When Sorrows Shake…

When sorrows shake our souls, our hearts treble and our thoughts are confused, our only refuge is the Lord.
St. Nikon of Optina

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Be Brave…

“Be brave and firm in spirit in your faith and hope in the mercies of the gracious Lord, that in the situations that seem to be opposing us He is working out our salvation. Acknowledge your weakness and your failure to submit to the will of God and to fulfill His commandments. From this acknowledgement you will obtain humility for yourself and you will see the help of God.” St. Leo of Optina

When you don’t believe…

When you don’t believe in something true and sacred, your mind usually becomes dark, and your unbelieving heart constricts with fear. On the other hand, when you have sincere faith, your heart experiences joy, tranquility, expansiveness, and an increase of life within it, so that the mind also becomes bright and far seeing. It is not evident that truth triumphs over the heart’s madness? Is the heart not obviously deceitful? Yes, the suffering of the heart, as a result of unbelief in anything true and sacred, is a sign of the truth of that in which it does not believe. The heart itself dies when it calls the truth into question, attempting to destroy that which cannot be destroyed, while the increase in the life of the heart, when it sincerely believes, is also a true sign of the truth of that in which it believes, because the object in which we believe communicates life to our heart, and renews and strengthens this life. Our heart, corrupted by sin, is a worthless receptacle of life, for sin is death, not life, and the fullness of life is outside us.”

– St. John of Kronstadt

Be Attentive…

Be attentive to yourself, so that nothing destructive can separate you from the love of God. Guard your heart, and do not grow listless and say: ‘How shall I guard it, since I am a sinner?’ For when a man abandons his sins and returns to God, his repentance regenerates him and renews him entirely.
St. Isaiah the Solitary -The Philokalia, Vol.1

“Bare Your Sword”

An elder said: “Bare your sword.” The brother said: “My passions do not let me.” The elder replied: “‘Call upon me in the day of your trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify me’ [Ps 49:15]. Call upon Him then, and He shall deliver you from every temptation.”

The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers (p. 23). Cambridge University Press.