Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


4 Entries

A human being who does not endure courageously the unpleasant burdens of temptations, will never produce fruit worthy of the divine wine-press and eternal harvest, not even if one possesses all other virtues. For one is only perfected through zealously enduring both all the voluntary and involuntary afflictions. St. Gregory Palamas, Treatise on the Spiritual Life

Beloved, are you a Christian through God’s grace? Keep the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ; for it is written, In truth I understand that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation one who fears him and works justice is acceptable to him. But if you wish to walk the strict way of life of the monks so that you may meet with greater things, unless you fix in your thought that you have already passed over from this life and consider that this world and its glory are as a tent that has been struck, you cannot conquer the earthly passions and worldly desires which overwhelm people to the ruin and destruction of the flesh; for he is without deception who said, If any one wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For he who wishes to find his soul will lose it; but he who loses it for my sake will find it. For what advantage will someone have if he gain the whole world but pay the price of his life? St Ephrem the Syrian, 'To the Monks in Egypt", 2nd Exhortation. An invitation to right conduct,

The first duty of a Christian, of a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, is to deny oneself. To deny oneself means to give up one's bad habits, to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad desires and thoughts; to quench and suppress bad thoughts; to avoid occasions of sin; not to do or desire anything from self-love but to do everything out of love for God. To deny oneself means, according to the Apostle Paul, to be dead to sin and the world, but alive to God. St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

Self-denial must be cultivated with discernment, otherwise we reach the point of suicide. Elder Amphilochios Makris -

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