Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Wisdom of the Orthodox Saints

The internet has made the collection of a number of quotes in various areas accessible to all. However, can we also have a collection of quotes, showing an Orthodox wisdom and faith, from the Saints of the Church? Below we endeavour to achieve this, by giving some quotes, some words of wisdom, from a number of Orthodox Saints.

In the hearts of the proud, blasphemous words will find birth; but in the souls of the humble, Heavenly visions. Saint John Climacus
Many obtain a variety of virtues on their own, thinking that they can be saved by these without frequent Communion, which is however fundamentally impossible. Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite
Suicide is a mortal sin and an act of defiance against the Holy Spirit, Who gives life. Suicide is a much greater sin than murder, since for the sin of murder a man can still repent. Saint Nikolai Velimirovic
To try to discover the meaning of the commandments through study and reading without actually living in accordance with them is like mistaking the shadow of something for its reality. Saint Gregory of Sinai
For our love for God is demonstrated above all by the way we endure trials and temptations. Saint Gregory Palamas
The Lord is called light and life and resurrection and truth. He is light as the brightness of souls and as the One Who drives away the darkness of ignorance, as the One Who enlightens the mind to understand unutterable things, and as the One Who reveals mysteries which can be perceived only by the pure. Saint Maximos the Confessor
I fear not a temporal death, because I desire to reign with my Christ eternally. Furthermore, if you should come to the Christian belief, joy shall be yours. For you shall inherit every enjoyment and pleasure; and thereupon, you shall rejoice with the saints in Paradise. Saint Christopher the Great Martyr
If we keep remembering the wrongs which men have done us, we destroy the power of the remembrance of God. But if we remind ourselves of the evil deeds of the demons, we shall be invulnerable. Abba Macarius
It is better to be a simpleton and approach God with love than to be a learned man and at the same time an enemy of God. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
The goal of all who pursue the spiritual path is to do the will of Christ, their God, to be reconciled with the Father through communion in the Spirit, and so to achieve their salvation. For only in this way is the soul’s salvation attained. Saint Symeon the New Theologian
My children, desire to purify your hearts from envy and from anger with each other, lest death should overcome you, and you will be counted among the murderers. For whosoever hates his brother, kills a soul. Saint Anthony the Great
The first and most essential means of making peace with those who offend and persecute us is to pray for them, according to the commandment of Christ. Saint Leo of Optina
We advance toward humility by means of trials. He who rests on his virtue without suffering tribulation has the door of pride open before him. Saint Isaac the Syrian
It is pointless for someone to say that he has faith in God if he does not have the works which go with faith. What benefit were their lamps to the foolish virgins who had no oil (Mt. 25:1-13), namely, deeds of love and compassion? Saint Gregory Palamas
God immediately forgives everything to those who ask forgiveness in a spirit of humility and contrition and who ceaselessly invoke His holy name. As the Psalmist says, ‘Confess to the Lord and call upon His holy name’ (Ps. 105:1). Saint Gregory of Sinai
The person who loves God cannot help loving every man as himself, even though he is grieved by the passions of those who are not yet purified. But when they amend their lives, his delight is indescribable and knows no bounds. Saint Maximos the Confessor
If a man builds a house and leaves it without a roof, this house can’t be used at all. In the same way, if a man acquires all the virtues but not love, the house remains roofless and is of no benefit at all. Elder Philotheos of Paros
Vice is so attractive and ready at hand, and nothing is so easy as to become evil – even without anyone to lead us on to it; while the attainment of virtue is rare and difficult, even where there is much to attract and encourage us. Saint Gregory the Theologian
The Bible is a scented garden, delightful, beautiful, it enchants our ears with birdsong in a sweet, divine, and spiritual harmony, it touches our heart, comforts us in sorrow, soothes us in a moment of anger, and fills us with eternal joy. Saint John of Damascus
Our life and our death is with our neighbour. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalise our brother, we have sinned against Christ. Anthony the Great
Obedience responds to obedience. When someone obeys God, God obeys his request. Abba Mius of Belos
The mathematics of God is completely different from the mathematics of humans. For us two and two equal four. For God two and two can make five or fifteen or anything else. Elder Epiphanios of Athens
Let us seek to discover the things of heaven through the sweat of our efforts, rather than by mere talk, for at the hour of death it is deeds, not words, that must be displayed. Saint John Climacus
Our profit comes not from the quantity of the words, but from the quality. Sometimes, much is said but nothing is heard; and, at another time, you hear only one word and it remains in your memory for your whole life. Saint Anthony of Optina
The mouth, which is continuously giving thanks, receives blessing from God. In the heart that always shows gratitude, grace abides. Saint Isaac the Syrian
The aim of prayer is that we should acquire from it love of God, for in prayer are to be found all sorts of reasons for loving God. Saint Isaac the Syrian
Death is, properly speaking, separation from God, and ‘the sting of death is sin.’ In taking it on, Adam was banished at once from the Tree of Life, from Paradise, and from God, whereupon there followed, of necessity, the death of the body. On the other hand, life is, properly speaking, the One who says ‘I am the life.’ By His death He brought back to life again the one who had died. Saint Maximos the Confessor
Repentance is a bath that cleanses one of his own sins. It is a return from a state contrary to nature to a state in accordance with nature, from the devil to God, through spiritual striving and painful efforts. It is a voluntary return from offences to the good that is opposed to them. Saint Nectarios of Aegina
The love of God is not taught. No one has taught us to enjoy the light or to be attached to life more than anything else. And no one has taught us to love the two people who brought us into the world and educated us. Which is all the more reason to believe that we did not learn to love God as a result of outside instruction. Saint Basil the Great
We receive salvation by grace and as a divine gift of the Spirit. But to attain the full measure of virtue we need also to possess faith and love, and to struggle to exercise our free will with integrity. Saint Makarios of Egypt

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