May 12

Those who desire to free themselves from [sin] ought to pray not merely from time to time but at all times; they should give themselves always to prayer, keeping watch over their intellect even when outside places of prayer.

When someone is trying to purify gold, and allows the fire of the furnace to die down even for a moment, the material which he is purifying will harden again. So too, a man who merely practices the remembrance of God from time to time, loses through lack of continuity what he hopes to gain through his prayer. It is a mark of one who truly loves holiness that he continually burns up what is worldly in his heart through practicing the remembrance of God, so that little by little evil is consumed in the fire of this remembrance and his soul completely recovers its natural brilliance with still greater glory.

                                       -St Diadochos of Photiki

May 11

When the Lord first leads us into the path of salvation, He says ‘How narrow and strait is the way leading to the kingdom and few there are who follow it’. But to those who have firmly resolved to keep His holy commandments He says, ‘My yoke is easy and My burden is light’.
At the beginning of the struggle therefore, the holy commandments of God must be fulfilled with a certain forcefulness of will; then the Lord, seeing our intention and labor, will grant us readiness of will and gladness in obeying His purposes. For ‘it is the Lord who makes ready the will’ so that we do what is right joyfully. Then shall we truly feel that ‘it is God who energizes in you both the willing and the doing if His purpose’.

-St Diadochos of Photiki

May 9

When the door of the steam bath 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…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. …Timely silence, then, is precious for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.

-St Diadochos of Photiki

May 8

It is … better to endure the lawlessness of those who wish to wrong us, and to pray for them, so that they may be released from their guilt through repentance, rather than through restoring what they have taken. Divine justice requires that we receive back not the objects of theft, but the thief himself, freed through repentance from sin.

-St Diadochos of Photiki

May 7

Humility is the robe of divinity: for when God the Word became incarnate He put on humility and thereby communicated with us by means of our human body. Accordingly, everyone who is truly clothed in humility will resemble Him who descended from the height, hiding the radiance of His greatness and covering up His glory by means of His low estate.

Humility, even without ascetic labors, expiates many sins. Ascetic labors that are not accompanied by humility however, are not only of no benefit, but they actually bring upon us much harm.
                                                          -St Isaac the Syrian

May 6

There is no virtue which does not have continual struggle yoked to it.

We should consider the labor of reading the Scriptures to be something extremely elevated, whose importance cannot be exaggerated. For it serves as the gate by which the intellect enters into the divine mysteries, and takes on strength for attaining to luminosity in prayer.

                 ~St Isaac the Syrian

May 3

Humility is the robe of divinity: for when God the Word became incarnate He put on humility and thereby communicated with us by means of our human body. Accordingly, everyone who is truly clothed in humility will resemble Him who descended from the height, hiding the radiance of His greatness and covering up His glory by means of His low estate.

Humility, even without ascetic labors, expiates many sins. Ascetic labors that are not accompanied by humility however, are not only of no benefit, but they actually bring upon us much harm.
                                                          -St Isaac the Syrian

May 2

Our way of life in this world resembles a document that is still in draft form: things can be added or taken out, and alterations can be made, whenever one wants. But life in the world to come resembles the case of completed documents that have the king’s seal already upon them, and no addition or subtraction can be made. While we are still here, where changes can be made, let us take a look at ourselves, and while we still have control over the book of our life, and it is in our hands, let us be eager to add to it by means of a good lifestyle, and delete from it the defects of our former lifestyle.
-St Isaac the Syrian