Saints Edifying quotes from Orthodox Saints and Elders

DelMarMisty

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
There will come a time when corruption and lewdness among the youth will reach the utmost point. There will hardly be any virgin youth left. They will see their lack of punishment and will think that everything is allowable for them to satisfy their desires. God will call them, however, and they will realize that it will not be possible for them to continue such a life. Then in various ways they will be led to God...That time will be beautiful. That today they are sinning greatly, will lead them to a deeper repentance. Just like the candle before it goes out, it shines strongly and throws sparks; with its light, it enlightens the surrounding darkness; thus, it will be the Church's life in the last age. And that time is near.”

+ Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa
 

Enea

Pigeon
Other Christian
“According to Christian doctrine, if we act in the likeness of the God who is totally loving towards all, we act like men come to the highest point of their own realization, for our hearts are full of the most fervent love of all, God’s love. In this the sensitivity to the pain of anyone else is heart-rending, greater even than for our own pain. And this is to comprehend the others more intensely in one’s own self.

From within the personal God there radiates our goodness, the purity of his disinterest towards himself — or, more positively, of his interest in man — transparence, and communicability. He thereby attracts into communion with himself any person who desires this, transmitting to him the same goodness, transparence, and communicability. From one perspective we give the name “purity from passions” to this goodness, transparence, and communicability, from another, “virtue.” For there can be no virtue where there is passion. Passion is the blindness of exclusive concern with self. Hence, freedom from passions or dispassion — without which there is no virtue — is not the absence of sensibility but rather a supreme sensibility for others. To be able to acquire sensibility, you must suffer in the struggle against your own passions. Only through the cross do we attain the sensibility of sinlessness, that is, of virtue, for virtue means living for others.
- Dumitru Staniloae, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1, pg 227
 

Enea

Pigeon
Other Christian
quote-people-travel-to-wonder-at-the-height-of-mountains-at-the-huge-waves-of-the-sea-at-the-saint-augustine-1-29-33.jpg
 

Enea

Pigeon
Other Christian
There is among the passions an anger of the intellect, and this anger is in accordance with nature. Without anger a man cannot attain purity: he has to feel angry with all that is sown in him by the enemy.’

- St. Isaiah the Solitary
 
St. Symeon the New Theologian said:
John the Theologian says, To this end was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8). The works of the devil are every kind of sin: envy, lying, cunning, hatred, hostility, remembrance of wrongs, slander, anger, rage, pride, vainglory, lack of mercy, covetousness, thievery, unrighteousness, evil lust, quarrelsomeness, dissatisfaction, irritability, ridicule, making oaths, forgetfulness of God, lack of human mercy, and every other evil. And so for those who are called Christians and do such works of the devil, what benefit is there from the fact that they are called Christians, when the manifestation of the Son of God has not destroyed in them these works of the devil?

If anyone will say that some of those who are like this explain the Divine Scripture, theologize, preach Orthodox dogmas — let them know that it is not in this that the work of Christ consists. John the Theologian does not say, to this end was the Son of God manifested, that certain ones should theologize and orthodoxize, but that He might destroy the works of the devil.
- Homily 10, "Adam's Sin and Our Consolation"

I need constant reminder of this; I always want to intellectualize my faith instead of living it.
 

Aboulia

Kingfisher
Orthodox
"In case the Soviet authority, against all reason, will continue to stubbornly view Orthodoxy in general as counter-revolutionary-- well, what of it? We shall go to Golgotha. But before this the Church must fulfill its duty before the world, and in this connection must step forth with an authoritative word of warning to the perishing people. The justice of the world is wavering. The lie has become the law and foundation of human life. The human word has lost every bond with truth, with the Pre-eternal Word: it has lost all right to be trusted and respected. People have lost faith in each other and are drowning in an ocean of insincerety, hypocrisy, and falsity.

If there had not occured such a great quenching of the spirit of faith and love among the believers in the preceding period, the faithful servants of the prince of darkness would not have found among us so many voluntary and involuntary helpers for himself." - Bishop Damascene

Quoted from Russia's Catacomb Saints pg 218-219, (St Herman of Alaska Press)


(This text is a goldmine, since the catacombs are exactly where we're headed.)


Edit: From the same page (219)

"The confessors strove to lift the faithful to a higher step and to raise their spiritual level to their own. The mass of the faithful, weighed down by the cares of life and family and blinded by propaganda, on the contrary involuntarily went downwards. Visions of a future golden age of satiety, of complete liberty from every outward and inward limitation, of the subjection of the powers of nature to man; deceptive views in which fantasy passed over into science (painless childbirth, direct connection with America through the North Pole, the changing of the climate of the Arctic, harnessing of the sun's rays, etc.) --were used by the Bolsheviks to seize in their nets the overwhelming majority of the people"

Fantasy science and climate change, hmm that sounds familiar.
 
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Aboulia

Kingfisher
Orthodox
"That which you accept under the name of "legalization" in essence is an act of servitude which does not guarantee for you any rights whatever, but lays on you serious obligations. It was naive to expect anything else. The communist authority is open and logical. It has openly declared itself hostile to religion and has placed as its governmental aim the annihilation of the Church.....It will not cease openly and clearly to declare its God-fighting aims both through the higher government officials and through its smallest agents. Therefore it is most naive and even criminal to think that the so-called "legalization" on the part of the Soviet authority has even a part of its aim to provide for the good of the Church. And if the aim of a legalization is not good thena that means it is evil."

"Has it really not entered your head that the infomation given by you has nothing whatever in common with the Church's interests? And has the thought not dawned on you that if they were to increase a little these demands of accountability, and if you would fulfill them conscientiously, the believers would turn away from you with disgust as open agents of the security organs, all the more because the authorities themselves are striving to place you precisely in such a light? Reflect especially on the fact that your present legalization, as a part of the plans of an authority has declared war against the Church, is a step towards the conversion of all of you into the same kind of submissive servants in the hands of the authorities for the destruction of the Church as are all the renovationists?"

"Why is it that the seal of Antichrist, as St. John the Theologian affirms, will be placed not upon the forehead and the hand simultaneously, but opon the forehead or the hand? Likewise, St Andrew, Archbishop of Caesarea writes: 'He will strive so that the mark might be placed upon everyone.....In some it will be on the right hand. So as to instruct those who have been deceived to be bold in their deception and darkness. This will occur because at that time there will bne people who will affirm that it is possible and permissible to recognize the God-fighting authority of Antichrist if only one remains a Christian in one's soul. From such ones Antichrist will not demand that they share his way of thinking: in other words upon all such ones he will not place the seal on their forehead, but will demand of them only the recognition of his authority, which is, according to St Hippolytus, the seal on the hand, since through the recognition of the human authority which will be God-fighting and against God, lawless and filled with every impiety, a Christian by this very fact will cut off from himself every possibility of doing good and righteous deeds, for in his faith there will be missing the chief sign of uprightness-- the confession of God as God and the recognition of Him as the Being that stands above all. All such ones, even though they might bear the name of Christian, in very deed will be, according to the works of their hands, true servants of Antichrist, who has deceived them by the worship of his image, which is the mark of the beast. Repentance is impossible for such ones, according to the teaching of the Holy Church: and it is impossible only because the seal of Christ and the seal of Antichrist are incompatible with each other, and the reception of one banishes the presence of the other. The banishing of the grace of the Holy Spirit through the mark of the beast fills the heart of all such ones with the first sign--fearfulness--which will bring them to an easy destruction. St Hippolytus writes: 'On the contrary, if anyone will be deprived of the Holy spirit, that is, if one will not have upon himself or has lost the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit which was given in Holy Chrismation, he will fight with fear in a cowardly manner, will hide, will be afraid of the present temporal death, will conceal himself from the sword, will not endure chastisement, since he is constantly thinking about this world.'"

-Bishop Damascene
pg 221-223 same book
 
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Enea

Pigeon
Other Christian
Apophaticism is life.
“Apophaticism is not necessarily a theology of ecstasy. It is, above all, an attitude of mind which refuses to form concepts about God. Such an attitude utterly excludes all abstract and purely intellectual theology which would adapt the mysteries of the wisdom of God to human ways of thought. It is an existential attitude which involves the whole man: there is no theology apart from experience; it is necessary to change, to become a new man.” [Emphasis mine]
- Vladimir Lossky, Mystical Theology pg.38
 

Aboulia

Kingfisher
Orthodox
From St Basil the Great - On the Human Condition, there's tons of great information in here, as the name suggests, it's foundational for the Christian life and worldview. I'm not typing out the whole book, but here's a taste.

"And let them rule the fish." It was given to you to rule the irrational fish, thus you became the ruler of irrational passion.

"And let them rule the wild beasts." You rule every wild beast. So, you say, what beasts do I have in myself? Indeed you have thousands, and a great crowd of beasts within yourself. And do not consider this statement to be an outrage. Anger is a little beast when it barks in the heart. Is it not wilder than any dog? Is not the deceit lurking in a deceitful soul harder to tame than every lurking bear? Is not hypocrisy a beast? Is not one sharp in insults a scorpion? Is not one who in hiding strikes out in revenge more dangerous than a viper? Is the greedy person not a rapacious wolf? What kind of beast is not in us? Is not the one mad for women a raging horse? For Scripture says, "They have become horses mad for women, each neighing toward his neighbor's wife (Jeremiah 5:8). It does not say that he spoke to the woman, but he neighed. It transferred him to the nature of those without reason, because of the passion with which he associated himself. Therefore there are many beasts in us.

Have you truly become ruler of beasts if you rule those outside but leave those within ungoverned? Will you rule truly in ruling the lion by your reason and despising it's roar, but gnashing your teeth and emitting inarticulate sounds as the anger within all at once strives to attack? What is more dangerous than this, when a human being is ruled by passion, when anger pushes reason aside, not consenting to remain within, and takes upon itself governance of the soul?

You are indeed created ruler, ruler of passions, ruler of beasts, ruler of creeping things, ruler of winged creatures. Do not have airy thoughts, nor be light and unstable in mind. You were appointed to rule winged things. You are out of place if you strike down external flying things, yourself being light and lofty. Do not be filled with smoke, do not be flighty, do not think things greater than human nature; when complimented, do not go above nature, do not glorify yourself, do not consider yourself to be something great. For thus you will be an unstable winged creature, carried about this way and that by an unstable nature.

Rule the thoughts in yourself, that you may become the ruler of all beings. Thus the rule we have been given over animals trains us to rule the things belonging to ourselves. For it is misplaced to be governed at home and govern nations, to be ruled within by a prostitute and be mayor of the city by public consent. It is necessary that household affairs be managed well and that good order within be arranged, and thus to receive authority over others. Since the word of Scripture will be turned back at you by those you rule if your household affairs are disorderly and disorganized, namely "Physician, heal yourself" (Luke 4:23) let us heal ourselves first.

Nobody is condemned for not catching a lion, but one who will not govern anger is ridiculous to everyone. So one who does not prevail over his own passion is led to condemnation, while one who cannot prevail over wild beasts does not appear to have done anything worthy of blame.

In regards to the sick, physicians recommend the ill to be attentive to themselves and to disregard none of the things heard to bring healing. Likewise, also the Word, a physician for our souls, thoroughly cures the soul afflicted by sin through this small aid. Be attentive, then, to yourself, that you may receive the aid of healing proportionate to your offense. If the sin is great and severe, you need many confessions, bitter tears, earnestness in vigils, continual fasting. If the transgression is light and tolerable, let the repentance be equal to it. Only be attentive to yourself, that you may recognize the strength and illness of your soul. For many through lack of attention get great and incurable illnesses, and they do not themselves know that they are ill. Great is the usefulness of this precept also for strength in deeds; thus the same thing both heals the sick and makes perfect the healthy.

For each of us who are disciples of the Word is a servant in one particular activity appointed to us among those in accord with the Gospel. For in the great house of the church there are not only vessels of every kind, gold and silver and wood and earthenware (2 Timothy 2:20) but also skills of all kinds. For the house of God, which is a church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15) has hunters, travelers, architects, builders, farmers, shepherds, athletes, soldiers. This brief word is appropriate to all of them, producing in each both exactitude of action and eagerness of will. You are a hunter sent by the Lord, who said, "Behold, I am sending many hunters, and they will hunt them atop every mountain" (Jeremiah 16:16). Be carefully attentive to yourself, lest perhaps the prey flee from you, that being caught by the word of truth those made savage by evil may be led to the Saviour. You are a traveler like one who prayed, "Make straight my steps" {Psalm 118:113). Be attentive to yourself, lest you turn aside from the road, lest you turn away to the right, or the left (Deuteronomy 17:20) ; Go on the royal road. Let the architect firmly lay the foundation of faith, which is Christ Jesus. Let the builder watch what he builds on it, not wood, not hay, not straw, but gold, silver, precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:10) Shepherd, be attentive lest any of your duties as a shepherd escape your notice. And what are these? Lead back the stray, bind up the broken, heal the sick. Farmer, dig around the unfruitful fig tree and place there what will help it's fruitfulness. Soldier, share in sufferings for the Gospel, fight the good fight against the spirits of evil, against the passions of the flesh, and take up the full armor of the Spirit. Do not be entangled in the business of life, that you may please the one who has made you a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:4) Athlete, be attentive to yourself, lest perhaps you transgress any of the athletic rules. For nobody is crowned if he does not strive lawfully (2 Timothy 2:5). Imitate Paul, and run, and wrestle, and box; like a good boxer, keep the gaze of your soul undistracted. Shield the vital organs by putting your hands in front of them; let your eye look intently toward your opponent. In the race, stretch forward to what lies ahead. Run so that you may obtain. In wrestling, struggle against the invisible opponents. Such a one the Word wishes you to be throughout your life, not frightened, nor lying idle, but soberly, and vigilantly watching over yourself.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
A true faith finds its place in the man’s heart, not in his mind. Antichrist will be disclosed by the believers having their faith in their hearts; those with their faith in their mind follow him.
- St. Gabriel of Georgia
 

nagareboshi

Kingfisher
Orthodox
The greatest enemy of our souls, greater than the devil himself, is the secular spirit, because at first it lures us sweetly, but in the end will leave us bitter forever. - St. Paisios

You must know that a hard-working man will prosper no matter what he does. A hard-working family man would also be a good monk, and a hard-working monk would also be a good family man. - St. Paisios
 
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