Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

self_will

6 Entries

Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases; then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer." Abba Nilus, in "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers," (in Sr. Benedicta Ward, Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), pp. 153-155



He who does good and seeks a reward works not for God but for his own desire. St. Mark the Ascetic, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 86 - 90

If we abandon our own desires and opinions, and endeavor to fulfill God’s wishes and understanding, we will save ourselves, no matter what our position, no matter what our circumstance. But if we cling to our own desires and opinions, neither position nor circumstance will be of help. Even in Paradise, Eve transgressed God’s commandment, and life with the Savior Himself brought the unfortunate Judas no good. As we read in the Holy Gospels, we require patience and an inclination to pious living. Counsels of the Venerable Elder St. Amvrossy of Optina

Of all evil suggestions, the most terrible is that of following one's own heart, that is to say, one's own thought, and not the law of God. A man who does this will be afflicted later on, because he has not recognized the mystery, and he has not found the way of the saints in order to work in it. Abba Isidore the priest.

Silence of lips is better and more wonderful than any edifying conversation.Strive to acquire humility and submissiveness. Never insist that anything should be according to your will, for this gives birth to anger. Do not judge or humiliate anyone, for this gives birth to anger. Do not judge or humiliate anyone, for this exhausts the heart and blinds the mind, and thereon leads to negligence and makes the heart unfeeling. St.Barsanuphius and St.John

The brothers surrounded the same Abba John (Cassian) was at the point of death and ready to depart eagerly and joyously to God. They asked him to leave them a concise and salutary saying as their inheritance, which would enable them to become perfect in Christ. Groaning he said to them, "I have never done my own will, not taught anything which I had not previously carried out." Benedicta Ward, "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers," (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), p. 114





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