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Author Topic: Modern Church Fathers  (Read 39660 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 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)
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« Reply #181 on: August 13, 2012, 11:34:07 PM »

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"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
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« Reply #182 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)
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« Reply #183 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)
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« Reply #184 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.
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« Reply #185 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)
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« Reply #186 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)
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« Reply #187 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)
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« Reply #188 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)
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« Reply #189 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) (Source 2)
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« Reply #190 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)
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« Reply #191 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)
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« Reply #192 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)
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« Reply #193 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)
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« Reply #194 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
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« Reply #195 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
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« Reply #196 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)
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« Reply #197 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)
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« Reply #198 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)
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« Reply #199 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.
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« Reply #200 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
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« Reply #201 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)
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« Reply #202 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
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« Reply #203 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
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« Reply #204 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
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« Reply #205 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)
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« Reply #206 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
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« Reply #207 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
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« Reply #208 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
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« Reply #209 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
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« Reply #210 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)
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« Reply #211 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
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walter1234
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« Reply #212 on: January 10, 2013, 08:23:33 AM »

Is/was there any holy woman recognised as Church Father now and in the history?
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« Reply #213 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.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #214 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, and there is a separate thread for them Smiley
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« Reply #215 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
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« Reply #216 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, and there is a separate thread for them Smiley

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).
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« Reply #217 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?
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #218 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, and there is a separate thread for them Smiley

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.
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« Reply #219 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
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« Reply #220 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
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« Reply #221 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
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« Reply #222 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
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« Reply #223 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
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« Reply #224 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
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