There are two loves from which proceed all wishes, as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful. And therefore we must cling inseparably to eternal treasures, but things temporal we must use like passers-by, that as we are sojourners hastening to return to our own land, all the good things of this world which meet us may be as aids on the way, not snares to detain us.
This state of mind, which extinguishes the love of the world, is strengthened by the habit of well-doing, because the conscience must needs be delighted at good deeds, and do willingly what it rejoices to have done. Thus it is that fasts are kept, alms freely given, justice maintained, frequent prayer resorted to, and the desires of individuals become the common wish of all. Labour fosters patience, gentleness extinguishes anger, loving-kindness treads down hatred, unclean desires are slain by holy aspirations, avarice is cast out by liberality, and burdensome wealth becomes the means of virtuous acts.
But because the snares of the devil are not at rest even in such a state of things, and one who is greedy of present good might boast himself over the clemency of the weather and the fertility of the land, and having stored his crops in great barns, might say to his soul, “you have much goods, eat and drink,” let him take heed to the rebuke of the Divine voice, and hear it saying, “You fool, this night they require your soul of you, and the things which you have prepared, whose shall they be (Luke 12:19-20)?” This should be the wise man’s most anxious consideration, in order that, as the days of this life are short and its span uncertain, death may never come upon him unawares, and that knowing himself mortal he may meet his end fully prepared. And so, that this may avail both for the sanctification of our bodies and the renewal of our souls, on Wednesday and Friday let us fast, and on Saturday let us keep vigil with the most blessed Apostle Peter, whose prayers will help us to obtain fulfillment of our holy desires through Christ our Lord, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
~ St. Leo the Great
The highest prayer is that in which a person forgets all his needs, even the loftiest ones, burning with a single desire – to get as close as possible to the Lord, to place himself at His feet, to give Him all his heart. This is sublime love and sublime prayer, when one wishes to live only in the Lord, to love Him, to hide in His nearness, to be filled with His indescribable love.
(I Cor. 14:1) There is much need of eagerness: she is soon out of sight, she is
most rapid in her flight; so many things are there in life which injure her. If we follow her, she will not outstrip us and get away, but we shall speedily recover her. The love of God is that which united earth to Heaven. It was the love of God that seated man upon the kingly throne. It was the love of God that manifested God upon earth. It was the love of God that made the Lord a servant. It was the love of God that caused the Beloved to be delivered up for His enemies, the Son for them that hated Him, the Lord for His servants, God for men, the free for slaves. Nor did it stop here, but called us to yet greater things. Yes, not only did it release us from our former evils, but promised, moreover, to bestow upon us other much greater blessings. For these things then let us give thanks to God, and follow after every virtue; and before all things, let us with all strictness practice love, that we may be accounted worthy to attain the promised blessings; through the grace and loving- kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, might, and honor, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
~St. John Chrysostom: Homily on Eph. 4:1-3
“Because the love of iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt. 24:12). Love is destroyed by transgressions: the more sins there are, the less love there is. Where all is sin, do not look for love. Therefore, he who seeks the spread of love and the diminishing of the lack of love ought to be concerned with decreasing sin and curtailing the love of sin…. Having taken up this work, one must use all means to oppose sin. Outward sins are the fruit of inner sinfulness. Inner sinfulness is rooted in egoism and its offspring.
~Saint Theophan the Recluse
“Be rich in love of man and love of God. Brothers should never cheat each other. When you move away from unity you are sure to move away from God .”
“Forgiveness is strength. It gives a person a good name. It is the distinguishing feature of righteous people “.
“It is not spiritual wisdom to try to conquer the enemy with evil than with virtue. If you depend on the God of Truth and go out with a truthful heart, God will accomplish things for you.”
~St Gregorios Geevarghese, popularly known as “PARUMALA THIRUMENI”
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My children, listen to what the Gospel instructs us to be. In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “But I say unto you, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you; bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you; unto him that smiteth thee on one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid him not to take thy coat also. Give to every one that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again. And as you would want that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” These directions may seem impossible. But they are not impossible, they are just “not of this world”.
~St Seraphim of Sarov
The Lord wants us to love one another. Here is freedom: in love for God and neighbor. In this freedom, there is equality. In earthly orders, there may not be equality, but this is not important for the soul. Not everyone can be a king, not everyone a patriarch or a boss. But in any position it is possible to love God and to please Him, and only this is important. And whoever loves God more on earth will be in greater glory in His Kingdom.
~St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, VI.23
“What does God want me to do?…The answer was: God is not interested in where you are or what you do…He is interested only in the quality and quantity of the love you give. Nothing else. Nothing else.”