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)

An amazingly beautiful video about Eastern Orthodoxy

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

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

On death

What is most terrible to man? Death? Yes, death. None of us can imagine, without terror, how he will have to die and breathe his last sigh. And how parents grieve when their beloved children die, when they lie breathless before their eyes!

But, brethren, do not fear, and do not grieve beyond measure. By His death Jesus Christ our Saviour has conquered our death, and by His resurrection He has laid the foundation for our resurrection, and every week, every Sunday, we solemnize in the risen Christ our common future resurrection from the dead, and begin beforehand the life eternal, to which our present temporal life is but a short, narrow, and most sorrowful way. For a true Christian death is merely like a sleep until the day of resurrection, or like birth into a new life.

And thus in solemnizing every week the resurrection of Christ and our own resurrection from the dead, let us learn to continually die to sin, and to rise with our souls from dead works, to enrich ourselves with virtues, and not sorrow inconsolably for the dead. Let us learn to meet death without dread, as the decree of the Heavenly Father, which, through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, has lost its terror.

- St. John of Kronstadt, 19th Century Russian Orthodox Staretz

Blessed is the mind…

Strive to render your mind deaf and dumb during prayer. Blessed is the mind which during prayer keeps itself wholly without image or fantasy.

- St. Nilus of Sinai

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

On sinful thoughts

Over the course of the day, many different thoughts that are clearly sinful come into everyone’s heads. They come involuntarily, from the devil, who is seeking to instill in us greed, envy, condemnation, and other bad feelings. I try to banish these thoughts with the Jesus Prayer.

- Fr. Nikolai Vedernikov

Unaffected by the things of this world

The person who is unaffected by the things of this world loves stillness; and he who loves no human thing loves all men.

- St. Thalassios the Libyan

Remain in Place and do not Flee from Temptation

Amma Theodora said: A certain monk, afflicted by many sorrows, said to himself, “Leave this place.” With these words he began to put his sandals on his feet, and suddenly he saw the devil in the form of a man sitting in the corner of his cell. The devil was also putting on his sandals. He said to the monk, “Are you leaving here because of me? Well then, wherever you go, I will be there before you.

- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

On humility

In order to enter the Kingdom you must first of all be humble. How do you receive humility? How do you learn this great art? We must implore the Lord to bestow this gift on us. In one of the evening prayers we read: ‘Lord, grant me humility, chastity and obedience.

- St. Barsanuphius of Optina

Serve Him alone

You must love every man with your whole soul, but put your hope in the one God, and serve Him alone. For as long as He is protecting us and our friends (the angels) are helping us, our enemies (the demons) cannot inflict evil upon us. But when He forsakes us, the also our friends turn away from us, and our enemies receive power over us.

- St. Maximus the Confessor

All those who separate themselves from Christ…

All those who separate themselves from Christ are dissatisfied; they are dissatisfied because earthly life does not correspond to their desires. They want to be healthy and full, but life burdens them with sicknesses and hunger; they want riches and high ranks, but poverty and dishonor goad them, and if they do not fall into these disasters, they still remain dissatisfied with what they have, and desire more good things.

- Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Humble your own will

In the measure to which a man cuts off and humbles his own will, he proceeds toward success. But insofar as he stubbornly guards his own will, so much does he brings harm to himself.

- St. Ephraim the Syrian, Counsels to a Novice Monk

Have mercy on me!

When bad thoughts are planted in you, then cry to God: “Lord, my Maker and Creator. You see that my soul is in agony from bad thoughts. Have mercy on me.” Teach yourself to root out thoughts immediately. But when you forget and don’t root them out immediately, then offer repentance. Work on this, so that you get a habit.

- St. Silouan