Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

thanksgiving

15 Entries

Be glad and rejoice that you were granted to be pious Orthodox Christians. Likewise again cry and mourn for the impious and unbelievers who walk in darkness, in the hands of the devil. St Kosmas Aitolos



... when God is thanked, He gives us still further blessings, while we, by receiving His gifts, love Him all the more and through this love attain that divine wisdom whose beginning is the fear of God (cf. Prov. 1:7). St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg.199)

...we ought to think of God even more often than we draw our breath; and if the expression is permissible, we ought to do nothing else. St. Gregory Nazianzen (First Theological Oration no. 5)

And as with regard to raiment and gold, when we expose them in a market-place, we attract many ill-meaning persons; but if we put them by at home and hide them, we shall deposit them all in security: even so with respect to our good deeds; if we are continually keeping them in memory, we provoke the Lord, we arm the enemy, we invite him to steal them away; but if no one know of them, besides Him who alone ought to know, they will lie in safety.

Be not therefore for ever parading them, lest some one should take them away. As was the case with the Pharisee, for bearing them about upon his lips; whence also the devil caught them away. And yet it was with thanksgiving he made mention of them, and referred the whole to God. But not even did this suffice Him. For it is not thanksgiving to revile others, to be vainglorious before many, to exalt one's self against them that have offended. Rather, if thou art giving thanks to God, be content with Him only, and publish it not unto men, neither condemn thy neighbor; for this is not thanksgiving. St John Chrysostom, HOMILY III., MATT. I. 1



Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer, as it was shown to one of the brethren by an angel of the Lord. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step28: On Holy and Blessed Prayer, the Mother of Virtues, and on the Attitude of Mind and Body in Prayer

Bring before your eyes the blessings, whether physical or spiritual, conferred on you from the beginning of your life down to the present, and call them repeatedly to mind in accordance with the words: 'Forget not all His benefits' (Ps. 102:2). Then your heart will readily be moved to the fear and love of God, so that you repay Him, as far as you can. by your strict life, virtuous conduct, devout conscience, wise speech, true faith and humility - in short, by dedicating your whole self to God. When you are moved by the recollection of all these blessings which you have received through God's loving goodness, your heart will be spontaneously wounded with longing and love through this recollection or, rather, with the help of divine grace St. Mark the Ascetic

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thess.5:18

Labor to acquire thanksgiving toward God for everything, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and then you will find peace. St. Barsanuphius

Looking at yourself or at other people and thinking that you alone have been given high rank, that you alone of all living beings on earth have the gift of reason, and serve as the point of union and connection between material and immaterial creatures, rouse yourself to glorify and thank your God and Creator, and say: 'O eternal Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Be Thou blessed forever! How greatly must I give Thee thanks at all times, not only because Thou hast created me out of earth and hast made me King over all earthly creatures, not only because Thou hast honored my nature with Thy likeness, with reason, speech and a living body, but above all because Thou hast given me the power, of my own free will, through virtues to resemble Thee, that thereby I may possess Thee in me and rejoice in Thee forever! Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 21)

Prayer is the fruit of joy and thankfulness. Evagrios the Solitary

Thanksgiving and gratitude is a heartfelt joyous recognition of the divine benevolence and mercy toward us, unworthy ones, shown by Him freely and testified by our heart and mouth. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

We ought all of us always to give thanks to God for both the universal and the particular gifts of soul and body that He bestows on us. The universal gifts consist of the four elements and all that comes into being through them, as well as all the marvelous works of God mentioned in the divine Scriptures. The particular gifts consist of all that God has given to each individual. These include wealth, so that one can perform acts of charity; poverty, so that one can endure it with patience and gratitude; authority, so that one can exercise right judgment and establish virtue; obedience and service, so that one can more readily attain salvation of soul; health, so that one can assist those in need and undertake work worthy of God; sickness, so that one may earn the crown of patience; spiritual knowledge and strength, so that one may acquire virtue; weakness and ignorance, so that, turning one's back on worldly things, one may be under obedience in stillness and humility; unsought loss of goods and possessions, so that one may deliberately seek to be saved and may be helped when incapable of shedding all one's possessions or even of giving alms; ease and prosperity, so that one may voluntarily struggle and suffer to attain the virtues and thus become dispassionate and fit to save other souls; trials and hardship so that those who cannot eradicate their own will may be saved in spite of themselves, and those capable of joyful endurance may attain perfection. St. Peter of Damaskos

When a good thought comes to your mind, turn to God and, realizing that it was sent by Him, give thanks. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 23)

Wouldest thou learn words of thanksgiving? hearken unto the Three Children, saying, "We have sinned, we have transgressed. Thou art righteous, O Lord, in all that thou hast done unto us, because thou hast brought all things upon us by a true judgment."(4) For to confess one's own sins, this is to give thanks with confessions unto God: a kind of thing which implies one to be guilty of numberless offenses, yet not to have the due penalty exacted. This man most of all is the giver of thanks. St John Chrysostom, HOMILY III., MATT. I. 1

We ought all of us always to give thanks to God for both the universal and the particular gifts of soul and body that He bestows on us. The universal gifts consist of the four elements and all that comes into being through them, as well as all the marvelous works of God mentioned in the divine Scriptures. The particular gifts consist of all that God has given to each individual.

These include wealth, so that one can perform acts of charity; poverty, so that one can endure it with patience and gratitude; authority, so that one can exercise righteous judgment and establish virtue; obedience and service, so that one can more readily attain salvation of soul; health, so that one can assist those in need and undertake work worthy of God, sickness; so that one may earn the crown of patience; spiritual knowledge and strength, so that one may acquire virtue; weakness and ignorance, so that, turning one's back on worldly things, one may be under obedience in stillness and humility; unsought loss of goods and possessions, so that one may deliberately seek to be saved and may be helped when incapable of shedding all one's possessions or even of giving alms; ease and prosperity, so that one may voluntarily struggle and suffer to attain the virtues and thus become dispassionate and fit to save other souls, trials and hardship, so that those who cannot eradicate their own will may be saved in spite of themselves, and those capable of joyful endurance may attain perfection. REF:St. Peter of Damaskos, "God's Universal And Particular Gifts", from G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Philokalia: Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 172 - 173.







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