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Selected quotes and teachings of the Holy Fathers

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sayings of the Holy Fathers:

"The enemy lurks like a lion in his den; he lays in our path hidden traps and snares, in the form of impure and blasphemous thoughts. But if we continue wakeful, we can lay for him traps and snares and ambuscades that are far more effective and terrible. Prayer, the recitation of psalms and the keeping of vigils, humility, service to others and acts of compassion, thankfulness, attentive listening to the words of Scripture -- all these are a trap for the enemy, an ambuscade, a pitfall, a noose, a lash and a snare."

St. John of Karpathos


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"Though you may have climbed the whole ladder of the virtues, pray for forgiveness of sins. Listen to the cry of Paul regarding sinners: Of whom I am chief."

St. John Climacus


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"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see the misery. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men."

St. Augustine


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We only call the Lord, God, but in reality we have our own gods because we do not the Will of God, but the will and thoughts of our flesh, the will of our heart, of our passions; our gods are -- our flesh, our pleasures, our money, our dress, etc.

St. John of Kronstadt
My Life in Christ


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"The late Athonite Father Tikhon used to say: The prayer, "Lord Jesus have mercy on us" is worth one hundred drachmas, but "Glory to God" is word one thousand. Glorifying God is more valuable than anything else, because in the first instance, people often say the Jesus Prayer when needing something; but when one glorifies God in the midst of suffering, it is an ascesis."

Fr. Tikhon
An Athonite Gerontikon


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"Thoughts are directed to things. Now, of things some are sense-perceptible, some mental. The mind, then, tarrying with these things, carries about with itself thoughts of them; but the grace of prayer joins the mind to God, and joining to God withdraws it from every thought. Then the mind, associating only with Him, becomes God-like. And being such, it asks of Him what is proper and at no time fails of its petition. Therefore the Apostle commands to 'pray without ceasing.' that, unremittingly joining our mind to God, we may little by little break off our passionate clinging to material things."

St. Maximus the Confessor
[The Ascetic Life]