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Selected quotes and teachings of the Holy Fathers

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sayings of The Holy Fathers:

"But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from exhausting labors and sweat..."

St. Symeon the New Theologian.


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"It is possible for one who fasts not to be rewarded for his fasting. How? When indeed we abstain from foods, but do not abstain from iniquities; when we do not eat meat, but gnaw to pieces the homes of the poor; when we do not become drunkards with wine, but we become drunkards with evil pleasures; when we abstain all the day, but all the night we spend in unchastened shows. Then what is the benefit of abstention from foods, when on the one hand you deprive your body of a selected food, but on the other offer yourself unlawful food?"

St. John Chrysostom


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What gift can we offer to Christ?

It is told about Blessed Jerome that, as he lived in Palestine and worked in the cave of Bethlehem where our Saviour was born, he had a wondrous vision on Christmas. Christ appeared to him as a child and asked him, "Jerome, when everyone presents something to me, what are you going to give me?”

“My virtues and prayers,” answered St. Jerome.

“That is good, but what else?” said Christ.

“My heart, my soul, and all of myself!” responded the saint.

“I accept that, too, but I want something else from you as well.”

"But what else should I give You, Lord?” wondered the ascetic.

“Give me your sins!”

The Blessed Jerome began to cry brokenheartedly. He asked through tears: “Why do You need my sins, Lord?”

“I want to take them on myself!”

The Forgotten Medicine – The Mystery of Repentance, p. 47