Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

the_heart

6 Entries

How destructive to the heart is even momentary attachment for anything earthly. St John of Kronstadt



Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established. St. Tikhon of Voronezh

The heart can change several times in one moment to good or evil, to faith or unbelief, to simplicity or cunning, to love or hatred, to benevolence or envy, to generosity or avarice, to chastity or fornication. O, what inconstancy! O, how many dangers! O, how sober and watchful we must be! St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

When you pray, try to let the prayer reach your heart; in other words, it is necessary that your heart should feel what you are talking about in your prayer, that it should wish for the blessing for which you are asking.... Observe, during prayer, whether your heart is in accord with that which you are saying. St. John of Kronstadt

You've become scattered. It's time to steady yourself, to put aside everything else and sit within your heart. Think about lent and compare it with your present state. What a difference! You will undoubtedly be in Iver when this letter reaches you, and there everything is different. Take up reading and avoid company. Your situation is ruining you! Arrange an orderly schedule of prayer, reading and handiwork. Cut down on socializing. Just you and God - how good that is! But when this will be, we'll let the Lord decide. It's better to let things take their own course, because then they are not ordered by human wisdom but by God's allowance. And see the result! You are responsible for involving yourself in acquaintanceships and amusements. This is not a trifling matter. Today, tomorrow - who knows when death will come. And there they won't be dealing cards to see what our fate should be. Bishop Theophan the Recluse

Your enemy, the evil one, the father of lies, does not slumber; and endeavors, by every means open to him, to harden your heart --- to make it false and crafty, to drive out from it faith and hope in God - together with love for Him and love and sympathy for your neighbor - and to occupy you with worldly, temporal interests. Watch yourself, watch the thoughts of your heart, and do not bind yourself in the chains of worldly desires and pleasures. Let your happiness be in the one God and the human soul. St. John of Kronstadt (+1908)





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