Saints Edifying quotes from Orthodox Saints and Elders


Saint Cyril of Alexandria
He who receives Communion is made holy and Divinized in soul and body in the same way that water, set over a fire, becomes boiling... Communion works like yeast that has been mixed into dough so that it leavens the whole mass; ...Just as by melting two candles together you get one piece of wax, so, I think, one who receives the Flesh and Blood of Jesus is fused together with Him by this Communion, and the soul finds that he is in Christ and Christ is in him


Saint Augustine on Sloth:

Psalms 37:21​

The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives.

"And how great are the benefits which the sinner hath received, and which he will not repay! He hath received the gift of being; he hath received the gift of being a man; and of a being highly distinguished above the brutes; he hath received the form of a body, and the distinction of the senses in the body, eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, the nostrils for smelling, the palate for tasting, the hands for touching, and the feet for walking; and even the very health and soundness of the body. But up to this point we have these things in common even with the brute; he hath received yet more than this; a mind capable of understanding, capable of Truth, capable of distinguishing right from wrong; capable of seeking after, of longing for, its Creator, of praising Him, and fixing itself upon Him. All this the wicked man hath received as well as others; but by not living well, he fails to repay that which he owes."

...What if he is poor? Even so he is rich; do you but look at his riches with the eyes of Religion. For thou lookest at the empty chest; but dost not look at the conscience, that is full of God."



This is from Unseen Warfare, by Lorenzo Scupoli (edited by St Nicodemus the Hagiorite and St Theophan the Recluse).

As regards trust in God, I will add the following to what I have said in the third chapter: know that nothing is easier for God than to give you victory over your enemies, whether they be few or many, whether they be old and strong or new and weak. Yet He has His own time and order for everything. Therefore if a soul be overburdened with sins, if it be guilty of all the crimes in the world, if it be defiled beyond imagination; if, at the same time, to the extent of its desire and strength, it uses every means and endeavour to become free of sin and turn to the path of good, but cannot get stable in anything right, however small, and, on the contrary, sinks ever deeper and deeper into evil; even if it is all that, it must not weaken in its trust of God or fall away from Him. It must not abandon its spiritual weapons and strivings but must fight and fight, struggling with itself and with its enemies with all its courage and untiring efforts. For know and understand, that in this unseen war all are losers except a man who never ceases to struggle and keep his trust in God; for God never abandons those who fight in His armies, although at times He lets them suffer wounds. So fight, everyone, and do not give ground; for the whole thing is in this unceasing struggle. God is always ready with remedies for those struck down by the enemies and with help for overcoming them, which He sends to His warriors in due time, if they seek Him and firmly hope in Him. At some hour when they least expect it they will see their proud enemies vanish, as is written: "The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight" (Jer. li. 30)



The Dread Judgment knows no witnesses or charge-sheets. Everything is recorded in men's souls, and these records, these "books" are open. Everything becomes clear to all and to oneself, and the state of a man's soul assigns him to the right or to the left.

Some go to joy, others to horror.

When the "books" are open, it will become clear to all that the roots of all vices are in man's soul. Here is a drunkard, a fornicator; some may think that when the body dies the sin dies as well. No; the inclination was in the soul, and to the soul the sin was sweet. And if [the soul] has not repented of that sin and has not become free of it, it will come to the Dread Judgment with the same desire for the sweetness of sin and will never satisfy its desire. In it will be the suffering of hatred and malice. This is the state of hell.

The "fiery Gehenna" is the inner fire; this is the flame of vice, the flame of weakness and malice; and there will be [the] wailing and gnashing of teeth of impotent malice.


“It is not possible to correct yourself rightly if you do not recognize the evil hidden in your heart and the calamities that proceed from it. An unrecognized disease remains untreated. The beginning of health is to know your disease, and the beginning of blessedness is to know your misfortune and wretchedness. For who having recognized his illness does not seek healing, and who knowing his misfortune does not seek deliverance from it?”

+ St. Tikhon of Zadonsk


Orthodox Catechumen
Failing in Our Weakness vs. Failing Due to Our Pride & Building Our Temple in Christ with Help from the Holy Angels

77. The demons that wage war on us through our shortcomings in virtue are those that teach unchastity, drunkenness, avarice and envy. Those that wage war on us through our excessive zeal for virtue teach conceit, self-esteem and pride; they secretly pervert what is commendable into what is reprehensible.

78. When the demons attack us invisibly in the guise of spiritual friendship, pretending that they want to accomplish the death of sin by means which in themselves are good, and when they say, ‘Let us build with you the temple of your Lord’, would that we might always reply, ‘You cannot share with us in the building of the house for the Lord our God; we alone will build for the Lord of Israel’ (1 Esd. 5:70-71).

‘We alone’ because, having been freed from the spirits that fight against us through our shortcomings in virtue, and having escaped from them, we do not now want to be pierced by those that excite our pride by encouraging us to excessive Zeal; because if that happened our fall would be far worse than if we had fallen on account of our shortcomings.

For had we fallen for this former reason, there would have been a good chance of recovering, since we would be forgiven because of our weakness. But recovery is impossible, or at least difficult, if we fall because we have made ourselves hateful through our pride, and in place of what is right have set up something else which we regard as better.

Yet in another sense we are not building the temple alone because we have the holy angels to help us to do what is good; indeed, we even have God Himself, who reveals Himself to us through our works of righteousness said builds us as a holy temple, fit for Himself and free from every passion.

/// St Maximos the Confessor

Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice | Third Century

Viktor Zeegelaar

Orthodox Inquirer
From Roosh' excellent article on the Fields of spiritual warfare by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov. I really like this quote as I assume for many of us who came to this path with a vastly different background the path towards perfection may be the more logical than the more normal - historical/traditional - family path towards salvation.

The Saviour of the world indicated two paths, two ways of life for those who believe in Him—the path or the life that leads to salvation, and the path or life that leads to perfection. The second way of life the Lord called “following Me,” since it is the most exact expression of the Lord’s teaching and a forcible emulation of the way of life that Christ led during His earthly life. Those who wish to follow the first path need the following: faith in Christ, life according to God’s commandments, and the healing, through repentance, of a deficiency in the fulfillment of the commandments. Consequently, salvation is attainable and given to all, as long as a person works and lives in a way not contrary to the Law of God.


From today’s Prologue


Faithfulness and obedience to the will of God is necessary to adorn the life of every Christian. As is seen in the life of St. Agapius, God glorifies the faithful and the obedient. When he was a young man, this saint was captured by pirates, was taken to Asia and was sold to a certain Arab. For twelve years Agapius remained quietly and obediently a slave of this Arab. For twelve years he prayed to the All-Holy Mother of God to help him gain his freedom from bondage. One night, the Virgin Mother of God appeared to him and said, "Arise and go without fear to Mt. Athos to your elder." Agapius arose and came to his elder on Mt. Athos, the Holy Mountain. When the elder saw Agapius, he was saddened, thinking that Agapius had fled from his master.He said to him, "My child Agapius, you have deceived your master, but you can never deceive God. On the day of the dreadful judgment, you will have to render an answer for that money with which your master purchased you to serve him. Therefore, you must return and faithfully serve your master." Agapius, faithful and obedient to the will of God, returned immediately to Asia, reported to his master, and informed him about everything that had happened. The Arab, learning all of this, was amazed and was overcome with the charity of Christians. He desired to see Agapius' s elder. The Arab arrived at the Holy Mountain, accompanied by his two sons. Here, he and his two sons were baptized. All three of them were tonsured as monks. They remained there until their deaths, practicing the strict life of asceticism, at first, under the guidance of Agapius' s spiritual father, and afterwards, by Agapius himself. Thus, the one-time cruel masters became the obedient disciples of their former slave, faithful to the will of the God of the obedient Agapius.


And lo, one night I was sitting in my cell and suddenly it was filled with devils. I started to pray fervently, and the Lord drove them away, but they came back again. Then I got to my feet ready to bow down before the icons, with devils all round me and one of them standing out in front so that I could not bow down before the icons without appearing to be bowing to him. I sat down and said:

'Lord, Thou seest that I desire to pray to Thee with a pure mind but the devils will not let me. Tell me what I must do that they may leave me.'

And the Lord's reply came to my soul:

'The proud always suffer from devils.'

'Lord,' I say 'Thou art merciful. My soul knoweth Thee. Tell me what I must do so my soul may grow humble.'

And the Lord answered me in my soul:

'Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not.'

from the book "Wisdom from Mount Athos"
collected notes from St Silouan the Athonite


There was once a brother who was very eager to seek goodness. Being very disturbed by the demon of lust, he came to a hermit and told him about his thoughts. The hermit was inexperienced and when he heard all this, he was shocked, and said he was a wicked brother, unworthy of his monk’s habit because he had thoughts like that. When the brother heard this, he despaired, left his cell and started on his way back to the world. But by God’s providence, Apollo met him. Seeing he was so upset and sad, he said to him, ‘Son, why are you so unhappy?’ The brother was very embarrassed, and at first said nothing. But when Apollo pressed him to say what was happening to him, he admitted everything and said, ‘It is because lustful thoughts trouble me. I confessed them to that hermit, and he says I now have no hope of salvation. So I have despaired, and am on my way back to the world.’ When Apollo heard this, he went on asking questions like a wise doctor, and gave him this counsel, ‘Do not be cast down, son, nor despair of yourself. Even at my age and with my experience of the spiritual life, I am still troubled by thoughts like yours. Do not fail now; this trouble cannot be cured by our efforts, but only by God’s mercy. Do as I say and go back to your cell.’ The brother did so.

Then Apollo went to the cell of the hermit who had made the brother despair. He stood outside the cell, and prayed to the Lord with tears, saying, ‘Lord, you permit men to be tempted for their good; transfer the war that brother is suffering to this hermit: let him learn by experience in his old age what many years have not taught him, and so let him find out how to sympathize with people undergoing this kind of temptation.’ As soon as he ended his prayer he saw a black man standing by the cell firing arrows at the hermit. As though he had been wounded, the hermit began to totter and lurch like a drunken man. When he could bear it no longer, he came out of his cell, and set out on the same road by which the young man started to return to the world. Apollo understood what had happened, and went to meet him. He came up to him and said, ‘Where are you going? Why are you so upset?’ When the hermit saw that the holy Apollo understood what had happened, he was ashamed and said nothing.

Apollo said to him, ‘Go back to your cell and see in others your own weakness and keep your own heart in order. For either you were ignorant of the devil in spite of your age, or you were contemptuous, and did not deserve to gain strength by struggling with the devil as all other men must. But struggle is not the right word, when you could not stand up to his attack for one day. This has happened to you because of the young monk. He came to you because he was being attacked by the common enemy of us all. You ought to have given him words of consolation to help him against the devil’s attack but instead you drove him to despair. You did not remember the wise man’s saying, which orders us to deliver the men who are drawn towards death, and not to cease to redeem men ready to be killed. You did not remember our Saviour’s parable, “You should not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax” (Matt. 12:20).

No one can endure the enemy’s clever attacks, nor quench, nor control the leaping fire natural to the body, unless God’s grace preserves us in our weakness. In all our prayers we should ask for his mercy to save us, so that he may turn aside this scourge which is aimed even at you. For he makes a man to grieve, and then lifts him up to salvation; he strikes, and his hand heals; he humbles and exalts; he gives death and then life; he leads to hell and brings back from hell (1 Sam. 2:6). So Apollo prayed again, and at once the hermit was set free from his inner war. Apollo urged him to ask God to give him a wise heart, in order to know how best to speak.


The Lord bids us to love Him with all our hearts and all our souls – but how is it possible to love Him Whom we have never seen, and how may we learn this love? The Lord is made known by His effect on the soul. When the Lord has visited her, the soul knows that a dear Guest has come and gone, and she yearns for Him and seeks Him with tears: 'where art Thou, my light, where art Thou, my joy? Thy trace is fragrant in my soul but Thou art not there and my soul yearns for Thee, and my heart aches and is sad, and nothing rejoices me because I have grieved my Lord and He hath hidden Himself from my sight.'

Were we like simple children, the Lord would show us His paradise and we should see Him in the glory of the Cherubim and the Seraphim, and all of the heavenly hosts and all of the saints; but we are not humble and therefore we torture ourselves and those we live among.

What joy is ours that the Lord not only forgives our sins but allows the soul to know Him, as soon as she humbles herself. The poorest wretch may humble himself and know God in the Holy Spirit. There is no need for money or possessions to know God, only of humility. The Lord freely gives Himself, for His mercy's sake alone. I did not know this before, but now every day and hour, every minute, I clearly see the mercy of God. The Lord gives peace even in sleep, but without God there is no peace in the soul.

The Lord does not reveal Himself to many because of their intellectual pride; yet they think that they have much knowledge. But what is their knowledge worth if they do not know the Lord, know not the grace of the Holy Spirit, know not how this grace comes and wherefore it is lost?

But let us humble ourselves, brethren, and the Lord will show us all things, as a loving father shows all things to his children.

Wisdom from Mount Athos

writings by St. Silouan the Athonite


From Desert Fathers: "On a journey a monk met some nuns and when he saw them he turned aside off the road. The abbess said to him, ‘If you had been a true monk, you would not have looked to see that we are women.’"


On Apostasy

Archbishop Averky of blessed memory (+1976).

We have neither the strength nor the authority to stop apostasy, as Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov) stresses: Don't attempt to stop it with your weak hand.

But what then should we do? Avoid it, protect yourself from it, and that is enough for you. Get to know the spirit of the times, study it so that you can avoid its influence whenever possible; this is what the same Bishop Ignatius teaches us.


"We have within us deeply-rooted weaknesses, passions, and defects. This cannot all be cut out with one sharp motion, but patience, persistence, care and attention. The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that he will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and, having stood-up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Do not despair if you keep falling into your old sins. Many of them are strong because they have received the force of habit. Only with the passage of time and with fervour will they be conquered. Don't let anything deprive you of hope"

- St. Nektarios

I think about this one a lot.

Eusebius Erasmus

The Prayer of the Optina Elders.

O Lord, grant that I may meet all that his coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to thy holy will. At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to thy holy will. Guide my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, let me not forget that all is sent down from thee. Grant me to deal in a straightforward and wise manner with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. O Lord, grant me power to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that will take place during it. Guide my will and teach me to prayer, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.


Message of Hope, Orthodoxy

This video is dedicated to all of you, non-greek speakers. Father Vasileios Voloudakis is the priest who made me return to faith and be properly catechized after years of apostasy, starting from a spark which was manifested as a direct revelation of my bad spiritual condition after a terrible break up. It was a life changing event, which I consider a miracle and a gift from God.

Keep strong. Amen.


Here's a couple of quotes from St Joseph the Hesychast:

You don't see how, with every prayer you utter, many demons fall and turn back. You only see how much you are wounded. Know that they, also, are being beaten, and flee. Each time we show patience they flee in leaps, and with each prayer they are seriously wounded. So, in the time of war, don't expect that while you are firing bullets and cannonballs that they'll retaliate with Turkish Delight and chocolates!

When you want to learn the will of God, abandon your own will completely along with every other thought or plan and with much humility ask God in prayer for His understanding. And so, whatever you feel sketched or laid on your heart, do it and it will be according to God's will. Those who have even more presence and candor in seeking God's will hear within themselves more clearly the answer, become more careful in their lives, and don't do anything without divine guidance.
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Akaky Akakievitch

From the Catena app’s quote of the day:

"A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God. He who regulates all of his speech regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about to say keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds of good and benevolent conduct. The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness. This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy. On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars."

- St. Nektarius of Aegina

(Read his bio here.)