Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


18 Entries say that God turns away from the wicked is the same as to say that the sun hides itself from those who lose their sight. St. Anthony the Great (170 Texts on Saintly Life no. 150)

A brother at Scetis committed a grave sin. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to say to him, "Come, for everyone is waiting for you." So he got up and went. He took an old basket, filled it with sand, and carried it on his back. The others came out to meet him and said to him, "Father, what is this?" The old man said to him, "My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I come to judge the sins of another." When they heard this they said no more to the brother but forgave him. the Desert Father

A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable. Abba Poimen

And more than all other men are we your helpers and allies in promoting peace, seeing that we hold this view, that it is alike impossible for the wicked, the covetous, the conspirator, and for the virtuous, to escape the notice of God, and that each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions. For if all men knew this, no one would choose wickedness even for a little, knowing that he goes to the everlasting punishment of fire; but would by all means restrain himself, and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts of God, and escape the punishments First Apology of Justin

At the Last Judgment the righteous will be recognized only by their humility and their considering themselves worthless, and not by good deeds, even if they have done them. This is the true attitude. St. Peter of Damascus

God then rules all, and of His long-suffering endures even murderers and robbers and fornicators, having appointed a set time for recompensing every one, that if they who have had long warning are still impenitent in heart, they may receive the greater condemnation. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 8 no. 5)

How great and of what kind is the mourning of the condemned in the hour of judgment (And indeed I have been set down as chief of the condemned). When they see the Judge seated, fearful and exalted on His throne, And when they behold the lines of the righteous and the saints shining in joy And the sinners in dejection and eternal punishment, They will cry out and show vain penitence. Would that in the world we might show the fruit of repentance And find the grace of mercy and forgiveness, O most just Judge. St Romanos the Melodist - On the Second Coming

If I go out for a walk,I step out like a righteous man,like a sage.If I see another sinning,I mock and deride him.Alas,my transgressions will likewise be exposed and I will be ashamed! St.Ephraim the Syrian

If an earthly king were to call us and request us to serve in his presence, we should not delay for other orders, we should not make excuses, but we should leave everything and eagerly go to him. Let us then be on the alert, lest when the King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods calls us to this Heavenly office, we beg off out of sloth and cowardice and find ourselves without excuse at the Last Judgement. St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent

If we wear our heavenly robe, we shall not be found naked, but if we are found not wearing this garment, what shall we do, brethren? We, even we also, shall hear the voice that says, "Cast them into outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Matt. 22:13) And, brethren, there will be great shame in store for us, if, after having worn this habit for so long, we are found in the hour of need not having put on the wedding garment. Oh what compunction will seize us! What darkness will fall upon us, in the presence of our fathers and our brethren, who will see us being tortured by the angels of punishment! St. Amvrosy of Optina

Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, comes from heaven; and He comes with glory at the end of this world, in the last day. For of this world there is to be an end, and this created world is to be re-made anew. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 15 no. 3)

The end of the world is at hand, the day of judgment is near, the fires of Gehenna are burning, and each of us will have to give an account of his deeds and his life." St. Maximus of Turin

The reason why we have wrong judgment [about things] is that we do not look deeply into them to see what they are, but conceive a liking for them or a dislike of them from the very first glance, judging by appearances. These likes and dislikes prejudice our mind and darken it; and so it cannot form a right judgment of things as they really are. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare, Chapter 8)

To God the just Judge, both the noble man and the lowly are equal. He forbade the well-born to offend the lowly, as well as the lowly the noble, and both the well-born and the lowly shall stand before His just Judgement. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven

We are all hastening to the Judgment, but those who remember it, and are anxious about what is to follow after it, are very few. St. Basil the Great

You should know that in the world to come also you will be judged in the lot of those with whom you have been affected by sharing in gain or loss,or joy or sorrow. St John Cassian

Then we say, "Thy kingdom come." See brothers, how we long for the coming of the Lord's kingdom and ourselves ask that his judgment be hastened, and yet we do not have our account in order. We should therefore conduct ourselves at all times in such a way that, when the time comes, our Lord and Father will receive us and, pleased with our daily good deeds in his presence, will separate us from the goats and place us at his right, admitting us into the eternal kingdom. May we, in the judgment to come, find a propitious judge whom in this world we have dared to call father. REF:St Benedict of Nursia, from "The Rule of the Master" - (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1977), pp. 95 - 101

(Then we say): "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." In this statement, brothers, our free will is expressed, and whatever harm the persuasion of the ancient serpent has done us is removed, if we so will, for the will of the Lord heals us.

As the apostle says: "You do not always carry out your good intentions." The spirit chooses to have the will of the Lord done in us, so that the soul no longer does what it had been persuaded to do by the concupiscence of corrupt flesh. We therefore pray that the will of the Lord will be done in us

If this His will is always done in us, on the day of judgment there will be no self-will to be condemned after being examined for faults. For the will of the Lord is holy. It knows how to remove fear of judgment. This His will promises that those in whom it is accomplished will judge even angels. REF:St Benedict of Nursia, from "The Rule of the Master" - (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1977), pp. 95 - 101

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