Mercy

Let there always be a preponderance of mercy with you, even though you don’t feel such mercy in yourself, as God has for the world … A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul, because as it were a by a strong wind from is heart he drives out the darkness of the passions. -St. Isaac the Syrian

“…Thy will Be Done…”

“Just as the result of disobedience is sin, so the result of obedience is virtue. And just as disobedience leads to breaking the commandments and to separation from Him who gave them, so obedience leads to keeping the commandments and to union with Him who gave them. Thus he who through obedience has kept the commandments has achieved righteousness and, moreover, he has not cut himself off from union in love with Him who gave them; and the opposite is equally true.” St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia, 2nd century on Theology

Forgive for Your Life’s Sake

So, let us who desire to “walk worthily of the vocation wherewith we have been called” (Ephesians 4:1) forgive our brothers and cast off all evil and wickedness from ourselves. Do not say, “I have forgiven my brother many times and he has sinned against me again,” because you, too, will hear the same words from the Master. Do not say, “So-and-so has greatly offended me, he has designs on my house, he has appropriated my land, he has killed my son, he has caused
me many woes, he has thrown me into prison, he has handed me over to death, and this I cannot forgive.” No, my beloved, do not talk this way, I beg you. As much as you pardon your brother, so much and much more will the Master pardon you. Imitate Stephen, the first among the Martyrs. Now, what did he say while he was being pelted with stones? “O Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:59). -A Homily on the Holy Eucharist and on Not Judging Others or Remembering Wrongs
by the Holy Hieromartyr, Patriarch Anastasios II of Antioch (+609)

Clean Hearts

“O His saints, sing to the Lord.” [Ps 29:5] Not if someone says the words of the
psalm with his mouth, does that one hymn to the Lord, but, everyone who offers up the hymn from a clean heart, and who are holy, keeping justice toward God, these are able to sing a hymn to God, harmoniously directed by spiritual tunes.
How many are standing there, coming from fornication? How many are there
from theft? How many hide in their hearts trickery? How many falsehood? They
suppose they are psalmodizing, but in truth they are not. Because Scripture beckons the saint to sing psalms. “A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit.” [Matt
7:18] And neither can a corrupt heart speak words of life. So, “make the tree
good and its fruit will be good.” [Matt 12:33] Clean your hearts, so that you
might yield fruit in the spirit and might be able, after becoming saints, to sing
psalms well to the Lord. -St. Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms

No Time for Me…

When we think of the height of God’s infinity we should not despair of His compassion reaching us from such a height; and when we recall the infinite depth of our fall through sin we should not refuse to believe that the virtue which has been killed in us will rise again. For God can accomplish both these things: He can come down and illumine our intellect with spiritual knowledge, and He can raise up the virtue within us and exalt it with Himself through works of righteousness.” -St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia, 2nd Century on Theology

“I’m insignificant.” “God doesn’t have time for me.” “There are greater things God needs to worry about than me.” “My problems aren’t worth His time…”

Hardship=Strength

“If when the flesh has an easy life the force of sin tends to grow stronger. It is clear that when the flesh suffers affliction the force of virtue will also increase. So let us bravely endure the affliction of the flesh, which cleanses the soul’s stains and brings us future glory. For ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ (Rom. 8:18).” -St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia, Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice