“…O Lord, inasmuch as Thou containest a sea of longsuffering and an abyss of kindness, do not allow me to be felled as a fruitless fig tree; and do not let me be burned without having ripened on the field of life. Snatch me not away unprepared; seize not me who have not yet lit my lamp; take not away me who have no wedding garment; but, because Thou art good and the lover of mankind, have mercy on me. Give me time to repent, and place not my soul stripped naked before Thy terrible and unwavering throne as a pitiful spectacle of infamy.”
-St. Ephraim the Syrian
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Posted in Christianity, Church History, Early Christian Writings, Healing the Heart, Humility, Jesus Christ, Love, Orthodox Christian, Orthodoxy, Saints, Salvation, Sin, Temptation, Theosis, Union with Christ
Be at peace with your own soul
then heaven and earth will be at peace with you.
Enter eagerly into the treasure
house that is within you,
And you will see the things that are in heaven,
for there is but one single entry to them both.
The ladder that leads to the Kingdom
is hidden within your soul…
Dive into yourself and in your soul
and you will discover the stairs
by which to ascend.
-St. Isaac of Syria
Posted in Christianity, Church History, Early Christian Writings, Faith, Healing the Heart, Humility, Jesus Christ, Orthodox Christian, Orthodoxy, Prayer, Saints, Salvation, The Church, Union with Christ
“God does not insist or desire that we should mourn in agony of heart; rather, it is His wish that out of love for Him we should rejoice with laughter in our soul. Take away sin, and tears become superfluous; where there is no bruise, no ointment is required. Before the fall Adam shed no tears; and in the same way there will be no more tears after the resurrection from the dead, when sin has been destroyed. For pain, sorrow, and lamentation will then have fled away.”
-St. John Climacus
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.”
-C.S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory