Saints' Discussion Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 30, 2016, 08:04:02 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
* Home Help Calendar Mailbox Quotes Prayers Books Login Register
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10

 1 
 on: Yesterday at 04:04:02 PM 
Started by CyrilSebastian - Last post by CyrilSebastian
              Kaufungen Abbey was a Benedictine nunnery founded in 12017 by Cunigunde, the Empress Consort       
              of Holy Roman Emperor Henry II in Kaufungen, Hesse, Germany. Henry II endowed the new foundation in 1019.   
              In 1089 the nunnery became an Imperial abbey.

 2 
 on: Yesterday at 01:18:10 PM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'By the test of suffering the chaff in the Church of God is distinguished from the wheat: he that humbles himself under tribulations, and is resigned to the will of God, is wheat for paradise; he that grows haughty and is enraged, and so forsakes God, is chaff for hell.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

 3 
 on: Yesterday at 01:16:07 PM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'To attain the knowledge of God is impossible for those who are still under the control of their passions. Therefore they cannot attain the salvation they hope for as they have not obtained any knowledge of God.

He who fails to attain this end is clearly subject to the charge of being ignorant of God, and ignorance of God is shown by a man's manner of life.'

St. Clement of Alexandria

 4 
 on: April 28, 2016, 06:55:41 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Evil thoughts are an abomination to the Lord: and pure words most beautiful shall be confirmed by him.'

Proverbs 15:26

 5 
 on: April 28, 2016, 06:22:36 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Blessed the one who manages his possessions in accordance with God's will and has not been condemned by God the Saviour as a lover of money without compassion for his neighbour.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

 6 
 on: April 27, 2016, 07:47:05 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Let us place ourselves unreservedly in his hands because he will not fail to have care of us: "Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you." (1 Peter 5:7) Let us keep God in our thoughts and carry out his will, and he will think of us and of our welfare. Our Lord said to St. Catherine of Siena, "Daughter, think of me, and I will always think of you." Let us often repeat with the Spouse in the Canticle: "My beloved to me, and I to him." (Cant. 2:6)'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'By preference, the devil attacks man at the moment of awaking; before the mind has had time for pious thoughts, he presents to it bad and forbidden ones.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow; the same Everlasting Father Who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.'

St. Francis de Sales

'Thoughts and influences are suggested and infused in human hearts by two spirits, that is to say, from the good spirit and from the bad. The good spirit urges people to think on the future goods of heaven and not to love temporal goods. The bad spirit urges them to love what they see, makes light of sin, offers the excuse of weakness, and adduces the example of weak sinners.'

God, 'the Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden'

'You cannot please both God and the world at the same time, they are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Just as I will not save myself by the good works of the angels, likewise I will not be condemned for the bad and wicked thoughts which the bad angels, the world, and the flesh present to me.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'In storms and squalls we need a pilot, and in this present life we need prayer; for we are susceptible to the provocations of our thoughts, both good and bad. If our thought is full of devotion and love of God, it rules over the passions. As keepers of stillness, we should discriminate between virtue and vice with discretion and watchfulness; and we should know which virtues to practice when in the presence of our brethren and elders and which to pursue when alone. We should know which virtue comes first, and which second or third; which passions attack the soul and which the body, and also which virtues concern the soul and which the body. We should know which virtue pride uses in order to assault the intellect, and which virtue leads to vainglory, wrath or gluttony. For we ought to purify our thoughts from "all the self-esteem that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." (2 Cor. 10:5)'

St. Isaiah the Solitary

'Above all we ought at least to know that there are three origins of our thoughts, i.e., from God, from the devil, and from ourselves. . . We ought then carefully to notice this threefold order, and with a wise discretion to analyze the thoughts which arise in our hearts, tracking out their origin and cause and author in the first instance, that we may be able to consider how we ought to yield ourselves to them. . .'

St. Moses the Black Hermit

'There is no perfect prayer unless the intellect invokes God; and when our thought cries aloud without distraction, the Lord will listen.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Examine from time to time what are the dominant passions of your soul, and having ascertained this, mold your life, so that in thought, word and deed you may as far as possible counteract them.'

St. Francis de Sales

'Some thoughts are simple, others are composite. Thoughts which are not impassioned are simple. Passion-charged thoughts are composite, consisting as they do of a conceptual image combined with passion. This being so, when composite thoughts begin to provoke a sinful idea in the mind, many simple thoughts may be seen to follow them. For instance, an impassioned thought about gold rises in someone's mind. He has the urge mentally to steal the gold and commits the sin in his intellect. Then thoughts of the purse, the chest, the room and so on follow hard on the thought of the gold. The thought of the gold was composite -- for it was combined with passion -- but those of the purse, the chest and so on were simple; for the intellect had no passion in relation to these things. And the same is true for every thought -- thoughts of self-esteem, women and so on. For not all thoughts which follow impassioned thought are themselves impassioned, as our example has shown. From this, then, we may know which conceptual images are impassioned and which are not.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'If some shameful thought is sown in your heart as you are sitting in your cell, watch out. Resist the evil, so that it does not gain control over you. Make every effort to call God to mind, for He is looking at you, and whatever you are thinking in your heart is plainly visible to Him. Say to your soul: "If you are afraid of sinners like yourself seeing your sins, how much more should you be afraid of God who notes everything?" As a result of this warning the fear of God will be revealed in your soul, and if you cleave to Him you will not be shaken by the passions; for it is written: "They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion; he that dwells in Jerusalem shall never be shaken" (Ps. 125:1. LXX). Whatever you are doing, remember that God sees all your thoughts, and then you will never sin. To Him be glory through all the ages. Amen.'

St. Isaiah the Solitary

'Alas! O God! there is reason enough to be terrified, to think that one is accursed -- accursed of God! and why? for what do men expose themselves to be accursed of God? For a blasphemy, for a bad thought, for a bottle of wine, for two minutes of pleasure! For two minutes of pleasure to lose God, one's soul, heaven for ever!'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Having hidden your virtue, do not be filled with pride imagining you have achieved righteousness. For righteousness is not only to hide your good actions, but also never to think forbidden thoughts.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'As the reading of bad books fills the mind with worldly and poisonous sentiments; so, on the other hand, the reading of pious works fills the soul with holy thoughts and good desires.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'I call those thoughts mean which, in spite of the vain efforts to prolong them, can only last for a short space of time; I call those despicable which extend not beyond this earth.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'Our teacher Jesus Christ, out of pity for mankind and knowing the utter mercilessness of the demons, severely commands us: 'Be ready at every hour, for you do not know when the thief will come; do not let him come and find you asleep' (cf. Matt. 24:42-43). He also says: 'Take heed, lest your hearts be overwhelmed with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of this life, and the hour come upon you unawares' (cf. Luke 21:34). Stand guard, then, over your heart and keep a watch on your senses; and if the remembrance of God dwells peaceably within you, you will catch the thieves when they try to deprive you of it. When a man has an exact knowledge about the nature of thoughts, he recognizes those which are about to enter and defile him, troubling the intellect with distractions and making it lazy. Those who recognize these evil thoughts for what they are remain undisturbed and continue in prayer to God.'

St. Isaiah the Solitary

'When you sin, blame your thought, not your action. For had your intellect not run ahead, your body would not have followed.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'In our ascetic warfare we can neither rid ourselves of evil thoughts apart from their causes, nor of their causes without ridding ourselves of the thoughts. For if we reject the one without the other, before long the other will involve us in them both at once.

Involuntary thoughts arise from previous sin; voluntary ones from our free will. Thus the latter are the cause of the former.

Evil thoughts which arise against our will are accompanied by remorse, and so they soon disappear; but when they are freely chosen, they are accompanied by pleasure, and so they are hard to get rid of.

Another man's sin does not increase our own, unless we ourselves embrace it by means of evil thoughts.

If you do not want evil thoughts to be active within you, accept humiliation of soul and affliction of the flesh; and this not just on particular occasions, but always, everywhere and in all things.

He who willingly accepts chastening by affliction is not dominated by evil thoughts against his will; whereas he who does not accept affliction is taken prisoner by evil thoughts, even though he resists them.'
 
St. Mark the Ascetic

'Apply thyself to sacred studies, and fix thy thoughts on the blessings that are of God. Leave temporal things behind, and make for the eternal.'

St. Anselm of Canterbury

'Every thought has its weight and measure in God's sight. For it is possible to think about the same thing either passionately or objectively.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'But all those who "call their lands by their own names," and have wood, and hay, and stubble (1 Cor 3:12) in their thoughts; such as these, since they are strangers to difficulties, become aliens from the kingdom of heaven. Had they however known that "tribulation perfects patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed," they would have exercised themselves, after the example of Paul, who said, "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."'

St. Athanasius

'How can you venture to live without fear, seeing that you must appear before God to give an account of your lightest words and thoughts?'

St. John of the Cross

'Never belittle the significance of your thoughts, for not one escapes God's notice.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Just as a thought is made manifest through actions and words, so is our future reward through the impulses of the heart.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'When evil thoughts become active within us, we should blame ourselves and not ancestral sin.

The roots of evil thoughts are the obvious vices, which we keep trying to justify in our words and actions.

We cannot entertain a passion in our mind unless we have a love for its cause.

For what man, who cares nothing about being put to shame, entertains thoughts of self-esteem? Or who welcomes contempt and yet is disturbed by dishonour? And who has 'a broken and contrite heart' (Ps. 51:17) and yet indulges in carnal pleasure? Or who puts his trust in Christ and yet worries or quarrels about transitory things?'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'We have a love for the causes of involuntary thoughts, and that is why they come. In the case of voluntary thoughts we clearly have a love not only for the causes but also for the objects which they are connected.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Our enemy employs no surer artifice for banishing true charity from the hearts of God's servants, than to make them rule themselves in spiritual matters, not with calmness and reason, but thoughtlessly and with all the unrestrained violence of their passions.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'We always have two secretaries: the devil, who writes down our bad actions, to accuse us of them; and our good angel, who writes down our good ones, to justify us at the Day of Judgment. When all our actions shall be brought before us, how few will be pleasing to God, even among the best of them! So many imperfections, so many thoughts of self-love, human satisfactions, sensual pleasures, self-complacency, will be found mingled with them all! They appear good, but it is only appearance, like those fruits which seem yellow and ripe because they have been pierced by insects.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Just as God assigns to everything visible what is appropriate, so He does also to human thoughts, whether we wish it or not.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Knowing this, the Lord enjoins us "not to be anxious about the morrow" (Matt. 6:34); and rightly so. For if a man has not freed himself from material things and from concern about them, how can he be freed from evil thoughts? And if he is beset by evil thoughts, how can he see the reality of the sin concealed behind them? This sin wraps the soul in darkness and obscurity, and increases its hold upon us through our evil thoughts and actions. The devil initiates the whole process by testing a man with a provocation which he is not compelled to accept; but the man, urged on by self-indulgence and self-esteem, begins to entertain this provocation with enjoyment. Even if his discrimination tells him to reject it, yet in practice he takes pleasure in it and accepts it. If someone has not perceived this general process of sinning, when will he pray about it and be cleansed from it? And if he has not been cleansed, how will he find purity of nature? And if he has not found this, how will he behold the inner dwelling-place of Christ? For we are a dwelling place of God, according to the words of Prophet, Gospel and Apostle (cf. Zech 2:10; John 14:23; 1 Cor 3:16; Heb 3:6)'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'As they who endeavor to drive away a bad thought deserve a great reward from Heaven, in the same way they who resist holy inspirations expose themselves to the danger of falling into the greatest sins.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'Do not ask how a poor man can be self-indulgent when he lacks the material means. For it is possible to be self-indulgent in a yet more despicable way through one's thoughts.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Abba Moses then said: "True discrimination comes to us only as a result of true humility, and this in turn is shown by our revealing to our spiritual fathers not only what we do but also what we think, by never trusting our own thoughts, and by following in all things the words of our elders, regarding as good what they have judged to be so. In this way not only does the monk remain unharmed through true discrimination and by following the correct path, but he is also kept safe from all the snares of the devil. It is impossible for anyone who orders his life on the basis of the judgment and knowledge of the spiritually mature to fall because of the wiles of the demons. In fact, even before someone is granted the gift of discrimination, the act of revealing his base thoughts openly to the fathers weakens and withers them. For just as a snake which is brought from its dark hole into the light makes every effort to escape and hide itself, so the malicious thoughts that a person brings out into the open by sincere confession seek to depart from him."'

St. John Cassian

'When you find that some thought is disturbing you deeply in yourself and is breaking the stillness of your intellect with passion, you may be sure that it was your intellect which, taking the initiative, first activated this thought and placed it in your heart.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Once our thoughts are accompanied by images we have already given them our assent; for a provocation does not involve us in guilt so long as it is not accompanied by images. Some people flee away from these thoughts like "a brand plucked out of the fire" (Zech. 3:2); but others dally with them, and so get burnt.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'The thoughts of a self-indulgent man vacillate, as though on scales; sometimes he laments and weeps for his sins, and sometimes he fights and contradicts his neighbor, justifying his own sensual pleasures.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'He who cultivates prayer has to fight with all diligence and watchfulness, all endurance, all struggle of soul and toil of body, so that he does not become sluggish and surrender himself to distraction of thought, to excessive sleep, to listlessness, debility and confusion, or defile himself with turbulent and indecent suggestions, yielding his mind to things of this kind, satisfied merely with standing or kneeling for a long time, while his intellect wanders far away. For unless a person has been trained in strict vigilance, so that when attacked by a flood of useless thoughts he tests and sifts them all, yearning always for the Lord, he is readily seduced in many unseen ways by the devil. Moreover, those not yet capable of persisting in prayer can easily grow arrogant, thus allowing the machinations of evil to destroy the good work in which they are engaged and making a present of it to the devil.

Unless humility and love, simplicity and goodness regulate our prayer, this prayer - or, rather, this pretense of prayer - cannot profit us at all. And this applies not only to prayer, but to every labor and hardship undertaken for the sake of virtue, whether this be virginity, fasting, vigil, psalmody, service or any other work. If we do not see in ourselves the fruits of love, peace, joy, simplicity, humility, gentleness, guilelessness, faith, forbearance and kindliness, then we endure our hardship to no purpose. We accept the hardships in order to reap the fruits. If the fruits of love are not in us, our labor is useless.'

St. Symeon Metaphrastis

'If those who are molested by scruples wish to know whether they have consented to a suggestion or not, especially in thoughts, they should see whether, during the temptation, they have always had a lively love to the virtue opposed to the vice in respect of which they were tempted, and hatred to that same vice, and this is mostly a good proof that they have not consented.'

St. Philip Neri

'Let us each realize, then, what we have lost and repeat the lamentation of the prophet: "Our inheritance is despoiled by strangers and our house by aliens" (Lam. 5:2), because we disobeyed the commandment and surrendered ourselves to our own desires, delighting in sordid and worldly thoughts. Then our soul was far away from God and we were like fatherless orphans. Thus, if we are concerned for our own soul we must make every effort to purge away evil thoughts and "all the self-esteem that exalts itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:5). And when we have forcibly applied ourselves to keeping God's temple spotless, then He who promised to make His dwelling in it will come to us. Then the soul recovers its inheritance and is privileged to become a temple of God. For, after thus Himself expelling the devil and his army, from henceforth He reigns within us.'

St. Symeon Metaphrastis

'The indulgence of the eyes, if not productive of any other evil, at least destroys recollection during the time of prayer. For, the images and impressions caused by the objects seen before, or by the wandering of the eyes, during prayer, will occasion a thousand distractions, and banish all recollection from the soul. It is certain that without recollection a religious can pay but little attention to the practice of humility, patience, mortification, or of the other virtues. Hence it is her duty to abstain from all looks of curiosity, which distract her mind from holy thoughts. Let her eyes be directed only to objects which raise the soul to God. St. Bernard used to say, that to fix the eyes upon the earth contributes to keep the heart in heaven. "Where," says St. Gregory, "Christ is, there modesty is found." Wherever Jesus Christ dwells by love, there modesty is practiced. However, I do not mean to say that the eyes should never be raised or never fixed on any object. No; but they ought to be directed only to what inspires devotion, to sacred images, and to the beauty of creation, which elevate the soul to the contemplation of the divinity. Except in looking at such objects, a religious should in general keep the eyes cast down, and particularly in places where they may fall upon dangerous objects. In conversing with men, she should never roll the eyes about to look at them, and much less to look at them a second time.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'Endeavor to have always in your hand a pious book, that with this shield you may defend yourself against bad thoughts.'

St. Jerome

'Discrimination is a kind of eye and lantern of the soul, as is said in the gospel passage: 'The light of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is pure, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness' (Matt. 6:22-3). And this is just what we find; for the power of discrimination, scrutinizing all the thoughts and actions of a man, distinguishes and sets aside everything that is base and not pleasing to God, and keeps him free from delusion."'

St. John Cassian

'When the door of the steam baths is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates its remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good. Thereafter the intellect, though lacking appropriate ideas, pours out a welter of confused thoughts to anyone it meets, as it no longer has the Holy Spirit to keep its understanding free from fantasy. Ideas of value always shun verbosity, being foreign to confusion and fantasy. Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.'

St. Diadochos of Photiki

'A man who is carried away by his thoughts is blinded by them; and while he can see the actual working of sin, he cannot see its causes.'       

St. Mark the Ascetic

'It is the uneven quality of our thoughts that produces changes in our condition. For God assigns to our voluntary thoughts consequences which are appropriate but not necessarily of our choice.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'But the believing soul longs and faints for God; she rests sweetly in the contemplation of Him. She glories in the reproach of the Cross, until the glory of His face shall be revealed. Like the Bride, the dove of Christ, that is covered with silver wings (Ps. 68.13), white with innocence and purity, she reposes in the thought of Thine abundant kindness, Lord Jesus; and above all she longs for that day when in the joyful splendor of Thy saints, gleaming with the radiance of the Beatific Vision, her feathers shall be like gold, resplendent with the joy of Thy countenance.'

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

'See my children; the treasure of a Christian is not on the earth, it is in Heaven. Well, our thoughts ought to be where our treasure is. Man has a beautiful occupation, that of praying and loving. You pray, you love -- that is the happiness of man upon the earth. Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. . . God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'The single eye is the love unfeigned; for when the body is enlightened by it, it sets forth through the medium of the outer members only things which are perfectly correspondent with the inner thoughts. But the evil eye is the pretended love, which is also called hypocrisy, by which the whole body of the man is made darkness. We have to consider that deeds meet only for darkness may be within the man, while through the outer members he may produce words that seem to be of the light: for there are those who are in reality wolves, though they may be covered with sheep's clothing. Such are they who wash only the outside of the cup and platter, and do not understand that, unless the inside of these things is cleansed, the outside itself cannot be made pure. Wherefore, in manifest confutation of such persons, the Saviour says: "If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!" That is to say, if the love which seems to you to be light is really a work meet for darkness, by reason of some hypocrisy concealed in you, what must be your patent transgressions!'

St. Gregory the Wonderworker

'A Christian who is pure is upon earth like a bird that is kept fastened down by a string. Poor little bird! it only waits for the moment when the string is cut to fly away. Good Christians are like those birds that have large wings and small feet, and which never light upon the ground, because they could not rise again and would be caught. They make their nests, too, upon the points of rocks, on the roofs of houses, in high places. So the Christian ought to be always on the heights. As soon as we lower our thoughts towards the earth, we are taken captive.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Blessed the one who loves repentance that saves sinners and has not thought of doing ill, like someone ungrateful before God our Saviour.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one who seated in his cell like Angels in heaven keeps his thoughts pure and with his mouth sings praise to the One who has authority over everything that breathe.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one who farms fair and good thoughts each day and by hope conquers the wicked passion of despondency, by which the Lord's ascetics are warred upon.

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one the eyes of whose heart have been enlightened as he ever mirrors the Lord, for such a one has been unburdened of the passions and evil thoughts.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one who is fired by the fear of God, ever having in himself the fervour of the Holy Spirit, and who has burned up the thorns and thistles of the thoughts.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one whose thought has been with grace, like a cloud filled with rain, and which waters souls for the increase of fruits of life; his praise will be for everlasting glory.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'Blessed the one who stands in the assembly and prays like an Angel from heaven, keeping his thoughts pure day by day, and has given no entrance to the Evil One to make his soul a prisoner, far from God his Saviour.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

'For the rest, brethren, whatsoever is true, whatsoever is modest, whatsoever is just, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is amiable, whatsoever is gracious, if there is any virtue, if there is any discipline worthy of praise, think on these.'

Philippians 4:8

 7 
 on: April 26, 2016, 09:36:31 PM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'it is not the intellect that understands, but the soul through the intellect'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'In this temple of God, in this divine dwelling place, God alone rejoices with the soul in the deepest silence. There is no reason for the intellect to stir or seek anything, for the Lord who created it wishes to give it repose here.

St. Teresa of Avila

'And that is why He also says, "Sell what you possess and give alms" (Luke 12:33), "and you will find that all things are clean for you" (Luke 11:41). This applies to those who no longer spend their time on things to do with the body, but strive to cleanse the intellect (which the Lord calls "heart") from hatred and dissipation. For these defile the intellect and do not allow it to see Christ, who dwells in it by the grace of holy baptism.

St. Maximos the Confessor

'What a house is to the air, the spiritual intellect is to divine grace. The more you get rid of materiality, the more the air and grace will come in of their own accord; and the more you increase materiality, the more they will go away.

Materiality in the case of a house consists of furnishings and food. Materiality in the case of the intellect is self-esteem and sensual pleasure.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'A pure intellect sees things correctly. A trained intelligence puts them in order. A keen hearing takes in what is said. He who is lacking in these three qualities insults the person who has spoken.

When the intellect is stripped of passions and illuminated with the contemplation of created beings, then it can enter into God and pray as it should.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'Furthermore, while the soul is withdrawn from everything and is turned within, the eye of contemplation is opened and sets itself up a ladder by which it can pass to the contemplation of God. By this contemplation the soul is set on fire for eternal things by the heavenly and divine good things it experiences, and views all the things of time from a distance and as if they were nothing. Hence when we approach God by the way of negation, we first deny him everything that can be experienced by the body, the senses and the imagination, secondly even things experienceable by the intellect, and finally even being itself in so far as it is found in created things. This, so far as the nature of the way is concerned, is the best means of union with God, according to Dionysius. And this is the cloud in which God is said to dwell, which Moses entered, and through this came to the inaccessible light.'

St. Albert the Great

'The intellect changes from one to another of three different noetic states: that according to nature, above nature, and contrary to nature. When it enters the state according to nature, it finds it is itself the cause of evil thoughts, and confesses its sins to God, clearly understanding the causes of the passions. When it is in the state contrary to nature, it forgets God's justice and fights with men, believing itself unjustly treated. But when it is raised to the state above nature, it finds the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace and the other fruits of which the Apostle speaks (cf. Gal 5:22); and it knows that if it gives priority to bodily cares it cannot remain in this state. An intellect that departs from this state falls into sin and all the terrible consequences of sin -- if not immediately, then in due time, as God's justice shall decide.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Both the man and the woman disobeyed the command, but for different reasons. The woman was deceived, the man was not. Yet in both man and woman there occurred a disruption of order in all their powers, from the highest to the lowest: first in their intellect, then in their senses, and finally in their actions. Both fell into disobedience and succumbed to greed because both had risen in pride. In the woman, it was out of avidity and desire for what she had not; in man, out of excessive love and concern for what he had. The woman believed that if she ate, she would be exalted; Adam, relying on his own greatness and God's love, did not expect a heavy punishment: never yet had he experienced the rigor of God's severity.'

St. Bonaventure

'The intellect of a man who enjoys the love of God does not fight against things or against conceptual images of them. It battles against the passions which are linked with these images. It does not, for example, fight against a woman, or against a man who has offended it, or even against the images it forms of them; but it fights against the passions which are linked with the images.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'. . . God deigned that we have freedom to do good and evil, we are obligated by debt of justice to do good, and we cannot do it without divine grace. Whoever thinks that he can by himself accomplish something besides fault and defect is really lacking any sort of intellect.'

St. Catherine of Bologna

'Impurity of intellect consists first in having false knowledge; secondly in being ignorant of any of the universals (I refer to the human intellect, for it is the property of the angelic intellect not to be ignorant even of particulars); thirdly in having impassioned thoughts; and fourthly in assenting to sin.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'An intellect that has acquired spiritual love does not have thoughts unworthy of this love about anyone.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan

'When the intellect turns its attention to the visible world, it perceives things through the medium of the senses in a way that accords with nature. And the intellect is not evil, nor is its natural capacity to form conceptual images of things, nor are the things themselves, nor are the senses, for all are the work of God. What, then, is evil? Clearly it is the passion that enters into the conceptual images formed in accordance with nature by the intellect; and this need not happen if the intellect keeps watch.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'Only the Holy Spirit can purify the intellect, for unless a greater power comes and overthrows the despoiler, what he has taken captive will never be set free (cf. Luke 11:21-22). In every way, therefore, and especially through peace of soul, we must make ourselves a dwelling-place for the Holy Spirit. Then we shall have the lamp of spiritual knowledge burning always within us; and when it is shining constantly in the inner shrine of the soul, not only will the intellect perceive all the dark and bitter attacks of the demons, but these attacks will be greatly weakened when exposed for what they are by that glorious and holy light. That is why the Apostle says: 'Do not quench the Spirit' (1 Thess. 5:19), meaning: "Do not grieve the goodness of the Holy Spirit by wicked actions or wicked thoughts, lest you be deprived of this protecting light." The Spirit, since He is eternal and life-creating, cannot be quenched; but if He is grieved - that is if He withdraws - He leaves the intellect without the light of spiritual knowledge, dark and full of gloom.'

St. Diadochos of Photiki

'When the intellect practices the virtues correctly, it advances in moral understanding. When it practices contemplation, it advances in spiritual knowledge. The first leads the spiritual contestant to discriminate between virtue and vice; the second leads the participant to the inner qualities of incorporeal and corporeal things. Finally, the intellect is granted the grace of theology when carried on wings of love beyond those two former stages, it is taken up into God and with the help of the Holy Spirit discerns -- as far as this is possible for the human intellect -- the qualities of God.'

St. Maximos the Confessor

'Do not neglect the practice of the virtues and your intellect will be illumined; for it is written, "I will open for you invisible secret treasures" (Isa. 45:3. LXX).'

St. Thalassios the Libyan

'When our intellect begins to perceive the grace of the Holy Spirit, then Satan, too, importunes the soul with a sense of deceptive sweetness in the quiet times of the night, when we fall into a light kind of sleep. If the intellect at that time cleaves fervently to the remembrance of the glorious and holy name of the Lord Jesus and uses it as a weapon against Satan's deception, he gives up this trick and for the future will attack the soul directly and personally. As a result the intellect clearly discerns the deception of the evil one and advances even further in the art of discrimination.'

St. Diadochos of Photiki

'When you sin, blame your thought, not your action. For had your intellect not run ahead, your body would not have followed.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Sometimes the soul is kindled into love for God and, free from all fantasy and image, moves untroubled by doubt towards Him; and it draws, as it were, the body with it into the depths of that ineffable love. This may occur when the person is awake or else beginning to fall asleep under the influence of God's grace, in the way I have explained. At the same time, the soul is aware of nothing except what it is moving towards. When we experience things in this manner, we can be sure that it is the energy of the Holy Spirit within us. For when the soul is completely permeated with that ineffable sweetness, at that moment it can think of nothing else, since it rejoices with uninterrupted joy. But if at that moment the intellect conceives any doubt or unclean thought, and if this continues in spite of the fact that the intellect calls on the holy name - not now simply out of love for God, but in order to repel the evil one - then it should realize that the sweetness it experiences is an illusion of grace, coming from the deceiver with a counterfeit joy. Through this joy, amorphous and disordered, the devil tries to lead the soul into an adulterous union with himself. For when he sees the intellect unreservedly proud of its own experience of spiritual perception, he entices the soul by means of certain plausible illusions of grace, so that it is seduced by that dank and debilitating sweetness and fails to notice its intercourse with the deceiver. From all this we can distinguish between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. It is impossible, however, for someone consciously to taste the divine goodness or consciously to realize when he is experiencing the bitterness of the demons, unless he first knows with assurance that grace dwells in the depths of his intellect, while the wicked spirits cluster round only the outside of the heart. This is just what the demons do not want us to know, for fear that our intellect, once definitely aware of it, will arm itself against them with the remembrance of God.'

St. Diadochos of Photiki

'Concentrate your intellect, keep watch over your thoughts, and fight with any of them that are impassioned.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan

 8 
 on: April 26, 2016, 06:26:19 PM 
Started by CyrilSebastian - Last post by CyrilSebastian
                 {A} Eryngium giganteum Silver Ghost   
                 {B} An erect, branching biennial with cone-like heads of blue flowers.   
                 {C} The Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter.   
   
                     thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up

 9 
 on: April 26, 2016, 06:05:15 PM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Reverend and Dear Sir: I have heard of your reasonable anxieties, and I feel sorry for you; but from afar counsels cannot be given to you: what can be given are general rules, because there are always circumstances that change cases. Therefore, to give you my opinion as I know it to be before God, I hold that in the case that you point out, you should by no means neglect to assist your father, who, the more troublesome he is, the greater will be the merit of your charity and filial piety.

We know by faith that God has commanded that our parents should be honored; no exception, whether they are good or bad; and we read in the Lives of so many saints having either heretical or infidel parents, to whom they were however most respectful and gave them temporal support.

Your Reverence should, therefore, do the will of God who ab aeterno [from eternity] has destined you to be the son of such a father and who he knew had such a disposition.

St. Charles made a beautiful answer, quite worthy of himself, to one who was trying to dissuade him from using so much tolerance towards certain perverse people who, the more good that was done them, the worse they became. He said that the mercy of God is occupied with those that are miserable, but who is more miserable than the one who knows not his misery?

This remark I suggest to your Reverence. You already know that your father is reduced to such a state that he hardly distinguishes good from evil; you should therefore always assist him charitably and patiently so that you may either have more merit before God or that you may see that perhaps by your virtue you may overcome his obstinacy, thereby imitating the angel guardians who do not leave souls, although they see that they do not profit by their inspirations.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, 'Letters'

 10 
 on: April 26, 2016, 10:08:23 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Princes should in a special manner be watchful that their states be purged of people that profess false doctrine; hence many Catholic sovereigns admit to their service neither heretics nor schismatics. They should also strictly prohibit the introduction of books infected with pernicious doctrines; the want of precaution of certain princes against this sort of books has caused the ruin of several kingdoms.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10


Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines