Category Archives: Wisdom of the Church Fathers

Honour the Body of the Saviour

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Do you wish to honour the Body of the Saviour? Do not despise it when it is naked.

Do not honour it in church with silk vestments while outside it is naked and numb with cold. He who said, “This is my body,” and made it so by His word, is the same who said, “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me.”

Honour Him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls.

St John Chrysostom, Homily 50, Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew

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The great value of our prayers for our departed

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

The venerable Saint Paisios the Athonite used to pray and commemorate the departed souls.

The Elder related:

“As soon as I went to live at the skete, old Thanassis, who worked for Philotheou as a forester, found out about it and came to see
me. He was a friend of mine, and he brought me some blessings, since it was early on then, and I didn’t have anything. I thanked him, and I told him to write down the names of his departed relatives , so that I could commemorate them. Influenced by a Jehovah’s Witness, he replied, ‘When someone dies, there’s nothing else―after death everything’s lost.’ Soon after that, he himself died. When I found out, I went to Philotheou and saw his grave. Every day I prayed from the heart that God would give rest to his soul. About thirty days afterward, I found out that someone from Philotheou was looking for me. He came to me all upset. It was one of the stewards of the monastery. ‘Father,’ he said to me, ‘old Thanassis, the one who just died, came to me and complained that I’ve forgotten him and haven’t done anything for him, and that you’re the only one who helps him
with your prayers. And the truth is, I haven’t commemorated him in my prayers. I’m in charge of things at the monastery now, and I have a lot of work. What can I do? I’ve had to put my prayer rule aside.’

‘Well, now you’ll have to do even more.’ ”

This event strengthened the Elder, so that he prayed even more for the souls of all the departed.

source :
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian

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On Salvation

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

A continuously happy life produces extremely unhappy consequences. In nature we see that there are not always pleasant springs and fruitful summers, and sometimes autumn is rainy and winter cold and snowy, and there is flooding and wind and storms, and moreover the crops fail and there are famine, troubles, sicknesses and many other misfortunes. All of this is beneficial so that man might learn through prudence, patience and humility. For the most part, in times of plenty he forgets himself, but in times of various sorrows he becomes more attentive to his salvation.

St Ambrose of Optina

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Divine Enlightenment

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Those who withdraw themselves from Christ are deprived of divine enlightenment, for like fools they forsake sun-drenched places so as to retire to the shade. Hence, it is natural for them to be cold and fall spiritually ill. God has endowed us all with gifts, but not all of us utilize them for the salvation of our souls and the salvation of our fellow men. Instead, most of us, most of the time, use them to the detriment of others and ourselves.

St Paisios of Mount Athos

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Seek first the Kingdom of God

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

God loves His creation, His image, and provides the things which man needs. If one does not believe this and struggles by himself to acquire these earthly gifts, he will suffer.


But even if God does not provide some of these earthly, material things, a person who is leading a spiritual life will not worry about it.

If we seek first the Kingdom of God and this is our only concern, all the other things will be given to us, as well. Will God abandon His creation? The manna which God provided for the Israelites in the desert would spoil if they kept it for the next day. (Cf. Ex 16:19-20.) God arranged things this way so that the people would have confidence in His divine providence. We have not yet understood the words of Jesus.

Saint Paisios of Mt Athos, “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Cf. Mt 6:33)

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If God had not been incarnate upon earth…

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

If God had not been incarnate upon earth, if He had not made us godly, if He had not taught us in His Own person how to live, what to hope for and expect, if He had not pointed out to us another perfect and eternal life, if He had not suffered and died and risen from the dead—then we should still have had some reason to live, as we all now live—that is to mostly lead a carnal, earthly life.

But, now, we ought to meditate upon higher things, and count all earthly things but dung, for, everything earthly is nothing, in comparison with heavenly things.

Meanwhile, the Devil, the father of lies, in spite of the Savior’s teaching and His spirit, teaches us to attach ourselves to earthly goods, and forcibly nails our sensual heart to them.

The heart naturally seeks happiness—and the Devil gives a false direction to this tendency, and allures it by earthly happiness, that is—by riches, honors, splendor of dress, furniture, silver, equipages, gardens and various amusements.

St John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

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THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

~ Words of 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 of Vitovnica, Homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos


Do not be irritated either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbour, and for judging him, as we are in the habit of doing. Everyone shall give an answer to God for himself. Everyone has a conscience; everyone hears God’s Word, and knows God’s Will either from books or from conversation with other people.

Especially do not look with evil intention upon the sins of your elders, which do not regard you; “to his own master he standeth or falleth.” Correct your own sins, amend your own life.
St John of Kronstadt

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