What is humility?

A hermit was asked, “What is humility?” He said, “It is if you forgive a brother who has wronged you before he is sorry.”

There is no prayer so quickly heard…

There is no prayer so quickly heard as the prayer whereby a man asks to be reconciled with those who are wroth with him. For when he charges himself with the offence, this prayer is immediately answered.

- St. Isaac the Syrian

On sin

Sin, having deprived the wretched soul of all the supernatural blessings, strips it also of the natural ones, for it takes away the keenness of the mind, the light and discrimination of reason, the tenderness and perception of the heart, the peace of thoughts and of conscience, and the purity of all the powers. It even weakens the body and defiles the senses.

- St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite

The cares of the world

As a man whose head is under water cannot inhale pure air, so a man whose thoughts are plunged into the cares of this world cannot absorb the sensations of that new world.

- Saint Isaac the Syrian

Today…

imageThis is the night of the Humble One; let no one be proud!

Now is the day of joy; let us not take revenge for offences! Now is the day of good will; let us not be harsh. On this day of tranquility, let us not become agitated by anger!

Today God came unto sinners; let not the righteous exalt himself over sinners!

Today the Most Rich One became poor for our sake; let the rich man invite the poor to his table!

Today we received a gift which we did not ask for; let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us and beg!

The present day has opened the door of heaven to our prayers; let us also open our door to those who ask of us forgiveness!

Today the Godhead placed upon Himself the seal of humanity, and humanity has been adorned with the seal of the Godhead!

— Excerpt from Saint Ephraim the Syrian

I cannot persuade myself…

I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ.

- Saint Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms

Patient endurance

Patient endurance is the soul’s struggle for virtue; where there is struggle for virtue, self-indulgence is banished.

- St. Thalassios

You will lose nothing…

You will lose nothing of what you have renounced for the Lord’s sake. For in its own time it will return to you greatly multiplied.

- St. Mark the Ascetic

Look after the field of your heart

…Therefore, we must most carefully look after the field of our heart, lest the tares of evil, slothfulness, luxuriousness, self-indulgence, unbelief, avarice, envy, hatred, and others, should grow within it; we must daily weed the field of our heart—at least, at morning and evening prayers, and refresh it by salutary sighs, as by healthful winds, and water it with abundant tears, as by early and late rain.

- St. John of Kronstadt, 19th Century Russian staretz, ‘My Life in Christ’

No passion is worse…

No passion is worse than an uncontrolled tongue, because it is the mother of all the passions.

- St. Agathon

Do not get discouraged!

In any stage you may be do not get discouraged, pray even if you feel compulsion and the Lord will visit you with His mercy: ‘Let it be to you according to your faith,’ [Matt. 9:29].

- Elder Cleopa of Romania

It will defend itself…

The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.

- St. Augustine

Only prayer can save us now

The world is on fire! Do you understand? There is so much temptation. The devil has started such a blaze that all the fire-fighters in the world will not be able to put it out: it is a spiritual fire! There’s nothing left. And there’s no other help for us: only prayer can save us now. We must pray to God to take pity on us. You see, when a fire spreads and the fire-fighters can do nothing about it, people are forced to turn to God and pray for Him to send a heavy rain. It’s the same with the spiritual fire started by the devil: we must all pray to God for Him to help us.

- Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos