Sayings of St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor

Just as the human word which proceeds naturally from the mind is messenger of the secret movements of the mind, so does the Word of God, who knows the father by essence as Word knows the Mind which has begotten it (since no created being can approach the Father without Him), reveal the Father whom He knows. As the Word of God by nature, He is spoken of as the ‘messenger of the great plan of God.'”

“The one who is involved in the moral teaching of the Word through rather earthly examples and words out of consideration for his hearers is making the Word flesh. On the other hand, the one who expounds mystical theology using the sublimest contemplative experiences is making the Word spirit.”

“The one who through asceticism and contemplation has known how to dig in himself the wells of virtue and knowledge as did the patriarchs will find Christ within as the spring of life. Wisdom bids us to drink from it, saying, ‘Drink waters from your own vessels and from your own springs’ If we do this we shall discover that His treasures are present within us.”

“The divine Apostle Paul said that he knew in part the knowledge of the Word (cp. 1 Cor 13.0). But the great Evangelist John said that he saw His glory: ‘We have seen His glory, the glory as the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1.14). And why did St Paul say that he knew in part the knowledge of the divine Word? For He is known only to a certain extent through His activities. The knowledge of Himself in His essence and personhood remains inaccessible to all angels and men alike, and He can in no way be known by anyone. Bt St John, initiated as perfectly as humanly possible into the meaning of the Word’s incarnation, claims that he has seen the glory of the Word as flesh, that is, he saw the reason or the plan for which God became man, full of grace and truth. For it was not as God by essence, consubstantial to God the Father, that the Only Begotten Son gave this grace, but as having in the incarnation become man by nature, and consubstantial to us, that He bestows grace on all who have need of it. This grace we receive from His fullness always in proportion to our progress. Therefore, the one who keeps sacred the whole meaning of the Word of God’s become incarnate for our sake will acquire the glory full of grace and truth of the One who for our sake glorifies and consecrates Himself in us by His coming: ‘When He appears we shall be like Him’ (1Jn 3.2).”

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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