Saturday, July 26, 2014

Work while it is day

We read in the Psalm: 'My sorrow is always before me.' What sorrow? Brethren, let me speak plainly: we sorrow over our misfortunes, but do we consider why they have happened? A man who suffers loss is more likely to say, 'I did not deserve it', than to remember what he did deserve. To mourn the loss of money more than that of righteousness. If you have sinned mourn over the treasury of your heart. Your purse is empty - perhaps your soul is even emptier. God forbid that we should be sorrowful over our pains.  Let us regret the wound, not the medicine that heals it, for misfortune is the cure for sin.

Listen, brethren: we are Christians. If one of your children dies, you mourn, but if he sins you do not, and yet in your house he is not only dead, but putrefying. Sin is what we must weep for;  we must bear with anything else. The psalm goes on: 'For I acknowledge my wickedness.' Yes, but don't feel secure when you have acknowledged your sins: are you confessing them and going on committing them? A man can weep copiously and do nothing about it.

You want to heal the wound? Then take steps to do so. Redeem your sins by giving alms. The beggar rejoices in your gift, and you in what God has granted you. In your eyes he is a beggar; what are you before God? If you look at him with scorn, how does God see you? That is why I tell you to give him what he needs, so that God may fill your empty heart.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not the spirit of sloth,
meddling, lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me,
Thy servant,
a spirit of chastity (integrity),
humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see mine own faults
and not to judge my brother.
For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages.

St. Ephrem The Syrian


Monday, July 14, 2014


For as the leaven converts the large quantity of meal into its own quality (Mt. 13:33)  even so shall you convert the whole world. .. Let nobody reprove us, therefore, for being few. For great is the power of the Gospel and what is once leavened becomes leaven in turn for the remainder. .. Now if twelve men leavened the whole world, imagine the extent of our weakness in that we cannot, in spite of our numbers, improve what is left.

We who ought to be enough for ten thousand worlds and to become leaven to them. 'But', you object, 'they were apostles. So what! Were they not partakers with you? Were they not raised in cities? Did they not enjoy the same benefits? Did they not practice trades? What, were they angels? Did they come down from Heaven?
(in Matt. 46(47),2) 

From The Writing of
St. John Chrysostom 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sayings of the Desert Fathers


About St. Moses The Black

Once the order was given at Scetis, 'Fast the week.' Now it happened that some brothers came from Egypt to visit Abba Moses and he cooked something for them. 

Seeing some smoke, the neighbors said to the ministers, 'Look, Moses has broken the commandment and has cooked something in his cell.' The ministers said, 'When he comes, we will speak to him ourselves.' 

When the Saturday came, since they knew Abba Moses' remarkable way of life, the ministers said to him in front of everyone, 'O Abba Moses, you did not keep the commandment of men, but it was so that you might keep the commandment of God.'


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