Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

peace

17 Entries

... to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6



51. Honor peace more than anything else. But strive first of all to be at peace in yourself: in this way you will find it easy to be at peace with others. How can someone whose eyes are blind heal others?

52. You should not imagine that any cause is good which hinders peacefulness; for one good does not annul another. Get rid of any causes that undo you sense of peace, for the sake of the establishment of peacefulness. John the Solitary From "The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life



Acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved. St. Seraphim of Sarov

Amma Theodora said, "It is good to live in peace, for the wise man practices perpetual prayer. It is truly a great thing for a virgin or a monk to live in peace, especially for the younger ones. However, you should realize that as soon as you intend to live in peace, at once evil comes and weighs down your soul through accidie, faintheartedness, and evil thoughts. It also attacks your body through sickness, debility, weakening of the knees, and all the members. It dissipates the strength of soul and body, so that one believes one is ill and no longer able to pray. But if we are vigilant, all these temptations fall away. There was, in fact a monk who was seized by cold and fever every time he began to pray, and he suffered from headaches, too. In this condition, he said to himself, 'I am ill, and near to death; so now I will get up before I die and pray.' By reasoning in this way, he did violence to himself and prayed, When he had finished, the fever abated also. So, by reasoning in this way, the brother resisted, and prayed and was able to conquer his thoughts." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Desert Christian," (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1975), pp. 83-84

God is not a God of war and fighting. Make war and fighting to cease, both that which is against him, and that which is against your neighbor. Be at peace with all people, consider with what character God saves you. St. John Chrysostom

If a man does not have a heartfelt sense that, besides him and God, there is no one else in the world, he cannot find peace of soul. St. Alonius

Let us cut sin out of our heart, and we will find within us the Kingdom of Heaven. St. Philotheos of Sinai

Let us first consider what peace is. Surely it is nothing else but a loving disposition towards one's neighbor. But what is held to be the opposite of love? It is hate and wrath, anger and envy, harboring resentment as well as hypocrisy and the calamity of war. Do you see for how many different diseases this single word is an antidote? For peace is equally opposed to every one of the things mentioned, and wipes out these evils by its own presence. Just as illness vanishes when health supervenes, and as no darkness is left when light begins to shine, so also when peace appears, all the passions connected with its opposite are eliminated. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Beatitudes, Sermon 9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for thy shall be called sons of God

Let us first consider what peace is. Surely it is nothing else but a loving disposition towards one's neighbor. But what is held to be the opposite of love? It is hate and wrath, anger and envy, harboring resentment as well as hypocrisy and the calamity of war. Do you see for how many different diseases this single word is an antidote? For peace is equally opposed to every one of the things mentioned, and wipes out these evils by its own presence. Just as illness vanishes when health supervenes, and as no darkness is left when light begins to shine, so also when peace appears, all the passions connected with its opposite are eliminated. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Beatitudes, Sermon 9: Blessed are thepeacemankers, for thy shall be called sons of God

One must by every means strive to preserve peace of soul and not be disturbed by offenses from others; for this one must in every way strive to restrain anger and by means of attentiveness to keep the mind and heart from improper feelings. And therefore we must bear offenses from others with equanimity and accustom ourselves to such a disposition of spirit that these offenses seem to concern not us, but others. Such a practice can give quietness to the human heart and make it as dwelling for God Himself. St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions, Little Russian Philokalia, V. I

Peace is liberation from passions, which cannot be attained without the action of the Holy Spirit. St. Mark the Ascetic

Peace is the integrity and health of the soul; to lose peace is to lose spiritual health. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

The greatest gift of God, which we mostly need and which we very often obtain from God, through our prayers, is peace or rest of heart. As the Lord Himself says: "Come unto Me, all ye that labors and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Therefore, having obtained this rest, rejoice and consider yourself as rich and possessing all things. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

The lives of men are subject to drastic changes. These changes are gradual at times; at others, lightning quick. But even those of us who enjoy long years of opulence and fame can find no consolation, no gladness, unless our heart is illumined by the steady light of peace. It is this peace that we must seek, it is for this peace that we should pray. The peace that our Lord gave to His disciples and to all those who really have faith in him. (John 20:21) St. Macarius of Optina, Russian Letters of Direction

The peace and plenteousness of life in the heart after Communion is the greatest, the most inestimable gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, surpassing all the gifts relating to the body which are received at the same time. Without peace of the soul - when the heart is straitened and tormented - man cannot avail himself of any blessings, either material or spiritual; at that time the delights that come from the feeling of truth, goodness and beauty do not exist for him, because the very center of his life - the heart, or the inner man himself - is crushed, slain. St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

The work of our salvation demands that wherever a person may live, he must fulfill God’s commandments and submit to His will.. Only thereby does one acquire spiritual peace, by no other way. As it is says in the psalm “Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them.” And yet you continue to seek after internal peace and spiritual calm by way of external circumstance. You still seem to think that you are not living in the right place, that you have not settled down among the right kind of people, that you have not ordered your affairs correctly and that others apparently have not behaved properly. In Divine Scripture it states “His [i.e. God’s] dominion is in every place.” and that for God the most precious thing in the whole world is the salvation of a single Christian soul. Spiritual Counsels of Holy Elder Amvrossy of Optina #http://www.stjohndc.org/Fathers/0011d.htm

When holy peace reigns in my soul, then surely the King of Peace dwells within me, the Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, and then especially I ought to be full of feelings of gratitude to the Lord of Peace, and endeavor with all my strength to preserve this peace within me by means of fervent prayer and by abstaining from every sin, both inward and outward. St. John of Kronstadt





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