islam, though never observed it and always remained an Orthodox Christian. But when he came of age and became cognizant of the evil he had done as a child, he became wounded in his conscience, which is why he returned to confess his Christian faith and anathematize Islam. Saying such things, Onouphrios then took his green Turkish headdress and threw it to the floor. This left all those in attendance speechless.

...Onouphrios was arrested and taken to prison, where he endured various tortures. Remaining steadfast in his faith, Onouphrios was sentenced to be decapitated. Onouphrios was therefore taken to the place of execution, where he knelt in prayer. Then a Muslim chef took his knife and stuck it into the neck of the Saint. Though the Christians desired to gather something of his relics or even some blood from the ground, the Turks forbid this and had the body gathered up with three barrels of dirt stained with his blood and put them aboard a ship, and they were dumped in the sea. And when they arrived back to shore, they were dumped in the sea. And when they arrived back to shore, they washed the boat to make sure there was no blood for the Christians to gather.

-- St. Onouphrios of Chios (d. 1818), Source (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2018/01/holy-new-venerable-martyr-onouphrios.html)

I have a hard time with this one. I can't really read it as anything other than senselessly throwing his life away in the name of scrupulosity.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 23, 2018, 10:57:36 PM
Yeah, it's supposed to be inspirational but I can't say it inspires me much. Anyway, these types of stories aren't uncommon in Greek/byzantine hagiography, and I try not to exclude something from these threads just because I don't happen to 'get it' or be the target audience.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 24, 2018, 12:03:09 AM
Yeah, it's supposed to be inspirational but I can't say it inspires me much. Anyway, these types of stories aren't uncommon in Greek/byzantine hagiography, and I try not to exclude something from these threads just because I don't happen to 'get it' or be the target audience.

Yeah, good point.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 25, 2018, 10:27:52 PM
During part of my mandatory service, I was stationed in Athens, and I often made the one-hour trip to see Elder Porphyrios at the monastery he had built outside the city, where he lived the last years of his life. Each day a crowd of people would go to see him. In fact, the central bus agency had created a special stop on their route known as "the elder's stop," on account of the number of pilgrims who daily requested to get off at the monastery. When I would go to see him, even before I reached the monastery I could often feel the sweetness of grace that came from being enciclred by his prayers. When he would make the sign of the Cross over me, I would feel the peace of God, which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7). In his presence, all my needs, even my physical needs, were met mysteriously, miraculously, and effortlessly.

-- Dionysios Farasiotis, The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios (https://books.google.com/books?id=4BmdAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2018, 06:33:35 PM
A husband’s love must be sacrificial and it must be openly expressed to the wife. Women require affection and stability, in order to feel secure in the marriage relationship. Most men do not naturally express their feelings of love with the same comfort as women. Saint Paul’s admonition that men should love their wives focuses on the demonstration of that love; for left to themselves, most men often take it for granted that their feelings are understood. Saint Chrysostomos also speaks to this issue:

"Finally, never call her [the wife] by her name alone, but with terms of endearment, honor, and love. If you honor her, she won’t need honor from others; she won’t desire praise from others if she enjoys the praise that comes from you. Prefer her before all others, both for her beauty and her discernment, and praise her. She will in this way be persuaded to listen to none that are outside, but to disregard all the world except for you. Teach her to fear God, and all other good things will flow from this one lesson as from a fountain and your house will be filled with ten thousand blessings."

One sure way to have a home full of love and joy is for the husband to express his love openly. But this love must be sacrificial, even in the face of suffering poverty, serious or debilitating illness, or death. A man must seek to emulate in his love for his family the love that our Lord showed for the Church: a love which led Him to the Cross.

-- Fr. David and Juliana Cownie, Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/guidech3.pdf) (pdf)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2018, 11:35:42 PM
In an article published in 1939--the first item in the volume Essential Wriings--she makes clear where she stands, and also how she sees herself as belonging to a tradition of Orthodox theology. It is called 'The Second Gospel Commandment'--to love one's neighbor as oneself--and her main gravamen is how easily this commandment has been sidelined or relativized. Because it is 'second,' it is often treated as secondary, an appendix to the first commandment. She starts out by pointing out how we are never encouraged to pray alone: the prayers we say morning and night as Orthodox are all prayers in which we pray, now as 'I,' but as 'we'--culminating, of course, in the Lord's Prayer, the 'Our Father.' Her first conclusion takes this form:

'Thus what is most personal, what is most intimate in an Orthodox person's life, is thoroughly pervaded by this sense of being united with everyone, the sense of the principle of sobornost, characteristic of the Orthodox Church. This is a fact of great significance; this forces us to reflect.'

She related it immediately to Khomiakov, Dostoevsky, Solov'ev: the great ninetheenth-century figures who are pillars of the Russian Religious Renaissance. She then faces two ways that seem to her to turn away the force of this sense of the fundamental place of sobornost. First, what she calls a 'holy egoism,' which accepts the value of the second commandment, the need to feed the hungry, shelter beggars and so on, but treats this as an ascetic exercise, undertaken for the salvation of the soul of each one of us. The neighbour, the one in need, provides an opportunity to further our salvation: to love like that is not to love the other at all, but use him or her as a way of loving oneself. 'One cannot love sacrificially in one's own name, but only in the name of Christ, in the name of the image of God that is revealed to us in man.'

The next problem is: the Philokalia, the pre-eminent work of Orthodox spirituality. She remarks that 'in the first volume of the Philokalia, material about the attitude towards one's neighbor takes up only two pages out of sex hundred, and in the second volume, only three out of seven hundred and fifty'--quite a different proportion from the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament. Nevertheless, from these few pages she quotes from St Makarios the Great, from St John Cassian, from St. Neilos of Sinai (actually from Evagrius), from St Ephrem the Syrian, and St Isaac the Syrian. Here she finds enough to establish an Orthodox tradition that leads to genuine attention to our neighbor, the other, and his or her needs, and she goes on to sketch out what this entails.

She talks of work and abstinence--work that is not merely 'an unavoidable evil, the curse of Adam,' but also 'participation in the divine economy,' in which work is 'transfigured and sanctified'; abstinence that frees one to attend, an abstinence of which one is virtually unconscious, for it is the attention enabled that is important. Attention, to the other, to his or her needs, is paramount for Mother Maria. This requires the cultivation of inwardness, an inwardness that enables us to discern and respond to the inwardness of the other--something very different from an ascetic impersonality--but this respect for the attention to the other is to be neither judgmental nor indulgent. As she puts it:

'On the one hand, it is dangerous to approach a man with the yardstick of all-measuring doctrine and begin to dissect his living and sick soul; on the other hand, it is no less dangerous to accept sentimentally the whole of a man as he is, his soul along with all its sores and growths.'

We are to discern the image of God in the other, and fall before him in veneration, yet at the same time, not to ignore the way the image has been ravaged by sin, and to long 'to become an instrument of God in this terrible and scorching work.'

-- said of: St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=daEnCQAAQBAJ&lpg=PR1&pg=PA116#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 30, 2018, 07:21:35 PM
Saint Alexi (Shushania) was born September 23, 1852, in the village of Noqalaqevi, in the Senaki district of Samegrelo [in Georgia], to a pious Christian couple. His father died in 1868, after giving the sixteen-year-old future hieromonk his blessing to care for the family. In the same year that his father died, Alexi journeyed to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, and from there to Constantinople to visit his uncle, Islam Shushania, a successful merchant and a clever and pious man. During this visit, Alexi became fascinated with the trade industry and resolved to become a merchant as well. But he would soon discover that God’s will was different from his own...

At the age of twenty Alexi moved to Teklati Women’s Monastery. He began to lead a strict ascetic life and went from village to village, caring for those ill with tuberculosis, cholera, and other serious illnesses, and burying the corpses of the homeless. Several years passed, and many became convinced that Alexi was a fool-for-Christ. He preached the Word of God with intensity, and his life was an example for many. His preaching inspired his mother, Elene, his younger sister Salome, and his brother Besarion to join him in the monastic life. After he was tonsured a monk, Besarion made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained there for several years. Because of his exemplary service to the Lord, he was ordained a priest at Martvili Monastery. Later he was tonsured into the great schema. Alexi also spent time on Mt. Athos. After returning from the Holy Mountain, he made a pilgrimage to the Kiev Caves Monastery, then returned to Georgia to continue his labors.

Around the year 1885 St. Alexi moved to Gelati Monastery, where he continued to study and produced several original works. In 1886 he was reassigned to Khobi Monastery and ordained a deacon by Bishop Grigol, and in 1888 he was ordained a hieromonk. Two years later, in 1890, he became ill and returned to be with his mother and sisters at Teklati Monastery. According to God’s will his health was restored, and in 1891 Alexi fashioned a cell for himself in the mountainous village of Menji (also called “Archangels’ Hill”), near the place where he was born. He gathered his disciples and undertook a stricter ascetic life. Fr. Alexi’s health was so improved that he was able to celebrate the divine services again.

The holy father would receive alms, but he distributed most of what was given to him. He divided the alms in three parts: the first he put aside for his personal needs, the second, for the church and its guests, and the third, for the poor and infirm. St. Alexi kept a life-size cross in his cell, and when he prayed he supported the cross on his back, since it reminded him of the position in which St. Simon of Cyrene carried the Holy Cross to Christ’s Crucifixion on Golgotha. In spite of his strict ascetic life, Hieromonk Alexi was remarkably close to the people in his community and was loved by many for the spiritual warmth that he radiated.

-- St. Alexi of Teklati (d. 1923), Source (http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/iconoftheday/los/January/18-08.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 31, 2018, 03:38:01 PM
Historical reality is perfectly clear: the holy Councils of the Holy Fathers, summoned by God, always, always had before them one, or at the most two or three questions set before them by the extreme gravity of great heresies and schisms that distorted the Orthodox Faith, tore asunder the Church and seriously placed in danger the salvation of human souls, the salvation of the Orthodox people of God, and of the entire creation of God. Therefore, the ecumenical councils always had a Christological, soteriological, ecclesiological character, which means that their sole and central topic--their Good News--was always the God-Man Jesus Christ and our salvation in Him, our deification in Him. Yes, He [who is] the Son of God, only-begotten and consubstantial, incarnate; He [who is] the eternal Head of the Body of the Church for the salvation and deification of man; He [who is] wholly in the Church by the grace of the Holy Spirit, by true faith in Him, by the Orthodox Faith.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Source (http://www.kosovo.net/stjustin_council.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 03, 2018, 09:52:25 PM
The central theme, or intuition, of Byzantine theology is that man's nature is not a static, 'closed,' autonomous entity, but a dynamic reality, determined in its very existence by its relationship to God. This relationship is seen as a process of ascent and as communion--man, created in the image of God, is called to achieve a 'divine similitude'...The dynamism of Byzantine anthropology can easily be contrasted with the static categories of 'nature' and 'grace' which dominated the thought of post-Augustinian Western Christianity.

-- John Meyendorff (d. 1992), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=_k1b11F4bYsC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA15#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 04, 2018, 04:06:28 PM
The reflection of the divine glory recreates or regenerates us into something other than or in essence different from our previous nature. Transformation into the image of the Lord and the image of His body becomes the fundamental pursuit of our life, accomplished essentially through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we do not engage in idle talk and discuss intellectual concepts that do not influence our lives. We discuss the essence of Being who truly is, with whom we seek assimilation by God's grace; and because of the inadequacy of human terms, we call this "the image of the glory of the Lord." Based on this image, and in the likeness of this image, we become "partakers of the divine nature". We are truly changed, although "neither earth, nor voice, nor custom distinguishes us from the rest on mankind."

-- Pat. Bartholomew of Constantinople (b. 1940), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=lTdri3St6hAC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA326#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Nathanael on April 04, 2018, 04:14:30 PM
"It's a Long Path:
In the atmosphere of the world today prayer requires super human courage. The whole ensemble of natural energies is in opposition. To hold on to prayer without distraction signals victory on every level of existence. The way is long and thorny but there comes a moment when a heavenly ray pierces the dark obscurity, to make an opening through which can be glimpsed the source of the eternal Divine Light. The Jesus Prayer assumes a meta-cosmic dimension. St John the Divine asserts that in the world to come our deification will achieve plenitude since 'we shall see Him as He is'. 'And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure ... Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him' (cf. 1John 3.2,3,6). In order in Christ's Name to receive forgiveness of sins and the promise of the Father we must strive to dwell on His Name 'until we be endued with power from on high' (cf. Luke24-49)."

Elder Sophrony
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Nathanael on April 04, 2018, 04:17:23 PM
Elder Sophrony on the Struggle of Prayer:

P"rayer is infinite creation, the supreme art. Over and over again we experience an eager upsurge towards God, followed only by a falling away from His light. Time and again we are conscious of the mind’s inability to rise to Him. There are moments when we feel ourselves on the verge of insanity. ‘Thou didst give me Thy precept to love but there is no strength in me for love. Come and perform in me all that Thou hast commanded, for Thy commandment overtaxes my powers. My mind is too frail to comprehend Thee. My spirit cannot see into the mysteries of Thy will. My days pass in endless conflict. I am tortured by the fear of losing Thee because of the evil thoughts in my heart.’

Sometimes prayer seems to flag and we cry, ‘Make haste unto me, O God’ (Psalm 70:5). But if we do not let go of the hem of His garment, help will come. It is vital to dwell in prayer in order to counteract the persistently destructive influence of the outside world.

Prayer cannot fail to revive in us the divine breath which God breathed into Adam’s nostrils and by virtue of which Adam ‘became a living soul’ (Gen. 2:7). Then our regenerated spirit will marvel at the sublime mystery of being, and our hearts echo the Psalmist’s praise of the wonderful works of the Lord. We shall apprehend the meaning of Christ’s words, ‘I am come that [men] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10)."
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on April 04, 2018, 04:32:37 PM
The reflection of the divine glory recreates or regenerates us into something other than or in essence different from our previous nature. Transformation into the image of the Lord and the image of His body becomes the fundamental pursuit of our life, accomplished essentially through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we do not engage in idle talk and discuss intellectual concepts that do not influence our lives. We discuss the essence of Being who truly is, with whom we seek assimilation by God's grace; and because of the inadequacy of human terms, we call this "the image of the glory of the Lord." Based on this image, and in the likeness of this image, we become "partakers of the divine nature". We are truly changed, although "neither earth, nor voice, nor custom distinguishes us from the rest on mankind."

-- Pat. Bartholomew of Constantinople (b. 1940), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=lTdri3St6hAC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA326#v=onepage&q&f=false)

I think Pat. Bartholomew would be horrified that you called him a Church Father lol.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 04, 2018, 04:43:28 PM
I gave up quoting 'fathers' in this thread a long time ago. ;) Now my criteria are: 1) did he/she live in the 19th century or later?; 2) were they Orthodox? 3) Did they ever in their life say or do anything that I feel like quoting for whatever reason?
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on April 04, 2018, 05:06:30 PM
I gave up quoting 'fathers' in this thread a long time ago. ;) Now my criteria are: 1) did he/she live in the 19th century or later?; 2) were they Orthodox? 3) Did they ever in their life say or do anything that I feel like quoting for whatever reason?

lol, k.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 08, 2018, 09:23:56 PM
Towards the end of his life, St. Savvas remained in a state of intense prayer and holy contrition. For three days he did not receive anyone and he gave his last counsels: requested love and obedience in Christ & never betray the Orthodox Faith. When he was on the point of death taking his last breath, suddenly he received strength, brought his blessed small hands together, and clapped them repeatedly saying his last holy words: "The Lord! The Lord! The Lord," then he recited the hymn of the Annunciation which the nuns found odd as it was not the Annunciation with the new gregorian calendar, but only did the nuns realise later that at that point those following the old Julian calendar were celebrating the vesper feast for the Annunciation. Thus, he died on April 7, 1947 (which was March 25 for the Old Calendar - the eve of the feast of the Annunciation). Upon closing his eyes, one of the nuns saw the soul of the Saint ascending in a golden cloud towards heaven.

After 10 years when the saint's grave was opened, a heavenly fragrance emanated from the grave which covered the whole island of Kalymnos like a giant cloud, this phenomenon was witnessed by all, including the local bishop who upsettingly and initially was refusing to grant permission to the nuns to exhume his relics. Only when after three years of his death St Savvas miraculously appeared to the nuns ordering them to exhume him as the side of his head was getting wet being buried with his head at the base of a water deposit, and only after following years of torment and dreams, did the then Bishop Isidoros believe the nuns and allowed his relics to be exhumed, finding his whole body incorrupt and intact apart from a small section on his skull where a patch of his skin deteriorated because of the water leaking on him--as the Saint had said to the nuns! This was a testament to the sanctity of the saint. Thousands of miracles and healings have since been attributed to St. Savvas the New of Kalymnos.

-- St. Savvas the New (d. 1947), Source (https://www.stsavvaskalymnos.org/st-savvas-the-new)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 09, 2018, 07:15:39 PM
It is thus an error and somewhat historically naive to demand that, for all problems, we should reason "as did the Fathers," and to reject or put into doubt any problem for the sole reason that we do not find it in their writings. If we examine the history of dogma in its creative cycles, we can see that each age has its own problems, which are new with respect to those of the past, and is not afraid to innovate while taking care not to break with tradition. It is clear that an attitude of mistrust or rejection of a new problem and, consequently, of a new doctrine is to fall into an anti-historic Talmudism and, at the same time, into a specific patrological heresy.

-- Sergei Bulgakov (d. 1944), quoted in: Antoine Arjakovsky, The Way: Religious Thinkers of the Russian Emigration in Paris and Their Journal, 1925-1940, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), pp. 396-397
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 10, 2018, 10:03:22 PM
She was born in 1865 on the island of Cimola. Against her own wishes, her parents married her to a sailor, but he drowned soon after their wedding. Though she grieved for him, she also took his loss as a sign that she was to follow the path that she had always most deeply desired — so she entered monastic life, receiving the name Methodia. She then shut herself in a small cell where she gave herself to prayer without reservation, hardly ever leaving. She prayed virtually around the clock, and kept strict fast every day but Saturday and Sunday, on which days she would leave her cell to partake of the Mysteries. She received no visitors at all during Lent; at other times, she would receive only women. She became known throughout her region as a counselor and healer. She reposed in peace at the age of forty-two, in 1908.

-- St. Methodia of Cimola (d. 1908), Source (https://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/calendar/los/October/05-09.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 11, 2018, 09:02:05 PM
For St. Basil, the first moment of time is not yet time. "As the beginning of a road is not yet the road, nor the beginning of a house, a house, thus the beginning of time is not yet time, nor even a minimal part of time." This first moment, for us, is unthinkable--if, that is, we weakly define the instant as a point in time (a false representation, as St. Augustine has shown, since the future becomes past without ceasing, without our ever being able to grasp the present in time). Now the first moment is not divisible. It is not even infinitely small, but without measure according to time: it is the moment as limit, thus without duration.

What then is the moment? This problem preoccupied ancient thought. In the impasse of a ruthless rationality, Zeno reduced time to the absurd, since it was--or rather could not be--at once movement and rest. More aware of mystery, Plato had remarkable thoughts on the "instant" which, he said, is not time but a limit, and, as such, an opening onto eternity. The present without dimension, without duration, revealed itself as the presence of eternity.

For St. Basil this is precisely that first moment in which the entire assemblage of being appeared, symbolized by "the heavens and the earth." The creature rises up in an "instant" which is at once eternal and temporal, on the frontier of eternity and time. The "beginning," logically analogous to the geometric notion of the frontier (between two planes, for example) is a sort of instantaneousness, non-temporal in itself, but whose creative explosion gives rise to time. This is the point of contact of the divine will with what will henceforth become and endure: the very origin of the creature is thus a change, a "beginning" and that is why time is a form of created being, whereas eternity properly belongs to God. But this original contingency will never disappear, for the word of God is unshakeable (1 Pet. 1:25). The world thus created will always exist, even when time is abolished, or rather, since time itself is a creature, when it is transformed into the eternal newness of the apocatastasis.

-- Vladimir Lossky (d. 1958), Orthodox Theology: An Introduction, p. 61 (https://books.google.com/books?id=xL1Vn_LLJ3sC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA61#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 12, 2018, 11:45:46 PM
For which cause we have remained silent until now, and have declined to take into consideration the papal encyclical in question, esteeming it unprofitable to speak to the ears of those who do not hear. Since, however, from a certain period the Papal Church, having abandoned the method of persuasion and discussion, began, to our general astonishment and perplexity, to lay traps for the conscience of the more simple orthodox Christians by means of deceitful workers transformed into apostles of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13), sending into the East clerics with the dress and headcovering of orthodox priests, inventing also divers and other artful means to obtain her proselytizing objects; for this reason, as in sacred duty bound, we issue this patriarchal and synodical encyclical, for a safeguard of the orthodox faith and piety, knowing "that the observance of the true canons is a duty for every good man, and much more for those who have been thought worthy by Providence to direct the affairs of others." (St. Photius, Epistles 3.10)

-- Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 13, 2018, 08:41:16 PM
Q. You talked about the growth of the church in the past 10 or 15 years. I wonder if you could give us a sense of how it’s grown and how the nature of the ministry of the church has changed in that time?

Yes. Just to give you the sense, I will give you some figures. In 1988, the Russian Orthodox church had 6,000 parishes. Now, we have 36,000 parishes. Most of these new parishes are either the churches which were destroyed and were built again, or these are churches which were in ruins and were restored. Or, these are newly established communities. When I speak about the parishes, as a rule it is both the church building and the church community. What does this figure mean? It means that every year we opened more than 1,000 churches: three churches per day for this entire period. And it continues at the same speed. We had, in 1988, 21 monasteries for the entire Russian Orthodox church. Now we have over 950 monasteries. Which means that we opened more than 900 monasteries in less than 30 years and each of these monasteries are filled with monks and nuns. Their average age is… Most of them are quite young. So, it is an incredible monastic revival, again on an unprecedented scale.

We had three theological educational institutions and now we have more than 50 higher educational institutions which belong to the church. And we have about the same number in Russia of theology faculties and departments in state universities. With regard to the social role of the church, the major shift was from the situation of a ghetto to the situation where the church is a very active actor in society, in social discussions, in the social processes. There are now two church TV channels. There are TV programmes which are operated by the church and state channels. And the church is very actively present in the mass media, in the internet, and also in the social arena.

-- Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (b. 1966), Interview with The Economist (https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21736203-economist-meets-bishop-hilarion-alfeyev-man-charge-external-relations) (2.1.18)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 14, 2018, 07:22:13 PM
To speak, then, as St. Theophan does, of standing before God "with the mind in the heart," means that we are to worship Him with the totality of our human personhood. The rational faculties are in no way rejected, for we are rational creatures--what St. Clement of Alexandria termed "logical sheep"--and therefore our worship should be logike latreia, "reasonable worship" (Rom. 12:1). Likewise, our emotions and affections are not to be excluded from our worship, for they too are part of our personhood. Our prayer should be animated by eros, intense and fervent longing for the Divine, so that our worship becomes truly an expression of "erotic ecstasy," to use a phrase of St. Maximos the Confessor. But logos and eros, reason, emotions and affections, are to be combined with the other layers of our personality, and all of them are to be integrated into a living unity, on the level of the deep self or the heart. Our experience of God, to cite Evelyn Underhill again, "spreads from the field of consciousness to transform and bring into the total act of worship the deep instinctive levels of the mind." Our worship is to be all-embracing.

-- Met. Kallistos Ware (b. 1934), The Inner Kingdom, p. 62 (https://books.google.com/books?id=SZKQvru-viUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA62#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 15, 2018, 09:00:24 PM
The Kozel'schansk Icon of the Mother of God belongs amongst the icons most recently glorified, and is amongst those most venerated. This icon is of Italian origin and was brought to Russia by one of the courtiers of the empress Elizaveta Petrovna (1741‑1761). The owner of the icon married a records-clerk of the Zaporozhsky-Cossack army, Siromakh. Therefore down to the Ukraine went the icon. During the XIX Century it belonged to the Kapnist family among their sacred possessions. The icon was situated in the village of Kozel'schina, Poltava governance. During Cheesefare Week in the year 1880, the daughter of V. I. Kapnist, Maria, fell grievously ill... In the month of October the father journeyed with his sick daughter to Moscow. Here he had recourse to the most reknown doctors, who declared that the sickness was beyond their powers. The parents and the sick girl began already to despair...

The mother, having decided to go on the following day, and pointing to the family image of the Mother of God, said to her daughter: "Masha [a diminutive for "Maria"], tomorrow we go to Moscow, take the image of the Mother of God, let us clean its cover and pray harder before our Mediatrix. Ask, that we make a good trip and that thy illness be cured". The sick girl herself, having lost hope in worldly physicians, placed all her hope in God and entrusted her fate to Heavenly help. This icon had long before been known as wonderworking. According to tradition, it particularly aided young women, who recoursed to it in prayer to have an happy family. And with this too was the custom, to clean the cover of the icon, and the one praying would wipe it with cotton or linen. Pressing the holy icon to her bosom, the sick girl, with the help of her mother, rubbed at it and poured out all the burden of her infirmity, and sorrow and despair of soul before the countenance of the Mother of God. And the ardent and intense prayer of the sick girl was heard. She at once felt the strength in her hands and her feet and she cried out loudly: "Mama! Mama! I feel my feet! Mama, I feel my hands!" She tore off the metal braces and bandages and began freely to walk about the room, all the while continuing to hold on reverently to the image of the Mother of God in her hands...

-- said of: The Kozel'schansk Icon of the Mother of God (Source (http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/iconoftheday/los/February/21-06.htm))

(http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/iconoftheday/los/February/21-06.jpg)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 16, 2018, 09:36:34 PM
Of course, it would be easier to get to paradise with a full stomach, all snuggled up in a soft feather-bed, but what is required is to carry one’s cross along the way, for the kingdom of God is not attained by enduring one or two troubles, but many!

-- St. Anthony of Optina (d. 1865), Source (http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/category/sayings-from-saints-elders-and-fathers/st-anthony-of-optina/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 17, 2018, 10:27:24 PM
Now if you don't feel comfortable with the calendar, follow the old... However don't let the enemy deceive you that you will be saved since now you are an old calendarist. Christ, when He sent His disciples into the world told them: Preach the gospel to all the world, and he who believes and is baptized will be saved. He did not say preach the old calendar and he who believes and is baptized will be saved in it.

-- Elder Philotheos Zervakos of Paros (d. 1980), Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/paternalcounsels.aspx)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 18, 2018, 07:54:13 PM
Very much aware that members of Russia's educated society "nourished themselves on the fruits" of the West, the academics' enterprise involved engaging the West and the related notion of modernity in a new way. They were aware that they had to develop a new understanding of their own vocations, a new style and language of discourse, as well as a new approach to the meaning and purpose of Orthodox scholarship, knowledge, and science. On the immediate practical level, the more progressive of the academics believed they and their colleagues had to shed their perennial suspicion of philosophical ideas and cultural currents emerging from the modern West and instead find inspiration in the phrase from St. Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians (5:21): "Test everything, hold fast to what is good." Alexander Ivanstov-Platonov, a protopresbyter and professor of Church history at Moscow University, insisted that "those who extent their hand to contemporary civilization were not cowards or renegades or traitors to Orthodoxy."

One of the most well-known advocates of this approach was Archimandrite Feodor Bukharev, whose often complex ideas have been recently examined by Paul Valliere. In his 1860 essay, "On the Relation of Orthodoxy to Modernity," Bukharev maintained that awareness of one's contemporary environment was a biblical mandate; a lack of such awareness posed its own set of dangers to faith. As guidance in his relation to the West and its ideas, Bukharev sought not so much the dogmatic teachings of the ecumenical councils, but the spirit of those councils, with which, he maintained, their participants took up the challenges of their times. In this vein, he and other like-minded academics encouraged mastering Western treasures of knowledge and wisdom in order to discern their "applicability" to Orthodoxy, and even advocated passing through the "Western school" in order to learn as much as possible. Only in this way, he argued, could Orthodoxy remain a vital force in the modern world.

-- Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=WWkGAQAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT82#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 19, 2018, 04:31:21 PM
Divine grace, according to my own participation in it, is understood by the sense of the spirit, as borne witness by those who have known and seen it. It is the radiance of divine brightness, sensed in theoria and with lucidity of the nous; a subtlety of the intellect; a fragrant and sweet breath; undistracted prayer and the cessation of thoughts; an immaculate and perfectly peaceful life; as well as humble, calm, purifying, illuminating, joy-creating, and free of every fantasy! At that blessed moment there is no place for the slightest doubt in the recipient to think that perhaps it is not divine grace, as he is free of every suspicion or fear about it.

-- Elder Joseph of Vatopedi (d. 2009), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=f4Gp3LRoz7oC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA169#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 21, 2018, 01:10:22 PM
Although with the eyes of the body and of reason the believer sees the Church only in her external manifestations, the believer's spirit recognizes her in the sacraments, and in prayer, and in God-pleasing works. For this reason the believer does not confuse her with a society that calls itself Christian, for not all who say "Lord, Lord" actually belongs to the elect and the seed of Abraham (Matt. 7:21). It is by faith that the true Christian knows that the one, holy, sobornyi, apostolic Church will never disappear from the face of the earth until the Last Judgment of all creation, that she abides on the earth invisible to the eyes of flesh and to minds that are wise in the way of the flesh within the visible community of Christians, just as she remains visible to eyes of faith in the Church beyond the grave, which is invisible to bodily eyes. It is through faith again that the Christian knows that the earthly Church--though she be invisible--is always robed in a visible image; that there has never been, could never be, and will never be such a time when the sacraments would be distorted, holiness exhausted, and the doctrine spoiled; and that one is no Christian who canot say where, from apostolic times, the Holy sacraments have been performed and are performed, where the doctrine has been preserved and is preserved, where prayers have been sent up and are sent up to the throne of grace.

-- Aleksey Khomyakov (d. 1860), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=Cb_vQhnAGFYC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA40#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 22, 2018, 04:36:12 PM
Just in the same way that water pours of its own accord from an overfull vessel, so prayer to God begins to spring spontaneously from a heart which is filled with the holy feelings that have been produced by the habit of regular vocal prayer... Why is it, then, you may ask, that some people use their prayer books for years yet never have prayer in their hearts? To me, the reason for this seems to lie in the fact that the only time they make the effort to raise their hearts to God is while they are actually carrying out their rule of prayer... only in the morning, for example. They think that then their relationship to God is complete, their duty fulfilled. After this, they spend their whole day in other activities, without ever turning to God. Then, when evening comes, they may decide it is time to turn back to the business of prayer.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=8tspYPcHu68C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2018, 06:13:16 PM
Most studies on conciliarity presume that a synod must be a “success,” in terms of achieving unity and vanishing heresies. Yet, if we identify synodality with “success”—with the final results in verbal and practical agreement—then we will need to admit that many Councils were not so “successful.” We must understand here that a dogmatic “gigantomachia” does not simply end in the agreement of words and formulas, but in the reality of the Mystery, recognized (sacramentally, liturgically) in the Image of the Crucified and Resurrected Christ. It is indicative that Polycarp, the famous Bishop of Smyrna, in about the year 155 visited his Roman fellow brother Anicetus to discuss with him the disputed issue of the date of Pascha. Although they did not agree in all things, imagine, they nonetheless served the Liturgy together, after which Polycarp returned to Smyrna—to his martyrdom.

-- Bishop Maxim Vasiljević (b. 1968), Conciliarity in the Church History and Today (https://www.trinityorthodox.ca/sites/default/files/Maxim%20Valisjevic-Conciliarity%20in%20Church%20History%20and%20Today.pdf)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2018, 03:38:04 AM
Our body lives by means of those elements of which it  is itself formed, constantly absorbing into itself air, water,  and other organic bodies ; our soul lives by means of the  Divine Spirit, from Which it has its origin, and constantly absorbs into itself, for supporting its life, the life of God the Trinity, through the light of the intellect, through good inclinations and desires of the heart and will, and constancy in goodness. As the body, when it is not nourished by the elements natural to it, cannot live, and dies, so our soul, when not nourished by prayer or good thoughts, feelings, and works, also dies. As in our bodily nature the nourishment and growth of the body are satisfactorily accomplished for a time, but if accidentally, through Jood or drink or breathing, any poison or contagion enters the body, then suffering is at once occasioned, and even death, should not help be given in time ; so in our spiritual nature everything goes on satisfactorily for a time, but if it is corrupted by the Devil, then it suffers grievously, becoming as if benumbed, and it requires the speedy help of the heavenly Physician, the God of spirits, which can only be received through the prayer of faith.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1909), Source (https://archive.org/stream/MyLifeInChrist/MyLifeInChrist_djvu.txt)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2018, 04:04:31 PM
The Church is holy by its calling, or its purpose. It is holy also by its fruits: “Ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22), as the Apostle Paul instructs us. The Church is holy likewise through its pure, infallible teaching of faith: The Church of the living God is, according to the word of God, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, concerning the infallibility of the Church in its teaching, express themselves thus: “In saying that the teaching of the Church is infallible, we do not affirm anything else than this, that it is unchanging, that it is the same as was given to it in the beginning as the teaching of God” (Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarch, 1848, par. 12).

The sanctity of the Church is not darkened by the intrusion of the world into the Church, or by the sinfulness of men. Everything sinful and worldly which intrudes into the Church’s sphere remains foreign to it and is destined to be sifted out and destroyed, like weed seeds at sowing time. The opinion that the Church consists only of righteous and holy people without sin does not agree with the direct teaching of Christ and His Apostles. The Saviour compares His Church with a field on which the wheat grows together with the tares, and again, with a net which draws out of the water both good fish and bad In the Church there are both good servants and bad ones (Matt 18:23-35), wise virgins and foolish (Matt. 25:1-13). “We believe,” states the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, “that the members of the Catholic Church are all the faithful, and only the faithful, that is, those who undoubtingly confess the pure faith in the Saviour Christ (the faith which we have received from Christ Himself, from the Apostles, and from the Holy Ecumenical Councils), even though certain of them might have submitted to various sins . . . The Church judges them, calls them to repentance, and leads them on the path of the saving commandments. And therefore despite the fact that they are subject to sins, they remain and are acknowledged as members of the Catholic Church as long as they do not become apostates and as long as they hold to the Catholic and Orthodox Faith.”

-- Fr. Michael Pomazansky (d. 1988), Source (http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0824/_P1W.HTM)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 27, 2018, 06:12:02 PM
Following Christ's resurrection, when he appeared to the frightened and confused disciples, according to the words of the Gospel, they thought that they had seen an apparition. He said to them: "Do not be afraid... it is I, touch me, and be convinced that a ghost does not have a body, as I do." And after this he took food, fish and bread, "and ate before them" (Lk. 24:36-43)  The apostles went out from Jerusalem with the message of the resurrection, and they preached the resurrection of the dead to the ends of the earth. And this faith, this joyful news, this proclamation became the joy and the life of those who made the words of the apostles their own.

But for the world of that time, this was an unheard-of and absurd preaching. That the world could reluctantly accept the notion of the immortality of souls, but considered the resurrection of the body to be totally ludicrous. When the apostle Paul preached this in Athens, at the very center of Greek wisdom and enlightenment, the philosophers who listened to him laughed, saying to Paul: "We will hear you again about this" (Acts 17:32). But I am convinced that even now, two thousand years after the founding of Christianity, it is difficult, if not impossible, for humanity to understand this preaching, to understand why Christianity itself stands or falls precisely on this teaching. Indeed, we celebrate Easter, it is indisputable that something happens to us when each year the evening silence is broken with the proclamation, "Christ is risen!" and with its unique response, "Indeed he is risen!"

-- Fr. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=mfJK7W6qv3gC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA38#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Dominika on May 04, 2018, 02:58:39 PM
"There are no grave and tiny sins. Grave sin is the one that captured you. The little sin is the one you captured."

Serbian patriarch Pavle
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 09, 2018, 02:54:14 PM
It is necessary to take precaution and not identify the infirmity of fallen nature with the inherent imperfection of all created nature. There is nothing morbid or sinister in the "natural imperfection" of created nature except what is penetrated "'from above" after the consummated fall. In pre-fallen nature, one can perhaps speak of lack and flaws. But in the fallen world there is something more - perversion, revolt, vertiginous blasphemy, violence.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20021123193446/http://pages.sbcglobal.net/c.parks/florovsky.html)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2018, 10:45:36 PM
It is an astounding thing that when people repent they do not, as a rule, repent for that which they needed to repent... Christian people desire not so much a real change and transformation of their nature as absolution for their sins... Behind all the darkness of the world and human life a light is hidden, and there are other moments when this light is so strong that it blinds us. Man ought to look evil straight in the face, to allow himself no illusions about it, but never to be overwhelmed by it. Truth lies beyond optimism and pessimism. The absurdity of the world is not a denial of the existence of meaning.

-- Nicholas Berdyaev (d. 1948), The Divine and the Human
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2018, 06:18:50 PM
You add that "most serious people in England think only of union with Rome." This conclusion seems to me very natural. Union cannot be understood by any Orthodox Christian other than as the consequence of a complete harmony, or of a perfect Unity of Doctrine. (I do not speak of rites, excepting in the case when they are symbols of a dogma.) The Church in her structure, is not a state, and can admit of nothing like a conditional Union. It is quite a different case with the community of Rome. She is a state. She admits easily of the possibility of an alliance even with a deep discordance of doctrine. Great is the difference between the logical slavery of Ultramontanism and the illogical half-liberty of Gallicanism, and yet they stand both under the same banner and head. [ed.--This was written before the suppression of Gallicanism by Pope Pius IX.] The union of the Nicene Symbol and Roman obedience in the Uniates of Poland was a thing most absurd, and yet those Uniates were admitted by Rome very naturally, because the community of Rome is a state, and has a right to act as a state. The Union with Rome seems to me the more natural for England, [since] England in truth has never rejected the authority of the Latin doctrine. Why should those who admit the validity of the Pope's decree in the most vital part of Faith — in the Symbol — reject it in secondary questions or in matters of discipline? Union is possible with Rome. Unity alone is possible with Orthodoxy.

-- Alexei Khomiakov (d. 1860), Source (http://www.stjamesthejust.com/archives%20(features)/(130)%20Alexei%20Khomiakov%27s%20First%20Letter%20to%20William%20Palmer%20%5B1844%5D.htm)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2018, 03:10:06 PM
Ascetic catharsis certainly purifies the way in which we look at the outside world, but we still learn nothing of God by looking at his works except by his power. Only by the inward experience of entasy and the divine indwelling can the soul transcend all purely intellectual knowing (the 'theology of symbols') and attain to God, as he offers himself in his grace; this is the very concrete experience of direct, not conceptual, awareness, the 'spiritual feeling' of the divine nearness, the presence of God in the soul.  The East distinguishes between, on the one hand, 'intelligence' concerned with the coexistence of opposites and their reconciliation in 'unity and identity by grace,' and on the other, 'reason,' discursive thought based on the logic of contradiction and formal identity, directed towards the multiple, and hence tending to exclude God. Now 'intelligence resides in the heart, though in the brain.' This explains why the Orthodox faith is never defined in terms of intellectual assent, but is a matter of living proof, a 'sense of the transcendent': 'Lord, the woman who had fallen into a great number of sins, when she perceived thy divinity...' 

An essential aspect of faith is the experience of love and knowledge inseparably united in the heart-spirit, working together to transcend the intellectual and the sentimental, bringing about metanoia, the complete turning round of the whole human person. St. Simeon the New Theologian goes so far as to deny the presence of the Holy Spirit in anyone who is not himself aware of it and who thinks that to be reclothed in Christ it is enough to be baptized. Diadochus speaks of 'feeling,' and Macarius of 'spiritual feeling'--awareness of the presence is a spiritual gift. The term has nothing to do with the sensuality or psychological emotion, but emphasizes the concreteness of real-life experience of the spirit. It means the sensitivity of the nous whose intellectual character is formed by mystical experience. St. Gregory of Nyssa calls this grasping of the presence of God in the soul the 'consciousness of the Parousia,' and, also following Origen, he speaks of the 'consciousness of God' and of the 'sense of God' ('the soul possesses a certain power of touching, by which it touches the Word'); St Maximus names it 'higher sensation' and says 'I call the experience of true knowing in action, which goes beyond any concept... participation in the object, which reveals itself beyond any thought'...

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=AkRhkwChdZsC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA56#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2018, 12:57:28 PM
The Savior Himself all of His life did not have a place to lay His head, and He finished his life on the cross — why should his followers have a better lot? The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of preparedness to suffer and bear good-naturedly all that is sorrowful. Comfort, arro­gance, splendor, and ease are all foreign to its searching and tastes. Its path lies in the fruitless, dreary desert. The model is the forty-year wandering of the Israelites in the desert. Who follows this path? Ev­eryone who sees Canaan beyond the desert, boiling over with milk and honey. During his wandering he too receives manna, however not from the earth, but from heav­en; not bodily, but spiritually.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), Source (http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/10/12/st-theophan-the-recluse-woe-to-those-who-are-rich/)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2018, 08:30:47 PM
Fixing a typo:

Now 'intelligence resides in the heart, though thought in the brain.'
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 16, 2018, 09:57:36 PM
"As he reigned in heaven so the Word of God reigns on earth... and holds sway, too, over the things which are under the earth, having become 'the first-born from the dead' (Col. 1:18), so that, as we have said, all things might behold their King, so that the fatherly light might meet and rest upon the flesh of our Lord, and then, from that resplendent flesh, come upon us, and finally so that the human, girded with the fatherly light, might attain to incorruption." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4.20.2)

The divine light comes ultimately from God the Father and is fully present in the Son. So when the Son becomes incarnate as Jesus Christ, Irenaeus says, we can known him and thus receive him because this same light shines forth from his flesh. It comes easily from there to us, since we are also embodied. The result is that in Christ we are clothed in the divine light, which will bring us incorruption, that is, freedom from decay and from death. We saw how Gregory of Nyssa describes the fall as breaking the link by which light reaches from God through the human mind and body to the created world. In this text, Irenaeus shows how Christ, through the incarnation, has restored the connection between the divine light and his body. From there it radiates to our bodies and, ultimately, to the whole created world, as Paul says in Romans 8.

-- Sister Nonna Harrison, Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=X6tzBQAAQBAJ&lpg=PR1&pg=PA118#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 17, 2018, 02:54:19 PM
Beware of self-satisfaction: in one mouthful it can devour the fruit of much toil.

-- Tito Colliander (d. 1989), Way of the Ascetics (http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/WayOfTheAscetics)
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 18, 2018, 04:35:12 PM
Byzantine theology ignores the Western distinction between "sacraments" and "sacramentals," and never formally committed itself to any strict limitation of the number of sacraments. In the patristic period there was no technical term to designate "sacraments" as a specific category of church acts: the term mysterion was used primarily in the wider and general sense of "mystery of salvation," [2] and only in a subsidiary manner to designate the particular actions which bestow salvation. In this second sense, it was used concurrently with such terms as "rites" or "sanctifications." [3] Theodore the Studite in the ninth century gives a list of six sacraments: the holy "illumination" (baptism), the "synaxis" (Eucharist), the holy chrism, ordination, monastic tonsure, and the service of burial. [4] The doctrine of the "seven sacraments" appears for the first time--very charateristically--in the Profession of Faith required from Emperor Michael Paleologus by Pope Clement IV in 1267. [5] The Profession had been prepared, of course, by Latin theologians.

The obviously Western origin of this strict numbering of the sacraments did not prevent it from being widely accepted among Eastern Christians after the thirteenth century, even among those who fiercely rejected union with Rome. It seems that this acceptance resulted not so much from the influence of Latin theology as from the peculiarly medieval and Byzantine fascination with symbolic numbers: the number seven, in particular, evokaed an association with the seven gifts of the Spirit in Isaiah 11:2-4. But among Byzantine authors who accept the “seven sacraments,” we find different competing lists.

The monk Job (thirteenth century), author of a dissertation on the sacraments, includes monastic tonsure in the list, as did Theodore the Studite, but combines as one sacrament penance and the anointing of the sick. [6] Symeon of Thessalonica (fifteenth century) also admit’s the sacramental character of the monastic tonsure, but classifies it together with penance, [7] considering the anointing as a separate sacrament. Meanwhile, Joasaph, Metropolitan of Ephesus, a contemporary of Symeon’s, declares: “I believe that the sacraments of the Church are not seven, but more,” and he gives a list of ten, which includes the consecration of a church, the funeral service, and the monastic tonsure. [8]

Obviously, the Byzantine Church never committed itself formally to any specific list; many authors accept the standard series of seven sacraments--baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, holy orders, matrimony, penance, and the anointing of the sick--while others give a long list, and still others emphasize the exclusive and prominent importance of baptism and the Eucharist, the basic Christian initiation into “new life.” Thus Gregory Palamas proclaims that “in these two [sacraments], our whole salvation is rooted, sice the entire economy of the God-man is recapitulated in them.” [9] And Nicholas Cabasilas composes his famous book on The Life in Christ as a commentary on baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist.

Notes
[2] See, for example, Chrysostom, Hom. 7, 1 in 1 Cor.; PG 61:55.
[3] Chrysostom, Catecheses baptism ales, ed. A Wenger, Sources Chretiennes 50 (Paris: Cerf, 1957, II, 17, p. 143.
[4] Ep. II, 165; PG 99:1524B.
[5] G.M. Jugie, Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium, III, (Paris, 1930), p. 16.
[6] Quoted by M. Jugie, ibid., pp. 17-18.
[7] De sacramentis, 52; PG 155:197A.
[8] Responsa canonica, ed. A.I. Almazov (Odessa, 1903), p. 38
[9] Hom. 60, ed. So Oikonomos (Athens, 1860), p. 250


--Fr. John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes, (Fordham University Press, 1979), pp. 191-192
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 19, 2018, 04:17:04 PM
The obviously Western origin of this strict numbering of the sacraments did not prevent it from being widely accepted among Eastern Christians after the thirteenth century, even among those who fiercely rejected union with Rome. It seems that this acceptance resulted not so much from the influence of Latin theology as from the peculiarly medieval and Byzantine fascination with symbolic numbers: the number seven, in particular, evokaed an association with the seven gifts of the Spirit in Isaiah 11:2-4.

I wonder about that though. It was perhaps during the same time period when other changes in Byzantine theology and practice took place, such as the switch from rejecting to accepting the deuterocanonicals as sacred Scripture. There seemed to be an inferiority complex among some in the period, and later things like the Confession of Dositheus also show clear influence by Latin theology.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 20, 2018, 04:15:07 PM
And the truth of the Lord ells us that the heavens cannot contain it, but it is contained in the manger in Bethlehem; that it creates and upholds the world, and falls under the weight of the cross o the way to Golgotha; that is is more than the universe, and at the same time does not scorn a cup of water offered by a compassionate hand. The truth of the Lord abolishes the difference between the immense and insignificant. Let us try to build our small, our insignificant life in the same way as the Great Architect builds the planetary system of the immense universe. People make a choice between the sorrowful face of Christ and the joy of life. He who rejects the sorrowful face of Christ in the name of the joys of life believes in those joys, but tragedy is born at the moment when he discovers that those joys are not joyful. Forced, mechanized labor gives us no joy; entertainment, more or less monotonous, differing only in the degree to which it exhausts our nerves, gives us no joy; the whole of this bitter life gives us no joy. Without Christ the world attains the maximum of bitterness, because it attains the maximum of meaninglessness.

Christianity is Paschal joy, Christianity is collaboration with God, Christianity is an obligation newly undertaken by mankind to cultivate the Lord's paradise, once rejected in the fall; and in the thicket of this paradise, overgrown with the weeds of many centuries of sin and the thorns of our dry and loveless life, Christianity commands us to root up, plow, sow, weed, and harvest. Authentic, God-manly, integral, sobornoe Christianity calls us in Paschal song: "Let us embrace one another." In the liturgy we say, "Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess..." Let us love--meaning not only one mind, but also one activity, meaning a common life. It is necessary to build our relations to man and to the world not on human and worldly laws, but within the revelation of the divine commandment. To see in man the image of God and in the world God's creation. It is necessary to understand that Christianity demands of us not only the mysticism of communion with God, but also the mysticism of communion with man.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Mother Maria Skobtsova: Selected Writings, pp. 82-83
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2018, 12:01:50 AM
[Christ] foresaw our rationalistic and proud lack of faith when He prophesied that, to his accusation, people would ask in perplexity: "Lord, when did we not visit you in the hospital or in prison, when did we refuse you a cup of water?" If they could believe that in every beggar and in every criminal Christ Himself addresses us, they would not treat people differently...

During a service, the priest does not only cense the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the saints. He also censes the icon-people, the image of God in the people who are present. And as they leave the church precincts, these people remain as much the images of God, worthy of being censed and venerated. Our relations with people should be an authentic and profound veneration.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Mother Maria Skobtsova: Selected Writings, pp. 80
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 03, 2018, 04:27:59 AM
[Christ] foresaw our rationalistic and proud lack of faith when He prophesied that, to his accusation, people would ask in perplexity: "Lord, when did we not visit you in the hospital or in prison, when did we refuse you a cup of water?" If they could believe that in every beggar and in every criminal Christ Himself addresses us, they would not treat people differently...

During a service, the priest does not only cense the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the saints. He also censes the icon-people, the image of God in the people who are present. And as they leave the church precincts, these people remain as much the images of God, worthy of being censed and venerated. Our relations with people should be an authentic and profound veneration.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Mother Maria Skobtsova: Selected Writings, pp. 80


"Turn down for WHAT?!"
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2018, 04:30:20 AM
[Christ] foresaw our rationalistic and proud lack of faith when He prophesied that, to his accusation, people would ask in perplexity: "Lord, when did we not visit you in the hospital or in prison, when did we refuse you a cup of water?" If they could believe that in every beggar and in every criminal Christ Himself addresses us, they would not treat people differently...

During a service, the priest does not only cense the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the saints. He also censes the icon-people, the image of God in the people who are present. And as they leave the church precincts, these people remain as much the images of God, worthy of being censed and venerated. Our relations with people should be an authentic and profound veneration.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Mother Maria Skobtsova: Selected Writings, pp. 80


"Turn down for WHAT?!"

Hmm? ???
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 03, 2018, 04:40:38 AM
[Christ] foresaw our rationalistic and proud lack of faith when He prophesied that, to his accusation, people would ask in perplexity: "Lord, when did we not visit you in the hospital or in prison, when did we refuse you a cup of water?" If they could believe that in every beggar and in every criminal Christ Himself addresses us, they would not treat people differently...

During a service, the priest does not only cense the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the saints. He also censes the icon-people, the image of God in the people who are present. And as they leave the church precincts, these people remain as much the images of God, worthy of being censed and venerated. Our relations with people should be an authentic and profound veneration.

-- St. Maria of Paris (d. 1945), Mother Maria Skobtsova: Selected Writings, pp. 80


"Turn down for WHAT?!"

Hmm? ???

As in the song. It was a real theological "mic drop" moment, is what I'm saying.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2018, 04:42:55 AM
I'm not going to embarrass myself by asking "what song," it is enough that I get the point now :angel: :laugh:
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 04, 2018, 12:05:35 PM
Why is it, you ask, that one can pray for so many years with a prayer book, and still not have prayer in his heart? I think the reason is that people only spend a little time lifting themselves up to God when they complete their prayer rule, and in other times, they do not remember God. For example, they finish their morning prayers, and think that their relation to God is fulfilled by them; then the whole day passes in work, and such a person does not attend to God. Then in the evening, the thought returns to him that he must quickly stand at prayer and complete his evening rule. In this case, it happens that even if the Lord grants a person spiritual feelings at the time of the morning prayer, the bustle and business of the day drowns them out. As a result, it happens that one does not often feel like praying, and cannot get control of himself even to soften his heart a little bit. In such an atmosphere, prayer develops and ripens poorly. This problem (is it not ubiquitous?) needs to be corrected, that is, one must ensure that the soul does not only make petition to God when standing in prayer, but during the whole day, as much as possible, one must unceasingly ascend to Him and remain with Him.

In order to begin this task, one must first, during the course of the day, cry out to God more often, even if only with a few words, according to need and the work of the day. Beginning anything, for example, say ‘Bless, O Lord!’ When you finish something, say, ‘Glory to Thee, O Lord’, and not only with your lips, but with feeling in your heart. If passions arise, say, ‘Save me, O Lord, I am perishing.’ If the darkness of disturbing thoughts comes up, cry out: ‘Lead my soul out of prison.’ If dishonest deeds present themselves and sin leads you to them, pray, ‘Set me, O Lord, in the way’, or ‘do not give up my feet to stumbling.’ If sin takes hold of you and leads you to despair, cry out with the voice of the publican, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ Do this in every circumstance, or simply say often, ‘Lord, have mercy’, ‘Most Holy Theotokos save us”, ‘Holy Angel, my guardian, protect me’, or other such words. Say such prayers as often as possible, always making the effort for them come from your heart, as if squeezed out of it. When we do this, we will frequently ascend to God in our hearts, making frequent petitions and prayers. Such increased frequency will bring about the habit of mental conversation with God.

— St. Theophan the Recluse, On prayer, Homily 2
Delivered 22 November, 1864



Pretty much my life right now.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 06, 2018, 01:21:05 AM
I don't get the last paragraph. http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html

Nice to see that he had good things to say about the Jews, though.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: RaphaCam on September 06, 2018, 01:53:16 AM
I don't get the last paragraph. http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html (http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html)
I feel like it makes less sense out of the original context.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 06, 2018, 02:07:59 AM
I don't get the last paragraph. http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html (http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html)
I feel like it makes less sense out of the original context.

Yeah, maybe.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: hecma925 on September 06, 2018, 11:25:15 AM
I don't get the last paragraph. http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html (http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html)
I feel like it makes less sense out of the original context.

Yeah, maybe.

There are some synagogues where the reaction would be quite different.
Title: Re: Modern Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on September 06, 2018, 11:49:18 AM
I don't get the last paragraph. http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html (http://www.orthodoxyandworldreligions.com/2018/08/when-st-gabriel-fool-visited-synagogue.html)
I feel like it makes less sense out of the original context.

Yeah, maybe.

There are some synagogues where the reaction would be quite different.

I'm sure. Same for Baptist churches.