Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wisdom from the Russian and other Fathers

Wisdom of St. John of Kronstadt:
When you put the sign of the cross, believe and always remember that all you sins have been nailed on the cross. When you fall, cross yourself with the sign of the cross and and immediately say to the Lord, "Lord, you were the One who nailed all our sins to the cross, take away my present sin and have mercy on me... according to Your great mercy (Ps. 50 : 3)" and your sin will be forgiven to you. Amen.

Wisdom of St. Partheny of Kiev:
The reason we get into fights and arguments with our neighbors is because we do not want to deny ourselves according to the word of the Lord. Person under the grace of God cannot be not in peace with his neighbor. We should keep peace and be indifferent when another person is angry with us . We shouldn't be moved by angry words and not be frightened by threats because those things have no effect on our future. Only what God wants will happen in our lives.

Seek the Savior, remember Him and you will be saved by St. John of Kronstadt
We cannot conquer either our passions or our sins without the grace of God; therefore, always ask for help from our Christ the Savior. For this reason He came into the world, suffered, and died on the cross and was risen from the dead so that He could help us and save us from our sin and passions, so that He could cleanse us from our sin and give us strength in the Holy Spirit to do good works; to enlighten us, strengthen us, and fill us with peace. You say: how can I be saved when I sin at every step and every minute? This question has a simple answer: at every step and every minute ask for help from our Savior, remember our Savior and you will be saved.
I am at peace when I wholeheartedly pray to my Sun of Righteousness, Christ my God. He melts the ice of my heart, removes impurities, darkness and spiritual death, and establishes life everlasting and I leave all earthly cares.
When you pray to God, imaging that He is close to you as if you need His presence to breath, to move, to be enlightened, to have peace and strength - you need Him to live.

Wisdom of St. Theodore of Sanaxar:
1. I remembered God and I was gladdened (Ps. 76:3), and what greater joy can there be than to remember God? The Scripture say: Except the Lord build the house of the virtues, in vain do the labor that build it (Ps. 126:1); and again: No one can come to Me, except My Father .... draw him (John 6:44). This means that without God's holy help one cannot accomplish anything good; and since His help is always ready, He requires from us the desire and care for what is good.
2. It is said in the Gospel that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement (Matt. 12:36). and again: Let no corrupt communication, that is idle communication, proceed out of your mouth ... and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed (Eph. 4:29, 30). For the Holy Spirit is grieved and departs from a man who speaks idle and blasphemous words, and when the Holy Spirit is grieved and departs, then the spirit of deceit comes to a man; and seeing him empty, deprived of the grace of God, he enters him and leads him, according to his desire, into destructive passions.
3. We are not able to thank and praise God as is meet, but to entreat His favor to grant us His aid against our enemies and against our passions is possible for all.

Wisdom of St. Dorotheus:
One more thing I tell you, my soul. We cannot escape sorrows if we are to follow the path of righteousness and truth. Nor can we escape bodily illnesses or old age. Those who have loved life of good works and the way of holy fathers cannot come closer to Christ by escaping sorrows. Who tries to cut off his sufferings, he cuts off his salvation. He who doesn't want to suffer doesn't receive benefit, and he who runs away from sorrow runs away from eternal life.

If you really want to be saved, my soul, you will not be able to do so without going through suffering. It is not the number of years that saves us but trusting the Lord and working hard. Even one day spent struggling is better then 100 years spent in ignorance and laziness. What good does longevity do to us if we live in laziness and do not die in struggle? Every good work is taught by patience and forcing one self. Not a single good thing is acquired without a struggle, suffering, and patience.

Wisdom of St. Seraphim of Sarov:
In silence receive accusations from your enemies and to the Lord alone open your heart. Those who humiliate you or take away your honor with all your might try to forgive them according to the Gospel: From those who took from you, do not ask it back (Lk. 6:30).
When people scold us, imagine that we deserve it and are not worthy of praise for if we were then all would bow down to us. We should always humble ourselves before others according to the word of St. Isaac Syrin: "Humble yourself and you will see the glory of God in you."

Wisdom of St. Theophan the Recluse:
A person, who for a long time lived in sin without repentance, when he begins to repent and change, his soul also begins to feel torment: there is no salvation for him in God (Ps. 3:3). Where does these fear, sadness, boredom, and worry come from? During such temptations, think of the great compassion of God: no matter the multitude of sins and their greatness, the mercy of our God is far greater. Think that whenever you opposed the will of God, the Lord would always have mercy on you. And now when you want and are trying to follow His commandments, wouldn't He help you and have mercy on you? For if the person genuinely and whole-heartedly turns away from his sins to God, the Lord will grant him much grace and accept him into His mercy.

Have Peace with Everyone a sermon by Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, tomorrow we are entering into a seven -week -long Great Lent. What is the best way to start this journey which is so beneficial for us? The Holy Church asks us to embrace the Evangelical commandment of reconciliation with our brethren in Lord Jesus, and to forgive whatever wrong they have done before us. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you - says the Lord in today's reading of the Gospel - but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses (Mt. 6 :14-15). This is the first and necessary condition for reconciliation with God, and forgiveness of our sins. Without this genuine reconciliation and embraced forgiveness, one cannot approach the Lord and begin Great Lent, a journey of repentance. Why? Because the Lord our God is the God of peace and not confusion (1Cor. 14:33). How one can appear before His Face who has anger in his heart, who does not have peace, love, and holiness with each other? Have peace and holiness with each other without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14).

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