Persevere

“In the spiritual life we can do nothing worthy without repentance, but the Lord has much mercy on us because of our intentions. He who compels himself and holds on to repentance until the end, even if he sins is saved because he compelled himself, for the Lord promised this in the Gospel.”(Mt. 10:22)
St. Mark the Ascetic

Important Lesson

 “At first a simple thought about evil makes it into the mind, and if it is kept in the mind, then a passionate motion arises from it, and if you do not extirpate the passion, then it inclines the mind to agreement, and when this happens, it leads the mind to the commission of a sinful deed. [Guard your thoughts], for if you do not sin in thought, you will never seen in deed.
St. Maximus the Confessor

Scripture and Man

“All sacred Scripture can be divided into flesh and spirit as if it were a spiritual man. For the literal sense of Scripture is flesh and its inner meaning is soul or spirit. Clearly someone wise abandons what is corruptible and unites his whole being to what is incorruptible.” -St. Maximus the Confessor, Philokalia, 200 texts on Theology

Temptation

Without temptations, it is not possible to learn the wisdom of the Spirit. It is not possible that Divine love be strengthened in your soul. Before temptations, a man prays to God as a stranger. When temptations are allowed to come by the love of God, and he does not give in to them, then he stands before God as a sincere friend. For in fulfilling the will of God, he has made war on the enemy of God and conquered him. -St. Isaac the Syrian

God Alone is Worthy

Oops. Apparently this last Monday’s post never went through. So even though this Monday’s post will only be a couple of days away, I thought I’d post something pertinent to today’s struggles. My apologies for Monday’s misstep. God be with you all. -Fr. Photios

“Everything in this life passes away — only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” -Fr. Seraphim Rose

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)