Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

mourning

13 Entries

If you are enclosed within yourself through prayer, humility, and mourning, you will find a spiritual treasure -- only let pride and criticism be far from you. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"



The first divine fruit of silence is mourning -- grief according to God -- joy-grief. Afterward come luminous thoughts, which bring the holy flow of tears streaming with life, from which also comes the second baptism and the soul is purified and shines and becomes like the angels. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

A characteristic of those who are still progressing in blessed mourning is temperance and silence of the lips; and of those who have made progress – freedom from anger and patient endurance of injuries; and of the perfect – humility, thirst for dishonors, voluntary craving for involuntary afflictions, non- condemnation of sinners, compassion even beyond one’s strength. The first are acceptable, the second laudable; but blessed are those who hunger for hardship and thirst for dishonor, for they shall be filled with the food whereof there can be no satiety. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 7: On Joy-Making Mourning

As the gradual pouring of water on a fire completely extinguishes the flame, so the tears of mourning are able to quench every flame of anger and irritability. Therefore, we place this next in order. (after mourning) St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 8: On Freedom From Anger and On Meekness

Go to the tombs and see that the assurance of men is nothing. Why then does man who is dust indulge in vainglory? Why does he who is all stench exalt himself? Let us therefore weep for ourselves while we have time, lest, at the hour of our departure, we be found asking God for extra time to repent. St Pachomius, Armand Veilleux, trans., "Pachomian Koinonia -- Volume II," (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1981), pp. 41 - 44

He who really keeps account of his actions considers as lost every day in which he does not mourn, whatever good he may have done in it. St. Symeon of Thessalonica

I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection. St. Philotheos of Sinai

If you possess the gift of mourning, hold on to it with all your might. For it is easily lost when it is not firmly established. And just as wax melts in the presence of fire, so it is easily dissolved by noise and bodily cares, and by luxury, and especially by talkativeness and levity. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 7: On Joy-Making Mourning

Let your very dress urge you to the work of mourning, because all who lament the dead are dressed in black. If you do not mourn, mourn for this cause. And if you mourn, lament still more that, by your sins, you have brought yourself down from a state free of labors to one of labor. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 7: On Joy-Making Mourning

Mourning according to God is sadness of soul and the disposition of a sorrowing heart, which ever madly seeks that for which it thirsts; and when it fails in its quest, it painfully pursues it, and follows in its wake grievously lamenting. Or thus: mourning is a golden spur in a soul which is stripped of all attachment and of all ties, fixed in a soul which is stripped of all attachment and of all ties, fixed by holy sorrow to watch over the heart. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 7: On Joy-Making Mourning

Mourning has a twofold action: like water tears extinguish all the fire of passions and wash the soul clean of their foulness; and, again, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, it is like fire bringing life, warming the hear, and inciting it to love and desire God." St. Simeon the New Theologian (Practical and Theological Precepts no.77, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pgs. 114-115)

The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men. Abbot Nazarius

Those who mourn and those who are insensitive are not subject to fear, but the cowardly often have become deranged. And this is natural. For the Lord rightly forsakes the proud that the rest of us may learn not to be puffed up. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 21: On Unmanly and Puerile Cowardice





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