Words of wisdom

Quotable

Some people give their whole self to material things. They spend the entire day trying to do a job well, and do not think of God at all. We should not end up there. […] You should not give all of your being—all of your energy and heart—to material things. This way, one becomes a pagan—an idol worshiper. Do your best at work, but do not give your heart to the work that you do; give only your hands, your mind. Do not give your heart to hopeless, useless things. If you do, then how will your heart leap for Christ? When the heart is with Christ, then even the work we do is sanctified, our soul is at rest, there is real joy in our heart. Make the most of your heart, do not waste it.

St. Paisios the Athonite

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Quotable

It is essential that every action is mixed with humility. Whether you are praying, or fasting, or turning away from the world, or fulfilling an obedience for the sake of God and do not think that you are doing something good.

St. Macarius of Optina

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Quotable

To human beings it seems hard and difficult to still the mind so that it rests from all thought. Indeed, to enclose what is bodiless within the limits of the body does demand toil and struggles, not only from the uninitiated but also from those experienced in inner immaterial warfare. But he who through unceasing prayer holds the Lord Jesus within his breast will not tire in following Him.

St. Hesychios the Priest

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Quotable

Take away temptations and no one would be saved. This does not mean, however, that we should lead ourselves into temptation on purpose, but as we struggle according to God and look out for ourselves, we shall encounter temptations coming from His fatherly endearment, from the demons’ envy, from our carelessness and inexperience, from the cunning of men, etc. But the goal is one: to struggle with patience and perseverance, reflecting that nothing happens without the will of God. Therefore, we need patience and gratitude.

– Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain

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Quotable

The first duty of a Christian, of a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, is to deny oneself. To deny oneself means to give up one’s bad habits, to root out of the hear all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad desires and thoughts; to quench and suppress bad thoughts; to avoid occasions of sin; not to do or desire anything from self-love but to do everything out of love for God. To deny oneself means, according to the Apostle Paul, to be dead to sin and the world, but alive to God.

– St. Innocent of Alaska

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Quotable

With the gift of God’s wisdom, I curb incontinent anger; with this I quiet corrosive envy; with this again, I quell grief that shackles the heart; with this I moderate hatred, but not love: the one we should moderate; the other, knows no limits.

– St. Gregory the Theologian

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The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves.

To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality.

-Joseph Ratzinger

(from this post)

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The sacred and the secular

There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.

-Madeleine L’Engle

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Iris Murdoch on love

Love is the very difficult understanding that something other than yourself is real.

Iris Murdoch

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C.S. Lewis on duty vs. love

A perfect man wd. never act from a sense of duty; he’d always want the right thing more than the wrong one. Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and of other people), like a crutch, which is a substitute for a leg. Most of us need the crutch at times; but of course it’s idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (or own loves, tastes, habits etc) can do the journey on their own!

From C. S. Lewis: Letters to Children

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