Words From The Fathers

Archimandrite Sophrony

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Friday, September 18th, 2009

(On the Experience of Prayer) “When we become so conscious of our frailty that our spirit despairs, somehow, in an unknown fashion, a wondrous light appears, proclaiming life incorruptible. When the darkness within us is so appalling that we are paralyzed with dread, the same light will turn black night into bright day. When we properly condemn ourselves to eternal infamy and in agony descend into the pit, of a sudden some strength from Above will lift our spirit to the heights. When we are overwhelmed by the feeling of our own utter nothingness, the uncreated light transfigures and brings us like sons into the Father’s house.”

Archimandrite Sophrony

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Saturday, September 5th, 2009

“Repentance does not come readily to carnal man; and none of us fathoms the problem of sin which is only disclosed to us through Christ and the Holy Spirit. . . . repentance for sin is possible and appropriate only where there is a personal relationship [with Jesus Christ]. Encounter with a Personal God—that is what the event signifies. The sinful man experiences at one and the same time fear and exultation. It is a new birth from on High.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

“Do not become conceited when you have prayed for others and have been heard, for it is their faith which has been active and efficacious.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“In your prayers there is no need for high-flown words, for it is the simple and unsophisticated babblings of children that have more often won the heart of the Father in heaven.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Thursday, June 18th, 2009

“A man who asserts that he has the true faith and yet continues to sin is like a man without eyes. And the man who has no faith but who does good is like someone who draws water and then pours it into a barrel with holes.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Saturday, June 6th, 2009

“Just as birds fear the sight of a hawk, those who practice humility fear the sound of an argument.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Pride is a denial of God, an invention of the devil, contempt for men. It is the mother of condemnation, the offspring of praise, a sign of barrenness. It is a flight from God’s help, the harbinger of madness, the author of downfall. It is the cause of diabolical possession, the source of anger, the gateway of hypocrisy. It is the fortress of demons, the custodian of sins, the source of hardheartedness. It is the denial of compassion, a bitter Pharisee, a cruel judge. It is the foe of God. It is the root of blasphemy.

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Friday, May 22nd, 2009

“The insensitive man is . . . a scholar who contradicts himself, a blind man teaching sight to others. He talks about healing a wound and does not stop making it worse. He complains about what has happened and does not stop eating what is harmful. . . . And the wretched man is in no way shamed by his own words. ‘I’m doing wrong,’ he cries, and zealously continues to do so. . . . He talks profoundly about death and acts as if he will never die. . . . He has plenty to say about self-control and fights for a gourmet life. . . . He recites what he has learnt about keeping vigil, and at once drops off to sleep. Prayer he extols, and runs from it as if from a plague. Blessings he showers on obedience, and is the first to disobey. . . . He gorges himself, and is sorry, and a little later is at it again. He blesses silence and cannot stop talking about it. He teaches meekness and frequently gets angry while he is teaching it. . . . In front of others he criticizes himself for being vainglorious, and in making the admission is looking for glory.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Thursday, May 7th, 2009

“The man who has tasted the things of heaven easily thinks nothing of what is below, but he who has had no taste of heaven finds pleasure in possessions.”

St. John Climacus

Posted by: Father Nicholas on Saturday, March 28th, 2009

“We ought to be on our guard, in case our conscience has stopped troubling us, not so much because of its being clear but because of its being immersed in sin.”