"Compunction without thanksgiving would be despair, sorrow that was not godly, while repentance without thanksgiving would be a presumptuous illusion". St. Mark the Ascetic Translation from Penthos: The Doctrine of Compunction in the Christian East Let us not forget that our repentance is not simply a deep sorrow. Sorrow without thanksgiving does not open us... Continue Reading →
"Let him who has chosen to practice the ascesis of renunciation make for himself a wall of faith, a fortification of hope, and a secure grounding in love. For faith is not the abandonment but the substance of superior goods in the hope of perseverance and the love of life (cf. Heb. 11.1)." Evagrius of... Continue Reading →
"If we want to set our lives right and find peace, it is not the tolerant attitude of others that will do it for us. It will come about, rather, by our learning how to show compassion to them. If we try to avoid this hard struggle of compassion, by preferring a withdrawn and solitary... Continue Reading →
"A prisoner of barbarians is bound in irons; a prisoner of the passions is bound with sadness." Evagrius Pontus, On The 8 Thoughts, Chapter 5, Tract 8. Let us see that slavery of the passions for what it truly is, slavery causing sadness.
"One who wishes to cut off the passions should cut out their root; for while avarice remains, there is no benefit in trimming the branches: whenever they are cut off they will immediately sprout again." Evagrius, On the Eight Thoughts, On Avarice, Chapter 2 Let us recall that for the Greek fathers, the passions are... Continue Reading →
"One ought to say nothing against an absent brother for the purpose of slandering him, even though what is said may be true, for that is detraction." St. Basil, Letter 22. 3. 8 This, in St. Basil's instructions to monks and lay people, is a healthy reminder for all of us
"Do not be surprised if you fall every day and do not surrender. Stand your ground bravely. And you may be sure that your guardian angel will respect your endurance. A fresh, warm wound is easier to heal than those that are old, neglected, and festering, and that need extensive treatment, surgery, bandaging, and cauterization.... Continue Reading →
"Let all of us who wish to enter the sacred gate of the holy fast erase and banish all earthly thoughts from our hearts; and let us pass the whole of it in holy fashion in good works. We fast by abstaining not from food only, but also from bitterness and malice; and from every... Continue Reading →
"By your life-giving Cross, O Christ, the depth of the riches of wisdom and power can be seen. For when you who are the power of God were nailed upon it, upon the wood of infirmity, that is, the Cross, You changed it into a wood of power, such as befits God." St. Severus of... Continue Reading →
When the demons see you yearning to pray truly, then they propose representations of certain things that are supposedly necessary and shortly thereafter they raise up and implant the memory of them, setting the mind in motion to search for them. When the mind does not find them, it is deeply grieved and discouraged. Then... Continue Reading →
"Christ, though immortal by nature, clothed himself in a mortal body; He was baptized-and raised up from the water the treasure of salvation for the race of Adam" St. Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Virginity, 7.10. See Theophany – The Spirit Descended and Remained Upon Him for a more indepth treatment of how Christian theology sees... Continue Reading →
"It was He who was begotten of Divinity, according to His nature, and of humanity, which was not according to His nature, and of baptism, which was not his habit; so that we might be begotten of humanity, according to our nature, and of Divinity, which is not according to our nature, and of the Spirit, which is not our habit." St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Our Lord, 2.1.