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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Selected quotes from St. Peter of Damascus

"The purpose of spiritual reading is to keep the intellect from distraction and restlessness, for this is the first step towards salvation. Solomon says that the enemy 'hates the sound of steadfastness' (Prov. 11:15 LXX), while the wandering of the mind is the first step towards sinning."



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"Human effort is profitless...without help from above, but no one receives such help unless he himself chooses to make an effort. We need always both things, we need the human and the divine, ascetic practice and spiritual knowledge, fear and hope, inward grief and solace, fearfulness and humility, discrimination and love."



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"...do not despair in any way ignoring God's help, for He can do whatever He wishes. On the contrary, place your hope in Him and He will do one of these things: either through trials and temptations, or in some other way which He alone knows, He will bring about your restoration; or He will accept your patient endurance and humility in the place of works; or because of your hope He will act lovingly towards you in some other way of which you are not aware, and so will save your shackled soul. Only do not abandon your Physician, for otherwise you will suffer senselessly the twofold death because you do not know the hidden ways of God."