Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

grace

35 Entries

The grace of God has a difficult time trying to enter into the impure heart. REF:St. Anthimos of Chios +1960



"For truly the assistance which God gives to our nature is provided to those who correctly live the life of virtue. This assistance was already there at our birth, but it is manifested and made known whenever we apply ourselves to diligent training in the higher life and strip ourselves for the more vigorous contests." St. Gregory of Nyssa.

At the start of the spiritual way, the soul usually has the conscious experience of being illumined with its own light through the action of grace. But, as it advances further in its struggle to attain theology, grace works its mysteries within the soul for the most part without its knowledge... St. Diadochos of Photiki, "On Spiritual Knowledge" Philokalia (Vol. 1) , p. 276, text 69)

"The law of grace directly teaches those who are led by it to imitate God Himself. For it is permitted to speak in this way despite the fact that because of sin we were His enemies.

God loved us so much more than Himself that, although He is beyond every being, He entered without changing into our being, supra-essentially took on human nature, became man and, wishing to reveal Himself as a man among men, did not refuse to make His own the penalty we pay.

And as in His providence He became man, so He deified us by grace, in this way teaching us not only to cleave to one another naturally and to love others spiritually as ourselves, but also, like God, to be more concerned for others than for ourselves, and as proof of our love for each other readily to choose, as virtue enjoins, to die for others. For as Scripture tells us, there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend" (cf. John 15: 13). Philokalia, Vol. 2, "Fifth Century on Various Texts," No. 12



'The pure of heart will see God,' according to the Lord's infallible word (Mt. 5:8), according to his capacity, receiving as much as his mind can sustain; yet the infinite and incomprehensible nature of the Godhead remains beyond all understanding.

For 'the magnificence of His glory,' as the Prophet says (Ps. 144-5), has no end, and as we contemplate Him He remains ever the same, at the same distance above us.

The Great David enjoyed in his heart those glorious elevations as he progressed from strength to strength; and yet he cried to God: Lord, 'Thou art the most High,' forever and ever (Ps. 82:19). And by this I think he means that in all the infinite eternity of centuries, the man who runs towards Thee constantly becomes greater as he rises higher, ever growing in proportion to his increase in grace. 'Thou,' indeed, 'art the most High,' abiding forever, and canst never seem smaller to those who approach Thee, for Thou art always to the same degree higher and loftier than the faculties of those who are rising. St. Gregory of Nyssa, Sermon on the Canticles in From Glory to Glory.



At the start of the spiritual way, the soul usually has the conscious experience of being illumined with its own light through the action of grace. But, as it advances further in its struggle to attain theology, grace works its mysteries within the soul for the most part without its knowledge. Grace acts in these two ways so that it may first set us rejoicing on the path of contemplation, calling us from ignorance to spiritual knowledge, and so that in the midst of our struggle it may then keep this knowledge free from arrogance. St. Diadochos of Photiki (On Spiritual Knowledge no. 69)

Every good deed we perform by our own natural powers, although it removes us further from the (evil deed) opposed to it, cannot make us holy without grace. St. Mark the Ascetic, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 86 - 90

Every good work which we perform through our own natural power causes us to refrain from the corresponding sin; but without grace it cannot contribute to our sanctification. St. Mark the Ascetic, Philokalia, Vol. 1

God also acted through cattle before the Ark, when he wanted to save His people (1 Samuel 6). Could a priest's life or virtues accomplish something like that? The Gifts of God are not such that they depend upon the virtue of the priest. Everything comes from Grace. It is for the priest to open his lips, and everything is performed by God, while the priest performs the visible actions:. St. John Chrysostom

Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extent that they actively observe the commandments. Grace never ceases to help us secretly; but to do good - as far as lies in our power - depends on us. St. Mark the Ascetic (No Righteousness by Works no. 61)

Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extent that they actively observe the commandments. Grace never ceases to help us secretly; but to do good - as far as lies in our power - depends on us. St. Mark the Ascetic in The Philokalia, Vol. 1

Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extent that they actively observe the commandments. Grace never ceases to help us secretly; but to do good - as far as lies in our power - depends on us. St. Mark the Ascetic, Philokalia, Vol. 1

Grace operates as well through the unworthy, so that we are sanctified as well thought unworthy priests. Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria

In the Divine womb, that is, in the holy font, we freely receive perfect Divine grace. If after this we cover it over with the fog of passions, either through abuse of temporal things, or though excess of cares for worldly activities, it is possible, even after this, to regain possession of it, to restore its supernatural brightness and to see quite vividly its manifestation, by repentance and the fulfillment of commandments whose action is Divine. Grace manifests in proportion to each man's zeal in remaining faithful to faith, but above all through the help and benevolence of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Monks Callistus and Ignatius (Directions to Hesychasts no. 6, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pg. 168)

It may happen that for a certain time a man is illumined and refreshed by God's grace, and then this grace is withdrawn. This makes him inwardly confused and he starts to grumble; instead of seeking through steadfast prayer to recover his assurance of salvation, he loses patience and gives up. He is like a beggar who receives alms from the palace, and feels put out because he was not asked inside to dine with the king. St. John of Karpathos "The Philokalia: the Complete Text" (volume I), by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth, trans. By G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and (Bishop) Kallistos Ware, (London: Faber and Faber, 1979), pp. 298 - 309

The grace of the priesthood is one thing, the grace of the great schema is another, the grace of the Mysteries is different, and the action of grace in ascesis is also different. They all spring from the same source, but each one differs from the other in eminence and glory. The grace of repentance, which acts in those who struggle, is a patristic inheritance. It is a divine transaction and exchange in which we give dust and receive heaven. We exchange matter for the Spirit. Every drop of sweat, every pain, every ascesis for God is an exchange. Monastic Wisdom: The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are absolutely useless without the roof - no help to any living creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the practice of the commandments, and the observance of these commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God. St. Symeon the New Theologian

The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are absolutely useless without the roof - no help to any living creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the practice of the commandments, and the observance of these commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God. St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters

The signs accompanying grace are much joy, peace, love, and truth. Such truth impels man to seek truth. But the signs of sin are accompanied by turmoil, not joy and love toward God." St. Macarius

To God always belongs Grace, as does the Mystery, while to man, the performer of the Mystery, belongs only service. If he is good, then he is in concert with God and acts in harmony with Him; if bad, then God performs the visible form of the Mystery through him, but Himself endows it with invisible Grace:. Do not imagine that Divine Mysteries depend upon human morality and actions. They are holy because of the One to Whom they belong. Blessed Augustine

What is grace? It is the blessed power of God. . the power that cleanses, sanctifies, enlightens, that helps in doing good and withdraws from evil, that comforts and gives courage in misfortunes, sorrows, and sickness; that is a pledge of receiving the everlasting blessings, prepared by God in heaven for His chosen ones. St. John of Kronstadt

When through self-control we have purified our body, and when through divine love we have made our incensive power and our desire incentives for virtue, and when we offer to God our intellect cleansed by prayer, then we will possess and see within ourselves the grace promised to the pure in heart (cf. Matt. 5:8). St. Gregory Palamas (Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness no. 2, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg.333

In order to live spiritually and draw breath from grace, we must continually exhale the ashes of sin. Holy Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov

In order to live spiritually and draw breath from grace, we must continually exhale the ashes of sin. Holy Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov

In order to live spiritually and draw breath from grace, we must continually exhale the ashes of sin. Holy Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov

In order to live spiritually and draw breath from grace, we must continually exhale the ashes of sin. Holy Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov

At the start of the spiritual way, the soul usually has the conscious experience of being illumined with its own light through the action of grace. But, as it advances further in its struggle to attain theology, grace works its mysteries within the soul for the most part without its knowledge... St. Diadochos of Photiki, "On Spiritual Knowledge" Philokalia (Vol. 1) , p. 276, text 69)

24. Every good work which we perform through our own natural powers causes us to refrain from the corresponding sin; but without grace it cannot contribute to our sanctification. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

61. Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extent that they actively observe the commandments. Grace never ceases to help us secretly; but to do good- as far as lies in our power- depends on us. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

62. Initially grace arouses the conscience in a divine manner. That is how even sinners have come to repent and so to conform to God's will. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

63. Again, grace may be bidden in advice given by a neighbor. Sometimes it also accompanies our understanding during reading, and as a natural result teaches our intellect the truth about itself. If, then, we do not hide the talent given to us in this way, we shall enter actively into the joy of the Lord. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

92. Everyone baptized in the orthodox manner has received mystically the fullness of grace; but he becomes conscious of this grace only to the extent that he actively observes the commandments. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

115. The grace of the Spirit is one and unchanging, but energizes in each one of us as He wills (cf. 1Co 12:11). REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

116. When rain falls upon the earth, it gives life to the quality inherent in each plant: sweetness in the sweet, astringency in the astringent; similarly, when grace falls upon the hearts of the faithful, it gives to each the energies appropriate to the different virtues without itself changing. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

117. To him who hungers after Christ grace is food; to him who is thirsty, a reviving drink; to him who is cold, a garment; to him who is weary, rest; to him who prays, assurance; to him who mourns, consolation. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779





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