. . . from recent arrivals.
When we are reproached for anything by others, it should not irritate us nor make us despondent, but it should humble us, being morally worthless, and should make us turn to God with the fervent prayer that He may heal our infirmities and by His grace supply us with that which is wanting in us. To grow irritated, especially when we are reproached with weaknesses, really existing in us, would be only adding one malady to another, one passion to another; it would mean that we are sick with the voluntary blindness of self-love, which does not wish to see its own dark side, and leads to voluntary destruction. To despond is also most foolish, for by the help of God’s grace the Christian can always change for the better if he wishes; and it is for this purpose that the Lord sends us accusers, in order that they may open our spiritual eyes, and that we may see the deformity of our deeds, and seeing, correct ourselves, but not for the purpose of casting us into despondency. Despondency is itself a sin and the work of the Devil. Reproof ought to produce in us the “godly sorrow, which worketh repentance to salvation,” and not the sorrow of self-love.
St John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, pp 557-558
“There is no rest on earth for those who seek salvation,” says St Ephraim the Syrian. The struggle is incessant, whether external or internal. The enemy acts at times visibly through people and things, at times invisibly through the mind. At times he shows himself clearly as the enemy, acting with cruelty; at others as a flattering friend, leading astray by a trick. That which takes place in war between two opposing armies is that which happens to a man who commits himself to the struggle with the delusion of this world. Indeed, “there is no rest on earth for those who seek salvation.” But when salvation comes, rest comes with it.
St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ochrid 2.43
I will make another comparison in my explanation of how grace, when it is given room to act, permeates our entire nature, and then becomes outwardly visible for all who are able to see. It is like fire when it permeates iron: it is not only inside the iron but on the outside as well, and its fiery force is observable to everyone. So it is with grace, when it has permeated our nature: it becomes visibly perceptible to all. All those entering into contact with such a grace-filled person feel an unusual force present within him, which manifests itself in different ways. When such a person begins to speak about something spiritual, everything emanates from him as brightly as the midday sun, and his words go directly to the soul, authoritatively forming corresponding feelings and dispositions within. Even if he does not speak, he exudes a warmth which touches everything, and a certain force goes out, which stimulates moral energy and engenders readiness for every kind of spiritual action and exploit.
St Theophan the Recluse, The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It, p 112
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me that I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light [Matthew 11.29-30]. The yoke of Christ is humility and meekness. For he who humbles himself before all men has rest and remains untroubled; but he who is vainglorious and arrogant is ever encompassed by troubles as he does not wish to be less than anyone but is always thinking how to be esteemed more highly and how to defeat his enemies. Therefore the yoke of Christ, which is humility, is light, for it is easier for our lowly nature to be humbled than to be exalted. But all the commandments of Christ are also called a yoke, and they are light because of the reward to come, even though for a time they appear heavy.
The Explanation by Blessed Theophylact of the Holy Gospel According to Saint Matthew, p 99
As Christians, we emerged fully-blown from the Incarnation, the Passion and the glorious Resurrection of Christ, as well as the teachings of the Apostles and the sacrifice of the martyrs. But as spritual descendants of Abraham, what went into our development? The Old Testament scriptures are not easy reading. Procrastination governs their perusal. The genealogies, the multitude of laws, the details of wars with local tribes, many repetitions for unlearned listeners, the mysterious pronouncements of the prophets—all can become tedious to any but scholars. So, using highlights and a habit of reading only one or two pages a day, including lucent explanations, is the way to knowledge chosen in this book.
Johanna Manley, Prelude to Light, p iv
Χαιρε σοφιας Θεου δοχειον
Χαιρε προνοιας αυτου ταμειον
Χαιρε φιλοσοφους ασοφους δεικνυουσα
Χαιρε τεχνολογους αλογους ελεγχουσα
Χαιρε οτι εμωρανθησαν οι δεινοι συζητηται
Χαιρε οτι εμαρανθησαν οι των μυθων ποιηται
Χαιρε των Αθηναιων τας πλοκας διασπωσα
Χαιρε των αλιεων τας σαγηνας πληρουσα
Χαιρε βυθου αγνοιας εξελκουσα
Χαιρε πολλους εν γνωσει φωτιζουσα
Χαιρε ολκας των θελοντων σωθηναι
Χαιρε λιμην του βιου πλωτηρων
Χαιρε Νυμφη ανυμφευτε
Ο Ακαθιστος Υμνος/The Akathist Hymn, Fr George Papadeas, p 87
Rejoice, Vessel of the Wisdom of God.
Rejoice, Treasury of His providence.
Rejoice, thou who showest forth philosophers fools.
Rejoice, thou who provest logicians illogical.
Rejoice, for the subtle disputants are confounded.
Rejoice, for the inventors of myths are faded away.
Rejoice, thou who dost break the webs of the Athenians.
Rejoice, though who dost fill the nets of the Fishermen.
Rejoice, thou who dost draw us from the depths of ignorance.
Rejoice, thou who dost enlighten many with knowledge.
Rejoice, Raft for those who desire to be saved.
Rejoice, Haven for those who fare on the sea of life.
Rejoice, thou Bride unwedded.
translation of the above Greek, from the Prayer Book translated and published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery