“Purify me, cleanse me, bring me to harmony, and give me beauty, understanding, light.”

Most people have a superficial view of monasticism. However, we must again stress that all the training developed in Orthodox monasteries consists of attuning the nous. Then all tasks and occupations are sanctified. With a pure and well-adjusted nous, silence and speech, hesychia and mission, work and inaction, life in the cell and life in Church, mourning and joy, sorrow and hope, recreation and repentance are all sanctified. Then a person is a monk wherever he is, whatever he does. There are no specific times dedicated or to work. The whole of life and all the hours of the day are sanctified and blessed, provided the nouse is brought into harmony and the monk acquires spiritual health. Praxis and theoria, obedience and prayer help towards this.

Exactly the same thing should happen within marriage, the family and social life. Basically, before a person begins married life, he needs training to attune his nous so that he can life and behave as God wills. Prayer before marriage brings health and makes a person capable of facing all problems without confusion and without his nous being disturbed. If he is rightly tuned, he is at rest in God whatever he does. Many married people maintain that is impossible for someone to live a Christian life as the head of a family. Apart from being blasphemy towards God, this shows profound ignorance. Monks who live in monastic communities do not have fewer problems than married people. They too have many concerns and many tasks to carry out. The main problem is that many people begin married life without orienting their nous towards God or being spiritually tuned.

There is talk about the need for future parents to learn about child-rearing, psychology and so on, so that they can bring up their children and cope with problems. However beneficial this may be, it is not enough. There are parents who possess such human knowledge in abundance, yet are unable to provide solutions to the problems of co-existence within the home and of bringing up children. What is needed before anything else is spiritual tuning. The nous must learn to hasten eagerly towards God, so that the whole life is sanctified. Nowadays only a spiritually healthy person can deal with difficult problems that arise on a daily basis and continually multiply.

Parents are renowned for agonizing about how to bring up their children. I firmly believe, however, that what a child receives in the course of his upbringing is not the knowledge that his parents happen to have or the advice they give, however wise it may be, but above all what his parents themselves are. We do not offer children what we know; rather, we offer them what we ourselves are. If we have been brought into harmony, if our nous is free and knows how to converse with God, if we are spiritually balanced, then it is certain that the children will develop appropriately.

It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives. A medical expert knows how and when to intervene, and the same applies to an experienced parent.

Most contemporary parents bring up their children without praying. Instead they use human knowledge and have a purely human perspective. They do not know how to ask God for solutions through prayer. Their nous is taken up with external problems that children have: it is held captive by the children instead of being captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10-5). Their nous is turned to see the children day and night, not God. The most important issue for many parents is not God and their salvation, but their children. And they take a very superficial view of them.

By writing these things I do not mean that we should abandon our children, since God has entrusted them to us to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). But we cannot use this as an excuse to abandon God or to bring children up without God.

We need spiritual tuning. This comes about through prayer and keeping Christ’s commandments, as prayer cannot be isolated from our whole ascetic effort to follow God’s will for our life.

The fact is that nowadays most of us are out of tune spiritually, so instead of solving problems, we make them worse. We are inwardly sick and we pass on our sickness to social institutions and family life.

Our main concern should be how to be brought into harmony, how our nous can be detached from earthly things and turned towards God. This has to happen according to our own desire but, more importantly, with the help and energy of God. Our constant prayer to God should be:

“Purify me, cleanse me, bring me to harmony, and give me beauty, understanding, light.”

~Met. Hierotheos from “The Science of Spiritual Medicine”

Advertisements

THE HEART, THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE OF A PERSON

An excerpt from “Conversations with Children,” by Sister Magdelen of the Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, United Kingdom.  

THE HEART, THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE OF A PERSON

‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind’ (Luke 10:27). Christ put the heart first in His Commandment. The heart is the most personal component of a human being. Our brains and our minds reflect in their way the state of our heart; as the Lord said, thoughts proceed out of the heart (Matt. 15:19, Mark 7:21). ‘Our ideas, our philosophical systems, our cosmologies, our world views, are nothing else but the history of our hearts.’* As we develop spiritually, our intellect no longer remains separated, exiled in the brain. Mind and heart are united in a re-integrated person.

The heart is cleansed and awakened by grace and by life according to the Gospel; that is why so many of our contemporaries are only aware of the heart’s physical functions. Sometimes they acknowledge also its emotional facet – though in the case of the emotions many consider the term ‘heart’ to be symbolic or metaphorical. Those who follow a Christian path will discover that the heart is the meeting place between the real ‘I’, the human hypostasis, and the living God. The pure in heart see God there. Knowledge of Him originates there. The cultivation of the heart is a task beyond any secular educational system. Intellectual ability is now deemed the criterion of knowledge. Because we are spiritually frozen we do not recognize a thought until it has taken a cerebral form. In reality, moral and spiritual judgments are decided in the heart.

Child to a spiritual father: ‘What shall I do about [personal problem]?’ Elder: ‘I think you should decide about that yourself’. Child: ‘But I can’t’ Elder: ‘That’s because you tried to decide here [hand on forehead] rather than here [hand on heart].’ Obviously this was a personal answer. But the fact that it was given to a child is significant. It also shows us that in Christian life, deciding by the heart does not mean being guided by the emotions rather than by reason. Neither does it mean that feelings are superior to thinking. Nor do we deny the value of reasoning. Deciding by our heart means opening the core of one’s being to God’s enlightenment, and letting the effect of that prayer colour our decision-making.

In the spiritual education of children, our first concern is not to train their wills, but to attract grace – by our life and prayer – to their environment, and to let each child’s heart become attached to grace. Theological discussion with children is a very small proportion of Christian education. Prayer that God will touch them with grace is a permanent dimension of all our dealings with children, even when they are not with us.

Protopresbyter George Metallinos, recalling the holy Elder Porphyrios: ‘He told me that I must deal with one of my children by praying a lot more. He specifically said to me about that child, “Whatever you would say to that child […], say it to God. Kneel before God and through the grace of God, your words will be conveyed to your child.” About my other child, he said to me: “[…] He listens, but he easily forgets. Therefore, again you will kneel and you will ask for God’s grace, so that your fatherly words will fall upon good soil and will be able to bear fruit.”**

 

*Fr. Theokletos Dionysiatis, “Between Heaven and Earth [in Greek], (Athens, 1955), p. 130.

More Quotes on the Education of Children

‎”When the child is tired, tell him worthwhile stories (children like listening to tales from the past) and so draw him away from childish behavior, because you are bringing up a Christian philosopher and athlete, a citizen of heaven.” ~St. John Chrysostom

‎”In order to divert the child’s eyes from obscene sights, you should show him beautiful things, like the sky, the sun, the stars, flowers, meadows and well illustrated books.” ~St. John Chrysostom

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives. ”

“I firmly believe, however, that what a child receives in the course of his upbringing is not the knowledge that his parents happen to have or the advice they give, however wise it may be, but above all what his parents themselves are. We do not offer children what we know; rather, we offer them what we ourselves are. If we have been brought into harmony, if our nous is free and knows how to converse with God, if we are spiritually balanced, then it is certain that the children will develop appropriately.”

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives.”

~ Met. Hierotheos

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” ~Charlotte Mason (19th century educator popular among homeschoolers).

Educating Children in the Faith

“O Lord Jesus Christ our God Who didst come into this world not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give Thy life as a ransom for many. Help me, I beseech Thee in my ministry of caring for the children Thou hast given me. Enable me to be patient in tribulations, to instruct with a meek and gentle spirit, to reprimand with inner tranquility and a sober mind, and to serve in humility of heart with love. May I thus live in Thee alone, by Thee alone and for Thee alone showing forth Thy virtues and leading my family upon the path of Thy saving commandments. That we may glorify Thee together with Thine unoriginate Father and Thine all-holy and life-giving Spirit both in this world and that which is to come. Amen.” ~A Hieromonk of the Orthodox Church in America

“Let us raise our children in such a way that they can face any trouble, and not be surprised when difficulties come; let us bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord… When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous, to love their fellow men, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them. This, then, is our first task to educate both ourselves and our children in godliness; otherwise what answer will we have before Christ’s judgement seat?” ~ St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Ephesians 6:14

“The enemy knows that prayer is our invincible weapon against him, and so he tries to keep us from praying. He fills us with a desire for secular learning, and encourages us to spend our time on studies that we have already renounced. Let us resist his suggestions; otherwise, if we neglect our own fields and go wandering elsewhere, we shall harvest thorns and thistles instead of figs and grapes. “For the wisdom of this world is folly in God’s sight” (I Corinthians 3:19).” ~St. John of Karpathos

“Never deem it an unnecessary thing that he should be a diligent hearer of the divine Scriptures. For there the first thing he hears will be this, “Honor thy father and thy mother”; so that this makes for thee. Never say, this is the business of monks. Am I making a monk of him? No. There is no need he should become a monk. Why be so afraid of a thing so replete with so much advantage? Make him a Christian.” ~ St. John Chrysostom

“The Primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and to give example of, a virtuous life.” ~ St. John Chrysostom

“The cross is the door to mysteries. Through this door the intellect makes entrance into the knowledge of heavenly mysteries.” – St. Isaac of Syria

“Society is corrupted precisely through the want of Christian education.” – St. John of Kronstadt

“It should be placed as an unfailing law that every kind of learning which is taught to a Christian should be penetrated with Christian principles, more precisely, Orthodox ones. Christian principles are true beyond doubt. Therefore, without any doubting, make them the general measuring stick of truth.” – St. Theophan the Recluse

“The task of every teacher is to give to his children a defined, permanent, stable foundation, on which he can in the future build a strong structure, a wise understanding of life. Contemporary schooling gives no knowledge of the will of the living God, it gives no understanding of how to live by faith and do good. It gives no answer to the basic question of the world concerning what is truth, no answer to the urgent, vital question of how to live. Not the quantity, but the soundness of what is learned is important. One should teach only what could become a true part of oneself: that which can be fashioned usefully by the soul, mind and heart, not just the memory.”
– St. John of Kronstadt

“What does this mean: “Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me” (Psalm 23:4)? Answer: The rod is the Cross, afflictions and the staff is the Jesus Prayer. The rod is the active part of virtue, and the staff is the noetic part.”

-St. Ambrose of Optina (+1891)

“Hear this, ye fathers and mothers, that your upbringing of children shall not lose its reward…It was on account of his children that Eli perished. For he ought to have admonished them, and indeed he did admonish them, but not as he ought; but from unwillingness to give them pain, he destroyed both himself and them. Hear this, ye fathers, bring your children up up with great, great care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Youth is wild, and requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants and tutors; and after all these, it is a happiness if it be restrained. For as a horse is not broken in, or a wild beast untamed, such is youth. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we fix in it good rules, much pains will not be required afterwards; for good habits formed will be for them as a law. – St. John Chrysostom

“The simplest means for confining the will within its proper bounds lies in disposing children to do nothing without permission. Let them be eager to run to their parents and ask: May I do this or that? They should be persuaded by their own experience and that of others that to fulfill their own desires without asking is dangerous; they should be put in such a frame of mind that they even fear their own will.”

-St Theophan the Recluse
[“The Path to Salvation” p 58]

From the Optina Elders:

“The Old Testament says: ‘A foolish son is a grief to his father, and a bitterness to her that bore him. (Prov. 17:25), that is, a son who has not been instructed in the fear of God nor in the law of God. At the present time, many parents teach their children many things which ultimately are neither necessary nor beneficial, but take no care in instructing the children in the fear of God, or to fulfill the commandments of God, and to adhere to the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Because of this, children, for the most part, are disobedient and disrespectful to their parents, useless to themselves and to their country, and sometimes even dangerous.”
– St. Ambrose

“One should trace on the soft young heart the Sweetest Name – the radiant prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” From that time on there will be the greatest joy and eternal happiness. When Jesus is established in the heart, one will desire “neither Rome nor Jerusalem,” for the King Himself, along with His All-hymned Mother and all the angels and saints will themselves come and abide in him. ‘I and the Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (cf. John 14:23) – St. Anatoly

“It will be enough if you take care to instruct your children in the fear of God, instill them with an Orthodox understanding, and by teaching them to be faithful, you protect them from reasoning htat is foreign to the teachings of the Orthodox Church. The good that you sow in the hearts of your children while they are young will blossom forth in their hearts when they come to full maturity, after enduring the bitter trials of school and contemporary life, which often break off the branches of a good Christian upbringing at home.” – St. Ambrose

“If you succeed in planting the fear of God in the hearts of your children, then the caprice of human behavior will not be able to harm them.” – St. Ambrose

“Before your child’s first confession, take the time to prepare him for this Mystery as much as you can. Before his confession, have your child read about hte commandments and what each of them means. Concerning the correction of his shortcomings in general, you can say to him in a half-joking manner, ‘You are a little [prince you know, and if you behave like that, you might get mud on your face!'” – St. Ambrose

“At the appropriate time you can say to your daughter that as a good Christian girl she should read spiritual books, not just magazines, and she must not believe every foolish thing she reads without verifying it, for example, that man can be born from dust, and that man has evolved from monkeys. However, it is true that people have begun to imitate monkeys and have lowered themselves in behavior to the level of monkeys.” – St. Ambrose

“In preparing your children for life in the world, have you taken care to plant in their hearts faith and fear of God, which will be their guides in the future? Pray to teh Lord that He protect their hearts from the tares which are sown among the wheat by the enemy.” – St. Macarius

“Give children good instructions in morality, and when they will be worthy, and if it will be beneficial to them, God is powerful to enrich them or give them enough of what they need.”
– St. Macarius

Additional quotes from other sources:

“Christ is the Light of the world. He revealed the Heavenly Father to us and showed us what man is. Without Him we should have little real knowledge of God or man.”

-Archimandrite Sophrony
His Life is Mine (80)

“Knowledge obedient to faith, and faith strengthened by knowledge, both mutually accompanying each other, comprise a beneficial accord between themselves. Knowledge succeeds faith; it does not precede it.”

-Ivan Michailovich Andreyev
Orthodox Apologetic Theology, 54

“The human spirit hungers for knowledge-for entire, integral knowledge.”

-Archimandrite Sophrony
His Life is Mine (17)

“Ignorance starves the soul, but knowledge nourishes and sustains it.”

-St. Clement
as qouted in – What the Church Fathers Say About…, Vol. I, p. 172
George W. Grube

“True wisdom is virtue united with knowledge.”

-Lactanius
as qouted in – What the Church Fathers Say About…, Vol. I, p. 171
George W. Grube

“Young people must be made to distinguish between helpful and injurious knowledge, keeping clearly in mind the Christian’s purpose in life. So, like the athlete or the musician, they must bend every energy to one task, the winning of the heavenly crown.”

-St. Basil the Great
as qouted in – What the Church Fathers Say About…, Vol. I, p. 171
George W. Grube

“God has ordained that the soul should be filled with intellect as the body grows, so that man may choose from good and evil what conforms to God….The presence of intellect helps a man towards God.”

-St. Anthony the Great
The Philokalia 126

“One most essential thing is, of course, the fundamental dichotomy in man: he is at the same time an intelligible and a sensible being. This fact has a decisive influence on the soul, which is situated in between the two extremes. As a matter of fact the soul is characterized by its double relationship. It receives sensations from the external world and builds on them in forming an image of the world, but it knows also, through its rational nature if it is not disturbed by passionate attachments to sensible things, the principles (logoi) of things and is thus capable of forming through them a more accurate image of the world.”

-Lars Thunberg
Man and the Cosmos: The Vision of St. Maximus the Confessor (124)

“The mind should be freed and guarded from ignorance, which is most harmful, for it darkens the mind and prevents it from knowing the truth, which is the proper object and the aim of its aspirations. For this reason it should be exercised, to make it clear and lucid, able to discern correctly what we need to purify our soul from passions and to adorn it with the virtues.
There are two ways by which we can attain such clarity of mind: the first and most necessary is prayer, by which we must implore the Holy Spirit to pour his divine light into our hearts….
The second method of exercising the mind is always to examine things and probe deep for the knowledge of them, in order to see clearly which of them are good and which bad. We should judge them not as the world and the senses do, but as they are judged by right reason and the Holy Spirit, or by the word of the divinely inspired Scriptures, or that of the holy fathers and teachers of the Church. For if this examination and deepening of knowledge is right and proper, it will quite certainly enable us to understand clearly that we must with all our heart regard as valueless, vain and false, all that the blind and depraved world loves and seeks.


In particular, we shall then see that the honors, pleasures and riches of this world are nothing but vanity and death to the soul; that the slander and abuse, with which the world persecutes us, bring us true glory, and its afflictions-joy; that to forgive our enemies and to do good to them is true magnanimity-one of the greatest traits of likeness to God; that a man who scorns the world shows greater strength and power than a man who rules over the whole world; that willing obedience is an action, which shows more courage and strength of spirit than subjugating great kings and ruling over them; that humble self-knowledge should be preferred to all other kinds of knowledge, however high; that to overcome and kill one’s own evil tendencies and lusts, however insignificant, is more worthy of praise than the capture of many fortresses, or the defeat of powerful and well-equipped armies; more even than the power to perform miracles and to raise the dead.”

-Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and Theophan the Recluse
Unseen Warfare p. 90-91

“When we return home, let us prepare two tables, one for bodily food, the other for that spiritual food which is the Holy Scripture. Let each of you make your home a church. Are you not responsible for the salvation of your children? Are you not likely to have to give an account of their upbringing?” – St. John Chrysostom

“The enemy knows that prayer is our invincible weapon against him, and so he tries to keep us from praying. He fills us with a desire for secular learning, and encourages us to spend our time on studies that we have already renounced. Let us resist his suggestions; otherwise, if we neglect our own fields and go wandering elsewhere, we shall harvest thorns and thistles instead of figs and grapes. ‘For the wisdom of this world is folly in God’s sight'” (I Corinthians 3:19).
~St. John of Karpathos

“In all your works, either at home or at the place of your service, do not forget that all your strength, your light and your success are in Christ and His Cross; therefore, do not fail to call upon the Lord before beginning any work, saying: Jesus, help me! Jesus, enlighten me! Thus your heart will be supported and warmed by lively faith and hope in Christ, for His is the power and glory unto ages of ages.”
~St. John of Kronstadt

Excerpts from “Admonitions for Parents” by our Holy Father, St. John Chrysostom:
“Your children will always be sufficiently wealthy if they receive from you a good upbringing that is able to order their moral life and behavior. Thus, strive not to make them rich, but rather to make them pious masters of their passions, rich in virtues…”


“This is how to discipline and teach your child; this is the greatest of riches. Do not worry about giving him an influential reputation for worldly wisdom, but ponder deeply how you can teach him to think lightly of this life’s passing glories; thus he will become truly renowned and glorious. Whether you are poor or rich, you can do this; these lessons are not learned from a skillful professor but from divine revelation. Do not ask how he can enjoy a long life here, but how he can enjoy an infinite and eternal life in the age to come. Give him the great things, not the little things. Do not strive to make him a clever orator, but teach him to love true wisdom. He will not suffer if he lacks clever words; but if he lacks wisdom, all the rhetoric in the world cannot help him. A pattern of life is what is needed, not empty speeches; character, not cleverness; deeds, not words. These things will secure the Kingdom and bestow Gods blessing. Do not sharpen his tongue but purify his soul. I do not mean that worldly learning is worthless and to be ignored, but it should not be an exclusive preoccupation.”


St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195):
“To the spiritual man, knowledge is the principal thing. As a consequence, he applies himself to the subjects that provide training for knowledge. He takes from each branch of study its contribution to truth. So he studies the proportion of harmonies in music. In arithmetic, he notes the increasing and decreasing of numbers and their relations to one another….Studying geometry, which is abstract logic, he comprehends a continuous distance and an unchanging essence that is different from these bodies. Again, through astronomy, he is mentally raised from the earth; he is elevated along with the heavens.”

“Beloved Christians, you and your children shall appear at that Judgment of Christ, and you shall give account for them to the just Judge. He will not ask you whether you have taught you children the arts or whether you have taught them to speak French, or German, or Italian, but whether you have taught them to live as Christians.” — St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Your children will always be sufficiently wealthy if they receive from you a good upbringing that is able to order their moral life and behavior. Thus, strive not to make them rich, but rather to make them pious masters of their passions, rich in virtues.” – St. John Chrysostom

“Because the Christian faith is so natural to human nature, it can be successfully rooted in little children, and their upbringing can be built upon it. One can only be amazed at how easily and deeply children accept faith in God and what a beneficial influence it has on them. Faith in God not only helps a child to fight bad inclinations, but it also helps him to understand many fundamental questions which are inexplicable in human terms regarding the nature of good and evil, the appearance of the world, the aim of life, etc. The main point is that faith in God is the key to the development of all the positive qualities in a child – piety, love, compassion, sensitivity, repentance and the wish to improve.” – Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of Blessed Memory

“The key to knowledge is the humility of Christ. The door of the Kingdom of
Heaven is open, not to those who only know in their learned minds the mysteries
of faith and the commandments of their Creator, but to those who have progressed
far enough to live by them.”
– St. Bede the Venerable

“For it is of all things necessary for laymen to be acquainted with the lessons derived from this source; but especially for children. For theirs is an age full of folly; and to this folly are super added the bad examples derived from the heathen tales, where they are made acquainted with those heroes so admired amongst them, slaves of their passions, and cowards with regard to death; as, for example, Achilles, when he relents, when he dies for his concubine, when another gets drunk, and many other things of the sort. He requires therefore the remedies against these things. How is it not absurd to send children out to trades, and to school, and to do all you can for these objects, and yet, not to “bring them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord”? And for this reason truly we are the first to reap the fruits, because we bring up our children to be insolent and profligate, disobedient, and mere vulgar fellows. Let us not then do this; no, let us listen to this blessed Apostle’s admonition. “Let us bring them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.” Let us give them a pattern. Let us make them from the earliest age apply themselves to the reading of the Scriptures.” ~St. John Chrysostom Homily XXI: Ephesians 6:1-3

“If your heart overflows with faith and love for God, you will find a thousand and two ways to pass on these feelings to your child.” – BishopIrenaeus of Lyons

“An important part of a child’s education is storytelling, since good stories excite the imagination and strengthen the bond between parent and child. Stories from the Bible are preferred, and the child should repeat them often, to underscore full comprehension.” – St. John Chrysostom

“For the correct upbringing of your children: few words, much example, and more prayer are necessary.” – Father Epiphanios Theodoropoulos,Counsels for Life

“Marriage is more than human. It is a ‘microbasileia,’ a miniature kingdom which is the little house of the Lord.” – St. Clement of Alexandria

“Preserve marriages in peace and harmony; nurture the infants; instruct the youth; strengthen the aged; give courage to the faint-hearted, reunite those separated; bring back those in error; defend the widows; protect the orphans; liberate the captives; heal the sick.” – The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great

“Fathers and mothers: Go and lead your child by the hand into the Church.” – St. John Chrysostom

“How can there be too many children? That’s like saying there are too many flowers.” – Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun

“With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.” – St. John Chrysostom 

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives. ” ~Met. Hierotheos

I firmly believe, however, that what a child receives in the course of his upbringing is not the knowledge that his parents happen to have or the advice they give, however wise it may be, but above all what his parents themselves are. We do not offer children what we know; rather, we offer them what we ourselves are. If we have been brought into harmony, if our nous is free and knows how to converse with God, if we are spiritually balanced, then it is certain that the children will develop appropriately.” ~Met. Hierotheos

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives.”~Met. Hierotheos

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” ~Charlotte Mason (19th century Protestant educator popular among homeschoolers).