St. Seraphim of Sarov: The fact that I am a monk . . .

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“The fact that I am a monk and you are a layman is of no importance. The Lord listens equally to the monk and to the man of the world provided both are true believer. He looks for a heart full of true faith into which to send his Spirit. For the heart of a man is capable of containing the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God are one.”

— St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Symeon the New Theologian: Through repentance the filth of our foul actions . . .

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“Through repentance the filth of our foul actions is washed away. After this, we participate in the Holy Spirit, not automatically, but according to the faith, humility and inner disposition of the repentance in which our soul is engaged. For this reason it is good to repent each day as the act of repentance is unending.”

— St. Symeon the New Theologian, Philiokalia Volume 2

St. John Cassian: It should be known, however, that the unclean spirits . . .

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“It should be known, however, that the unclean spirits obey human beings in two ways. Either they are rendered submissive to the holiness of the faithful through divine grace and power or, having been soothed by sacrifices and by certain songs of the impious, they fawn over them as over friends.”

— St. John Cassian

St. Mark the Ascetic: Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross . . .

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“Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross, in a spirit of humility and self-abasement; unless he casts himself down to be trampled underfoot by all and despised, accepting injustice, contempt and mockery; unless he undergoes all these things with joy for the sake of the Lord, not claiming any kind of human reward whatsoever – glory or honor or earthly pleasures – he cannot become a true Christian.”

+ St. Mark the Ascetic, “Letter to Nicolas the Solitary”, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 1)

St. Seraphim of Sarov: You cannot be too gentle, too kind. . . .

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“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other, not even those whom you catch committing an evil deed. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a morass of filth that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Keep away from the spilling of speech. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, outrage, and will shield your glowing hearts against the evil that creeps around.”

— St. Seraphim of Sarov,

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