Sometimes we do not see…

Sometimes we do not see any outlet, any escape from our sins, and they torment us: on account of them, the heart is oppressed with sorrow and weary. But Jesus looks upon us, and streams of tears flow from our eyes, and with the tears all the tissue of evil in our soul vanishes. We weep with joy that such mercy has suddenly and unexpectedly been sent to us.
St. John of Kronstadt

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We who used to…

We who ourselves used to have pleasure in impure things now cling to chastity alone. We who dabbled in the arts of magic now consecrate ourselves to the good and unbegotten God. We who formerly treasured money and possessions more than anything else now hand over everything we have to a treasury for all and share it with everyone who needs it. We who formerly hated and murdered one another and did not even share our hearth with those of a different tribe because of their customs, now, after Christ’s appearance, live together and share the same table. Now we pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us unjustly so that they too may live in accordance with Christ’s wonderful teachings, that they too may enter into the expectation, that they too may receive the same good things that we will receive from God, the Ruler of the universe.

St. Justin the Marty, First Apology

Love for God begins…

Love for God begins to manifest itself, and to act in us, when we begin to love our neighbor as ourselves, and not to spare ourselves or anything belonging to us for him, as he is the image of God: “For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The Whole Life…

The whole life of a man is very short, measured by the ages to come, wherefore all our time is nothing compared with eternal life. And in the world everything is sold at its price, and a man exchanges one equivalent for another; but the promise of eternal life is
bought for a trifle.
For it is written, The days of our life in them are threescore years and ten, but if they are in strength, fourscore years, and what is more than these is labor and sorrow. Whenever, therefore, we live full fourscore years, or even a hundred in the ascetical discipline, not for a hundred years only shall we reign, but instead of a hundred we shall reign for ever and ever. And though we fought on earth, we shall not receive our inheritance on earth, but we have the promises in heaven; and having put off the body which is corrupt, we shall receive it incorrupt.
St Anthony the Great

Men Have Fallen …

Men have fallen into unbelief because they have either completely lost the spirit of prayer, or they never had it at all, nor have it now- in short, because they do not pray. The prince of this world has full scope for action in the hearts of such men; he becomes their master. They have not asked and do not ask God’s grace in prayer (for God’s gifts are only given to those who ask and seek) and thus their hearts, corrupt by nature, become dried up without the vivifying dew of the Holy Spirit, and at last from their extreme dryness they take fire, and blaze with the infernal flame of unbelief and various passions, and the Devil only knows how to inflame the passions that keep up this terrible fire, and triumphs at the sight of the ruin of the unfortunate souls that redeemed by the blood of Him Who has trampled the power of Satan underfoot.
St. John of Kronstadt

Behave To Your Neighbor…

Behave to your neighbor with a perfect heart-that is, truthfully and with the same love as you would have for your own self, so that your neighbor, on his part, may love you in return; and even if he does not love you, he will at least respect in you your virtue, will honor it, and will himself emulate it.
St. John of Kronstadt

Unless with much wisdom…

Unless, with much wisdom, a man compares in his mind the greatness of the life to come with the brevity of the sorrow of this short life, he will not be able to take such courage as to dare to endure afflictions, so that he might set out on his journey on the path to the new world. I entreat you, reckon up in your mind the number of the years of this place wherein we dwell, then elevate yourself as much as possible, and compare this number with the days of the world to come, and see whether the number of what you give will amount to the number of what you will receive in return. And consider whether you will make an equal exchange in what you will give up with what you will receive in return. Therefore the wise man, being astonished at the greatness of that world and the infinite life there, as compared with the brevity of this life here, will say, ‘The number of a man’s days, if he lives long, are a hundred years, and this is like filling a bucket from the sea or taking up a grain of sand. But a thousand years in this world are not even like unto
one day in the world of the righteous.’
St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies