'The only place where modern man does not like to visit - is himself. He cannot hear the silence, he does not want to hear the voice of his conscience. But without knowing yourself you can not know God. Modern man lives in a shadowy world of TV, the media, the Internet, but the greatest reality in the world is the human soul. Inside we can open up the kingdom of heaven, in our heart God wants to be born!”
[Bishop Panteleimon (Shatov)-21st Century Russian Hierarch]
|—||Father Matta El-Meskeen, Orthodox Prayer Life (via theorthodoxbritreturns)|
The fact is that we are alienated from ourselves and have little desire really to know ourselves; we run in order to avoid meeting ourselves and we exchange truth for trinkets while we say ‘I would like to have time for prayer and the spiritual life but the cares and difficulties of this life demand all my time and energies’. And what is more important and necessary, the eternal life of the soul or the temporal life of the body about which man worries so much? It is this choice which man makes that either leads him to wisdom or keeps him in ignorance.
The Way of a Pilgrim
What I have, every man can have. All that is necessary is to descend in silence into the depths of one’s heart and call on the name of Jesus Christ frequently. In this way one can experience interior light and many things will become clear to him, even the mysteries of the kingdom of God. And what depth of mystery and what light there is when man realises his ability to descend into himself, to see his inner self, to take pleasure in self-knowledge, to be touched and even to shed tears over his fallen and weakened will.
The Way of a Pilgrim
"O man, for your sake was Christ born, and the Son of God came that He might make you to live; He became a babe, He became a child, and He became a man, being (at the same time) God in His Nature, and the Son of God." - The Paradise of the Holy Fathers
Happy blessed feast of the nativity everybody! :)
Now if you want to say or hear something about God, break free from your body, break free from your sense perceptions, leave behind the earth, leave behind the sea, rise above the air, fly past the hours of day, the cycles of the seasons, the rhythms of the earth, climb above the aether, pass beyond the stars, their marvels, their harmonious order, their immense size, the benefits they supply to all, their good arrangement, their splendor, their position, their motion, their constellations and oppositions. Once you have passed beyond all things in your thoughts, transcended the heaven, and risen above it, behold the beauty there with your mind alone: the heavenly armies, the choirs of angels, the dignities or archangels, the glories of the dominions, the preeminence of the thrones, the powers, the principalities, the authorities. Once you have flown past all these things, transcended the entire created order in your thoughts, and raised your intellect far beyond these, contemplate the divine nature: permanent, immutable, inalterable, impassible, simple, incomposite, indivisible, unapproachable light, ineffable power, uncircumscribed greatness, supereminent glory, desirable goodness, extraordinary beauty that ravishes the soul pierced by it but that cannot be worthily expressed in speech.
St Basil the Great: Homily on Faith
The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil. Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward.
The perfect person does good through love.
His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he…
"There is a prayer without phrases, without words;
the throbbing of the heart is a prayer,
the tear of the eye is a a prayer,
the feeling of being in God’s presence is a prayer”
|—||Pope Shenouda III (via sow-tears-reap-joy)|
|—||Saint Pope Kyrillos VI of Alexandria (via theorthodoxbritreturns)|