Author Topic: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)  (Read 35482 times)

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Offline stavros_388

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #135 on: July 03, 2015, 03:48:35 PM »
Nothing is better for rendering the heart penitent and the soul humble than wise solitude and complete silence. Nothing has a greater power of disturbing the state of silence, and of depriving it of God's help, than the following principal passions: presumptuousness, gluttony, talkativeness and vain cares, arrogance and the mistress of all passions - self regard. Whoever readily permits himself to acquire the habit of these passions will become, in the course of time, more and more shrouded in darkness, until finally he is completely deadened. If, however, he comes to himself and begins to practice the necessary observances with faith and zeal, he will once more obtain what he seeks, especially if he seeks it with humility. But if, through negligence, even one of the passions mentioned begins to rule in him, then the whole host of evils, with pernicious unbelief at its head, attacks and overpowers him and completely devastates his soul. The soul is then filled with diabolical confusion and turmoil and become another Babel, so that 'the last state of the man is worse than the first' (Matt. xii. 45). Then the man turns into a violent enemy and defamer of those who practice silence, always sharpening his tongue against them, like a razor or a double-edged sword.

--St. Gregory of Sinai (d. 1360), Texts on Commandments and Dogmas, 104 (Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart, p. 59)

Offline stavros_388

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #136 on: July 04, 2015, 10:29:14 AM »
If a man constantly looks at the physical sun, he involuntarily suffers a change in his vision, for he can no longer see anything else of the visible, and sees nothing but the sun in everything. It is the same with the man who is always looking at the sun of truth with mind and heart; involuntarily he will suffer a change in his mental vision, for he will be unable to imagine anything earthly and will see only God in all things.

--St. Symeon the New Theologian (d. 1022), Practical and Theological Precepts, 182 (Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart, p. 141)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #137 on: July 18, 2015, 10:30:31 PM »
104. He who is distracted during prayer stands outside the first veil. He who undistractedly offers the singlephrased
Jesus Prayer is within the veil. But he alone has glimpsed the holy of holies who, with his natural thoughts
at rest, contemplates that which transcends every intellect, and who has in this way been granted to some extent a
vision of the divine light.

105. Whenever the soul, paying no attention to external things, is concentrated in prayer, then a kind of flame
surrounds it, as fire surrounds iron, and makes it wholly incandescent. The soul remains the same, but can no longer be touched, just as red-hot iron cannot be touched by the hand.

-- Ilias the Presbyter (d.c. early 12th century), A Gnomic Anthology, 2.104-105

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #138 on: July 24, 2015, 11:26:11 PM »
"...thrice radiant, thrice bright, thrice brilliant; Light is the Father, Light the Son, Light the Holy Ghost; Wisdom the Father, Wisdom the Son, Wisdom the Holy Ghost..."

-- St. John of Damascus (d. 749), The Fount of Knowledge: Part 2, On Heresies, 103

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #139 on: August 01, 2015, 11:39:07 PM »
My dearest brother, we do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy amongst the five sister Patriarchates; and we recognize her right to the most honorable seat at an Ecumenical Council. But she has seperated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office... How shall we accept decrees from her that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge? If the Roman Pontiff, seated on the lofty throne of his glory, wishes to thunder at us and, so to speak, hurl his mandates at us from on high, and if he wishes to judge us and even to rule us and our Churches, not by taking counsel with us but at his own arbitrary pleasure, what kind of brotherhood, or even what kind of parenthood can this be? We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a Church, and the Roman See would not be the pious mother of sons but a hard and imperious mistress of slaves.

-- Archbishop Nicetas of Nicomedia (12th century). Quoted taken from: Met. Kallistos, The Orthodox Church (1993), p. 50
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 11:39:50 PM by Justin Kissel »

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #140 on: January 02, 2016, 11:59:52 PM »
Letters cannot be written on air; they have to be inscribed on some material if they are to have any permanence. Similarly, we should weld our hard-won watchfulness to the Jesus Prayer, so that this watchfulness may always be attached to Him and may through Him remain with us forever.

-- St. Hesychios the Priest (c. 9th century), On Watchfulness and Holiness (Written for Theodoulos), 183

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #141 on: February 19, 2017, 12:48:44 AM »
Bear in mind how vile a thing it is to change the image of God which has been created in you into the likeness of the devil through lust.

-- St. Boniface (d. 754), A Letter of Admonition to King Aethelbald of Mercia

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #142 on: March 08, 2017, 07:43:04 PM »
In particular he founded a hospital for the poor at Bremen, to which he assigned the tithes from certain hamlets so that those who were poor and sick might be daily sustained and refreshed. Throughout the whole of his episcopacy he gave away for the support of the poor a tenth of the animals and of all his revenues and a tenth of the tithes which belonged to him, and whatever money or property of any kind came to him he gave a tenth for the benefit of the poor. In addition every fifth year he tithed again all his animals although they had been already tithed in order to give alms. Of the money that came to the churches in the monasteries he gave a fourth part for this purpose. He was ever most careful of scholars and of widows and wherever he knew that there were hermits, whether men or women, he endeavoured to visit them frequently and to strengthen them in God's service by gifts, and minister to their wants. He always carried in his girdle a little bag containing coins, so that, if anyone who was in need came and the dispenser of charity was not there, he might himself be able to give at once. For in all things he strove to fulfil the saying of the blessed Job, that he would not even cause the eyes of the widow to wait. (Job 31:16) Thus did he endeavour to be an eye to the blind, and a foot to the lame and the father of the poor.

-- Life of St. Ansgar (d. 865)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #143 on: March 09, 2017, 08:47:18 PM »
Our story wishes to make known another work dear to God, so that He may be further glorified by His true servants, and that those who fear Him may become more eager to do good things. Once, the holy man came into our refectory so that we could eat bread together. For each of us ate and chanted alone and by himself except on certain days, as is the custom for those living in solitude. And an unknown monk came and began cutting wood near our cell. I came out and very severely said to him, "Who are you, brother, that dare to cut wood near our dwelling?" He, speaking as a stranger and in a gentle voice, said, "Forgive me, father, for I am a stranger, and did not know there was a cell here." And the holy man, hearing this, said to me, "Tell him to come in." When he had come, the holy man told me, "Give him something to eat." And I did this. Then he said to the stranger, "Where are you from, brother?" "I am from Trebizond, father," he said, "I have just arrived at the Holy Mountain." When he had learned from him, after close inquiry, everything about him, and that he was hardly able to find his daily bread, he said to me at once, "Gregory, divide what you have in your cell into two, and give half to this poor man." I replied to him, "We are many, father, and we clearly need more than he." He gave me a stern look and said, "Did I not say to you that if you have faith, then you will never lack the necessary things?"

-- The Life of St. Romylos (d. late-14th century)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #144 on: March 11, 2017, 07:27:12 PM »
However great your zeal and many the efforts of your asceticism, they are all in vain and without useful result unless they attain to love in a broken spirit (Ps. 51:19). By no other virtue, by no other fulfillment of the Lord's commandment, can anyone be known as a disciple of Christ...

-- St. Symeon the New Theologian (d. 1022), Discourses, 1.5

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #145 on: March 13, 2017, 12:49:47 AM »
The immersion into water, and specifically a triple immersion, and also a triple coming out of the water was not instituted arbitrarily or accidentally, but as the image of the Resurrection of Christ on the third day. "The water," says blessed Basil, "has the symbolic meaning of death, and accepts the body as into a coffin." How then, do we liken ourselves to the One Who descended into hell, imitating His burial through baptism? The bodies of those who are baptized in water are buried, in a certain sense. Consequently, baptism mystically represents the laying aside of bodily cares, by the word of the apostle: "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2: 11).

-- Archbp. Nikephoros of Slaviansk and Kherson (d. 1800), Against Baptism By Pouring

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #146 on: March 14, 2017, 02:47:29 PM »
Have the word of God preached to the people coming to the church on holidays; and wherever you go, let clerics completely fulfill the service of God; let those with you be soberly adorned and not given over to hilarity; let the respectability of their lives be a lesson of salvation to others; and everywhere you should have the greatest care for the poor, widows and orphans, that together with others doing charitable works, you might hear from the Lord Christ on that frightful day: "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to me" (Matt. 15:40). Be like a father to the poor, and carefully discuss the complaints brought to you, and spare those sinning against you, that God may spare your sins. Be fair in judgments, and merciful in debts. [Be] a teacher of virtue, blameless in manners, pleasant in word, praiseworthy in your way of life, devout in all the works of God. Also urge the brothers that they should read the holy scriptures most conscientiously. They should not believe in word of mouth, but in the knowledge of truth, that they might be able to resist those speaking aginst the truth. These are dangerous times, as the Apostles predicted, because many false teachers are springing up, introducing novel doctrines, conspicuous in staining the purity of the Catholic faith with wicked assertions (2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 2:1). Therefore it is necessary for the Church to have many guardians who, not only by holiness of life but also by the doctrine of truth, may be able to defend bravely the fortress of God.

-- St. Alcuin of York (d. 804), Source

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #147 on: March 16, 2017, 02:23:06 AM »
We cannot both sate ourselves with food and spiritually enjoy divine and noumenal blessings; the more we pander to the stomach the less can we experience such enjoyment. But to the degree that we discipline the body we are filled with spiritual nourishment and grace.

-- St. Symeon the New Theologian (d. 1022), One Hundred and Fifty-Three Practical and Theological Texts, 26
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 02:30:34 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #148 on: March 18, 2017, 12:57:12 AM »
It is as St John Chrysostom says about Gehenna: it is almost of greater benefit to us than the kingdom of heaven, since because of it many enter into the kingdom of heaven, while few enter for the sake of the kingdom itself; and if they do enter it, it is by virtue of God’s compassion. Gehenna pursues us with fear, the kingdom embraces us with love, and through them both we are saved by Christ’s grace.

-- St. Peter of Damascus (d. c. 12th century), Philokalia, v. 3, p. 160

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #149 on: March 19, 2017, 09:16:12 PM »
The human mind also, and not only the angelic, transcends itself, and by victory over the passions acquires an angelic form. It, too, will attain to that light and will become worthy of a supernatural vision of God, not seeing the divine essence, but seeing God by a revelation appropriate and analogous to Him. One sees, not in a negative way--for one does see something--but in a manner superior to negation. For God is not only beyond knowledge, but also beyond unknowing; His revelation itself is also truly a mystery of a most divine and extraordinary kind, since the divine manifestations, even if symbolic, remain unknowable by reason of their transcendence.

-- St. Gregory Palamas (d. 1359), The Triads, 1.3.4

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #150 on: March 24, 2017, 08:37:00 PM »
Read an extended work, voluminous even, in fifteen books and five volumes. In this work, testimonies and quotations of entire books not only by Greek authors but  also by Persian, Thracian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Chaldaean and Roman authors considered notable in each one of these countries are thrown pell-mell together. The author tries to show that there is in them a supplement in favour of pure, supernatural and divine Christian religion, that these texts proclaim and announce the  supernatural Trinity, one in its substance, the arrival of the Word in a body of flesh, the signs of his divinity, the Cross, the Passion, the placing in the tomb, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the grace of the Holy Spirit manifested miraculously on the Apostles by tongues of fire, the terrifying  second coming of Christ our God, the resurrection of the dead, the judgement, the reward for what everyone did in life. Moreover, the creation of the universe, Providence, Paradise and other subjects of the same order, the virtue which is practised among Christians and all that touches on this subject. He tries to show that, on all these ideas, the Greeks, the Egyptians, Chaldaeans and those enumerated above reflected and proclaimed them strongly in their own writings.

And it is not only from those listed that he gathers and groups testimonies, but he has not failed in taking even some from the alchemical writings of Zosimus (the latter was a Theban from Panopolis) to demonstrate the same propositions; to this end, he explains the meaning of Hebrew words and the places where each Apostle preached the doctrine of salvation and ended his human labours. At the end of his book, he develops his own exhortation in which he mixes, to reinforce it, pagan sentences and sentences borrowed from Scripture; it is there especially that one can recognize the love of this man for virtue and his irreproachable piety. As for the form of his writings, little need be said; because, in many passages, his construction and vocabulary are so neglected that sometimes he does not even escape clichés. And often the sense of his writings is no better.

As for the method which the author used to reach his goal, no man of goodwill could blame him, but the same does not go for his work. Because there are not only many words which are often inappropriate to our divine dogmas which he forces into agreement with them, but there are also fables and dreams whose inventors must have laughed if they had any sense and which our author does not hesitate to say are in harmony with our divine wisdom; he goes as far as trying to put the completely foreign significance of the fables and the dreams in agreement with the true, divine, unquestionable and pure ideas of the divine dogma. No advantage for religion results from this; but the author could without unreason avoid procuring materials for amateurs to launch quarrels on critical matters if they can show that some relate to ours, just to confirm our religion. Our religion does not need it and is the only one which is pure and true; this is an attempt to twist into agreement the interpretation of texts which have nothing to do with it, are for the most part strangers to it, and the ideas which come from them differ more from ours than night from day.

And the author has taken upon himself this very arduous task, as he frequently says himself, in order to show that the Christian dogma was announced and proclaimed in advance among all peoples by the remarkable men in each and to thus remove any excuse for those of the gentiles who did not come to the divine message. The goal is creditable, but it is not right to try to carry it out by difficult and not very convincing means, but by those which are easy to reach and that the faith suggests. As for the name of the author, I have at present been unable to obtain knowledge, because the volumes which we saw did not carry it. It is known only that he lived in Constantinople, was married with a wife and children and that he lived after the time of [Emperor] Heraclius (d. 641).

-- St. Photius the Great (d. c. 893), Bibliotheca, 170

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #151 on: March 26, 2017, 02:13:28 AM »
What meditates thy thoughtful gaze, my father?
To tell me some new truth?  Thou canst not so!
For all that mortal hands are weak to gather,
Thy blessed books unfolded long ago.

-- Met. John Mauropous (d. c. 1075), Ikons: Gregory of Nazianzen

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #152 on: March 27, 2017, 01:21:14 AM »
Those who would refuse to reject and to correct this error [of the filioque] would be unworthy of pardon even if they spoke from the height of the throne which they professed to be the highest of all and even if they should put forth the confession of Peter and the blessing which he received from Christ for it, even if they should shake before our eyes the keys of the kingdom. For in proportion that they pretend to honor Peter by these keys, they dishonor him if they destroy what he established, if they root up the foundations of the Church which he is supposed to support.

-- St. Theophylact of Bulgaria (d. c. 1107), Source

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #153 on: March 28, 2017, 01:54:48 PM »
The right to judge [worldly affairs] rests with the emperor and the secular tribunal. But here [in our discussion] it is a question of divine and heavenly decisions and those are reserved only to him to whom the Word of God has said: "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). And who are the men to whom this order was given? The apostles and their successors. And who are their successors? He who occupies the throne of rome and is the first; the one who sits upon the throne of Constantinople and is the second; after them, those of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. That is the pentarchic authority in the church. It is to them who all decisions belong in divine dogmas. The emperor and the secular authority have the duty to aid them and to confirm what they have decided.

-- St. Theodore the Studite (d. 826), Eastern Orthodox Christianity: The Essential Texts, pp. 228, 230

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #154 on: Yesterday at 03:18:45 AM »
"Our God is refuge and power." (Ps. 45:2) Christ in whom we have believed is refuge when we are fleeing and power when we are resisting, for he commanded to flee trials, but on falling into them to resist through patient endurance so as not to be defeated by them. "A helper very greatly in afflictions that beset us." (Ps. 45:2) Chrysostomos relates the ‘very greatly’ to the ‘helper’. Note that afflictions beset those who live in a godly way, pursuing them by God’s consent so that having been exercised they may become stronger, for as is written, "Affliction produces endurance, and endurance strength of character" (Rom. 5:3). God does not prevent trials for the reason mentioned, but when they supervene he stands by as a helper.

-- Euthymius Zigabenus (d. 12th century), Commentary on the Psalms

Offline WPM

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #155 on: Yesterday at 07:00:45 AM »
Try reading a contemporary book of modern times, .. Not 8th century.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #156 on: Yesterday at 07:32:13 AM »
Try reading a contemporary book of modern times, .. Not 8th century.

What's wrong with the 8th century? Sure it doesn't have cool saints like the 20th or the 21st, but it's still alright...
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:37:13 AM by Asteriktos »