Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


11 Entries

Anyone who wishes to retain within him continually the remembrance of death and God's judgment, and at the same time yields to material cares and distractions, is like a man who is swimming and wants to clap his hands. St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent

As our body becomes dead and full of stench when the soul leaves it, so a soul in which prayer is not active is dead and stenches. That to be deprived of prayer should be counted worse than death is clearly shown us by Prophet Daniel, who was ready to die rather than be deprived of prayer at any hour. One should remember God more often than one breathes. "Reflections on the Eight Thoughts", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 113 - 114

Everywhere and always God is with us, near to us and in us. But we are not always with Him, since we do not remember Him; and because we do not remember Him we allow ourselves many things which we would not permit if we did remember. Take upon yourself this task -- to make a habit of such recollection. Make yourself a rule always to be with the Lord, keeping your mind in your heart, and do not let your thoughts wander; as often as they stray, turn them back again and keep them at home in the closet of your heart, and delight in converse with the Lord. St. Theophan the Recluse

The remembrance of Christ brings light to one's mind and drives away the demons, and the light of the Holy Trinity which shines in a pure heart lifts it away from the whole world. When a man participates in this, though he is still on earth, he has a taste of the glory to come, at least in so far as he can, for although he is moved by heaven's grace he is still wrapped in the veil of flesh. St. Symeon the New Theologian, "The Practical and Theological Chapters"

The weapon of evil - transgression - has not only disordered the simple memory of good in the soul, but has corrupted all its powers, darkening its natural desire for virtue. Memory can be cured by a constant remembrance of God, consolidated by the action of prayer; for it is thus imbued with the spirit, and is carried from the natural to a supernatural state. St. Gregory of Sinai (Texts on Commandments and Dogmas no. 61)

Very few men can accurately recognize all their own faults; indeed, only those can do this whose intellect is never torn away from the remembrance of God. St. Diadochos of Photiki (On Spiritual Knowledge no. 27)

When the devil with his demons had succeeded in having man banished from the garden of Eden through transgression, and in separating from God, he acquired access to the reasoning power of every man, so that he can agitate a man's mind by day or by night; sometimes much, sometimes a little, and sometimes exceedingly. And there is no protection against this except through constant remembrance of God; in other words, if the memory of God, engraved in the heart by the power of the cross, strengthens the mind in its steadfastness. To this end lead all the efforts of mental struggle, which it is the duty of every Christian to practice in the field of faith. That man will struggle in vain for whom this is not so. St. Symeon the New Theologian, Writings from the Philokalia on the Prayerof the Heart

Everywhere and always God is with us, near to us and in us. But we are not always with Him, since we do not remember Him; and because we do not remember Him we allow ourselves many things which we would not permit if we did remember.

St. Theophan the Recluse

It seems to me that having a pure heart is not simply a matter of not being swept away by passion, it also involves avoiding any inclination of mind to whatever is evil or profane, and having within oneself one thing alone: recollection of God in irrepressible love. When nothing external interrupts our contemplation, our eye can see God purely in pure light. St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters.

131. The remembrance of God is suffering of heart endured in a spirit of devotion. But he who forgets God becomes self-indulgent and insensitive. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

134. If you wish to remember God unceasingly, do not reject as undeserved what happens to you, but patiently accept it as your due. For patient acceptance of whatever happens kindles the remembrance of God, whereas refusal to accept weakens the spiritual purpose of the heart and so makes it forgetful. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

Redeeming the Time

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