ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY: AS WE BEGIN GREAT LENT



Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Conqueror of death, and, consequently, of the death of our departed ones.
Monk Mitrophan
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It is remarkable that, however much we trouble about our health, however much care we take of ourselves, whatever wholesome and pleasant food and drink we take, however much we walk in the fresh air, still, notwithstanding all this, in the end we sicken and corrupt; whilst the saints, who despise the flesh, and mortify it by continual abstinence and fasting, by lying on the bare earth, by watchfulness, labors, unceasing prayer, make both their souls and bodies immortal.  Our well-fed bodies decay and after death emit an offensive odor, whilst theirs remain fragrant and flourishing both in life and after death.  It is a remarkable thing:  we, by building up our body, destroy it; whilst they, by destroying theirs, build it up—by caring only for the fragrance of their souls before God, they obtain fragrance of the body also.
St. John of Kronstadt
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We must understand that the human person in reality does not die.  Death is simply a transfer from one life to the other.
St Paisios of Mount Athos
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In confession, penitents often asked why they always seem to have the same sins to confess.  Sometimes I think the answer to this question is that the penitent has not yet begun to see him- or herself as a sinner.  They still think that they are merely sinning.  Sinners know why they commit the same sin.  They commit the same (or in fact any) sins because they are sinners.  They are not surprised by the vileness or recalcitrance they find in themselves because they know they are sinners.  And this revelation breaks us.  There is no one else to blame.
Archpriest Michael Gillis
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The Lord is always waiting for us to unite ourselves with Him in love; but instead, we drift further and further away from Him.  We know that there can be no life without love.  This means that there is no life without God, for God is Love.  But His love is not according to the understanding of the world.  The love that the world gives us consists of suffering and enslavement, because the spirits of evil interfere with it.
Elder Thaddeus
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Many people have never experienced the pleasure of a light stomach.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos
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For we do not know how long we may remain in virtue, as says the Prophet who attained to knowledge of this matter by experience:  In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.  Thou didst hide Thy face, and I am troubled (Ps. 29: 7,8).
St. Seraphim of Sarov
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