Elder Sophrony: ““The most important thing in the spiritual life”

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

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“The most important thing in the spiritual life is to strive to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. It changes our lives (above all inwardly, not outwardly). We will live in the same house, in the same circumstances, and with the same people, but our life will already be different. But this is possible only under certain conditions: if we find the time to pray fervently, with tears in our eyes. From the morning to ask for God’s blessing, that a prayerful attitude may define our entire day.”

– Elder Sophrony

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Saints Barsanouphius and John the Prophet: “the constant invocation of the name of God is a medicine”

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

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“We must know that the constant invocation of the name of God is a medicine which cures not only all the passions but also their effects. As a physician applies a cure or a poultice to the patient’s wound, and these take effect though the patient himself does not know how this happens, so the name of God when invoked kills all passions, although we do not know how.”
– Saint Barsanouphius the Great, and Saint John the Prophet

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C.S.Lewis: “A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.”

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

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“In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere–“Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,” as Herbert says, “fine nets and stratgems.” God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

– C.S.Lewis, Surprised by Joy

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Elder Paisios: “Sweet words”

Harlemite:

Amen!

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

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“Sweet words and great truths have value when uttered by righteous lips. They take root only in people of good will and clean conscience. Truth, when used without judgment, can commit a crime. And he who possesses sincerity without reason commits a twofold evil, first against himself, then against others. Because there’s no empathy in his sincerity. A Christian must not be a fanatic but have love in his heart for all. He who throws words around carelessly, even true words, does evil. Veneration is a good thing, and the predisposition for good is also good, but spiritual judgment and breadth are needed to guard against fanaticism, that false companion of reverence.”

– Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

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Plantinga: “The existence of God is neither precluded nor rendered improbable by the existence of evil.”

Harlemite:

There’s a reason he is as respected as he is.

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

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“The existence of God is neither precluded nor rendered improbable by the existence of evil. Of course, suffering and misfortune may nonetheless constitute a problem for the theist; but the problem is not that his beliefs are logically or probabilistically incompatible. The theist may find a religious problem in evil; in the presence of his own suffering or that of someone near to him he may find it difficult to maintain what he takes to be the proper attitude towards God. Faced with great personal suffering or misfortune, he may be tempted to rebel against God, to shake his fist in God’s face, or even to give up belief in God altogether. But this is a problem of a different dimension. Such a
problem calls, not for philosophical enlightenment, but for pastoral care. The Free Will Defense, however, shows that the existence of God is compatible, both logically and probabilistically…

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