We have learned from experience that for one who wishes to purify his heart it is a truly great blessing constantly to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus Christ against his intelligible enemies.
Notice how what I speak of from experience concurs with the testimony of Scripture. It is written: ‘Prepare yourself, O Israel, to call upon the name of the Lord your God’ (cf. Amos 4:12. lxx);and the Apostle says: ‘Pray without ceasing’ ( 1 Thess. 5:17). Our Lord Himself says: ‘Without Me you can do nothing. If a man dwells in Me, and I in him, then he brings forth much fruit’; and again: ‘If a man does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch’ (John 15:5–6). Prayer is a great blessing, and it embraces all blessings, for it purifies the heart, in which God is seen by the believer.
St. Hesychios the Presbyter, Philokalia, #173
“To try to discover the meaning of the commandments through study and reading without actually living in accordance with them is like mistaking the shadow of something for its reality. It is only by participating in the truth that you can share in the meaning of truth. If you search for the meaning without participating in the truth and
without having been initiated into it, you will find only a besotted kind of wisdom (cf. 1 Cor. 1:20). You will be among those whom St Jude categorized as ‘psychic’ or worldly because they lack the Spirit (cf. Jude 19), boast as they may of their knowledge of the truth.”
St. Gregory of Sinai
The more the rain falls on the earth the softer it makes it;
similarly, Christ’s holy name gladdens theearth of our heart the
more we call upon it.
St Hesychius the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness, #41
It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us. However, it is important, and extremely important, how the holy angels in the heavens will regard and call us when, after death, we meet with them. This is of crucial importance and everything else is nothing. Either we are fools for the world because of Christ or we are fools for Christ because of the world. — St Nikolai Velimirovich
Someone was asked, ‘When will a man know that he has received the remission of his sins?’ He answered, ‘When in his soul he becomes conscious that he has completely hated them with his whole heart, and when he governs himself in his external actions in a manner opposed to his former way of life. Such a man, as having already hated his sin, is confident that he has received remission of his sins by the reason of the good witness of his conscience which he has acquired, after the saying of the Apostle, “A conscience is a witness of itself.”
St. Isaak the Syrian
When it is God’s pleasure to subject a man to even greater afflictions, He permits him to fall into the hands of faint-heartedness. This begets in him a mighty force of despondency, wherein he feels his soul to be suffocated. This is a foretaste of Gehenna. From this there is unleashed upon him: the spirit of aberration (from which ten thousand trials gush forth); confusion; wrath; blasphemy; protesting and bewailing one’s lot; perverted thoughts; wandering from place to place; and the like. And if you should ask what the cause of these things is, I answer that it is you yourself, for the reason that you have not taken pains to find the remedy for them. The remedy for them all is one, and therein, in its very hand, a man can find immediate consolation for his soul. And what is it? Humility of heart. Without this no man can destroy the barrier of these evils, nay rather, he will see them triumph over him.
St. Isaak the Syrian
To be on the spiritual path means seeking the Lord in your heart through fulfilling the commandments. For when you listen to John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight’ (Matt. 3:3), you must understand that he is referring to the commandments and their fulfillment both in the heart and in actions. It is impossible to ‘make straight’ the path of the commandments and to act rightly unless your heart too is straight and upright.
St. Gregory of Sinai, Philokalia