Category Archives: Wisdom of the Church Fathers

That We Should Not Despair Even if We Sin Many Times

~ Word of the Church Fathers ~

Even if you are not what you should be, you should not despair. It is bad enough that you have sinned; why in addition do you wrong God by regarding him in your ignorance as powerless?

Is He, who for your sake created the great universe that you behold, incapable of saving your soul? And if you say that this fact, as well as his incarnation, only makes your condemnation worse, then repent; and he will receive your repentance, as he accepted that of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20) and the prostitute (Luke 7:37-50).

But if repentance is too much for you, and you sin out of habit even when you do not want to, show humility like the publican (Luke 18:13): this is enough to ensure your salvation. For he who sins without repenting, yet does not despair, must of necessity regard himself as the lowest of creatures, and will not dare to judge or censure anyone. Rather, he will marvel at God’s compassion.

St Peter of Damaskos, Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 3)

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Wise Counsel from the Elder: St Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia

St Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia – Reposed November 21st 1991, Commemorated November 22nd

“We are not sanctified by the place in which we live, but by the way we live.”

“The faithful shouldn’t tell others of things they have confessed, of details of their life or their spiritual endeavour.”

“Chase away the bad thoughts and fantasies that the devil presents. Don’t even notice them.”

“Don’t hesitate [to come to confession]. Don’t be ashamed. Whatever you may have done, even the greatest of sins, the spiritual father has power from the Lord Christ Himself and from the Apostles to forgive you with his stole.”

“I asked God in prayer for the gift of discerning men’s hearts by looking at their faces, so that I might be able to help them; and God granted it.”

Wise Counsel from the Elder (from Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit)

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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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