"Christian athletes who compete according to the rules . . . and desire to be crowned by the Lord should, by all means, fight to destroy the very fierce beast of pride. For it destroys every virtue. They must know that as long as pride remains in their hearts, they will never be free from evil, and will even lose any good qualities they seem to have by pride's influence. For no tower of righteousness (so to speak) can possibly be raised in our souls unless the foundation of true humility is first laid in our hearts. Being laid securely, it can bear the weight of perfection and love thrust on us in such a way that we can show true humility to others from the very bottom of our heart."
December 2008 Archives
Luke 2 1:20 (KJV)
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wing◦ed life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.
"Beloved, how should we regard the loving-kindness of our Savior? We should cry out and praise His goodness with power and with trumpets! Not only should we appear like Him, but should follow Christ's example for heavenly conversation. We should carry on what He began. In suffering, we shouldn't threaten. When we are verbally abused, we shouldn't berate in return. Instead, we should bless those that curse us and commit ourselves to God in everything. For He judges righteously. Those who do this adapt themselves to the Gospel. They will have a part with Christ, and, as imitators of apostolic conversation, He considers them worthy of praise. They will receive the praise Paul gave the Corinthians when he said, 'I praise you that in everything you are mindful of me.'"
Abba Isidore of Skete
"If we confess Christ, we will become like Peter. We will be considered blessed as he was. Flesh and blood haven't revealed to us that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God, but the Father in heaven has, so that we can become citizens of heaven. This revelation carries to heaven those who unveil their hearts and receive "the spirit of the wisdom and revelation" of God. And if we say like Peter, 'Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God,' not because flesh and blood revealed it to us, but because our heavenly Father's light has shone in our hearts, we become a rock, or a Peter . . .Christ is the spiritual Rock from whom His people drank and every disciple of Christ is a rock. Every word of the church and its government is built upon every such rock."
"But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from
St. Symeon the New Theologian
No one is free from the risk of persecution . . . But how serious it is for Christians who are unwilling to suffer for their own sins when He who had no sin suffered for us! The Son of God suffered in order to make us children of God, but people won't suffer to continue being children of God! If we suffer from the world's hatred, Christ first endured the world's hatred. If we suffer rebukes in this world, if exile or torture, the Maker and Lord of the world experienced harder things than these.