Quotes from our Orthodox elders


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Greetings! Most Orthodox Christians have quotes from the elders that they resonate with, so hopefully we can share some in this thread. Please post your own quotes and I will post mine:


"When people are empty of Christ, a thousand and one other things come and fill them up: jealousies, hatreds, boredom, melancholy, resentment, a worldly outlook, worldly pleasures. Try to fill your soul with Christ so that it's not empty."
- Porphyrios of Athos

"If God is slow in answering your request, or if you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God."
- Isaac of Syria

"God's love for the biggest sinner is greater than the love of the holiest man for God."
- Arsenie Boca

"Hell can't be made attractive, so the devil makes attractive the road that leads there."
- Basil of Caesarea

"It is a fact that the Eternal God listens to us - corruptible as we are - more than we listen to Him."
- Nikolai Velimirovich

"Let your prayer be completely simple. For both the publican and the prodigal were reconciled to God by a single phrase."
- John Climacus

"One cannot choose the time in which he is born and when he lives. It does not depend on him from which parents, neither in which nation will he be born, but it does depend on him how he will act in a given time: whether as a man or inhuman."
- Pavle of Serbia

"God permits tribulations and adversities to befall people - even the saintly - so that they may persist in humility."
- Isaac of Syria

"Without the aid of prayer, it is simply impossible to lead a virtuous life"
- John Chrysostom

"In Christianity truth is not a philosophical concept, a theory, a teaching, or a system, but rather it is the living theanthropic hypostasis: the historical Jesus Christ."
- Justin Popovic

"I have seen unlearned men who were truly humble, and they became wiser than the wise"
- Mark the Ascetic

"When one is patient during trials and tribulations God will send him the best solutions for his problems."
- Paisios of Athos

"Do not ever succumb to the insane thought that God has abandoned you. God knows exactly how much one can endure and, according to that, measures the sufferings and pains of everyone."
- Nikolai Velimirovic


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"God loves us very much; He has us in mind in each and every moment and he protects us, we should know this and not be afraid of anything."
~ St. Porphyrios


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"Everyone who prays to God, 'Lord, give me humility' ought to know what he is asking for, i.e. that God send someone to mistreat him." -Dorotheos of Gaza

"Understand the words of Holy Scripture by putting them into practice, and do not fill yourself with conceit by expatiating on theoretical ideas" - Mark the Ascetic

"This life was given to you for repentance. Do not waste it in vain pursuits." - Isaac of Syria

"Humility made God a man on earth." - Justin Popovich

"Love sinners, but reject their works. Do not despise them for their faults, lest you be tempted by the same ones." - Isaac of Ninevah

"For preserving peace of soul, it is also necessary to avoid judging others." - Nikolai Velimirovic

"Food is not evil, but gluttony is. Childbearing is not evil, but fornication is. Money is not evil, but avarice is. Glory is not evil, but vainglory is. Indeed, there is no evil in existing things, but only in their misuse." -Maximos the Confessor

"The devils tremble at the name of Jesus, and we are not afraid to profane it." -Gregory Nazianzen

"Pray for the salvation of others as you would pray for your own salvation." -John of Kronstadt

"Truth is given to us when we seek it humbly, as we seek a cure from a doctor. We can't order the truth, but we can ask that it be given to us, to be revealed to us. Because the truth is God [John 14:6] Whom we can't order, only ask from Him and love Him." -Iakovos Tsalikis

"A meek and humble person is always very pleasant to be with, for he emanates peace and warmth. That person may not say a single word, yet we rejoice to be in his presence. So if we all begin with ourselves, transformation will take places. Goodness will be renewed and established all around us" -Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

"Great temptations (suffering) come before or after the good that the Lord gives us. This happens so that the soul may not be filled with pride." -Elder Thaddeus

"The Lord permits many disappointments, sorrows, and misfortunes to befall us in this earthly life in order that we might stop placing our trust in the world, which harms us so much, and that we might realize that He alone is the Source of all comfort, peace, and stillness." -Elder Thaddeus

"The Lord will not answer every prayer, for if we were to receive fulfillment of our prayers whenever we ask for something, we would be convinced that no one on this earth is wiser or more deserving than we are. We would believe that we do not need anyone's advice on anything. Sometimes the Lord reveals to us answers to certain questions and mysteries in our thoughts, but sometimes He does not, so that we might turn to other people for advice and so humble ourselves." -Elder Thaddeus

"We should not expect God to do the things we can do for ourselves. We should humble ourselves before our fellow human beings and ask them for their help. Up to a certain point man must act in a human manner and only after that rely on God." -Elder Paisios of Athos (This quote may apply to people who don't want to go to human physicians).

"'We must see something in order to believe,' well, this is very cheap. Even if they saw a miracle, do you think such people would be helped to believe? They would probably say that it's a trick, it's sorcery, and so on." -Elder Paisios of Athos

"Confute those who dispute with you by the strength of your virtues and not by the persuasiveness of your words. By the meekness and quietness of your lips put the impudence of the obstinate to silence. Reprove the wanton by the nobility of your life, an those who are shameless as regard the senses, by the modest curbing of your eyes." -Isaac of Syria