"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 let your wounds fester
"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 us amass the riches of Repentance
"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 →
The Life-Giving Cross
"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 →
Distractions at Prayer
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 →
By His Baptism He Brings Us to Life
"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 →
We Must Be Born as He is
"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.
Get Up Again… And Again
A monk came to Abba Sisoes and said: “What should I do, Abba, for I have fallen from grace?” And he replied, “ Get up again.” The monk came back shortly after and said: “What shall I do now, for I have fallen again?” And the old man said to him, “Just get up again.... Continue Reading →
Hold God Near
"Prayer is beautiful, making distinct for the soul a notion of God. And the indwelling good is this -- holding God settled in oneself through the memory. We thus become temples of God whenever the continuity of our memory is not interrupted by earthly worries and whenever the mind is not disturbed by unforeseen passions.... Continue Reading →
Humility Holds Us Together
"Just as one cannot build a ship unless one has some nails, so it is impossible to be saved without humility." Saying 26 of Amma Syncletica Humility is that which hold the spiritual life together. We may be adorned as a large ship off to voyage in the sea of spiritual warfare but without humility... Continue Reading →
Present your wounds to Him
"Your wounds do not surpass the Physician's skill. Have faith; tell the Physician what ails you." St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Baptismal Catecheses II, 6.
"The mercy of God has no limits, nothing is too great for it. That is the reason why anyone who despairs of it is the author of his own death." St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 5.