Category Archives: Wisdom of the Church Fathers

On earthly riches…

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

A sinful soul, full of passions, cannot have peace and rejoice in the Lord, even if it had charge over all earthly riches, even if it ruled over the whole world. If it was suddenly said to such a king, happily feasting and sitting on his throne, “King, now you will die,” his soul would be troubled and he would tremble with fear, and he would see his powerlessness. But how many beggars there are, whose only wealth is love for God, and who, if you said to them, “You will die now,” would answer peacefully, “Let God’s will be done. Glory to the Lord, that He has remembered me and wants to take me to Himself.”
– St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, IV.3

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The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. . . .

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind.

How many churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many healing springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy! She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her.

+ Elder Thaddeus, Homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos Quoted from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

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St Nikolai – On the Transfiguration

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

“Why did the Lord take only three disciples on Tabor and not all? Because Judas was not worthy to behold the divine glory of the Teacher, Whom he will betray and the Lord did not want to leave him [Judas] alone at the foot of the mountain so that the betrayer would not, by that, justify his betrayal. Why was our Lord transfigured on a mountain and not in a valley? So as to teach us two virtues: love of labour and godly-thoughts. For, climbing to the heights required labour and height represents the heights of our thoughts, i.e., godly-thoughts. Why was our Lord transfigured at night? Because, the night rather than the day is more suitable for prayer and godly-thoughts and because the night, by its darkness, conceals all the beauty of the earth and reveals the beauty of the starry heavens. Why did Moses and Elijah appear? In order to destroy the error of the Jews, as though Christ is one of the prophets; Elijah or Jeremiah or some other that is why He appears as a King above the prophets and that is why Moses and Elijah appear as His servants. Until then, our Lord manifested His divine power many times to the disciples but, on Mt. Tabor, He manifested His divine nature. This vision of His Divinity and the hearing of the heavenly witness about Him as the Son of God, should serve the disciples in the days of the Lord’s passion, in strengthening of an unwavering faith in Him and His final victory.”

From the Prologue of St. Nikolai, for August 6

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Give alms to the poor

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

If you give alms to the poor, know that, insofar as you do good to your neighbour, you do it, and more, to yourself. St Anthony says: ‘Life and death come to us through our neighbour’, and St Peter Damascene writes: ‘As the poor are bounden to thank God and love the rich, who do good to them, so still more must the rich thank God and love the poor, because they are saved, in the providence of God, both now and in the world to come, by their alms. For, without the poor, not only do they not receive the salvation of their souls, but are unable to flee the temptations of their riches.’ Alms that are given from vanity, or with scorn, are worthless.

In former days, the rich took gold to the hermits and begged them to accept it. It rarely happened that the hermits received alms gladly, and, when they received it, they did so out of compassion for the rich. The poorest of men received alms out of compassion!

– St Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue from Ochrid

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St Nektarios – The Path to Happiness

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breathe with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God.

He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds good and benevolent conduct.

The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness. This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy. On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars.

St. Nektarios of Aegina, The Path to Happiness, 7

happiness-is-a-pure-heart-for-such-a-heart-becomes-the-throne-of-god-st-nektarios-of-aegina

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Freedom

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

In truth there is only one freedom – the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.
– St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters, II.36

Don’t be troubled if you don’t feel the love of God in yourself, but think about the Lord,
that He is merciful, and guard yourself from sins, and the grace of God will teach you.
– St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, IX.16

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Everyone who loves God shows himself patient and steadfast in times of suffering

∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼

Everyone who loves God shows himself patient and steadfast in times of suffering.

Whoever bears them bravely becomes strong and obedient to God, and whoever enters the path of following the will of God conquers his natural weakness. On the other hand, whoever does not recognize his own powerlessness is proud and not inclined to submit himself to the will of the Lord. Whoever does not submit to it and hopes only in his own power does not receive the power and help of God and, not having been strengthened in spirit, cannot become patient. But who-ever does not endure misfortune and afflictions has not faith, and whoever does not have faith, does not love God.
– St. Alexis of Senaki, Concerning Afflictions

……….

God values deeds according to their intentions. For it is said, “The Lord grant unto you according to your heart” (Psalm 19:5) … Therefore, whoever wants to do something but can’t is considered as having done it by God, who sees the intentions of our hearts. This applies to both good and evil deeds alike.
– St. Mark the Ascetic, Homilies, 1.184, 2.16

……….

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