Friday, December 11, 2009

Know two thoughts and fear them.

One says: you are a saint; the other: you will not be saved. Both these thoughts are from the enemy, and there is no truth in them.

Silouan of Mt. Athos here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On annoyances

Our goal should be to take all that comes our way and make the best out of it for the sake of the spiritual struggle in which we are engaged. We must strive to acquire inner tranquility...

If you cannot find tranquility in the midst of disturbance, you will not be tranquil even in the midst of tranquility. When inner tranquility comes to a man, everything inside him will be tranquil, and he will not be disturbed by anything.

Elder Paisios, found here

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Christian must not be fanatic

A Christian must not be fanatic; he must have love for and be sensitive towards all people.

The way of the Church is love; it differs from the way of the legalists. The Church sees everything with tolerance and seeks to help each person, whatever he may have done, however sinful he may be.

A person that begins to do something with a good intention and eventually reaches an extreme point, lacks true discernment. His actions exemplify a latent type of egotism that is hidden beneath this behavior; he is unaware of it, because he does not know himself that well, which is why he goes to extremes.

Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos, here

I die daily

If we awaken each day and think "I will not be alive until evening", and again when we are about to go to sleep, if we think "I am not going to wake up", then we will not take for granted that our life is so certain when we know that it is measured out each day by Providence.

Thus if we are disposed in this way and live each day like this, we will neither sin nor will we desire anything, nor will we be angry with anyone, nor will we lay up treasure for ourselves on earth. But because we expect to die each day, we will live without possessions and will yield everything to everyone. With regard to the lust for women or some other pleasure, we will not even entertain it but, as though passing right by it, will turn ourselves completely away from it, always struggling against it as we look toward the day of judgment.

Anthony the Great, in The Life of St. Anthony

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christ Pantocrator, the Ruler of all

You cannot put straight in others what is warped in yourself.

Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

True fasting

True fasting is to put away all evil, to control the tongue, to forbear from anger, to abstain from lust, slander, falsehood and perjury. If we renounce these things, then is our fasting true and acceptable to God.

Andrew the Blind, from a Lenten Vespers service

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just as you conceal your sins from men,

conceal from them also your efforts [in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving]!