Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

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6 Entries

...here is a general means for making peace in the heart, when some affliction tries to disturb it: with all your strength make firm your faith in the goodness of God's Providence towards you and revive in your soul a devoted submission to God's will... Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 27)



If you happen to be wounded by succumbing to some sin through weakness, or through the faulty nature of your character...do not lose heart and fall into senseless turmoil. Above all do not dwell on yourself, do not say: 'How could I be such as to allow and suffer it?' This is a cry of proud self-opinion. Humble yourself and, raising your eyes to the Lord, say and feel: 'What else could be expected of me, O Lord, weak and faulty as I am.' Thereupon give thanks to Him that the thing has gone no further, saying: 'If it were not for Thy boundless mercy, O Lord, I would not have stopped at that, but would certainly have fallen into something much worse.' Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare:Chapter 28)

Never accuse anyone of anything, but strive always to please your neighbor. And never think evil of anyone, for through this you become evil yourself, since an evil man thinks evil, and a good man thinks good. When the thought comes to you: "They say about me...", know that it is the enemy who whispers it in your ear. Never have suspicions. Endure everything with joy and gladness, for great is the reward of endurance. As to demons -- do not trust them, for reality is not as they represent it. All they care about is to confuse you in every possible way. St.s Barsanuphius and John

Remember that by your own power you will gain nothing. Always call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for help in all situations. Then, your praiseworthy attitude will be aided by God's Might, which curtails all sin --- all wiles of the demons. If you overcome some sinful influence, do not credit yourself but the Lord; and thank Him for helping you conquer the sin. If you credit yourself, you will again fall into the same sins. Abbot Nikon, Letters to Spiritual Children

Stop pleasing yourself and you will not hate your brother; stop loving yourself and you will love God. St. Maximos the Confessor (Fourth Century on Love no. 37)

Therefore, casting out of our souls all faithlessness, sloth, and hesitation, let us draw near with all our heart, with unhesitating faith and burning desire, like slaves who have been newly purchased with precious blood. In deed, with reverence for the price paid on our behalf, and with love for our Master Who paid it, and as having accepted His love for us, let us recognize that, if He had not wished to save by means of Himself us who have been purchased, He would not have come down to earth, nor would He have been slain for our sake. But, as it is written, He has done this because He wills that all should be saved. Listen to Him say it Himself: 'I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world' (Jn. 12:17). St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life, Vol. 1





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