Evil does not exist by nature…

Evil does not exist by nature, nor is any man naturally evil, for God made nothing that was not good. When in the desire of his heart someone conceives and gives form to what in reality has no existence, then what he desires begins to exist. We should therefore turn our attention away from the inclination to evil and concentrate it on the remembrance of God; for good, which exists by nature, is more powerful than our inclination to evil. The one has existence while the other has not, except when we give it existence through our actions.

St. Diadochos of Photiki

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Do Not Forsake…

Do not forsake prayer, for just as the body becomes weak when it is deprived of food, so also the soul when it is deprived of prayer draws nigh to weakness and noetic death. Saint Gennadius of Constantinople.

All Men Are Made…

All men are made in God’s image; but to be in His likeness is granted only to those who through great love have brought their own freedom into subjection to God. For only when we do not belong to ourselves do we become like Him who through love has reconciled us to Himself. No one achieves this unless he persuades his soul not to be distracted by the false glitter of this life.

St. Diadochos of Photiki

Our prayer must be deep…

Our prayer must be deep, sincere, wise, and fruitful; it must change our heart, direct
our will to good, withdrawing us from evil. Superficial prayer is hypocrisy, a mocking at
sacred things—vain prayer. “This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and
honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.”
St. John of Kronstadt

The Belly…

One of the saints said : ‘ If you wish to bear malice, bear malice against the demons, and if you wish to be hostile, be always hostile to the body. The flesh is a deceitful friend, and when pampered rises against you all the more.’ And: ‘ Bear enmity to the body and wage war against the belly.’
St. Hesychius of Jerusalem; On Sobriety and Prayer

Prayer is the breathing…

Prayer is the breathing of the soul, just as air is the natural breathing of the body. We
breathe by the Holy Ghost. You cannot say a single word of prayer with the whole heart
without the help of the Holy Ghost. When praying, you are conversing, mouth to mouth,
with the Lord; and if the mouth of your heart is open by faith and love, then it is as though you breathed into yourself, from Him, the spiritual blessings you ask for by the Holy Ghost.
St. John of Kronstadt

The Savior Deigned…

The Saviour deigned to become incarnate, not only in order to save us when sins and
passions have already overcome us, when we are entangled in them, but also in order to
save us, at our prayer, when sins and passions are as yet only striving to enter into us, when they attack us. We must not slumber nor be disheartened when the passions attack us; on the contrary, this is the very time to be on the watch, to take courage and pray to Christ not to let us fall into sin. It is not the time to save a house from fire, when the fire has already spread, but rather when the flame has just appeared. It is the same with the soul. The soul is the house, and the passions the fire. “Neither give place to the Devil.”(Eph. 4:27)
St. John of Kronstadt