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Ainnir

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Elder Thaddeus, from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives
All quotes from chapter 16
(And please forgive me if I'm duplicating.)

"Until a person is illumined by the Holy Spirit, fear is always present.  Afterwards there is no fear.  Such a soul has compassion for everyone; he understands that all creation suffers because of the Fall of man.  Such a person is always ready to weep for all and to pray for all."  #56

"Often the Lord allows the enemy to surprise us, and we wonder: what has happened to us?  The Lord permits these things to happen in order that we might realize we are nothing and the trust we place in ourselves is nothing.  We must learn to never ascribe any merit to ourselves."  #62

"If we loved the Lord with all of our heart we would never fall into sin as long as we lived, for he would be with us.  He is the power by Whose flame every unclean thing and every sin is burned.  Nothing unholy would ever enter our hearts.  #64

"We must leave everything to the Lord.  he will take care of everything in the world.  Our thoughts should not become involved in these worldly matters.  If we let them do that, we will always be at war with the world, fighting with words and thoughts, and we will no have peace.  At the end of our earthly life it will turn out that we have become accustomed to constant arguments!"  #66

"Great temptations (suffering) come before or after the good that the Lord gives us.  This happens so that the soul may not be filled with pride."  #70

"The Lord permits many disappointments, sorrows, and misfortunes to befall us in this earthly life in order that we might stop placing our trust in the world, which harms us so much, and that we might realize that He alone is the Source of all comfort, peace, and stillness."  #89
 

Asteriktos

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At first sight there seems to be nothing wrong about an intrusive thought, but soon it diverts the mind from prayer and then stirs up confusion. The rejection of all intrusive thoughts, however apparently good, is therefore essential, and equally essential is it to have a mind pure in God... But should an intrusive thought approach, there is no cause to be troubled... Put your trust in God and dwell in prayer... We must not be troubled, because that rejoices the enemy... Pray, and the intrusive thought will leave you... This is the way of the Saints.

-- St. Silouan (quoted in: St. Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos, pp. 105-106)

[all ellipses in the referenced text]
 

Asteriktos

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The first thing we need to remember is that the Philokalia is not Holy Scripture, a divinely inspired revelation, but the writings of saints, who are people after all.

-- St. Maria of Paris (Mother Maria Skobtsova: Essential Writings, p. 50)
 

Ainnir

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I hope to meet her one day.
 

Asteriktos

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Think as little as possible about external ascetic feats. Although they are necessary, they are nothing but a scaffolding inside which the building is erected. They are not the building itself; the building is in the heart. Turn all your attention, then, on what is to be done in the heart.

-- St. Theophan the Recluse
 

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The general meaning of the mysteries is the union of God with the creature, and the most comprehensive mystery is the union of God with the whole of creation. This is a mystery that contains everything, and there is absolutely no part of reality not contained within it. This union begins with the very act of creation and is destined to find its fulfillment through the movement of creation toward that state in which “God is all in all” (1 Cor 15:28). Is there anyone who can explain the meaning and the depth of this union, the way in which the Word of God is present within the reasons of created things and the way He is at work, sustaining and governing them toward their goal of complete union with Him?

-- Dumitru Staniloae, The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 5, p. 3
 

Asteriktos

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The heart infected with anger and incapable of the Gospel commandment of love for enemies must be healed with those medicines indicated by the Lord--one must pray for one's enemies without condemning them, one must not speak evil of them, one mus say only good things about them and do good to them as much as possible. These actions extinguish hatred when it inflames the heart and keep it constantly reined in and weakened. But the full rooting out of anger from the heart is only done by the workings of divine grace.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Field: Cultivating Salvation
 

Dominika

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Many times, Jesus in the Holy Bible before He does a miracle He lets the person insist on asking... and this indicates that prayer has another purpose not just fulfilling requests.
Prayer is important because it waters the human soul.
Prayer is the pathway of divine blessings to human's life.
He who prays is a person that transfigures*, not just asks and begs...
Prayer makes us think with Christ and gain Christ's mind.
Prayer lifts us from our bestial nature to the human, spiritual, angelic nature.
As Saint Dionysius the Areopagite says: the person who prays is like a sailing person on a boat and sea waves tossing him, but he throws the rope of prayer to the land and pulls the rope till he reaches the harbor of salvation.
Prayer is more than requesting things of God...
Prayer is glorifying, prayer is thanksgiving.
The one who prays from heart knows that God deserves from us more than requesting and listing our needs...


Source originally in Arabic with English subtitles (Orthodox Teaching of the Elders) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h-mpv0gZms


*the term in Arabic has deeper menaing, it means to be discovered by yourself in light.
 

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Man's freedom is indissolubly linked with his obligations. Man's freedom is not a claim, but a duty, not so much what he demands as what is demanded of him. Man must be free. God demands and expects this of him.

-- Nicholas Berdyaev
 

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"It’s a very important work to preserve ourselves from despair... Despair is not for a Christian. Despair is only for a man who is attached to the material."

- Archimandrite Justin (Parvu)

https://orthochristian.com/132881.html
 

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According to my feeling, my pan-feeling, what is now important for you and most important for you is: to make your mind prayerful. So that every thought, subsequently and by its own, turns into a prayer, ends up in a prayer. A prayerful mind as a clear and pure well-spring will always send and pour out pure and holy thoughts: Godly-thoughts, Christly-thoughts. For a Christ-yearning toiler the following ideal is achievable even here on earth: every single thought should be ended with and perfected by God, Christ the Lord--the God-man (Theanthropos). For this purpose one should pray with a prayer rope, in the beginning repeating short prayers such as: 1) The all-merciful Lord, bestow a prayerful disposition on me a sinner, 2) The all-merciful Lord, teach me how to pray, 3) Lord, give me a prayerful attitude towards the world. Such and similar prayers should be sent up to the Most-Holy Theotokos, to one's favorite saints, especially to St. John Chrysostom (Golden-mouthed). One should particularly dwell on the prayer that gladdens and warms one's heart.

-- St. Justin Popovich (Notes on Ecumenism, p. 39)
 

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As the diseased body needs to be protected from winds, cold, harmful food, and drink, so does the diseased soul need to be protected from all sides. When we preserve our virtues from being damaged by the praise of men, we also must preserve them from the evil that resides in us, which is our “left hand.” (Matt. 6:3) We must not become distracted by vain thoughts and fantasies, with the joy and pleasure that vanity brings after the doing of a good deed, because this will take away the fruits of virtue.

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Field: Cultivating Salvation
 

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One of the most basic problems for theologians today is knowing how to discern between the holy Tradition of the Church... and the human traditions which express Revelation only imperfectly and, very often, which even oppose and obscure it... the Orthodox must do a it of rethinking and reflecting themselves. If the truth which they are conscious of possessing is really Catholic truth, it must of course be valid for all men, all times and all countries. It must be capable of supplying an answer to the very real problems raised by Western Christians during the centuries which have elapsed since the separation. It must face the challenge of the modern world. In order to make their message meaningful, the Orthodox must learn to live these problems from inside, not externally...

-- Fr. John Meyendorff, (quoted in: Discerning the Signs of the Times: The Vision of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, p. 16) [ellipses and italics in source text]
 

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“Blessed are the meek,” said the Saviour, “for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5) What is this “earth”? After the fall, God called Adam “earth,” and in Adam, He has called me “earth” as well. “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”(Gen. 3:19) Since I am dust and earth, I no longer have authority over this earth. Various passions have stolen it from me, especially the horrible anger that controls me and gives me pleasure. I even have no power of myself. Meekness returns this power to me and gives me authority over my inheritance, my “earth,” which is my self, my body, my blood, and my passions. “The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.” (Ps. 36:6)

-- St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Field: Cultivating Salvation
 
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