The Holy Scripture teaches: Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). How is this possible for people living in a secular world? If you are to pray all the time, how then are you to perform your other duties? The advice of perpetual prayer is directed not toward outward but toward inner prayer. If desired, you can turn to God internally whether you are alone or with others. Only he who does not want to pray will not find time for prayer.
St. Innocent of Alaska
Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times, also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our spirit should long for God and call Him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so to make a palatable offering to the God of the universe. Throughout the whole of our lives, we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it.
St. John Chrysostom
A man who loves the Lord with unflagging resolve once said to me: ‘Because I desired conscious knowledge of divine love, God granted me a full and active experience of such love. I felt its energy so strongly that my soul longed with an inexpressible joy and love to leave the body and go to the Lord, and to become in a sense unaware of this transient form of life.’ Once a man has experienced this love, he does not become angry however much he is insulted and harmed – for one pursuing the spiritual life still suffers such things – but he remains united in love to the soul of the man who has insulted or harmed him. His anger is kindled only against those who injure the poor or who, as the Scripture says, ‘speak iniquity against God’ (Ps. 75:5. LXX), or follow other forms of wickedness. Whoever loves God far more than himself, or rather no longer loves himself but only God, no longer vindicates his own honor; for his sole wish is that the divine righteousness, which has accorded him eternal honor, should alone be held in honor. This he no longer wishes in a half-hearted way, but with the force of an attitude established in him through his deep experience of the love of God. We should know, moreover, that a person energized by God to such love rises, at that moment, even above faith, since by reason of his great love he now senses consciously in his heart the One whom he previously honored by faith. The holy Apostle expresses this clearly when he says: ‘Now there are three things that endure: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of them is love’ (1 Cor. 13:13). For, as I have said, he who holds God in all the richness of love transcends at that moment his own faith, since he is wholly rapt in divine longing.
St. Diadochos of Photiki
“Prayer is food for the soul. Do not starve the soul, it is better to let the body go hungry. Do not judge anyone, forgive everyone. Consider yourself worse than everyone in the world and you will be saved. As much as possible, be more quiet.”
St. Joseph of Optina
“If at some time you show mercy to someone, mercy will be shown to you.
If you show compassion to one who is suffering (and of course, this is not a great deed) you will be numbered among the martyrs.
If you forgive one who has insulted you, then not only will all your sins be forgiven, but you will be a child of the Heavenly Father.
If you pray from all your heart for salvation – even a little – you will be saved.
If you rebuke yourself, accuse yourself, and judge yourself before God for your sins, with a sensitive conscience, even for this you will be justified.
If you are sorrowful for your sins, or you weep, or sigh, your sigh will not be hidden from Him and, as St. John Chrysostom says, ‘If you only lament for your sins, then He will receive this for your salvation.’”
St. Moses of Optina
Note the Saint’s humility in the last sentence.
He that does not believe in the God Who saves is in difficult circumstances, but is faint-hearted; he that does not wish to render glory to God, that represents Him as not vigilant, but sleeping, not all-powerful and not merciful, thinks falsely of the God of Truth, and thus sins grievously. Especially inexcusable are faint-heartedness and unbelief in the man who has already been deemed worthy of often receiving marvelous help from God the Savior. Oh how great a sinner I am!
St. John of Kronstadt
Initially one thinks this is the typical “Hey all you sinners, stop it!” quote. While it is that, it is also St. John’s look in the mirror.
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