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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Selected quotes from St. Symeon the New Theologian

"No man, wise in his own opinion, because he has studied all the sciences and is learned in external wisdom, will ever penetrate God's mysteries or see them unless he first humbles himself and becomes foolish in his heart, repudiating his self-opinion together with the acquirements of learning."




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"Let no one be misled or mislead himself with empty words - before we have mourned and shed tears we have no repentance, nor a true desire to change, nor fear of God in our hearts. For we have not yet become conscious of our guilt nor judged ourselves, nor has our soul had the foretaste of the last judgment and eternal torment."

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"A man who is deeply wounded in his heart by provocation and abuse shows thereby that deep in himself he harbours the old serpent. If he bears the blows in silence or answers with great humility, he will render this serpent weak and powerless (or will kill it altogether). But if he argues with bitterness or speaks with arrogance he will give the serpent an added strength to pour poison into his heart."