On prayer

The one who thinks it is necessary to pray with words believes God is not quite sure what to do and must be told. The one who prays in silence is quite sure that God does not need to be told and is happier listening than instructing.

- Fr. Antony

Absolutely nothing will help us…

Absolutely nothing will help us if we are not lenient toward the weaknesses of men and forgive them. For how can we hope that God will forgive us if we do not forgive others?

- St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue of Ohrid

On temptations

Believe me, God does not send us temptations beyond our ability to resist, except perhaps for pride, for conceit, and for complaining, by which we ourselves aggravate our sorrows. Be careful not to complain or become faint-hearted. Magnanimity and patient endurance lighten sorrows, but faint-heartedness and complaining multiply and exacerbate them.

- St. Macarius

After all, what does He want from us?

After all, what does He want from us? That we should cast away from within us all the sin that defiles us. At midnight or even noon, because we sin throughout the day, enter into the depth of your soul and speak with Him who forgiveth all thine iniquities (cf. Ps. 103:2). And then say: “Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, for I did not know that they occur before Your eyes! I was after all dead-hearted and did not think about You.” Do that throughout the day and learn to stand before God, for thus will you cleanse yourself and prepare for the coming Judgment.

And again you will see not only your smallness and the abundance of your sins, but the also goodness of God, Who desires not the death of the ungodly, as that the ungodly should turn from his way and live (Ez. 33:11).

- Hieroschemamonk Julian (Lazar)

The Precious Pearl

The enjoyment of this present life, though it seems to give delight and sweetness, is well thrust from us. At the very moment of its being it ceases to be, and for our joy repays us with sorrow sevenfold. Its happiness and its sorrow more frail than a shadow, and, like the traces of a ship passing over the sea, or a bird flying through the air, quickly disappear. But the hope of the life to come which the Christians preach is certain and quite sure; howbeit in this world it has tribulation, whereas our pleasures now are short-lived, and in the beyond they only win us correction and everlasting punishment without release. For the pleasures of life are temporary, but its pain eternal; while the Christians labors are temporary but their pleasure and gain immortal. Therefore, right it is to exchange the corruptible for the incorruptible.

- St. John of Damascus

Holiness in life

It is not necessary that you live the way I do. But in order to become happier than you are keep these rules:

– think of God at least as much as you think of men
– fear God at least as much as you fear men
– honor God at least as much as you honor men
– pray to God at least as much as you entreat men
– hoping God at least as much as you hope in men
– ask God for help as least as much as you ask men
– fulfill God’s law at least as much as you fulfill the law of men
– be thankful to God at least as much as you are thankful to men
– glorify God at least as much as you glorify men!

- St. Nikolai Velimirovich (From an anonymous Egyptian hermit)

He’s awaiting us!

God is very rich! And He’s awaiting us! … He waits for us to ask! Anyone who wants to acquire the gift of prayer, must keep silent and pray. We speak so much about prayer. That’s one thing that cannot be discussed but practiced. A deep silence is a deep prayer…Every moment is a time [in eternity] and every sigh can become a prayer. We must not cease to pray, even with the mind.

- Elder Arsenie Papacioc

On temptations

Temptations come on some people for the cleansing of previous sins, on other for the beautification of their current perfection, and on yet others, as preparation for things to come, except temptations, which are for the increase of a man’s faith and virtue, as it was with Job.

- St. Maximos the Confessor

On Confession

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The longer we go on without confessing, the worse it is for us, the more entangled we become in the bonds of sin, and therefore the more difficult it is to give account. We ought to confess our sins more frequently, in order to strike and scourge the sins by the open avowal of them, and in order to feel a greater loathing of them.

- St. John of Kronstadt

There is a sin…

There is a sin which is always ‘unto death’ (I Jn. 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent. For this sin even a saint’s prayers will not be heard.

- St. Mark the Ascetic, from “The Philokalia”

Adorn yourself with truth…

Adorn yourself with truth, try to speak truth in all things; and do not support a lie, no matter who asks you. If you speak the truth and someone gets mad at you, don’t be upset, but take comfort in the words of the Lord: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of truth, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:10).

- St. Gennadius of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, 26,2

On charity

If we do not have love we are deprived of everything. For nothing attracts God so much as charity. And nothing enrages God so much, as for us to be uncharitable.

- St. John Chrysostom

God always helps

God always helps. He always comes in time, but patience is necessary. He hears us immediately when we cry out to Him, but not in accordance with our own way of thinking.

- Elder Joseph the Hesyhast

The Holy Spirit is love

The Holy Spirit is love. He gives the soul the strength to love enemies. Anyone, however, who does not love his enemies, does not know God

- Elder Siluan

On forgiveness

If you forgive few things, He forgives you few! If you forgive many things, He forgives you many!

- St. John Chrysostom