How to not put yourself out

If you tire yourself for your neighbor out of pure love, you will find rest in tiredness. But if you love only yourself and are lazy, you will tire yourself just by sitting. – Elder Paisios (Eznepidis) of the Holy Mountain

Being a Moneychanger

No friend of gold ever became a friend of Christ or a friend of people. — Saint John Chrysostom

Let your table be open to everyone

Look at all the earth supplies in summer and in autumn! Every Christian, especially the priest, ought to imitate God’s bountifulness. Let your table be open to everybody, like the table of the Lord. The avaricious is God’s enemy.” — St. John of Kronstadt

Poverty purchases the Kingdom

Do not say that you are collecting money for the poor; with two mites the Kingdom was purchased. — St. John Climacus

Commandments are a Means

The whole purpose of the Savior’s commandments is to free the mind from
incontinence and hate and to bring it to the love of Himself, and of its
neighbor. From these is begotten the splendor of holy knowledge,
actually possessed.

St. Maximus the Confessor

Personal Attachments

First of all, Christianity is a religion not so much of principles, rules and precepts, but primarily and above all of personal attachments, in the first place an affectionate attachment to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him to other members of His Church, the living and the dead. – St. Nikolai Velimirovich: On the Orthodox Doctrine of Causality

The Path of Mercy

“A clear path way comes from showing mercy.” – St. Evagrios

The Unforgiving are the Unforgiven

The drunkard, the fornicator, the proud – he will receive God’s mercy. But he who does not want to forgive, to excuse, to justify consciously, intentionally…. that person closes himself to eternal life before God, and even more so in the present life. He is turned away and not heard. – Elder Sampson of Russia

Enemies and Communion

“As it is not to be imagined that the fornicator and the blasphemer can partake of the sacred Table, so it is impossible that he who has an enemy, and bears malice, can enjoy the holy Communion.… I forewarn, and testify, and proclaim this with a voice that all may hear! ‘Let no one who hath an enemy draw near the sacred Table, or receive the Lord’s Body! Let no one who draws near have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Draw not near! Do you wish to draw near? Be reconciled, and then draw near, and touch the Holy Thing!’” – St John Chrysostom, Homily 20

Praying for Enemies and Self Control

“Prayer for our enemies is the very highest summit of self-control.” – St John Chrysostom, Homily 18 on the Gospel of St Matthew

“Praying against one’s personal enemies is a transgression of law.” – St John Chrysostom, Homily against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren

Compelling ourselves to love our Enemies

“When our hearts are reluctant we often have to compel ourselves to pray for our enemies, to pour out prayer for those who are against us. Would that our hearts were filled with love! How frequently we offer a prayer for our enemies, but do it because we are commanded to, not out of love for them. We ask the gift of life for them even while we are afraid that our prayer may be heard. The judge of our soul considers our hearts rather than our words. Those who do not pray for their enemies out of love are not asking anything for their benefit.” – St. Gregory the Great, “Be Friends of God”

Discussion vs. Babbling

The Holy Apostle Paul to the Church at Ephesus:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. …

"How to Get Along" by St. Paul

The Holy Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians.  First Epistle. Chapter 5.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. …

A Key to Closer Friendship

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  – St. James

The Surface and the Heart

“In spite of all [Tsarina Alexandra’s] efforts, she never succeeded in being merely amiable and acquiring the art which consists of flitting gracefully but superficially over all manner of subjects. The fact is that the Tsarina was nothing if not sincere. Every word from her lips was the true expression of her real feelings, Finding herself misunderstood, she quickly drew back into her shell. Her natural pride was wounded. She appeared less and less at the ceremonies and receptions she regarded as an intolerable nuisance. She adopted a habit of distant reserve which was taken for haughtiness and contempt. But those who came in contact with her in moments of distress knew what a sensitive spirit, what a longing for affection, was concealed behind that apparent coldness. She had accepted her new religion with entire sincerity, and found it a great source of comfort in hours of trouble and anguish; but above all, it was the affection of her family which nourished her love, and she was never really happy except when she was with them.” – Pierre Gilliard Thirteen Years at the Russian Court

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