Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.
Paradise of the Desert Fathers
“I saw in Egypt,” testifies Rufinus, “fathers who live on the earth but lead a heavenly life … new prophets, of whose worth there is the testimony of their gift of signs and miracles. None of them is anxious over food and clothing, for they know that after all these things do the Gentiles seek(St. Matt. 6:32). They seek justice and the Kingdom of God, and all this, according to the promise of the Saviour, will be added to them. Their faith is such that it can move mountains. Thus certain of them by their prayers stopped river torrents that were about to inundate neighboring villages, crossed over Waters as on dry land, subdued wild beasts, and performed numberless miracles; so that there is no doubt that it is by their virtues that the world stands.”
The friend and favorite of Christ, the Apostle John, commands: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world… For all that is in the world [is] the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life (1 John 2:15,16). Monasticism strives to crush the lust of the flesh by the vow of chastity, the lust of the eyes by the vow of poverty, and the vainglory of life by the vow of obedience.Beholding the glory of the Jerusalem on high, the Apostle John saw also the special honor rendered to virginity: And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having His name writtenon their foreheads. He heard the song which they sang before the Throne; and none could learn that song save these 144 thousand, who had been ransomed out of the earth. These ciders are virgins, those who knew not women; they follow the Lamb wherever He goes; they were purchased from among men, as the first fruits to God and the Lamb, and in their mouth was no lie; they are unblemished before the Throne of God (Apoc. 14:1-3).
“The heavens, speckled with a multitude of stars, are not as bright,” says Chrysostom, “as the Egyptian desert, which displays everywhere the huts of monks … It is better than paradise, where we see in human form numberless choirs of angels, throngs of martyrs, assemblies of virgins; we see the whole tyranny of the devil overthrown, and the Kingdom of Christ shines.“
If we seek God, He will show Himself to us, and if we keep Him, He will remain close to us. – Abba Arsenius
“Stay in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.”
If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian.-Evagrios the Solitary (of Pontus)
Abba John the Short said: “The gateway to God is humility. Our fathers endured much suffering and so entered the city of God with joy.”
Abba Joseph asked Abba Poemen: “Tell me how to become a monk.” The old man said: “If you want to find rest in this life and the next, say at every turn ‘Who am I?’ and judge no man.” View full article »
Abba Paphnutius, the disciple of Abba Macarius, said, I asked my father to say a word to me and he replied, “Do no evil to anyone, and do not judge anyone. Observe this and you will be saved.”
When [a monk] realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained.-In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Father Zosima
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.