Fight against the passions

The mind of a man that loves God does not fight against things or thoughts about them, but against the passions that are connected with these thoughts. That is, he does not struggle against a woman, or against one who has insulted him, and not against the images of them, but against the passions that are aroused by these images.

- St. Maximus the Confessor

Inner sinfulness

External sins are the fruit of inner sinfulness. Inner sinfulness is rooted in egoism and its offspring.

- St. Theophan the Recluse

This is pride…

Look, this is pride: when you consider that you know more than another, that you can do something better than another. This is pride. And it’s very dangerous, because God does not like this pride. If you consider that you know more, that you’re more capable, that you can do more, take care that you don’t become like the man who pondered on all that he was able to accomplish, on the things that he could set aright, and on his fasting, while the one near the door wept and beat his chest because he had done nothing good. That one near the door obtained more than the one who thought to himself that he was something. This is the story of the Publican and the Pharisee (cf. Luke 18:10-14).

- Elder Paisius of Sihla

Ask God…

You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He will destroy them, if this is profitable for you.

- St. Anatoly of Optina

You can only conquer a passion…

We must consider all evil things, even the passions which war against us, to be not our own, but of our enemy the devil. This is very important. You can only conquer a passion when you do not consider it as part of you.

- St. Nikon of Optina

On Sinful Passions

Some passions are bodily, other spiritual. Bodily passions have their sources in the body, while spiritual ones come from external things. But love and temperance cut out both the one and the other: Love cuts out spiritual passions, and temperance bodily ones.

- St. Maximus the Confessor

The root of anger

The Gospel teaches us to cut off the roots of our sins and not merely their fruits. When we have dug the root of anger out of our heart, we will no longer act with hatred or envy. ‘Whoever hates his brother is a murderer’ (I Jn. 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind. The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, Who rewards each man with punishment or a crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well.

- St. John Cassian

For someone to teach another

For someone to teach another, he must be healthy in his soul and free of passions, there is no use in building the house of another, your own being destroyed.

- Abba Poimen

Even if it causes you to bleed…

As quickly as possible break the knots of the passions, which have become entangled by desires and emotions combining and frequently recurring. It is easier to break the individual threads of desires and the individual threads of emotions than the knots of passions. Nevertheless you must break them even if it causes you to bleed, if you want a new childhood, a new youth, more beautiful and eternal than your former youth.

- From the “Prayers by the Lake” by St Nikolai of Zica

Flee from self-love

Flee from self-love, the mother of malice, which is an irrational love for the body. For from it are born the three chief sinful passions: gluttony, avarice, and vainglory, which take their causes from bodily needs, and from them all the tribe of the passions is born. This why we must always oppose self-love and fight against it. Whoever rejects self-love will easily conquer all the other passions with the help of God: anger, despondency, rancor, and the others. But whoever is retained by self-love will even unwillingly be conquered by the above-named passions.

- St. Maximus the Confessor, Chapters on Love

How good it is to conquer the passions!

How good it is to conquer the passions! After the victory one feels such lightness of heart, such peace and greatness of spirit!

— Saint John of Kronstadt

On egotism

A person who suffers from egotism attracts no one. And if he does attract someone he will soon go away. When one comes across a childlike spirit, innocence and holiness the bond becomes unbreakable.

- Father Amphilochios

Victory over anger

Victory over anger is one of the greatest victories of a soldier of Christ.  We generally become angry either at those we wish to turn back from sin, or at those who slander us.  However in doing so we forget that anger is a mortal sin, and in desiring the salvation of of others we lose out own…

- Saint Nicholai of Zhica, “Prologue of Ohrid”

Pride and humility

When we say that somebody is “sensitive”, this means he suffers because his ego is hurt and because he is proud. The same happens with children, who as soon as somebody scolds them or opposes them, immediately start crying. This is not permissible for a person of God. The saints didn’t have pride, and whatever people did to them they accepted it because they had humility and meekness. In this case the soul is not “sensitive”, is not offended; it has love, dispassion…

- Mother Gabriel

(This quote is for me… May God have mercy on me, a sinner.)

Even if you see someone sin with your own eyes…

A discerning man, when he eats grapes, takes only the ripe ones and leaves the sour. Thus also the discerning mind carefully marks the virtues which he sees in any person. A mindless man seeks out the vices and failings… Even if you see someone sin with your own eyes, do not judge; for often even your eyes are deceived.

- St. John of the Ladder, Ladder, 10.16-17