Tag Archives: Enemy

St. Leo the Great: Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation . . .

Icon of St. Leo the GreatVirtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife.

+ St. Leo the Great

St. Maximus the Confessor: If you are remembering evil against someone . . .

Icon of St. Maximos the Confessor“If you are remembering evil against someone, then pray for him; and as you remove through prayer the pain of the remembrance of the evil he has done, you will stop the advance of the passion. And when you have attained brotherly love and love for mankind, you will completely cast this passion out of your soul. Then when someone else does evil to you, be affectionate and humble toward him, and treat him kindly, and you will deliver him from this passion.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Texts on Love 3.90, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 2)

St. John Chrysostom: We are commanded to have only one enemy, the devil. . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“We are commanded to have only one enemy, the devil. With him never be reconciled! But with a brother, never be at enmity in thy heart.”

— St. John Chrysostom, Homily XX, On the Statues

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Keep careful watch . . .

Icon of St. Cyril of Jerusalem“Keep careful watch, to ensure that the enemy does not make off with any who are off guard or remiss; and that no heretic may pervert part of what you have been given. Accepting the faith is like putting into the bank the money we have given you; God will ask you for an account of this deposit.”

— St. Cyril of Jerusalem

St. Augustine: What is perfection in love . . .

Icon of St. Augustine of Hippo“What is perfection in love? Love your enemies in such a way that you would desire to make them your brothers … For so did He love, Who hanging on the Cross, said ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'” (Luke 23:34)

— St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermons on I John, I.9

Unseen Warfare: Since the enemy watches you constantly . . .

St. Theophon the Recluse 2Since the enemy watches you constantly, waiting for an opportunity to sow evil in you, be doubly watchful over yourself, lest you fall in the nets spread for you. As soon as he shows you some fault in your neighbor, hasten to repel this thought, lest it take root in you and grow. Cast it out, so that no trace is left in you, and replace it by the thought of the good qualities you know your neighbor to possess, or of those people generally should have. If you still feel the impulse to pass judgment, add to this the truth that you are given no authority for this and that the moment you assume this authority you thereby make yourself worthy of judgment and condemnation, not before powerless men, but before God, the all-powerful Judge of all. This reversal of thoughts is the strongest means, not only for repelling accidental critical thoughts, but also for completely freeing yourself of this vice.

— From Unseen Warfare, St. Theophan the Recluse and St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain