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 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 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, 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
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
I received this post from an Athonite blog today. Please read it and share it, for it is full of beauty.
A king visited his soldiers on the front. After encouraging and reassure them, he shook hands with each one. Then he asked the general to take him to the infirmary as well. Mangled, without hands, without feet, full of pus or blood, the wounded soldiers barely moved into their beds. He passed on every sick person, stretched out his hand and congratulated him. When he finished, the King turned to the general, asking, “Is there any one I have not congratulated?” “There is one more in reserve. He’s paralyzed, dumb, blind and deaf. You will not be able to shake hands with him!” The King went to the unconscious soldier’s bed, removed the blanket from his face and kissed his forehead!
Every day, early in the morning, Christ comes to visit His soldiers. He stretches out his hand, encourages them, tells them beautiful words. He cleans the tear of the orphan who is asking for bread. He kisses elders’ eyes widened of loneliness. He caresses the little one who is bullied in school by his colleagues for being a Christian. He bandages the wound of the one who suffers tremendously. He stretches out his hand to the abandoned, abused wife, the one with bruised eyes. After he greets everyone, he does another thing too: He kisses all the sinners on their forehead! The weak ones with hereditary flaws and limited talents. The falling ones. The lost ones. The losers who are playing with fire.
What king bends to kiss a vagabond, an adulterine, the person who ruins the church? What god loves the lost ones? Which of them still embraces when is kissed by a Judah? Who forgives the sinners before they ask to be forgiven?
Do not turn your back to the King. He just started his visit. Let’s prepare ourselves to offer him right now both our cheeks …
Put. The. Phones. Down.
There is a world out there that is beautiful and fulfilling. Go live in it, regardless of “likes” or “retweets”. Talk to people. Read a book. Help the unfortunate. Spend time with family. Spend time with the former generation who will soon no longer grace us with their presence. Be a healing presence. Get away from the screens!
I quote from the article ““It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self worth relative to posts on Instagram…It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency. She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world…This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women.”
The Influence isn’t just on young women, it’s on every person who locks their lives into social media and the internet. Certainly, there are good things to be found on both -BUT THIS IS NOT HOW TO TRULY LIVE. Christ is Risen and has put Death to death! He did not do this for us to waste our lives vegetating in front of screens! God help us!