Category Archives: Wisdom of the Church Fathers

On Humility & Pride

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God.
Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them.
A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends.
St. Isaac the Syrian, Sermon 57,8

The Lord does not show Himself to a proud soul. The proud soul, no matter how many books it reads, will never know God, since by its pride it does not give place for the grace of the Holy Spirit, while God is known only by the humble soul.
St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, III.11

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Elder Cleopa

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

“Do not do anything without signing yourself with the sign of the Cross! When you depart on a journey, when you begin your work, when you go to study, when you are alone, and when you are with other people, seal yourself with the Holy Cross on your forehead, your body, your chest, your heart, your lips, your eyes, your ears. All of you should be sealed with the sign of Christ’s victory over hell. Then you will no longer be afraid of charms, evil spirits, or sorcery, because these are dissolved by the power of the Cross like wax before fire and like dust before the wind.”

+ Elder Cleopa

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We all receive God’s blessings equally

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Saint Peter the Damascene writes: “We all receive God’s blessings equally. But some of us, receiving God’s fire, that is, His word, become soft like beeswax, while the others like clay become hard as stone. And if we do not want Him, He does not force any of us, but like the sun He sends His rays and illuminates the whole world, and he who wants to see Him, sees Him, whereas the one who does not want to see Him, is not forced by Him. And no one is responsible for this privation of light except the one who does not want to have it. God created the sun and the eye. Man is free to receive the sun’s light or not. The same is true here. God sends the light of knowledge like rays to all, but He also gave us faith like an eye. The one who wants to receive knowledge through faith, keeps it by his works, and so God gives him more willingness, knowledge, and power.”

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“Be ever more obedient to God and He will save you.”
St. Pachomius

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Whoever hates his sins …

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Whoever hates his sins will stop sinning; and whoever confesses them will receive remission.A man cannot abandon the habit of sin if he does not first gain enmity toward sin, nor can he receive remission of sin without confession of sin. For the confession of sin is the cause of true humility.

(St. Isaac the Syrian, Homilies, 71)

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By obedience a man is guarded against pride. Prayer is given for the sake of obedience. The grace of the Holy Spirit is also given for obedience. This is why obedience is higher than prayer and fasting.

(St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, XV.4)

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St Silouan the Athonite – No matter how much we may study…

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit.

Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him.

If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.

~ St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, VIII.3

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Do that which is good

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

“Do that which is good, and no evil shall touch you. Prayer is good with fasting and alms and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with unrighteousness. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: For alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life: But they that sin are enemies to their own life.”

+ St. Raphael the Archangel, Tobit 12:7-10

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The love of God

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

When the soul knows the love of God by the Holy Spirit, then he clearly feels that the Lord is our own Father, the closest, dearest Father, the best. And there is not greater happiness that to love God with all the mind and heart, and our neighbour as our self. And when this love is in the soul, then all things bring joy to the soul.
~ St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, IX.15

Of all the afflictions that burden the human race, there is not one, whether spiritual or bodily, that cannot be healed by the Holy Scriptures.
~ St. John Chrysostom, Conversations on the Book of Genesis, 29.1


 

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