Collected Quotes on Orthodox Spirituality


“When conversion takes place, the process of revelation occurs in a very simple way-a person is in need, he suffers, and then somehow the other world opens up. The more you are in suffering and difficulties and are ‘desperate’ for God, the more He is going to come to your aid, reveal Who He is and show you the way out…”
– Fr. Seraphim Rose

“To some people your love will be expressed with joy and to others it will be expressed with your pain. You will consider everyone your brother or your sister, for we are all children of Eve. Then, in your prayer you will say: ‘My God, help those first who are in greater need, whether they are alive or reposed brothers in the Lord.’ At this point, you will share your heart with the whole world and you will have nothing but immense love, which is Christ.”
-Elder Paisius of Mount Athos

“My joy, I beg you, acquire the Spirit of Peace. That means to bring oneself to such a state that our spirit will not be disturbed by anything. For one must go through many sorrows to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the way all righteous men were saved and inherited the Heavenly Kingdom…”
-St. Seraphim of Sarov, from his conversation with N. Motovilov.

“If a man is stirred by the wisdom of God, which seeks our salvation and embraces everything, and he is resolved for its sake to devote the early hours to God and to watch in order to find His eternal salvation, then, in obedience to its voice, he must hasten to offer true repentance for all his sins and must practice the virtues which are opposite to the sins committed. Then through the practice of the virtues for Christ’s sake, he will acquire the Holy Spirit, Who acts within us and establishes in us the Kingdom of God.”
-St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Where there is grace, the fount of life, there good works come from the heart. When the Holy Spirit visits, any labor becomes easy, unceasing prayer flows from the heart, and the eyes continuously shed tears. This may be accompanied by spiritual enlightenment and pure, sober reasoning; for it is then that the Holy Spirit acts within a man.”
-Fr. Sergius Chetverikov

“Tell me, can a soul occupied with the merriment’s of this age, feel this joy? It seems to me that as man cannot serve both God and mammon, so too is it impossible for one occupied with temporal delights to feel spiritual joy in God.”
-St. Theodore of Sanaxar

“The principal thing is to walk before God, or under God’s eye, aware that God is looking at you, searching your soul and your heart, seeing all that is there. This awareness is the most powerful lever in the mechanism of the inner spiritual life.”
-St. Theophanes the Recluse

“It is sinful to give up sadness. We are exiles on earth. Exiles do not wonder at insult and injury. We are under God’s penance and a penance consists of deprivations and difficulties. We are ill in soul and body and bitter medicine is useful for the ill.”
-St. Theophilus of the Kiev Caves

“When we are in trouble or despair of have lost hope, we should do what David did: pour out our hearts to God and tell Him of our needs and troubles, just as they are. It is because He can deal with us wisely that we confess to God: He can make our troubles easy to bear. If this is our benefit, and can save us from dejection which destroys and corrupts.”
-St. Hesychius the Priest

“Study, my child, to acquire in your life dignity, simplicity, understanding, continuous prayer, manliness, unfeigned love, wisdom, seemliness. Be sympathetic, love the poor. Attain silence and patient endurance. Do not slander, do not laugh at anyone. Acquire angerlessness, modestly, and humility, so that the Lord will glorify you before the angels and the saints.”
-Elder Athanasius of Grigoriou

“If you think to find paradise on earth, even in a monastery, then you are very mistaken. Paradise-full blessedness-does not exist on earth, and cannot, because man was not created for earth, but for heaven.”
-Abbess Thaisia of Leushino


3 Responses to “Collected Quotes on Orthodox Spirituality”

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St. Mary of Egypt


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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