He stood in the place of judgment and. . .

He stood in the place of judgment and bore insult, as Man; and He declared that He is about to come in glory, as
God. He bore His cross upon His shoulder, as a Man; and He revealed and announced the destruction of Zion, as God.

-St. Narsai Harp of the Spirit


The thief who received the kingdom of heaven. . .

The thief who received the kingdom of heaven, though not as the reward of virtue, is a true witness to the fact that salvation is ours through the grace and mercy of God.

All of our holy fathers knew this and all with one accord teach that perfection in holiness can be achieved only through humility.

Humility, in its turn, can be achieved only through faith, fear of God, gentleness and the shedding of all possessions.

It is by means of these that we attain perfect love, through the grace and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory through all the ages. Amen.

+ St. John Cassian,  The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 1), “On the Eight Vices: On Pride”


I beg and beesech you. . .

I beg and beesech you, Lord: grant to all who have gone astray a true knowledge of you, so that each and every one may come to know your glory.

+ St. Isaac of Nineveh , from The Prayers of St. Isaac the Syrian

Thou hast created us for. . .

Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.


— St. Augustine


Do not say, This. . .

Do not say, This happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.’ In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance … How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God? ”

— St. Basil the Great

Take away the. . .

Take away the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns.

-Saint Ambrose of Milan

No one is good but. . .

No one is good but God alone. What is good is therefore divine, what is divine is therefore good.

-Saint Ambrose of Milan

The Son, whose birth is. . .

The Son, whose birth is beyond investigation, underwent another birth which can be investigated.

In one fell swoop, St. Ephrem eviscerates both empiricism (everything must be investigated scientifically) and fideism (faith in God means we don’t need reason)


— St. Ephraim the Syrian

St. Ephraim: Glory be to Him, Who never felt the need of our praising Him . . .

“Glory be to Him, Who never felt the need of our praising Him; yet felt the need as being kind to us, and thirsted as loving us, and asks us to give to Him, and longs to give to us. His fruit was mingled with us men, that in Him we might come near to Him, Who condescended to us. By the Fruit of His stem He grafted us into His Tree.”

— St. Ephraim the Syrian