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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sayings of The Holy Fathers:

"The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are absolutely useless without the roof - no help to any living creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the practice of the commandments, and the observance of these commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God."

St. Symeon the New Theologian.


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"Abraham passed through all the reasoning that is possible to human nature about the divine attributes, and after he had purified his mind of all such concepts, he took hold of a faith that was unmixed and pure of any concept, and he fashioned for himself this token of knowledge of God that is completely clear and free of error, namely the belief that God completely transcends any knowable symbol. And so, after this ecstasy which came upon him as a result of these lofty visions, Abraham returned one more to his human frailty: `I am,' he admits (Gen. 18:27), `dust and ashes,' mute, inert, incapable of explaining rationally the Godhead that my mind has seen."

St. Gregory of Nyssa.



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"For the demons, unable to bear the zeal, trouble the human mind in varied ways, as they wish to engineer for it a turbid overthrow; so that they find a ready vessel, that is an unfaithful and doubting soul, they will rend it. For the demons are ravening wolves, who go round the cells of the monks looking for an open door for them, so that when they have got inside they may destroy a soul which obeys them. But if they find the door shut in their faces, they go away extremely disappointed; I am speaking of a soul which is firmly founded on faith."

St Ephrem the Syrian

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/egypt1-10.htm