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On How to Abandon Sin

St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac the Syrian

By:  St. Isaac the Syrian

Whoever hates his sins will stop sinning; and whoever confesses them will receive remission. A man can not abandon the habit of sin if he does not first gain enmity toward sin, nor can he receive remission of sin without confession of sin. For the confession of sin is the cause of true humility.

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On How to Love

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux

By: St. Therese of Lisieux

We must do all that lies in our power; we must give without counting the cost; we must constantly renounce ourselves. In one word, we must prove our love by all the good works we can perform; but, since all that we can do is very little, it is of the greatest importance that we put our confidence in Him who alone sanctifies those works and that we recognize that we are indeed useless servants, hoping that the good Lord will give us through grace all that we desire.

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One Way to Salvation

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men’s sins. As soon as you make yourself responsible in all sincerity for everything and for everyone, you will see at once that this is really so, and that you are in fact to blame for everyone and for all things.

– Excerpt taken from the book: The Brothers Karamazov, by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

On Hearing the Gospel

Fr. Matthew the Poor (Matta El-Maskeen)

By: Fr. Matthew the Poor (Matta El Meskeen)

Take heed how your hear the Gospel. It seems that the Lord wants to say that we hear with our hearts rather than our ears, and that the inner life affects the word of God, either killing it, or making it live and thrive. So whoever wants to hear the word well, understand it, and hold it fast in an honest and good heart should prepare his heart inwardly so that the word may safely take root there, finding in his heart faithfulness to God and truthfulness in word and promise. It is absolutely impossible that anyone should understand what he hears of the word of God, if he is not completely honest before God and has not determined to surrender his life, his responsibilities, his interests, his money, his future, and his own honor and lay them at God’s feet.

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On Pushing God Aside

By: Pope Benedict XVI

At the heart of all temptations … is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives. Constructing a world by our own lights, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion – that is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms.

Moral posturing is part and parcel of temptation. It does not invite us directly to do evil – no, that would be far too blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and throw ourselves into the work of actually making the world a better place. It claims, moreover, to speak for true realism: What’s real is what is right there in front of us – power and bread. By comparison, the things of God fade into unreality, into a secondary world that no one really needs.

God is the issue: Is he real, reality itself, or isn’t he? Is he good, or do we have to invent the good ourselves? The God question is the fundamental question, and it sets us down right at the crossroads of human existence.

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Overcoming Loneliness

By: Sergei Fudel

The Church is a mystery of overcoming lonely solitude. Overcoming solitude must be experienced realistically. Attending a church service, you come close to the wall of God’s Church only when a ray of love slowly but inexorably melts the ice of your loneliness. Then you stop noticing that which seemed to build a barbed wire fence around you, the real or imaginary lack of faith of the priest, the viciousness of the old women on the watch for proper church behavior, the barbaric curiosity of two gaping youths who happened to drop in, the commercial arguments around the sale of candles. The, through all of this you reach out to the blind soul of people, to the human being who in a minute may hear better and more clearly than you the voice of Jesus Christ, Man and God.

A True Christian

St. Theophanes the Recluse

St. Theophanes the Recluse

The true Christian tests himself every day. Daily testing to see whether we have become better or worse, is so essential for us that without it we cannot be called Christians. Constantly and persistently we must take ourselves in hand. Do this: from the morning establish thoughts about the Lord firmly in your mind and then during the whole day resist any deviation from these thoughts. Whatever you are doing, with whomever you are speaking, whether you are going somewhere or sitting, let your mind be with the Lord. You will forget yourself, and stray from this path; but again turn to the Lord and rebuke yourself with sorrow. This is the discipline of spiritual attentiveness.


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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.