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On the Worship of God

St John of Kronstadt
St John of Kronstadt
St John of Kronstadt
St John of Shanghai & San Francsisco
St John of Shanghai & San Francsisco
St John of Shanghai & San Francsisco
'There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy. The church, at this particular time, becomes an earthly heaven; those who officiate represent Christ Himself, the angels, the cherubim, seraphim and apostles.'
- St John of Kronstadt

'Strive as well as you can to enter deeply with the heart into the church reading and singing and to imprint these on the tablets of the heart.'
- Abbot Nazarius

'The divine services in their composition contain all the fullness of the dogmatic teaching of the Church and set forth the path to salvation. They present invaluable spiritual wealth. The more fully and precisely they are fulfilled, the more benefit the participants receive from them. Those who perform them carelessly and who shorten them by their laziness rob their flock, depriving them of their very daily bread, stealing from them a most valuable treasure. The shortening of the services which comes about through lack of strength must be done wisely and performed circumspectly in order not to touch that which should not be tampered with.'
- St John of Shanghai and San Francisco

On the day of the Resurrection we remind ourselves of the grace given to us by standing at prayer, not only because we rose with Christ, and are bound to "seek those things which are above", but because the day seems to us to be in some sense an image of the age which we expect... On this day the rules of the Church have educated us to prefer the upright attitude of prayer, for by their plain reminder they, as it were, make our mind to dwell no longer in the present but in the future.

Moreover, every time we fall upon our knees and rise from off them we show by the very deed that by our sin we fell down to earth, and by the loving-kindness of our Creator were called back to heaven.
- St Basil the Great
On the Christian Life

'Imitate the Publican and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water.'
- Holy Mother Syncletica of Alexandria

'We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface - rubbish or beams of trees - all passes by. Christian! So it is with our life... I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that is also far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes away; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in thy Kingdom!'
- St Tikhon of Voronezh

'Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter's storms, cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.'
- Holy Mother Theodora

'At the Last Judgment I will not be asked whether I satisfactorily practised asceticism, nor how many bows I have made before the divine altar: I will be asked whether I fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, and the prisoner in his jail. That is all I will be asked.'
- St Maria of Paris
St Syncletica of Alexandria
St Syncletica of Alexandria
St Syncletica of Alexandria
St Maria of Paris
St Maria of Paris
St Maria of Paris
On Judging and Forgiveness

St John Climacus
St John Climacus
St John Climacus
St Elisabeth the New-Martyr
St Elisabeth the New-Martyr
St Elisabeth the New-Martyr
St Tikhon of Zadonsk
St Tikhon of Zadonsk
St Tikhon of Zadonsk
'A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.'
- Abba Pimen

'Fire and water do not mix, neither can you mix judgement of others with the desire to repent. Even if a man commit a sin before you at the very moment of his death, pass no judgement because the judgement of God is hidden from men. It has happened that men have sinned immensely in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes.'
- St John Climacus

'If you do not love your brother, whom you see, how can you love God, Whom you do not see?'
- St Elisabeth the New-Martyr

'Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish attack. But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement.'
- St John of Kronstadt

'Do we forgive our neighbours their trespasses? God also forgives us in his mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbours, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness or unforgiveness of your sins, then, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how serious it is.'
- St Tikhon of Zadonsk
On Humility

'When anyone is disturbed or saddened under the pretext of a good and soul-profiting matter, and is angered against his neighbour, it is evident that this is not according to God: for everything that is of God is peaceful and useful, and leads a man to humility and to judging himself.'
- St Barsanuphius the Great

'If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else - even his own soul - when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks.'
- Abba Zeno

'Silence of lips is better and more wonderful than any edifying conversation. Strive to acquire humility and submissiveness. Never insist that anything should be according to your will, for this gives birth to anger. Do not judge or humiliate anyone, for this gives birth to anger. Do not judge or humiliate anyone, for this exhausts the heart and blinds the mind, and thereon leads to negligence and makes the heart unfeeling.'
- St Barsanuphius the Great
On Ecumenism

Father Seraphim of Platina
Father Seraphim of Platina
Father Seraphim of Platina
'The royal path of true Orthodoxy today is a mean that lies between the extremes of ecumenism and reformism on the one side, and a zeal not according to knowledge (Rom. 10: 5) on the other. True Orthodoxy does not go in step with the times on the one hand, nor does it make strictness or correctness or canonicity (good in themselves) an excuse for pharisaic self-satisfaction, exclusivism, and distrust, on the other.

This true Orthodox moderation is not to be confused with mere luke-warmness or indifference, or with any kind of compromise between political extremes. The spirit of "reform" is so much in the air today that anyone whose views are moulded by the "spirit of the times" will regard true Orthodox moderation as dose to fanaticism, but anyone who looks at the question more deeply and applies the patristic standard will find the royal path to be far from any kind of extremism.'
- Blessed Seraphim of Platina

'Never, O man, is that which concerns the Church put right through compromises: there is no mean between truth and falsehood. But just as what is outside the light will be necessarily in darkness, so also he who steps away a little from the truth is left subject to falsehood.'
- St Mark of Ephesus


On Obedience

'It is well for us to come to our senses at last, while we still have a chance to repent and turn to God. It is a fine thing to acknowledge God and the bishop. He who pays the bishop honour has been honoured by God. But he who acts without the bishop's knowledge is in the devil's service.'
- St Ignatius the God-bearer

'Though the fear of inadequacy is strong, the fear of disobedience is stronger, because of the grave penalties attached to it. There is no excuse for the disobedient; at least there is the promise of grace for the weak.'
- St Gregory Nazianzen
St Ignatius of Antioch
St Ignatius of Antioch
St Ignatius of Antioch
St Gregory Nazianzen
St Gregory Nazianzen
St Gregory Nazianzen

This website is published with the blessing of His Eminence Metropiltan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)

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