Attending to oneself

“An offspring of [the sin of] pride is censure, which is unfortunately also a habit of many Christians, who tend to concern themselves more with others than themselves. This is a phenomenon of our time and of a society that pushes people into a continuous observation of others, and not of the self.
Modern man’s myriad occupations and activities do not want him to ever remain alone to study, to contemplate, to pray, to attain self-awareness, self critique, self-control and to be reminded of death. The so-called Mass Media are incessantly preoccupied with scandal-seeking, persistently and at length, with human passions, with sins, with others’ misdemeanors. These kinds of things provoke, impress, and, even if they do not scandalize, they nevertheless burden the soul and the mind with filth and ugliness and they actually reassure us, by making us believe that “we are better” than those advertised.
Thus, a person becomes accustomed to the mediocrity, the tepidity and the transience of superficial day-to-day life, never comparing himself to saints and heroes. This is how censure prevails in our time – by giving man the impression that he is justly imposing a kind of cleansing, by mud-slinging at others, albeit contaminating himself by generating malice, hatred, hostility, resentfulness, envy and frigidity. Saint Maximos the Confessor in fact states that the one who constantly scrutinizes others’ sins, or judges his brothers based on suspicion only, has not even begun to repent, nor has he begun any research into discovering his own sins.”
~Fr. Moses of the Holy Mount of Athos

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Afflictions of the righteous

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

~Psalm 34:19

Watchfulness

“At every moment we need to have wakefulness, recollected thoughts, and a careful watch on the intellect. This applies above all when we stand before God in spiritual ministry, speaking in a hidden way, in prayer, with God’s majesty: at such a time it is appropriate that we stand with a wakeful and attentive mind, combining a sense of awe and trembling with the spiritual fervour of joy and deep love.”

~From The Syriac Fathers.

The mouth of the righteous

“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.”

~Psalm 37:30-31

Slanderer’s talk

“Give no ear to the slanderer’s talk nor let your talk run on in the fault-finder’s hearing, by readily speaking and listening to things against your neighbor; otherwise you will fall from divine charity [love] and be found a foreigner to eternal life.”

~St. Maximus the Confessor.

Praising God

“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.”

~Psalm 96:1-2

When praying to God…

“When praying heedfully, guard yourself with great caution, so as to pray in Psalms and to chant prayers with fear, joy, firm zeal, and a low bow to the divine icon. For you will find in the Psalms both instruction and prayer. Let us not pronounce the words only with the tip of the tongue, but pray with our whole heart. Join into one the body, the soul, and the mind.”

~St. Paisius Velichkovksy.

Sin leads to separation from God

“The problem of our life is union with God, and sin completely prevents this; therefore flee from sin as from a terrible enemy, as from the destroyer of the soul, because to be without God is death and not life. Let us therefore understand our destination; let us always remember that our common Master calls us to union with Himself.”

~St. John of Kronstadt.

Misuse

“…it is not authority that is bad, but the love of authority; not glory, but the love of glory and – what is worse – vainglory; not the acquisition of virtue, but to suppose that one has acquired it; not spiritual knowledge, but to think that one is wise and – worse than this – to be ignorant of one’s own ignorance; not true knowledge but what is falsely called knowledge (cf. I Tim. 6:20); not the world, but the passions; not nature, but what is contrary to nature; not agreement, but agreement to do what is evil and does not contribute to the soul’s salvation; not the body’s members, but their misuse.”

~St. Peter of Damaskos.

God Became Man

“…the Divine Logos took on Himself human flesh and thereby showed that God is not a fantasy of man’s imagination, born of ignorant fear of unknown phenomena, but actual reality.”

~Archimandrite Sophrony

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