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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion  |  Topic: Quotes from the Desert Fathers 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Quotes from the Desert Fathers  (Read 63363 times)
Shin
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« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2014, 03:14:44 AM »

And the fathers also said: There was a rich philosopher in a certain city and he never gave anything to any man, and the Bishop of the city said unto him, "Dost thou know, O my beloved brother, that when we came into this world we brought nothing in with us, and that we shall not be able to carry anything out with us? But from that which Christ hath given unto thee thou shouldst lend in this world, and in the next He will reward thee several times over." Then the philosopher said unto the Bishop, "Wilt thou be surety to me that if I lend [money] unto Him He will reward me?" And the Bishop answered and said, "Yea, I will be surety to thee"; and the Bishop having become surety to him, straightway the rich man began to scatter his possessions, and whensoever he gave alms to any man he used to write thus: "Behold, I have lent to Christ such and such things, Bishop So-and-so being security for the same"; and he did thus until he had scattered all the riches which he possessed. Now when the day arrived for him to go forth from the world, he commanded his house hold, saying, " I make you to take an oath by Christ, in Whom I have trusted, that this paper shall be laid with me in the grave"; and they took the oath even as he made them to do. And after many days the Bishop came to the city, and he went to the kinsfolk of the philosopher, and he comforted them and said unto them, Did he not give you any commands ? And did he not make a will?" And they said unto him, "When he was dying he made us swear that the paper of indebtedness should be laid with him [in the grave], and we did even as he said." And the Bishop said unto them, "Come ye and shew me his grave," and when he had gone and entered into the grave, he saw the paper laid on the breast of the philosopher, and he took it, and opened it, and found that there was written in it thus, "I, the philosopher So-and-so, have gone to Christ, and everything which I lent unto Him He hath returned unto me many times over; and henceforward I have no claim whatsoever upon Him, except for tranquillity and peace." And every one who saw and heard [this] praised God, unto Whom all things are easy.
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
odhiambo
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« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2014, 03:36:10 AM »

They make wonderful reading, don't they these quotes?
I really love them. Heart warming. Smiley
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #82 on: June 27, 2014, 04:48:43 AM »

I agree! Very heartwarming!  flower
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #83 on: June 27, 2014, 04:54:03 AM »

Abba Anthony used to say, "When we rise up in the morning each day let us think that we shall not abide until the evening, and when we come to lie down also let us think that we shall not abide until the morning; for we know not the days of our life, but they are known unto God. If we do this each day we shall not sin, and we shall do nothing wicked before God, and we shall not lust eagerly for anything belonging to this world, and we shall not be angry with anyone, but in everything we shall be regarding our souls, even as men who await death."

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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2014, 08:34:35 AM »

Abba Poemen also said that Abba Anthony said concerning Abba Pambo, "This man feared God so greatly that he made the Spirit of God to dwell in him."

An old man used to say, "Neither shame nor fear confirms sin."

Abba Poemen used to say, "Men are wont to speak of great and perfect things, but in their deeds they draw nigh unto the things which are little and inferior."

A brother asked an old man, saying, "What shall I do?" The old man said unto him, "Go, and love the constraint of thyself in everything."

An old man used to say, "If a man teacheth and performeth not he is like unto the large basin which receiveth the water for the assembly, which watereth and cleanseth many, but cannot itself be cleaned, and is full of dirt and impurity."

Abbd Muthues used to say, " I would rather have the man with a little work, which abideth and is constant, than him who at the beginning laboureth severely, and soon ceaseth altogether."

An old man used to say, "It is written, 'The righteous man shall blossom like the palm tree' (Psalm xcii, 12). Now these words make known that the soul acquireth height, and straightness of stature, and sweetness from beautiful deeds. But there is another quality which is found in the palm, that is, a single, white heart, which is wholly suitable for work (or useful for being worked). And this must be found in the righteous man, for his heart must be single and simple, and it must be accustomed to look towards God only. Now the heart of the palm tree is also white by reason of that fire which it possesseth naturally, and all the service of the righteous man is in his heart; and the hollowness and the evenness of the tops of the leaves [typify] the setting up of sharpness of the soul of the righteous man against the Calumniator."
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #85 on: July 05, 2014, 06:17:41 PM »

A brother asked an old man, saying, "Is it the name or the work which maketh to live?" The old man said unto him, "I knew a certain brother who was praying on one occasion, and who thought within himself, saying, 'I wish to see the soul of a righteous man, and the soul of a sinner when they are leaving the body'; and because God wished neither to make him grieve, nor to deprive him of his desire, whilst he was sitting in his cell a wolf went in to him, and laid hold of him by his clothes and dragged him outside, and then having pulled him along he carried him to the outside of a certain city, and then he left him there and departed.

Now whilst he was sitting outside the city there was a man who lived in a monastery, and who had gained renown, and and concerning whom a report had gone forth that he was a monk of spiritual excellence; and this man was grievously sick, and was waiting for the hour of his departure [from this world]. And that brother looked on and saw the preparations which they were making, and the things which they were putting ready for the event, namely, the wax candles, and the lamps which they were trimming and preparing, and he saw that all the city was weeping for him, and that his people were in grief, and saying, 'By his hand God hath  given us meat and drink, and by his hands He hath delivered us, and hath kept us and the whole city alive; if anything happeneth to him we shall die.'

And when the time for this man to end his life had come that brother looked, and saw, and behold, the keeper of Sheol went in having in his hand a fork of fire with three prongs, and he heard a voice which spake [to the keeper], saying, 'Thou shalt not give his soul any rest, even for a moment, and thou shalt not shew any compassion unto him when thou takest away his soul.'

Then he who had appeared to that brother went in, and he drove that fiery, three-pronged fork which he had in his hand into the heart of the dying man, and he tortured him for a long time, and then he carried away his soul.

And after these things, when that brother was going into the city, he saw a certain brother who was a stranger, and who was lying sick in the market-place, and there was none to care for him; and he remained with him for one day, and at the time when his soul was departing the brother saw Gabriel and Michael come for his soul, and they sat down, one on his right hand, and the other on his left, and they stayed there entreating his soul and wishing to carry it away. And since his soul refused to leave its body, Gabriel said to Michael, 'Lift up his soul and take it, so that we may depart'; and Michael said unto him, 'We were commanded by our Lord to bring it out without pain and without suffering, and therefore we cannot constrain it and do it violence.' Then Michael cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'What dost Thou command concerning this soul which will not be entreated to come forth, O Lord?' And there came unto him a voice which said, 'Behold, I will send David and his harp, and all those who sing with him, so that when the soul heareth the sweetness of their voices it shall come forth'; and they came down and surrounded the soul, and as they were singing psalms and hymns the soul leaped forth, and it was rejoicing in the hands of Michael, and was taken up on high with gladness."
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #86 on: December 15, 2014, 08:22:26 PM »

'When I was at Theopolis with patriarch Gregory, abba Cosmas visited us, a eunuch from the Laura of Pharan. He was an outstandingly religious man, extremely zealous in upholding the true faith and teachings, well versed in the knowledge of the divine Scriptures. He had hardly been there for more than a few days when he died, and the patriarch ordered his precious relics to be buried in his own monastery next to a certain bishop. I went there one day to pay my respects to the tomb of the old man, and found a poor man lying on the tomb asking alms of those going in to the church. When he caught sight of me he prostrated himself three times as he prayed to the old man.

"Abba", he said to me, "this old man whom you buried these two months past was assuredly a very great person."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"Well, sir," he replied, "I was paralysed for twelve years but God cured me through him. And whenever I am in trouble he comes to me and brings me consolation and peace. And here's another miracle of his: from the day in which you buried him until now, I hear him crying out each night to the bishop [buried next to him] 'Don't touch me, you heretic. Don't come near me, you enemy of the holy Catholic Church of God.' Hearing this cry from the one who healed me, I went to the patriarch and told him everything exactly as it had happened, and begged him to lift the body of the old man from the place where it was and bury it elsewhere.

"Believe me, my son," said abba Gregory the patriarch, "abba Cosmas cannot come to any harm from any heretic. All this has come to pass so that we should take note of the old man's virtue and zeal for the faith. As he was in this life so he is now that he is laid to rest. And he lets us know his opinion about the bishop, lest we should think that he had been orthodox and Catholic."'

- Sayings of the Desert Fathers
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2015, 04:03:53 AM »

'It is possible to restrict many things to what is absolutely necessary through prayer and abstinence; but it is impossible to overlook them entirely. This is precisely why he who desires to attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and to become a perfect man (Ephesians 4:13), in accordance with Holy Scripture, should not prefer various duties to prayer; nor should he undertake these, unless it is necessary to do so. But when, out of necessity and the Providence of God, these duties present themselves to us, we should not dismiss them and cast them aside, on the pretext, perhaps, of prayer; but we should discern the difference between prayer and service that presents itself at a given moment and serve the Providence of God without excuses.'

St. Mark the Ascetic, from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Once upon a time there lived an ascetic in the Thebaid by the name of Diocletos. Having started out as a grammarian, he subsequently devoted himself to the study of philosophical issues, though in due course Divine Grace attracted him to the study of Heavenly philosophy. Hence, at the age of twenty-eight he renounced the world and entered a cave, where he dwelt for thirty-five years.

This blessed man said that when the mind becomes estranged from the vision of God, it becomes either demonic or bestial.

Desiring to learn how such a pernicious change occurs in the mind, we put various questions to him. He answered us with the following explanation: "When the mind of man withdraws from the vision of God, it will necessarily either follow the appetitive faculty and fall into the clutches of the demon who leads men into bestial wantonness, or it will be dominated by the incensive faculty, from which all of the demonic impulses of wantonness are engendered.

I then posed the following question: "How is it possible for the mind to abide unceasingly with God?" The Elder replied: "As long as the soul, whether a man is thinking or engaged in action, is guided by the law of piety and by Divine thoughts, our mind abides with God."

from Palladios
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #88 on: January 02, 2015, 09:22:45 AM »

Whoa!  A  cautionary tale and a good one! 
May St. Mark The Aesetic pray for those
seeking a desert experience.
crucifix crucifix crucifix
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« Reply #89 on: January 03, 2015, 03:54:12 AM »

It truly makes me realize the need to improve prayer life!
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #90 on: January 03, 2015, 04:17:48 AM »

An Elder related that the Fathers had once gathered for their spiritual edification. One of them suddenly got up and grabbed the small cushion which was on his seat; having placed it on his shoulders, and holding it up with both of his hands, he stood in the midst of them all and, looking towards the East, prayed, saying: "Oh my God, have mercy on me."

Thereupon he replied to himself: "If you want Me to be merciful to you, let go of what you are carrying, and I will show you mercy."

And once again he said: "O my God, have mercy on me."

Again, he replied to himself: "I told you, let go of what you are carrying, and I will have mercy on you."

After repeating this scene many times, he finally sat down.

The Fathers then asked him: "Explain to us what this action of yours means."
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #91 on: January 03, 2015, 04:18:16 AM »

What do folks think the explanation was?

 Cheesy
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #92 on: January 06, 2015, 08:29:02 PM »

Any guesses?
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #93 on: January 06, 2015, 08:40:05 PM »

I don't know. Perhaps the pillow helped ease the pain of the cross he was carrying, and by letting go he was truly carrying the cross as he was meant to. I'm guessing Grin
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« Reply #94 on: January 06, 2015, 08:44:55 PM »

I like that guess my brother! I knew folks would come up with some inspired answers if I held back the one the Elder had!

 Cheesy
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #95 on: January 06, 2015, 08:50:24 PM »

I like that guess my brother! I knew folks would come up with some inspired answers if I held back the one the Elder had!

 Cheesy

I'll wait patiently to hear the true answer Smiley
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