I’ve created this thread for people to share the wisdom of the Orthodox Church Fathers, by providing their favorite passages or quotes of a particular Church Father pertaining to a particular subject.
So that this thread may be well organized, try and put the topic/subject of the passage as the heading of your post in bold , followed by the name of the Church Father whom you are quoting, in underline if it's not too much trouble (just to make it more accessible) - try provide reference too if you can.
(I realise there is already a quotes thread which has some Church Father quotes, but ive decided to make a sticky one exclusively for the Church Fathers who have defined, defended, preserved and handed down to us our Holy Orthodox faith)
Abba Antony The Great:
From The Life Of St. Antony The Great edited by Fr. Matthias Farid Wahba:
"When the holy Abba Antony lived in the desert he was attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, "Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?" A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Antony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, "Do this and you will be saved." At these words, Antony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved."
When Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, "Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?" He heard a voice answering him, "Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.'
I always keep this infront of my eyes... it helps a lot.
i am not sure who said that!iether abba paul or st.anthony!
The Mother of God
An Excerpt taken from:
Jacob of Serug
+ Second Heaven, in whose womb the Lord of heaven dwelt and shone forth from her to expel the darkness from the land.
+ Blessed of the women, by whom the curse of the land was eradicated, and the sentence henceforth has come to an end.
+ Daughter who wove a garment of glory and gave it to her father. He covered himself because he was stripped naked among the trees.
+ Bride who conceived although the bridegroom had never been seen by her, she gave birth to a baby without her coming to the place of His Father.
Justin Martyr ( c.160 )
+ Let it be understood that thoes who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ.
"We must run from sin to righteousness. In the same way, those who practise righteousness must beware lest they open themselves to sin. For it is written that "righteousness shall not profit the righteous on the day on which he has gone astray." We must stand up for this then. We who have escaped from sin must work hard not to lose the rewards. The enemy is ready to strike those who are stripped of the shield of faith. Therefore, we must not throw aside our shield; otheriwse our side will be exposed to the attack. We must not put away our sword; otheriwse the enemy will begin to lose all his fear. We know that if the enemy sees us fully armed, that he will retreat. We aren't unaware that it is hard and difficult to fight daily against the flesh and the world. But if we think about eternity and consider the kingdom of heaven which the Lord will give even us sinners, I ask us, how can we suffer enough to deserve such things? Besides, our struggle in this world is short. For although death doesn't catch up to us quickly, old age inevitably comes"
+ " No human being can take God as his Father unless he takes the Church as his mother. "
St. Theophan the Recluse
+ "The goal of human freedom is not in freedom itself, nor it is in man, but in God. By giving man freedom, God has yielded to mam a piece of His Divine authority, but with the intention that man himself would voluntarily bring it as a sacrifice to God, a most perfect offering. "
When faced with people saying to him "The world is against you, Athanasius!" St. Athanasius replied, " Then I am against the world."
Abba Isaiah said: When someone wishes to render evil for evil, he is able to hurt his brother's conscience even by a single nod.
Abba Sisoes said: Seek God, and not where God lives.
One of the fathers said: Just as it is impossible to see your face in troubled water, so also the soul, unless it is clear of alien thoughts, is not able to pray to God in contemplation.
Abba John the Little said: We have abandoned a light burden, namely self-criticism, and taken up a heavy burden, namely self-justification.
Abba Anthony said: The time is coming when people will be insane, and when they see someone who is not insane, they will attack that person saying: You are insane because you are not like us.
St. Anthony the Great
Always have the fear of God before your eyes. Remember Him who gives death and lives. Hate the world and all that is in it. Hate the peace that comes from the flesh. Renounce this life, so that you may be alive to God.
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Hail to Mary, mother of God, Majestic treasure of the whole world, the lamp unquinchable, the crown of virginity.
St Mark the monk
“Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross, in a spirit of humility and self-abasement; unless he casts himself down to be trampled underfoot by all and despised, accepting injustice, contempt and mockery; unless he undergoes all these things with joy for the sake of the Lord, not claiming any kind of human reward whatsoever – glory or honor or earthly pleasures – he cannot become a true Christian”
St. Cyril of Alexandria
It is our duty, therefore, to be faithful to God, pure in heart, merciful and kind, just and holy; for these things imprint in us the outlines of the Divine likeness, and perfect us as heirs of eternal life.
Once, monks who had heard of his discernment came to St. Agathon to see if they could make him lose his temper. They asked him, "Are you Abba Agathon, a fornicator and a proud man?" "Yes, that is true," the monk replied. "Are you the Agathon who is always talking nonsense?" the monks inquired. "I am," the saint agreed. "Are you Agathon the heretic?" the monks persisted. St. Agathon said, "I am not a heretic." They asked the saint why he agreed with them when they accused him of vices, but then denied this last charge. Agathon replied, "I accepted the first accusations, since that was beneficial for my soul. But heresy is separation from God, and I do not wish to be separated from God."
A brother asked an old man: What is humility? And the old man said: To do good to those who hurt you. The brother said: If you can not go that far, what should you do? The old man replied: Get away from them and keep your mouth shut.
Abba james said: We do not want words alone, for there are too many words among people today. What we need is action, for that is what we are looking for, not words which do not bear fruit.
St. Annthony the Great
+ "Good behavior for acquiring virtues is better than performing miracles. The human being can be easily overcome Satan if he worships God with all his heart, with inner spiritual joy, and constantly have God in his mind because this light tears the darkness and quickly removes the temptations of the enemy. What would help us in this is to look at the lives of the Saints and follow their path for it leads us to emulating them."
From the Wisdom of the Desert Father
+ It was said of an old man that when his thoughts said to him, " Relax today and repent tomorrow, " He reported " No I am going to repent today, and may the will of God be done tomorrow, "
A brother who was insulted by another brother came to Abba Sisoes, and said to him: I was hurt by my brother, and I want to avenge myself. The old man tried to console him and said: Don't do that, my child. Rather leave vengeance to God. but he said: I will not quit until I avenge myself. Then the old man said: let us pray, brother; and standing up, he said: O God, we no longer need you to take care of us since we now avenge ourselves. hearing these words, the brother fell at the feet of the old man and said: I am not going to fight with my brother any more. Forgive me, Abba.
St. Symeon the New Theologian
+ "If we live with Him and associate with Him, we shall ascend with Him and be assumed with Him into Heaven. And that not merely when we depart this life, but even now. Rather, He will take us up and glorify us with Him, and bestow on us the enjoyment of eternal benefits. "
St. John Climacus
+ St. Hesychios the Priest. +
The Spiritual Elder
+ " Blessed you Egypt, who opened your idolatry heart, and inside it, hid CHRIST, who came down to you to raise you up to Him. "
God As Spirit
"But the lord calls it [holy spirit] the 'voice of a gentle breesze. For God is breath, and the breath of the wind is shared by all; nothing shuts it in, nothing holds it prisoner" - Maximus the Confessor
St. Cyprian of Carthage
+ " Teach your children this lesson:The rewards of evil are temporary; The rewards of goodliness are eternal. "
St. Macarius of Egypt
"Very many wish to be vouchsafed the Kingdom without labors, without struggles, without sweat; but this is impossible.
If you love the glories of men, and desire to be worshipped, and seek comfort, you are going off the path. You must be crucified with the Crucified One, suffer with Him that suffered, that you may be glorified with Him that is glorified."
St. John Cassian
+ " If we cannot accomplish anything ( in the arts and sciences ) by ourselves.... but still need someone who will instruct us well and guide us; how can it be anything but foolish to think that the spiritual art, the most difficult of all arts, has no need of a teacher? "