Category Archives: Wisdom of the Church Fathers

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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Preparing for Prayer – St Theophan

Preparing for Prayer
So, morning or evening, immediately before you begin to repeat your prayers, stand awhile, sit for a while, or walk a little and try to steady your mind and turn it away from all worldly activities and objects.

After this, think who He is to whom you turn in prayer, then recollect who you are; who it is who is about to start this invocation to Him in prayer.
Do this in such a way as to waken in your heart a feeling of humility and reverent awe that you are standing in the presence of God.
St. Theophan

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What Helps Spiritual Progress

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

People who have been buffeted by rough winds, either because God allowed it in order to rein them in, or because of the devil’s envy, are in need of much sunshine and spiritual refreshment before they can blossom and bear fruit. They are like trees that have grown bold during winter’s halcyon days, only to face the cold north wind afterwards; they will need constant spring sunshine and showers for their sap to circulate again and to blossom and bear fruit.

…Trust in God, simplicity, and struggle with philotimo will lead to inner peace and security and then the soul fills with hope and joy…

Christ helps those who are fighting the good fight that all Saints embraced in order to subdue the flesh to the spirit. Even when wounded, we must never lose our composure, but should instead ask for God’s help in continuing with the struggle courageously. The Good Shepherd will hear us and rush to our aid, just as a shepherd responds to the bleating of a lamb that is lost or wounded, or threatened by a wolf.

– Elder Paisios, Spiritual Awakening

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Put your hope in the one God

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

You must love every man with your whole soul, but put your hope in the one God, and serve Him alone. For as long as He is protecting us and our friends (the angels) are helping us, our enemies (the demons) cannot inflict evil upon us. But when He forsakes us, then also our friends turn away from us, and our enemies receive power over us.
~ St. Maximus Confessor, Chapters on Love

Our world is guided by two principles and sources: God and the devil. All that is better in the world of men has its source in God, and all that is bad has the devil as its principle and source. In the final account, all good comes from God, and all evil from the devil.
~ St. Justin Popovich, Explanation of I John 3:11

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Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

The great Forerunner shines forth today, from fruitless loins, coming forth from Elizabeth, he who is the Prophet greater than all the Prophets. There is none like him, nor will there come another after, for after the light of the lamp that is the Forerunner follows the surpassingly radiant voice of the Logos, and the Bridegroom of the Bride, the Lord Who prepares a people for Himself, and cleanses them beforehand by the Spirit through the water.

[John is] the root of Zacharias, and the beautiful fruit of the desert, the preacher of repentance, the cleansing of offences, he who preaches to those in Hades of the Resurrection from the dead, and who intercedes on behalf of our souls.

~ Idiomelon of the Stichera for the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, by St. Andrew of Crete

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On Divine Providence

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

It is an indubitable truth that the highest Divine Providence arranges all of creation. God considers all things beforehand and takes care for all things. This is the Divine fatherly care of which the blessed apostle Peter speaks: “Cast all of your cares upon Him, because He is concerned for you.” (I Pet. 5:7)

~ St. Elias Minjatios. Sermon on the Great Fast, 1

The Lord has given the Holy Spirit upon the earth, and in whomsoever He dwells, that one feels paradise within himself. You might say: why hasn’t this happened to me? Because you have not given yourself over to the will of God, but you live according to yourself. Look at the one who loves his own will. He never has peace in himself and is always displeased with something. But whoever has given himself over to God’s will perfectly has pure prayer. His soul loves the Lord, and everything is acceptable and good to him.

~ St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, VI.14

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