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Author Topic: Early Church Fathers  (Read 46059 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2010, 01:43:18 AM »

As a general reminder to everyone else: Please remember that if you copy a large block of material and paste it to this thread, U.S. copyright law requires that you give credit to your source by posting a link to the Web page from which you copied your material. I happened to notice on this thread a number of posts from several months to a few years ago that look as if they were copied from somewhere else yet have nothing indicating where they came from. It's not really feasible for me to go back and run down links for all these posts, especially since some of the guilty posters aren't even here anymore. What I can do, however, is be proactive in heading off any attempts to copy-and-paste without credit in the future, which is the reason for this warning.

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« Reply #91 on: December 23, 2010, 03:01:24 PM »

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« Reply #92 on: January 26, 2011, 04:13:32 AM »

"We observe each other’s sins, not to bewail them, but to make them subjects of reproach; not to heal them, but to aggravate them; and we excuse our own evil deeds by pointing out the wounds of our neighbours. We do not judge a person bad or good according to his character, but by whether he disagrees with us or is our friend. We praise one day what we revile the next; admire some merely because they are denounced by our enemies; will forgive anyone anything as long as they are on our side."
-St. Gregory the Theologian
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« Reply #93 on: January 26, 2011, 05:27:55 AM »

Chapter 2. St Ambrose on the duties of the clergy

Manifold dangers are incurred by speaking; the remedy for which Scripture shows to consist in silence.

5. Now what ought we to learn before everything else, but to be silent, that we may be able to speak? Lest my voice should condemn me, before that of another acquit me; for it is written: “By your words you shall be condemned.” Matthew 12:37 What need is there, then, that you should hasten to undergo the danger of condemnation by speaking, when you can be more safe by keeping silent? How many have I seen to fall into sin by speaking, but scarcely one by keeping silent; and so it is more difficult to know how to keep silent than how to speak. I know that most persons speak because they do not know how to keep silent. It is seldom that any one is silent even when speaking profits him nothing. He is wise, then, who knows how to keep silent. Lastly, the Wisdom of God said: “The Lord has given to me the tongue of learning, that I should know when it is good to speak.” Justly, then, is he wise who has received of the Lord to know when he ought to speak. Wherefore the Scripture says well: “A wise man will keep silence until there is opportunity.” Sirach 20:7

6. Therefore the saints of the Lord loved to keep silence, because they knew that a man's voice is often the utterance of sin, and a man's speech is the beginning of human error. Lastly, the Saint of the Lord said: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not in my tongue.” For he knew and had read that it was a mark of the divine protection for a man to be hid from the scourge of his own tongue, Job 5:21 and the witness of his own conscience. We are chastised by the silent reproaches of our thoughts, and by the judgment of conscience. We are chastised also by the lash of our own voice, when we say things whereby our soul is mortally injured, and our mind is sorely wounded. But who is there that has his heart clean from the impurities of sin, and does not offend in his tongue? And so, as he saw there was no one who could keep his mouth free from evil speaking, he laid upon himself the law of innocency by a rule of silence, with a view to avoiding by silence that fault which he could with difficulty escape in speaking.

7. Let us hearken, then, to the master of precaution: “I said, I will take heed to my ways;” that is, “I said to myself: in the silent biddings of my thoughts, I have enjoined upon myself, that I should take heed to my ways.” Some ways there are which we ought to follow; others as to which we ought to take heed. We must follow the ways of the Lord, and take heed to our own ways, lest they lead us into sin. One can take heed if one is not hasty in speaking. The law says: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 6:4 It said not: “Speak,” but “Hear.” Eve fell because she said to the man what she had not heard from the Lord her God. The first word from God says to you: Hear! If you hear, take heed to your ways; and if you have fallen, quickly amend your way. For: “Wherein does a young man amend his way; except in taking heed to the word of the Lord?” Be silent therefore first of all, and hearken, that you fail not in your tongue.

8. It is a great evil that a man should be condemned by his own mouth. Truly, if each one shall give account for an idle word, Matthew 12:36 how much more for words of impurity and shame? For words uttered hastily are far worse than idle words. If, therefore, an account is demanded for an idle word, how much more will punishment be exacted for impious language?

Can read the rest here.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34011.htm

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« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2011, 02:37:42 AM »

But concerning true patience, worthy of the name of this virtue, whence it is to be had, must now be inquired. For there are some who attribute it to the strength of the human will, not which it has by Divine assistance, but which it has of free-will. Now this error is a proud one: for it is the error of them which abound, of whom it is said in the Psalm, “A scornful reproof to them which abound, and a despising to the proud.” It is not therefore that “patience of the poor” which “perishes not forever.” For these poor receive it from that Rich One, to Whom is said, “My God are You, because my goods You need not:” of Whom is “every good gift, and every perfect gift;” to Whom cries the needy and the poor, and in asking, seeking, knocking, says, “My God, deliver me from the hand of the sinner, and from the hand of the lawless and unjust: because You are my patience, O Lord, my hope from my youth up.” But these which abound, and disdain to be in want before God, lest they receive of Him true patience, they which glory in their own false patience, seek to “confound the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his hope.”

Nor do they regard, seeing they are men, and attribute so much to their own, that is, to the human will, that they run into that which is written, “Cursed is every one who puts his hope in man.” Whence even if it chance them that they do bear up under any hardships or difficulties, either that they may not displease men, or that they may not suffer worse, or in self-pleasing and love of their own presumption, do with most proud will bear up under these same, it is meet that concerning patience this be said unto them, which concerning wisdom the blessed Apostle James says, “This wisdom comes not from above, but is earthly, animal, devilish.” For why may there not be a false patience of the proud, as there is a false wisdom of the proud? But from Whom comes true wisdom, from Him comes also true patience. For to Him sings that poor in spirit, “Unto God is my soul subjected, because from Him is my patience.”

--St. Augustine, On Patience, 12
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« Reply #95 on: February 02, 2011, 02:47:09 AM »

"Upon being summoned from exile by the Emperor, Pope Liberius was told to condemn Saint Athanasius. He refused to do so, which provoked from the Emperor the response: 'How large a portion of the earth are you that you take sides alone with an impious man and disturb the peace of the earth and all the universe?' Pope Liberius replied: 'Even if I am alone, the word of faith is not weakened for that.'" - Ronald H. Bainton, Early Christianity, (D. Van Nostrand Company, 1960), p. 70
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« Reply #96 on: February 02, 2011, 02:59:26 AM »

"If you are listless when you pray or afflicted by various forms of evil, call to mind your death and the torments of hell. But it is better to cleave to God through hope and prayer than to think about external things, even though such thoughts may be helpful." - St. Mark the Monk, On Those Who Think They Are Made Righteous By Works, 38
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« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2011, 08:40:52 PM »

"Would that the memory of the fathers would exhale from the tombs; who were very simple as being wise, and reverend as believing. They without cavilling searched for, and came to the right path." - St. Ephraim the Syrian, The Pearl, Hymn 6
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« Reply #98 on: March 01, 2011, 04:53:52 AM »

"Go and have pity on all, for through pity one finds freedom of speech before God."

Abba Pambo
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« Reply #99 on: March 10, 2011, 04:16:54 PM »

Quote
So great is the splendour of a virtuous life that a peaceful conscience and a calm innocence work out a happy life. And as the risen sun hides the globe of the moon and the light of the stars, so the brightness of a virtuous life, where it glitters in true pure glory, casts into the shade all other things, which, according to the desires of the body, are considered to be good, or are reckoned in the eyes of the world to be great and noble.

Blessed, plainly, is that life which is not valued at the estimation of outsiders, but is known, as judge of itself, by its own inner feelings. It needs no popular opinion as its reward in any way; nor has it any fear of punishments. Thus the less it strives for glory, the more it rises above it. For to those who seek for glory, that reward in the shape of present things is but a shadow of future ones, and is a hindrance to eternal life, as it is written in the Scriptures: “Verily, I say unto you, they have received their reward.” (Matt. 6:2) This is said of those who, as it were, with the sound of a trumpet desire to make known to all the world the liberality they exercise towards the poor. It is the same, too, in the case of fasting, which is done but for outward show. “They have,” he says, “their reward.”

It therefore belongs to a virtuous life to show mercy and to fast in secret; that you may seem to be seeking a reward from your God alone, and not from men. For he who seeks it from man has his reward, but he who seeks it from God has eternal life, which none can give but the Lord of Eternity, as it is said: “Verily, I say unto you, today shall you be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Wherefore the Scripture plainly has called that life which is blessed, eternal life. It has not been left to be appraised according to man's ideas on the subject, but has been entrusted to the divine judgment.

--St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Duties of the Clergy, 2, 1
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« Reply #100 on: April 02, 2011, 01:38:08 AM »

"...we clearly infer that the initiative not only of our actions but also of good thoughts comes from God, who inspires us with a good will to begin with, and supplies us with the opportunity of carrying out what we rightly desire" - St. John Cassian, Conferences, 13, 3

"For the will and course of no one, however eager and anxious, is sufficiently ready for him, while still enclosed in the flesh which warreth against the spirit, to reach so great a prize of perfection, and the palm of uprightness and purity, unless he is protected by the divine compassion, so that he is privileged to attain to that which he greatly desires and to which he runs." - St. John Cassian, Institutes, 12, 10
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« Reply #101 on: April 08, 2011, 08:04:51 PM »

"... so when he says, 'to work in us to will,' (Phil. 2:12) he does not deprive us of free will, but he shows that by actually doing right we greatly increase our heartiness in willing. For as doing comes of doing, so of not doing comes not doing. Have you given an alms? You are the more incited to give. Have you refused to give? You have become so much the more disinclined. Have you practiced temperance for one day? You have an incitement for the next likewise. Have you indulged to excess? You have increased the inclination to self-indulgence." - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 8 on Philippians
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« Reply #102 on: May 03, 2011, 12:10:35 AM »

"For there are some passages which are not understood in their proper force, or are understood with great difficulty, at whatever length, however clearly, or with whatever eloquence the speaker may expound them; and these should never be brought before the people at all, or only on rare occasions when there is some urgent reason. In books, however, which are written in such a style that, if understood, they, so to speak, draw their own readers, and if not understood, give no trouble to those who do not care to read them and in private conversations, we must not shrink from the duty of bringing the truth which we ourselves have reached within the comprehension of others, however difficult it may be to understand it, and whatever labor in the way of argument it may cost us. Only two conditions are to be insisted upon, that our hearer or companion should have an earnest desire to learn the truth, and should have capacity of mind to receive it in whatever form it may be communicated, the teacher not being so anxious about the eloquence as about the clearness of his teaching." - St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 4, 9
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« Reply #103 on: May 06, 2011, 08:27:14 PM »

"This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time; but that whatsoever new and unheard-of doctrine he shall find to have been furtively introduced by some one or another, besides that of all, or contrary to that of all the saints, this, he will understand, does not pertain to religion, but is permitted as a trial, being instructed especially by the words of the blessed Apostle Paul, who writes thus in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, 'There must needs be heresies, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you:' (1 Cor. 2:9) as though he should say, This is the reason why the authors of Heresies are not immediately rooted up by God, namely, that they who are approved may be made manifest; that is, that it may be apparent of each individual, how tenacious and faithful and steadfast he is in his love of the Catholic faith." - St. Vincent of Lerins, The Commonitory, 20
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« Reply #104 on: July 26, 2011, 06:57:07 PM »

"No one, I feel sure, is more distressed at the present condition, or, rather to speak more truly, ill condition of the Churches than your excellency; for you compare the present with the past, and take into account how great a change has come about. You are well aware that if no check is put to the swift deterioration which we are witnessing, there will soon be nothing to prevent the complete transformation of the Churches. And if the decay of the Churches seems so pitiful to me, what must— so I have often in my lonely musings reflected— be the feelings of one who has known, by experience, the old tranquillity of the Churches of the Lord, and their one mind about the faith?" - St. Basil the Great, Letter 66: To Athanasius of Alexandria
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« Reply #105 on: July 31, 2011, 09:21:22 PM »

The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast you, unless you repent.”

But [St. Polycarp] answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.”

But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause you to be consumed by fire, seeing you despise the wild beasts, if you will not repent.”

But Polycarp said, “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will.”

-- The Martyrdom of Polycarp, 11
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« Reply #106 on: August 01, 2011, 02:56:25 PM »

Covetousness, then, is not simply being mad for money, and other possessions, wishing to add to what you have that to which you have no right, but, to speak more broadly, it is the desire to have in every transaction more than is due or belongs to you.

-- Asterius of Amasea, Sermon 3: Against Covetousness
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« Reply #107 on: August 01, 2011, 03:01:17 PM »

"And let him come who would test by experience what we have now said, and in the very presence of the deceit of demons and the imposture of oracles and the marvels of magic, let him use the Sign of that Cross which is laughed at among them, and he shall see how by its means demons fly, oracles cease, all magic and witchcraft is brought to nought." - St Athanasios the Great

‎"Rejoice not in the Cross in time of peace only, but hold fast the same faith in time of persecution also; be not in time of peace a friend of Jesus, and His foe in time of wars." - St Cyril of Jerusalem
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« Reply #108 on: August 01, 2011, 08:31:31 PM »

Another Psalm which was read says: “Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high, and regards lowly things in heaven and in the earth?” The Lord regarded indeed lowly things when He revealed to His Church the relics of the holy martyrs lying hidden under the unnoted turf, whose souls were in heaven, their bodies in the earth: “raising the poor out of the dust, and lifting the needy from the mire,” and you see how He has “set them with the princes of His people.” Whom are we to esteem as the princes of the people but the holy martyrs?

-- St. Ambrose of Milan, Letter 22
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« Reply #109 on: August 02, 2011, 04:55:18 PM »

But under the Apostles, you will say, no one was called Catholic. Be it thus. It shall have been so. Allow even that. When after the Apostles heresies had burst forth, and were striving under various names to tear piecemeal and divide the Dove and the Queen of God, did not the Apostolic people require a name of their own, whereby to mark the unity of the people that were uncorrupted, lest the error of some should rend limb by limb the undefiled virgin of God? Was it not seemly that the chief head should be distinguished by its own peculiar appellation? Suppose, this very day, I entered a populous city. When I had found Marcionites, Apollinarians, Cataphrygians, Novatians, and others of the kind who call themselves Christians, by what name should I recognise the congregation of my own people, unless it were named Catholic?

-- St. Pacian of Barcelona, Letter 1
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« Reply #110 on: August 02, 2011, 10:18:57 PM »

And let us, then, be of the number of those who give thanks, who have served God, and not of the ungodly who are judged. For I myself, though a sinner every whit and not yet fleeing temptation but continuing in the midst of the tools of the devil, study to follow after righteousness, that I may make, be it only some, approach to it, fearing the judgment to come.

-- Pseudo-Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 18
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« Reply #111 on: August 03, 2011, 01:32:50 PM »

But perhaps you will say, What difference is there between being tempted, and falling or entering into temptation? Well, if one is overcome of evil—and he will be overcome unless he struggles against it himself, and unless God protects him with His shield—that man has entered into temptation, and is in it, and is brought under it like one that is led captive. But if one withstands and endures, that man is indeed tempted; but he has not entered into temptation, or fallen under it. Thus Jesus was led up of the Spirit, not indeed to enter into temptation, but to be tempted of the devil. And Abraham, again, did not enter into temptation, neither did God lead him into temptation, but He tempted (tried) him; yet He did not drive him into temptation. The Lord Himself, moreover, tempted (tried) the disciples. And thus the wicked one, when he tempts us, draws us into the temptations, as dealing himself with the temptations of evil; but God, when He tempts (tries), adduces the temptations as one untempted of evil. For God, it is said, cannot be tempted of evil.1 The devil, therefore, drives us on by violence, drawing us to destruction; but God leads us by the hand, training us for our salvation.

-- St. Dionysius of Alexandria, Exegetical Fragments
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« Reply #112 on: August 03, 2011, 08:18:13 PM »

"But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, and he smote the flame of the fire out of the furnace." (Dan. 3:49) When the soul is oppressed with tribulation and taken up with various vexations, having lost hope of human aid and turned with its whole heart to God, an angel of the Lord descends to it. That is to say, the supernatural being descends to the aid of the servant and dashes aside the fierce heat of the violent flames, that the fiery shafts of the enemy utterly fail to pierce the inner citadel of our heart and we escape being shut up in his fiery furnace.

-- St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel
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« Reply #113 on: August 04, 2011, 05:05:32 AM »

Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us “in a mystery” by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay—no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in its very vitals; or, rather, should make our public definition a mere phrase and nothing more.

-- St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 27
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« Reply #114 on: August 04, 2011, 10:35:17 AM »

You are afraid lest perchance your estate should fail, if you begin to act liberally from it; and you do not know, miserable man that you are, that while you are fearing lest your family property should fail you, life itself, and salvation, are failing; and while you are anxious lest any of your wealth should be diminished, you do not see that you yourself are being diminished, in that you are a lover of mammon more than of your own soul; and while you fear, lest for the sake of yourself, you should lose your patrimony, you yourself are perishing for the sake of your patrimony.

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage, Treatise 8, 10
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« Reply #115 on: August 04, 2011, 11:26:02 AM »

This is the reason for our tradition of unwritten precepts and practices, that the knowledge of our dogmas may not become neglected and contemned by the multitude through familiarity. “Dogma” and “Kerugma” are two distinct things; the former is observed in silence; the latter is proclaimed to all the world.
 - St Basil the Great, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 27
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« Reply #116 on: August 04, 2011, 11:31:13 AM »

For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire.
 - St Ignatios of Antioch, Trallians 2 - Died: c. 108

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.v.iv.ii.html
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« Reply #117 on: August 04, 2011, 03:35:29 PM »

And so let us be ready to forgive all the trespasses which are committed against us, if we desire to be forgiven. For if we consider our sins, and reckon up what we do in deed, what by the eye, what by the ear, what by thought, what by numberless movements; I know not whether we so much as sleep without a talent. And therefore do we daily beg, daily knock at the ears of God by prayer, daily prostrate ourselves and say, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” What debts of yours? All, or a certain part? You will answer, All. So then do you with your debtor. This then is the rule you lay down, this the condition you speak of; this the covenant and agreement you mention when you pray, saying, “Forgive us, as we forgive our debtors.”

-- St. Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, Sermon 33
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« Reply #118 on: August 05, 2011, 01:03:17 AM »

The gymnasium is sufficient for boys, even if a bath is within reach. And even for men to prefer gymnastic exercises by far to the baths, is perchance not bad, since they are in some respects conducive to the health of young men, and produce exertion— emulation to aim at not only a healthy habit of body, but courageousness of soul. When this is done without dragging a man away from better employments, it is pleasant, and not unprofitable.

-- St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 10
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« Reply #119 on: August 05, 2011, 10:45:44 AM »

‎1. But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. ‎3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations. - Didache, ch. 14, c.a. 80 A.D.
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« Reply #120 on: August 05, 2011, 10:47:55 AM »

Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. - St Basil the Great, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 27
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« Reply #121 on: August 05, 2011, 07:21:06 PM »

A fearful thing is sin, and the sorest disease of the soul is transgression, secretly cutting its sinews, and becoming also the cause of eternal fire; an evil of a man's own choosing, an offspring of the will. For that we sin of our own free will the Prophet says plainly in a certain place: “Yet I planted you a fruitful vine, wholly true: how are you turned to bitterness, (and become) the strange vine” (Jer. 2:21) The planting was good, the fruit coming from the will is evil; and therefore the planter is blameless, but the vine shall be burnt with fire since it was planted for good, and bore fruit unto evil of its own will.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 2, 1
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« Reply #122 on: August 06, 2011, 02:46:26 AM »

If you are angry against your neighbour, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, against your Lord is your boldness uplifted. If in envy you rebuke, wicked is all your reproof. But if charity dwell in you, you have on earth no enemy. And if you are a true son of peace, you will stir up wrath in no man. If you are just and upright, you will not do wrong to your fellow. And if you love to be angry, be angry with the wicked and it will become you; if to wage war you seek, lo! Satan is your adversary; if you desire to revile, against the demons display your curses. If you should insult the King's image, you shall pay the penalty of murder; and if you revile a man, you revile the image of God. Do honour to your neighbour, and lo! You have honoured God. But if you would dishonour Him, in wrath assail your neighbour!

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance
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« Reply #123 on: August 06, 2011, 08:49:06 PM »

One therefore is Emmanuel, for once was the Only-Begotten made Man, when He underwent fleshly Birth through the holy Virgin. For it was said to Jesus too, I will be with thee, yet was he not Emmanuel; He was also with Moses, yet neither was he called Emmanuel. As often therefore as we hear the name, With us is God, given to the Son, let us wisely conceive that not so was He with us in the last times, as He is sometimes said to have been with the saints, for with them He was as a helper only: but with us He was, because He was made like us, not losing His own nature, for He is unchangeable as God. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten, ch. 7
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« Reply #124 on: August 07, 2011, 06:45:14 PM »

Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place, “Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit.” (Ps. 139:7-11) Whither, then, shall anyone go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?

-- St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 28
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« Reply #125 on: August 08, 2011, 01:25:22 AM »

Those are the Saviour's words, when directing His disciples into the newness of the Gospel life after their appointment to the apostolate. But we must see of what poor it is that He speaks such great things: for in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven:" wishing us to understand by the poor in spirit the man who entertains lowly thoughts of himself, and whoso mind, so to speak, is closely, and his heart gentle, and ready to yield, and entirely free from the guilt of pride.

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Sermon 27
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« Reply #126 on: August 11, 2011, 01:16:53 AM »

Call upon God to open the eyes of your heart, so that you may see the value of prayer and of spiritual reading when understood and applied.

-- St. Mark the Monk, On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts, 7
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« Reply #127 on: September 01, 2011, 02:41:56 PM »

Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. It is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love. The first kind of fear is expelled by perfect love when the soul has acquired this and is no longer afraid of punishment (1 John 4:18). The second kind, as we have already said, is always found united with perfect love. The first kind of fear is referred to in the following two verse: 'Out of fear of the Lord men shun evil' (Prov. 16:6), and 'Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Ps. 111:10). The second kind is mentioned in the following verses: 'Fear of the Lord is pure, and endures forever' (Ps. 19:9), and 'Those who fear the Lord will not want for anything' (Ps. 34:10). 

-- St. Maximos the Confessor, First Century on Love, 81-82
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« Reply #128 on: September 03, 2011, 03:37:24 PM »

Meekness is a permanent condition of that soul which remains unaffected by whether or not it is spoken well of, whether or not it is honor or praised. The first step toward freedom from anger is to keep the lips silent when the heart is stirred; the next, to keep thoughts silent when the soul is upset; the last, to be totally calm when unclean winds are blowing. Anger is an indication of concealed hatred, of grievance nursed. Anger is the wish to harm someone who has provoked you. Irascibility is an untimely flaring up of the heart. Bitterness is a stirring of the soul's capacity for displeasure. Anger is an easily changed movement of one's disposition, a disfigurement of the soul.

-- St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent (On Placidity and Meekness)
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« Reply #129 on: September 03, 2011, 05:00:28 PM »


Just to give an idea of the variety of quotes in the thread, here is a listing of the number of times each person has been quoted so far:

15 St. John Chrysostom
8 St. John Cassian
8 St. Basil the Great
7 St. Augustine
4 St. Ambrose of Milan
4 St. Mark the Monk
3 St. John Climacus
3 St. Maximos the Confessor
2 St. Ignatius of Antioch
2 Pseudo-Dionysius
2 St. Clement of Rome
2 St. Cyril of Jerusalem
2 St. Cyprian of Carthage
2 St. Gregory of Nyssa
2 St. Athanasius of Alexandria
2 St. Gregory the Theologian
2 St. Irenaeus
2 St. Cyril of Alexandria
2 St. Jerome
2 St. Dorotheos of Gaza
2 St. Hippolytus
2 St. Ephraim the Syrian
1 Abba Hyperechios
1 St. Patrick
1 St. Vincent of Lerins
1 St. Pachomios
1 St. Anthusa
1 St. Macarius of Egypt
1 St. Theophilus of Antioch
1 Origen
1 Pseudo-Clement
1 St. Dionysius of Alexandria
1 St. Isaiah the Solitary
1 St. Pacian of Barcelona
1 St. Clement of Alexandria
1 Didache
1 Abba Matoes
1 St. Anthony the Great
1 St. Polycarp
1 St. Moses the Ethiopian
1 St. Justin Martyr
1 St. Leo the Great
1 St. Syncletica
1 Aphraates
1 Martyrdom of Polycarp
1 Asterius of Amasea
1 Abba Pambo

(105 total quotes)
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« Reply #130 on: September 07, 2011, 10:42:22 AM »

The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, “This is My body,” not, this is a figure of My body: and “My blood,” not, a figure of My blood. - St John Damascene
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« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2011, 02:17:30 PM »

We confess that He is Son of God and God according to the Spirit, Son of Man according to the flesh, not Two Natures to that One Son, One [Nature] worshipped the other unworshipped, but One Nature of God the Word Incarnate, worshipped with His flesh with One worship: nor Two Sons, One, Very Son of God and worshipped, the other the man out of Mary not worshipped, made by grace son of God just as men too are. - St Cyril of Alexandria

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_theodore_01_text.htm
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« Reply #132 on: November 22, 2011, 10:23:16 PM »

"For those dead who are unworthy of salvation, God moves none to pray for them: neither parents, nor wife, nor husband, nor relatives, nor friends." - St. John of Damascus (as quoted in "Father Michael: Recluse of Uusi Valamo" by Serge Bolshakoff
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« Reply #133 on: December 31, 2011, 09:37:10 PM »

See then, beloved brother, that you bestow the necessary thought on the cares of the Apostolic See, which by her rights as your mother commends to you, who were nourished at her breast, the defence of the Catholic Truth against Nestorians and Eutychians, in order that, supported by the Divine help, you may not cease to watch the interests of the city of Constantinople, lest at any time the storms of error arise within her. And because the faith of our glorious Princes is so great that you may confidently suggest what is necessary to them, use their piety for the benefit of the universal Church.

--Pope St. Leo the Great, Letter 113: To Julian, Bishop of Cos
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« Reply #134 on: January 02, 2012, 10:05:55 PM »

Write straight, and make the lines straight. Do not let your hand go too high or too low. Avoid forcing the pen to travel slantwise, like Æsop's crab. Advance straight on, as if following the line of the carpenter's rule, which always preserves exactitude and prevents any irregularity. The oblique is ungraceful. It is the straight which pleases the eye, and does not allow the reader's eyes to go nodding up and down like a swing-beam. This has been my fate in reading your writing. As the lines lie ladderwise, I was obliged, when I had to go from one to another, to mount up to the end of the last: then, when no connection was to be found, I had to go back, and seek for the right order again, retreating and following the furrow, like Theseus in the story following Ariadne's thread. Write straight, and do not confuse our mind by your slanting and irregular writing.

--St. Basil the Great, Letter 334
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