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Author Topic: Modern Church Fathers  (Read 36505 times) Average Rating: 0
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Asteriktos
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« Reply #270 on: November 24, 2013, 02:42:38 AM »

[Q.] Is there any sure repository of holy tradition?

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

-- St. Met. Philaret (d. 1867), The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, 18
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 02:43:02 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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"And since when have Christians become afraid of rain?"
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« Reply #271 on: November 26, 2013, 01:39:38 AM »

In the Saviour's words there is a certain elixir of immortality, which drips drop by drop into the soul of the man who reads His words and brings his soul from death to life, from impermanence to permanence. The Saviour indicated this when He said: "Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever listens to my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life ...and has passed over from death to life" (John 5:24). Thus the Saviour makes the crucial assertion: "Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever keeps my words will never see death" (John 8:51). Every word of Christ is full of God. Thus, when it enters a man's soul it cleanses it from every defilement. From each of His words comes a power that cleanses us from sin. Hence at the Mystical Supper the Saviour told His disciples, who used to listen to His word without ceasing: "You have already been cleansed by the word which I have spoken to you" (John 15:3).

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), How To Read The Bible And Why
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Asteriktos
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« Reply #272 on: December 01, 2013, 09:25:06 AM »

I sincerely wish for you too the goal of the Theologian, finding you capable to a certain degree of complying with this purpose, and your reward will be great on earth and in heaven. Take the yoke of this goal upon yourself, as one obliged to render an answer at some point to the Giver for the talent given you. Take upon yourself the labor needed to attain this goal. Putting aside all vexation, apply yourself continually and humbly to the prayer of repentance that you are now occupied with, drawing inspiration from it for your writing. Then subject your writings to your own strictest criticism, and in the light of your conscience, enlightened by the prayer of repentance, mercilessly throw out of your works everything that belongs to the spirit of the world, that is foreign to the spirit of Christ.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (d. 1867), The Collected Letters of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (PDF)
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« Reply #273 on: December 06, 2013, 12:30:41 AM »

Man and woman move toward one another by "mutually getting to know each other," by revealing themselves to each other for a shared ascent; nothing comes to ennoble or legitimize, still less to "pardon" this meaning that royally imposes itself before, or even independent of, procreation. It is from this overflowing fullness that the child can come as fruit, but it is not procreation that determines and establishes the value of marriage. St. John Chrysostom says: "When there is no child, will they not be two? Most certainly, for their coming together has this effect, it diffuses and commingles the bodies of both. And as one who has cast ointment into oil, who has made the whole one, so in truth is also here." (Homily 12 on Colossians) "Two souls so united have nothing to fear. With harmony, peace and mutual love, man and woman own all possessions. They can live in peace behind the impregnable wall that protects them, which is love according to God. By love's grace, they are harder than diamond and stronger than iron, they sail in abundance, steer a course toward eternal glory and attract more and more grace from God." (Homily 38 on Genesis)

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), The Sacrament of Love: The Nuptial Mystery in the Light of the Orthodox Tradition, p. 45 (Source)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 12:36:32 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #274 on: December 16, 2013, 06:57:05 AM »

God's grace always assists a struggler, but this does not mean that a struggler is always in the position of a victor; sometimes the beasts did not touch the righteous ones, but by no means did they not touch them always. What is important is not victory or the position of a victor, but rather the labor of striving towards God and devotion to Him. Great is the Apostle Paul, but he asks the Lord many times ('thrice" means not once, but many times) that the messenger of Satan depart from him, for he "buffets" him, making some sort of attacks that are difficult and averse to his spirit. But the Lord leaves him in such a position: "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:7-9) - enough assistance of grace and gifts are provided for him. The Lord wants from the apostle the striving which cleanses his soul.

-- St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (d. 1966), Source
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« Reply #275 on: December 17, 2013, 01:24:18 PM »

When you embrace a dear one you do not stop to meditate how and why you love—you just love wholeheartedly. It is the same when spiritually we grasp Jesus the Christ to our heart. If we pay heed to the depth and quality of our love, it means that we are preoccupied with our own reactions, rather than giving ourselves unreservedly to Jesus--holding nothing back.  Think the prayer as you breathe in and out; calm both mind and body, using as rhythm the heartbeat. Do not search for words, but go on repeating the Prayer, or Jesus' name alone, in love and adoration. That is ALL! Strange—in this little there is more than all!

-- Mother Alexandra (d. 1991), Introduction to the Jesus Prayer
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« Reply #276 on: December 18, 2013, 01:30:27 PM »

Sometimes prayer consumes the heart like fire; and when the heart succumbs to the burning flame, unexpectedly there falls the dew of Divine consolation. When we become so conscious of our frailty that our spirit despairs, somehow, in an unknown fashion, a wondrous light appears, proclaiming life incorruptible. When the darkness within us is so appalling that we are paralyzed with dread, the same light will turn black night into bright day... When we are so overwhelmed by the feeling of our own nothingness, the uncreated light transfigures and brings us like sons into the Father's house.

-- Elder Sophrony (d. 1993), Source
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« Reply #277 on: January 20, 2014, 05:52:47 PM »

To bear your cross means not only to accept patiently all difficulties that befall you but also to strive for spiritual perfection, as the Scriptures teach us. For example, we must do good to others: work for the prosperity of your parish, visit the sick and imprisoned, help the needy, collect money for the poor, and assist in spreading spiritual enlightenment. In other words, we must seek out tasks which will lead to the salvation and welfare of those around us and then, with perseverance and meekness, strive in that direction by our actions, words, prayer, and advice.

-- St. Innocent of Alaska (d. 1879), The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven
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« Reply #278 on: January 20, 2014, 06:29:01 PM »

In the light of Orthodox spirituality, Christian morality no longer appears as the simple fulfillment of duties imposed by God's commands, duties that in this life lead nowhere, but only assure him of salvation as an exterior reward in the next life... The Christian grows in God, even in the course of this life because response to these commands brings about a step by step transformation in his being; he is filled more and more with the working presence of God.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide for the Faithful and a Definitive Manual for the Scholar
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"As there is drunkenness for God, which doesn’t see the world in its ugliness, there is also a drunkenness of the world, which does not see in its ugliness the holiness of God." - Fr. Dumitru Staniloae
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« Reply #279 on: January 20, 2014, 06:34:41 PM »

Our perfection, or our union with God, is therefore not only a goal, but also an unending process. On this road two great steps can be distinguished: first, the moving ahead toward perfection through purification from the passions and the acquiring of the virtues and secondly a life progressively moving ahead in the union with God. At this point, man's work is replaced by God's.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide for the Faithful and a Definitive Manual for the Scholar
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"As there is drunkenness for God, which doesn’t see the world in its ugliness, there is also a drunkenness of the world, which does not see in its ugliness the holiness of God." - Fr. Dumitru Staniloae
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« Reply #280 on: January 21, 2014, 04:01:06 PM »

"The highest form of prayer, is to stay in silence before god." - St. isaac the syrian

This one is my favorite.
"If you notice that your mind constantly wanders off to various chores that you have to do, you must realize that your not doing well spiritually, and this should alarm you because you have distanced yourself from god." - Elder Paisios
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Rejoice in the joy of our god.
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« Reply #281 on: January 21, 2014, 04:15:45 PM »

"If you notice that your mind constantly wanders off to various chores that you have to do, you must realize that your not doing well spiritually, and this should alarm you because you have distanced yourself from god." - Elder Paisios

Oh, good to know. My mind constantly wanders off, but rarely to "chores". l must be doing alright, then!
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"As there is drunkenness for God, which doesn’t see the world in its ugliness, there is also a drunkenness of the world, which does not see in its ugliness the holiness of God." - Fr. Dumitru Staniloae
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« Reply #282 on: January 22, 2014, 12:58:25 AM »

Those who seek after Christ find Him in accordance with the true words of the Gospel, “Knock, and it shall be opened, seek, and ye shall find.” “In My Father’s house there are many mansions.” Note that here the Lord is speaking not just of Heavenly mansions, but about earthly abodes as well. He is speaking not just of interior ones, but of external ones as well.

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

-- St. Barsanuphius of Optina (d. 1913), (Source)
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« Reply #283 on: February 13, 2014, 02:08:08 AM »

Mistaken and untrue is that theological minimalism, which wants to choose and set apart the "most important, most certain, and most binding" of all the experiences and teachings of the Church. This is a false path, and a false statement of the question. Of course, not everything in the historical institutions of the Church is equally important and venerable; not everything in the empirical actions of the Church has even been sanctioned. There is much that is only historical. However, we have no outward criterion to discriminate between the two. The methods of outward historical criticism are inadequate and insufficient. Only from within the Church can we discern the sacred from the historical. From within we see what is catholic and belongs to all time, and what is only "theological opinion," or even a simple casual historical accident.

-- Fr. Georges Florovsky (d. 1979), Volume One in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky: Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View, p. 50
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« Reply #284 on: February 21, 2014, 02:47:53 AM »

Repentance signifies regret, change of mind. The distinguishing marks of repentance are contrition, tears, aversion towards sin, and love of the good.

-- St. Nektarios of Aegina (d. 1920), Source
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« Reply #285 on: February 23, 2014, 08:47:05 AM »

Where is the heart? Where sadness, joy, anger, and other emotions are felt, here is the heart. Stand there with attention. The physical heart is a piece of muscular flesh, but it is not the flesh that feels, but the soul; the carnal heart serves as an instrument for these feelings, just as the brain serves as an instrument for the mind. Stand in the heart, with the faith that God is also there, but how He is there do not speculate. Pray and entreat that in due time love for God may stir within you by His grace.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894), The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, p. 191
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« Reply #286 on: February 24, 2014, 11:31:25 PM »

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

-- St. Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain (d. 1809), A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel
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"And since when have Christians become afraid of rain?"
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