Category Archives: St. Ambrose of Optina

Born: 5 December 1812, Bolshaya Lipovitsa settlement, Tambov, Russia
Reposed: 23 October 1891, Shamordino
Canonized: 13 May [O.S. 30 April] 1990 in Montreal, Canada by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad; 7 August [O.S. 25 July] 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate
Feast Day: 23 October [O.S. 10 October] (Repose); 10 July [O.S. 27 June] (Uncovering of Relics)

St. Ambrose of Optina: In the beginning, envy is revealed through . . .

St. Ambrose of Optina 5In the beginning, envy is revealed through inappropriate zeal and rivalry, and later by fervour with spite and the blaming of the one who is envied.

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina: . . . you should care about the main thing . . .

“You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing — preparing yourself for death.”

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina: If you do good . . .

Icon of St. Ambrose of OptinaIf you do good, you must do it only for God. For this reason you must pay no attention to the ingratitude of people. Expect a reward not here, but from the Lord in heaven. If you expect it here — it will be in vain and you will endure deprivation.

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina: A continuously happy life produces extremely unhappy consequences. . . .

Portrait of St. Ambrose of Optina“A continuously happy life produces extremely unhappy consequences. In nature we see that there are not always pleasant springs and fruitful summers, and sometimes autumn is rainy and winter cold and snowy, and there is flooding and wind and storms, and moreover the crops fail and there are famine, troubles, sicknesses and many other misfortunes. All of this is beneficial so that man might learn through prudence, patience and humility. For the most part, in times of plenty he forgets himself, but in times of various sorrows he becomes more attentive to his salvation.”

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina: Our invisible enemy plants a sinful thought . . .

Icon of St. Ambrose of Optina“Our invisible enemy plants a sinful thought in the soul of a person, and then records it as if it were the person’s own thought, so that later he can accuse the person at the terrible judgement of God.”

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Anthony of Optina: Can you place your hope in the world? . . .

Photo of St. Anthony of Optina“Can you place your hope in the world? Whom has it not deceived? To whom has it not lied? It promises much, but gives very little. Only those who hope in the Lord, according to the words of the Prophet David, do not sin, i.e., they are not deceived in their hope!”

+ St. Anthony of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina: How does a person become bad? . . .

Icon of St. Ambrose of Optina“How does a person become bad?─from forgetting that God is over him.”

+ St. Ambrose of Optina, Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina