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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012

Archimandrite Sophrony

If we would concentrate on divine truth as seen in Christ, all need for a stream of words disappears, until finally the mind enters the realm of profound silence.

St John Chrysostom

The name of our Lord Jesus Christ, descending into the depths of the heart, will subdue the serpent holding sway over the pastures of the heart, and will save our soul and bring it to life. Thus, abide constantly with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the heart swallows the Lord and the Lord the heart, and the two become one. But this work is not done in one or two days; it needs many years and a long time. For great and prolonged labor is needed to cast out the foe so that Christ dwells in us.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

St Anthony the Great

To say that God turns away from the sinful is like saying that the sun hides from the blind.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

St John of Kronstadt

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God.

Friday, November 18, 2011

55 Maxims

by Fr Thomas Hopko

  1. Be always with Christ, and trust God in everything.
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must.
  3. Have a keepable rule of prayer, done by discipline.
  4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day.
  5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied.
  6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
  7. Eat good foods in moderation, and fast on fasting days.
  8. Practice silence: inner, and outer.
  9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day.
  10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
  11. Go to liturgical services regularly.
  12. Go to confession, and holy communion regularly.
  13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts, and feelings.
  14. Reveal your thoughts, and feelings to someone regularly.
  15. Read the scriptures regularly.
  16. Read good books, a little at a time.
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
  18. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race.
  19. Be polite with everyone, first of all with family members.
  20. Maintain cleanliness, and order in your home.
  21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
  22. Exercise regularly.
  23. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time.
  24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself.
  25. Be faithful in little things.
  26. Do your work, then forget it.
  27. Do the most difficult, and painful things first.
  28. Face reality.
  29. Be grateful.
  30. Be cheerful.
  31. Be simple, hidden, quiet, and small.
  32. Never bring attention to yourself.
  33. Listen when people talk to you.
  34. Be awake, and attentive, fully present where you are.
  35. Think, and talk about things no more than necessary.
  36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly.
  37. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out.
  38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
  39. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur, or whine.
  40. Don’t seek, or expect pity, or praise.
  41. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.
  42. Don’t judge anyone for anything.
  43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.
  44. Don’t defend, or justify yourself.
  45. Be defined, and bound by God, not by people.
  46. Accept criticism gracefully, and test it carefully.
  47. Give advice only when asked, or when it is your duty.
  48. Do nothing for people that they can, and should, do for themselves.
  49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim, and caprice.
  50. Be merciful with yourself, and with others.
  51. Have no expectations, except to be fiercely tempted until your last breath.
  52. Focus exclusively on God, and light, and never on darkness, temptation, and sin.
  53. Patiently endure your faults, and sins peacefully, under God’s mercy.
  54. When you fall, get up immediately, and start over.
  55. Get help when you need it, without fear, or shame.

Two readings

From Daily Readings in Orthodox Spirituality (ed. P. Bouteneff, Templegate, 1996, 94 pp)

p 42 The Struggle and the Kingdom

Amma Theodora said, “Let us strive to enter through the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter’s storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; the present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.”

Amma Synclectica said, “Great endeavors and hard struggles await those who are converted, but afterwards inexpressible joy. If you want to light a fire, you are troubled at first by smoke, and your eyes water. But in the end you achieve your aim. Now it is written : ‘Our God is a consuming fire.’ So we must light the divine fire in us with tears and struggle.”

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p 43 Temptation and Humility

Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, “This is the great work of a man : always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.”

He also said, “Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” He even added, “Without temptations, no one can be saved.”

He also said, “I saw all the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, ‘What can get one through such snares?’ Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Humility.’”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St John of Kronstadt

We must not return anger for anger, pride for pride; those who are angry or proud towards us we must pity as overcome by the flames of hell, and by spiritual death; we must pray for them from the depths of our hearts, that the Lord may take away the darkness from them, enlighten them by the light of his grace.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

From the Liturgy of St Basil the Great

Remember, Lord, those who have brought You these gifts, and for whom and through whom and the intentions for which they were offered.

Remember, Lord, those who bear fruit and do good works in Your holy churches, and those who remember the poor. Reward them with Your rich and heavenly gifts. Grant them in return for earthly things, heavenly gifts; for temporal, eternal; for corruptible, incorruptible.

Remember, Lord, those who are in the deserts, on mountains, in caverns, and in the chambers of the earth. Remember, Lord, those living in chastity and godliness, in asceticism and holiness of life.

Remember, Lord, this country and all those in public service whom you have allowed to govern on earth. Grant them profound and lasting peace. Speak to their hearts good things concerning your Church and all your people that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness. Sustain the good in their goodness; make the wicked good through Your goodness.

Remember, Lord, the people here presented and those who are absent with good cause. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of Your mercy. Fill their treasuries with every good thing; preserve their marriages in peace and harmony; nurture the infants; instruct the youth; strengthen the aged; give courage to the faint‑hearted; reunite those separated; bring back those in error and unite them to Your holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Free those who are held captive by unclean spirits; sail with those who sail; travel with those who travel; defend the widows; protect the orphans; liberate the captives; heal the sick.

Remember, Lord, those who are in mines, in exile, in harsh labor, and those in every kind of affliction, necessity, or distress; those who entreat your loving kindness; those who love us and those who hate us; those who have asked us to pray for them, unworthy though we may be.

Remember, Lord our God, all Your people, and pour out Your rich mercy upon them, granting them their petitions for salvation.

Remember, O God, all those whom we have not remembered through ignorance, forgetfulness or because of their multitude since You know the name and age of each, even from their mother's womb. For You, Lord, are the helper of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, the savior of the afflicted, the haven of the voyager, and the physician of the sick.

Be all things to all, You who know each person, his requests, his household, and his need. Deliver this community and city, O Lord, and every city and town, from famine, plague, earthquake, flood, fire, sword, invasion of foreign enemies, and civil war.

[ :: :: :: ]

Remember, Lord, the presbyters, the diaconate in Christ, and every order of the clergy, and do not confound any of us who stand about Your holy altar. Visit us with Your goodness, Lord; manifest Yourself to us through Your rich compassion. Grant us seasonable weather and fruitful seasons; send gentle showers upon the earth so that it may bear fruit; bless the crown of the year of Your goodness. Prevent schism in the Church; pacify the raging of the heathen. Quickly stop the uprisings of heresies by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Receive us all into Your kingdom.

­Declare us to be sons and daughters of the light and of the day. Grant us Your peace and love, Lord our God, for You have given all things to us.