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Silouan
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« Reply #45 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
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« Reply #46 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
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« Reply #47 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
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« Reply #48 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?
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« Reply #49 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. "

 
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« Reply #50 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."
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« Reply #51 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.
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« Reply #52 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”
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« Reply #53 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
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« Reply #54 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
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« Reply #55 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.
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« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2005, 12:22:34 AM »

Thank you all so much for these quotes!
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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2005, 09:39:22 AM »

This is a wonderful wonderful thread! Thanks so much!

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« Reply #58 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
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« Reply #59 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
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« Reply #60 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
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« Reply #61 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:Cool 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"
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« Reply #62 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
 
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« Reply #63 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
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« Reply #64 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
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« Reply #65 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)
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« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2007, 07:21:04 PM »

Really great thread.  I enjoyed reading the quotes. 
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« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2007, 06:22:30 AM »

Welcome to OC.net, Perspacitos.
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« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2008, 11:04:37 PM »




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« Reply #69 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
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« Reply #70 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
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« Reply #71 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
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« Reply #72 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
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« Reply #73 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.
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« Reply #74 on: November 21, 2009, 03:39:39 AM »

St. Theophan the Recluse
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« Reply #75 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??
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« Reply #76 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!  Embarrassed

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 )
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« Reply #77 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.
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« Reply #78 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
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« Reply #79 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)
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« Reply #80 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.
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« Reply #81 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.
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« Reply #82 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 Wink

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« Reply #83 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 Wink

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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.
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« Reply #84 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
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« Reply #85 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
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« Reply #86 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!"


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« Reply #87 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
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« Reply #88 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
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« Reply #89 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
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